Rounds 5 and 6 of the 2021 Schwalbe British 4X Series took place at Afan in South Wales at the weekend. The season finals were held on this iconic track and with the Overall Elite Men’s title still wide open, team rider Scott Beaumont had a strong chance of winning the title. Scott’s job was simple. In either round 5 or round 6, he had to win every single race in the day on the way to the final and finish first or second in the final to seal the title. With two rounds he just needed a strong performance at one of them.
However. Just one week earlier at the UCI 4X World Championships, a crash in practice (caused by another rider) unfortunately dislocated his right elbow. Scott attended Core Clinics several times ahead of the weekend to try and get movement back into his arm. He was far from fully fit. But Scott being Scott, he wanted to get on the start gate and go for the title.
A cornerstone of the British 4X Series for many years, Afan is fast, flowing and always a favourite for riders and spectators. With fun jumps, high berms, rocks, corkscrew bridges and split lines on the track, racing is always amazing. The sun was shining and the stage was set for a great weekend of racing.
Scott did a small amount of practice on Saturday morning just to get ready for racing but also save a little energy for the big day ahead.
The British 4X Series uses the moto system for qualification which means Scott would race 3 qualifying races against different riders to qualify through to the knockout rounds. The hope was he would race against his fellow title contenders, so he could hopefully take points from them and help his quest for the title.
Racing got underway at 12.00. Scott rode flawless and took 3 convincing wins in his motos. Taking a maximum score and his opponents losing a couple of points, the stage was set for the semi finals.
By the time the semi-finals rolled around, Scott was feeling confident. His track speed was very good, and gates were perfect. In his semi-final he made a great gate and he stamped his authority on the race and took the win to book his place in the final.
In the final, Scott chose gate 1. Saving his best till last, Scott made a perfect start and took the holeshot. Exiting the first turn, two riders had gone high low on the first turn and dived inside of Scott. Finding himself in third, Scott battled hard into turn two and grabbed second place. He was where he needed to be. Laying down a perfect lap from turn two, Scott comfortably sat in second and crossed the line to clinch his thirteenth Schwalbe British 4X Series Elite men’s title. Across the line he punched the air with delight. It was a particularly tough week for Scott and the relief that he had sealed the title was evident.
“I could not be any happier. This has been one of the toughest weeks of my racing career, but the chance to win this series again was the motivation. I rode so nervous all day. I knew I could not make any mistakes and I could not crash! Thankfully I was able to keep it on two wheels and seal the title one round early. I am absolutely stoked to have done it. Thank you to everyone for their support.”
After the podiums, photographs and film interviews were done, the team returned to the Dethleffs team motorhome, where Sunday was discussed. Unanimously we decided that Scott would sit out Sundays round 6 race to now rest his elbow and focus on the 4X ProTour series finals in Germany in two weeks.
Scott did a couple of interviews during the day and some social media work on Sunday and then it was time for the Overall Series Podiums.
Thank you to all our team partners. We could not do this without you.
Images by Charles Robertson and Nick Bentley