Well the winter months are finally over and the 2017 season is here. Scott’s preparation has been perfect and we are now on route to round 1 of the 4X ProTour being held in Roquebrune, France.
Coming into this season as UCI World Number 1, Scott is looking for consistency to work towards the overall 4X ProTour title.
The track in France was a bitter sweet pill to swallow for Scott last year as a mistake whilst leading cost him a shot at the race win. He is looking for a solid start to his campaign this year.
With some fresh sponsors on board for the 2017 campaign the team are motivated and ready to race.
Arriving on Wednesday afternoon, we went to look at the track. Located at the heart of the new Azur Bike Park, what has been created is amazing. Built on the side of a mountain, the track winds its way through huge berms, multi lines, and some of the biggest jumps in the 4X ProTour into the finish arena. There were several changes to the track, with more width on the first two straights, fresh berms added and a new section into the tree line.
The track in Roquebrune overlooks the French Riviera coastal town of St Maxime, so as well as being an amazing track, the views are incredible. The longest track currently used on the 4X ProTour this year, at around 50 seconds this was going to be a wild race.
On Wednesday evening, we headed over to St Maxime BMX track for their club night. After a full day of driving to the South of France, a trip to one of Scott’s favorite BMX tracks to unwind was perfect. The track is amazing and together with team photographer Charles Robertson, Scott had a play on the track and we got some great shots.
Thursday was the first official day of training at the 4X track. After a track walk, it was time to get started. Working on the top half of the track initially Scott worked on set up and looked at home straight away. The track was in immaculate condition and allowed the riders to really push hard. The racing was certainly going to be quick come race time.
In the afternoon we were lucky enough to have a couple of hours where we were able to visit Monaco to have a look round. The formula 1 track was just being built with grandstands and the pit lane garages all under construction. Quite a sight!
On to Friday training and Scott focused on the bottom half of the track and his tyre choice for the weekend. Another 3 hours of track time and confidence was building nicely into the weekend. In the afternoon we visited St Tropez for a quick walk around some super yachts!
Saturday morning and it was game time. After a two hour practice session it was qualifying. In the two hours Scott simply did full runs to prepare for the one lap of qualifying. Using all the outside lines and carrying speed we were looking for a top 3 and the first points of the year.
With Scott being the UCI World number 1 4X rider, he went last. With only one rider going below 45 seconds, the job was simple. Get a 44 point something and he would be in the top two. With a perfect qualifying lap, that’s exactly what Scott did. Stopping the clock at 44.89 it was good enough for second position.
On Saturday night, the organisers hosted a BBQ for all the riders. It was great to socialise with everyone and catch up on what everyone had been doing over winter. An early night for the team to get ready for race day.
Sunday morning and there was a two hour practice session. With no track changes, Scott did a couple of practice starts then two full runs and with over an hour remaining, he decided to save his energy for the racing.
At 14.00 the racing started. Scott took the win in his first two rounds and was looking fast, backing up his qualifying ride. In the quarter final, he made a perfect start and again led the race from start to finish with no problems. Onto the semi final and this looked tougher. Scott again made a perfect start and battled bar to bar into turn one defending and holding his line to lead the race. From here Scott pulled away and took a convincing win.
Final time. Scott was in gate two. Making a good gate Scott again went bar to bar with both riders either side of him and unfortunately this time he got squeezed into turn 1. Re grouping and starting the charge from fourth, Scott rode hard all the way down the track and dived inside on the final turn but unfortunately he could not get the bike turned enough to make the pass stick.
Fourth position for Scott and some good points to start his 2017 4X ProTour campaign. Scott really felt like this was the race that got away though and is now heading home to continue his preparation for the next round at Winterberg, Germany on May 26th.
We want to thank all the team sponsors for helping us put together an amazing package that is allowing Scott to ride at his absolute maximum.
Until next time.