On Friday 6th July, USN Racing team rider Scott Beaumont lined up on the gate in Val Di Sole, Italy for the 2018 4X World Championships.
It is the 25th time that Scott has represented his country in the World Championships. 7 times in BMX and 18 times in Mountain Bike. It’s an incredible record and one that Scott is not ready to call time on yet.
Riding as well as he ever has, Scott was here to win.
The week started with a drive over to Italy in the new Dethleffs team truck. Arriving on Monday, the team set up the team area and then went to check out the track. With a few great changes, it looked amazing and Scott was excited to have a ride. Having a steady play, immediately Scott looked comfortable, having fun and jumping everything! Clearly he was in the mood for a good week…….
Thursday rolled around and it was qualifying day. Currently ranked number 7 in UCI World Rankings, Scott was 7th to start his single lap of the track. 4X is a brutal sport. Just a single lap determines the top 32 riders to qualify. If you crash, make a mistake or have a technical problem, your race is over before it has even started. It is a pressure cooker for the riders.
Scott was focused and as he left the start looked on point. However he made a couple of mistakes on his lap and crossing the line in a time of 46.592 he ended up in 8th position.
So after qualifying 8th, it was time to look forward to racing on Friday night. With thousands of fans rolling into the venue to watch the World Championships, the sun set, floodlights came on and everything was ready.
After an hour of practice Scott had his lines dialled. Passing places, options and a good few gates had him ready to go.
21.15 rolled around. It was race time.In his first race, Scott slightly missed the gate and moved into second through the first turn. He looked fast all the way and clearly was looking at options for next round of racing. It was the lap that would set him up for the night.
In the quarter finals, the draw looked tough as Scott lined up against the two Slavik’s. Hannes from Austria and fastest qualifier Tomas from Czech Republic.
Scott made an amazing start and bumped bars with Hannes on the first straight. It was super aggressive from both riders as they fought for that semi final spot. Scott got bumped wide and found himself in third. He stayed on Hannes rear wheel all the way and after learning a fresh line through the rocks in race one, he attacked just at the same time as Hannes made a mistake.
It was timed to perfection and Scott was able to grab second position and qualify through.
In the semi final, Scott again had gate 3. Without doubt, making one of the best starts of his career, he jumped out in the lead. Over the first drops he tangled with defending World Champion Felix Beckman on the first drop which nearly made them both crash. Scott just held on and moved into second. In turn three, Beckman came back and made a big pass on Scott. There was a little contact and it threw Scott’s gears out of sync. It was a big pass but it was a legitimate pass that Scott tipped his hat to.
On the exit of the turn Scott went to pedal and there was nothing there. It simply turned out that his gears had moved from 5th back up to 2nd, so it felt to Scott like his chain had come off.
He lost a lot of ground and his race was over.
No matter how many races you have done, being beaten in the semi final, finishing third in that race and not qualifying to the World Championship final will always be one of the biggest emotional roller coasters in the World.
Then having to regroup and head back to race again 5 minutes later to decide fifth to eighth, it’s a big ask for any rider!
Scott was in the gate and ready to race. Making another good gate he entered the first turn in second. Making another aggressive move he dived inside to take the lead but came up short. In the blink of an eye he was third and then fourth.
Re focusing, Scott clearly focused on carrying speed to catch the riders ahead of him. Into the final turn he was back in touch and made a clean pass before the rocks to take third place in the race and seventh for the 2018 4X World Championships.
As ever, in the finish area, Scott was completely honest about his performance.
“It’s very hard to be happy with seventh, but in a strange way I am. I fought hard all night. Took risks, made plenty of contact with other riders and gave it 100%. I could not have done any more. We were so close to making the final in that semi final and unfortunately the cards did not fall my way. I was one of the fastest riders on track tonight and I am already focused on the 2019 4X World Championships.”
Finally we want to thank all out team partners and sponsors. Without you this incredible performance would not have been possible. We have the best sponsors and an incredible presence at the events.
We are forever thankful for the opportunities you give us and want to sincerely thank you all.
We are now driving across Europe to our next race in Czech Republic – round 4 of the 2018 4X ProTour.
Scott currently sits in third overall so he will be looking for a strong result with just two rounds remaining.