2019 UCI 4X World Championships: Val Di Sole, Italy

As many of you will already know, it has been a very rough 2 weeks for team rider Scott Beaumont.  Everything was looking perfect at the UCI BMX World Championships in Zolder, Belgium. Winning throughout the qualifying races and looking very comfortable until the semi final where the rider next to him lost control on the take off for a jump and caused Scott to crash heavily.

The resulting injury was severe. An open fracture dislocation of his right thumb. For those unsure what that means, it’s the full set. A dislocated thumb, a broken bone and the bone then sticking out of the skin. It was a pretty horrific sight that needed an immediate operation to save the thumb. After two hours in an operating theatre, the operation was a success.

He needed to spend two days in hospital on anti biotics to fight the risk of infection and then he could return home.

On arrival back to the UK, Scott went straight to see his doctor who confirmed that he was looking at twelve weeks off the bike. He went to hospital who also agreed that it needed time off the bike, but concluded that in six weeks something might be possible. This was music to everyones ears. Scott was adamant though. 99.8% of his body was ready for 4X World Championships which would take place 7 days after the injury in Italy.

After lots of discussion, weighing up the pros and cons, we all decided the risk was worth the reward. The Dethleffs team truck was loaded and we set off for Italy on Tuesday night. 

Val Di Sole:

Arriving on Thursday morning after the long drive the team had just a few hours to make adjustments to the bike to try and make it more comfortable for Scott. His gear shifter was moved and adapted, sponge added to his grip and fork raised a little to take some pressure off his thumb. Then just two hours after arriving, it was practice time. Scott had two hours to dial in the track and then go to qualifying straight afterwards.

In his practice Scott was understandably slow and careful but lap after lap he began to jump some of the jumps and gain speed. By the end of practice he looked pretty good and the goal of simply qualifying looked possible.

With just one lap to qualify, Scott could not afford any mistakes. The gate dropped and Scott set off on his run. Vitally he jumped all the jumps including two 30 foot double jumps. Crossing the finish line he was understandably slower than normal with a time that would eventually place him 15th. To be honest the team were ecstatic. He had finished much higher than he thought he would and he was in the main show on Friday night.

Race Night:

Friday began with an hour of practice so riders could dial in their race lines – normally different from the fast qualifying lines. Scott was as ready as he could be. 

In his first race he lined up against three fast guys. It wasn’t the toughest race he has ever had and on another night without the injury he would not have been concerned at all, but this wasn’t a normal night.

He had second lane pick, which gave him gate two. On the inside was the second fastest qualifier, but he felt confident he could get the better of him. The gate dropped and Scott’s start was ok – the best he could do. he was bar banging with the guys in gate one and three as they went off the first drops. It got pretty aggressive and Scott simply pulled the brakes. You could see the nerves. He slipped into third in turn one and set off in chase. A long story short, hats off to the two riders ahead of Scott because he tried everything and just couldn’t make a pass stick. He crossed the finish line in third and unfortunately his night would end early. This gave him 17th overall in the World Championships.

Scott said:

“I simply could not crash. Every doctor we saw was adamant. A crash this soon after my surgery would be extremely bad for my thumb and hand. We were bumping on the first straight and whilst I normally would have battled through that and come out leading, today I was not prepared to do it. I’ve pushed the limits so much this week and I wasn’t prepared to go all the way to the limit racing those guys tonight.

I have mixed emotions. I am ecstatic. We did what was deemed impossible. Simply riding a bike. Let alone riding a bike in the way we do. However when the gate drops we always know what’s possible and on this occasion I just didn’t race 100%. I am happy but frustrated if that makes sense.”

Thankfully Scott now gets two weeks off to rest and repair before the next round of 4X ProTour in Poland. 

The team just want to praise the effort Scott has gone to this week. It was nothing short of superhuman. No one believed it was possible, but Scott did and we think the achievement is pretty incredible.

Our team edit from the race will be live mid week too so we will send it to you all when it’s ready.

Till then,

Ciao from Italy.