4X ProTour Round 4 – JBC, Czech Republic

 The 2023 4X ProTour finals took place in Jablonec, Czech Republic at the weekend. After a strong season, Scott Beaumont was in mathematical contention to win the overall title. Arriving in 3rd overall in the points, we were confident and focused on the task ahead.

Historically this track hasn’t been the best for Scott. He was looking to maintain his good form recently though to finally get the result he wanted at JBC bikepark.

The track is in his arch rival, Tomas Slavik’s hometown of Jablonec in Northern Czech Republic. It is the toughest track on the circuit with the biggest jumps, forest section, rocks, wall rides and rhythm sections. It has it all and it is also the longest track so it is extremely physical.

Unofficial practice during round 4 of The 2023 4X Pro Tour at JBC Revelations, Jablonec Nad Nisou, Liberec, Czech Republic on July 11 2023. Photo: Charles A Robertson

Practice began on Thursday and it was in perfect condition. With immaculate track preparation ahead of the race, everything was ready to go. However, it was a disaster for Scott. On his first lap in the rock section, his bike got bucked and he went over the bars. It was a violent crash and he suffered a bad gash on his knee, but also a light concussion. He tried to roll down the hill a couple more times just to get into the track, but his vision was blurred and he was shaking. After a couple of runs, the team pulled the plug and stopped Scott from going back up the hill.

On Friday the weather again was perfect. Thankfully Scott had rested up and he was feeling much better. We were extremely thankful for his Bell Full 10 carbon helmet which absolutely took the main impact away from Scott’s head and allowed him to continue. After a couple of rolls down the track, Scott picked up the pace and he was looking comfortable.

Scott was seeded 3rd, so he qualified at the end of the session. He rode a good lap, and crossed the finish line happy with his run. With all things considered, 9th was a great performance. It also gave him vital points in his quest to end the season in the top 5 and on the podium.

“I made a great start and rode all the lines well. I pushed where I felt comfortable. I’m happy to qualify” said Scott in the finish area.

Saturday 15th July – Race Day:

Race day and tit was the hottest day of the week. 34 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. There was a short practice session for the riders before the opening ceremonies. 

First up at 18.00, there was a new documentary film launched showing Anna Slancova’s progress over the last year after she was unfortunately left paralysed after her crash in Val Di Sole last year. The top10 riders brought Anna on to the stage and launched the new fundraising push to help her rehab.

Afterwards, the top 10 riders were introduced to the huge crowds. Scott, with his 3rd overall World ranking set off down the hill to huge cheers from the crowd. The commentators were building him up as the legend of 4X!

After the intros were done, the Red Bull air race planes took over and simply wowed the crowds with an incredible display over the hillside.

Before racing started, the top riders were introduced to the huge crowds with a backdrop of dancers and flames flying in the air. It was an awesome start to the event. Then an acrobatic plane flew overhead and the crowds were going wild!

Onto the racing. In Scott’s first race, he took gate 2. With a great start he took the lead into turn1 but then got shuffled back to 2nd in turn 2. He rode a great lap and qualified comfortably in 2nd.

In the quarter finals tracing got very serious. Scott had the 3rd pick on the gate and he took gate 3. In this race, Tomas Slavik (World Number 1) took gate 1, Tomas Brozik (World Number 4) in gate 2, Scott (World Number 3) gate 3 and Thomas Kral (World Number 8) in 4. 

Making a great start, he opted to stay wide into turn 1. He dived inside but after a couple of bumps, he was left a way behind in 4th. He started the catch up! Chasing down the riders in front. Through the rocks he dived inside and snatched 3rd. In the final 2 corners he was gaining and across the line he missed 2nd by 0.2 seconds. It was a great effort but unfortunately his night ended there with an overall position of 9th for the evening.

A cruel way to end the night but as Scott said in the finish:

“I would have done exactly the same thing. I was excited for the move in turn 1 but it just didn’t work out. I rode a great lap and that pass through the rocks felt great. That’s racing and it was fun out there. Over 10,000 spectators just saw 4X in it’s finest light’.

As the finals unfolded things went well for Scott. When the overall results were published, Scott had done enough to finish 3rd overall in he 2023 4X ProTour. It was an amazing achievement and we are so proud of what he has achieved.

Now the team are heading home to prepare for the next 2 rounds of Schwalbe British 4X Series in 2 weeks time which is then followed by the big one. The 2023 BMX World Championships in Glasgow, UK. 

To say we are excited about it is an understatement. Lets see what comes in the next couple of weeks.

British BMX Series Round 6: Gosport, UK

Round 6 of the 2021 HSBC British BMX Series took place during the weekend in Gosport, Dorset. 

We arrived at 23.00 on Saturday night after a 20 hour drive across Europe from Val Di Sole in Italy where Scott raced 4X ProTour on Friday evening. On Sunday morning we signed on and got plenty of practice time to get used to the track. All things considered: a haematoma on his leg, 20 hours of driving and hardly any sleep this weekend, Scott looked great out there.

In the BMX National Series it is your top 5 results that count towards the overall title. Scott had t race this event to make sure he qualified for the overall.

Sunday: Round 6

In BMX riders have 3 qualifying races – called motos which qualify riders through to the knockout stages of quarter finals, semi finals and then the final.

Scott’s day got off to the good start, taking third in his first moto. In the second race he finished second and in his final moto he finished fourth.

Qualifying through to the final as the fourth seed, the team were more than happy with that. The plan had been to make the final. He had done that with ease.

Scott was able to chose gate 3 in the middle of the track. Here a great start is vital. Making a decent jump he was banging baes down the first straight. Things got very tight, and Scott exited turn 1 in 5th. He made up time catching the riders in front. Across the line it was close but Scott had to settle for 5th.

“I am really happy with today. I gave it my all and today it wasn’t quite enough to take the win. I got bumped in the final but it was good, hard racing and thats what I’m here for.” said Scott in the finish area.”5th is great points towards the overall and it’s always good to come away injury free. Now we can focus on the next 4X ProTour in Czech Republic.”

It has been an incredible week for Scott, taking 2 wins at Schwalbe British 4X Series last weekend, 4th at 4X ProTour on Friday night and 5th today at British BMX Series.

The team now has a weekend off before round 4 of the 4X ProTour which will take place at JBC Bikepark in Czech Republic on 15th July. This is the biggest international race of the year and Scott is throwing everything he has at trying to land on the podium.

Many thanks to all our team partners for your support.

4X ProTour 2023 Round 3: Val Di Sole, Italy – Race Report

On Friday 30th June, Scott Beaumont lined up on the gate in Val Di Sole, Italy for the 2023 4X ProTour race at this iconic venue.

The track in Val Di Sole, as always, was immaculate. The preparation that the team there had done on the track was incredible and we were excited to get out there.

Riding as well as he ever has, fresh off the back of taking the double win in British 4X Series last weekend, Scott was here to win.

The week started with a drive over to Italy. Arriving on Tuesday night, the team set up the team area on Wednesday morning and then went to check out the track. With a few great changes, it looked amazing and Scott was excited for practice to start on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the organisers asked Scott and a few others to test the track ahead of official practice on Thursday. Fresh floodlights had been placed on the track so lighting needed to be tested ahead of the event starting. The track was riding brilliant. The best it has ever been. Scott hit all the jumps and looked extremely comfortable out there.

Thursday rolled around and it was qualifying day. Currently ranked number 3 in the 4X ProTour World Rankings, Scott would qualify as the third rider from the end. 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 and looked on point. He looked perfect on track – as good as he ever has. Fast, smooth and precise. Crossing the finish line, he had the third fastest time. With just two riders to go, Scott was assured of at least 5th in qualifying. Tomas Slavik put down an awesome lap and he took the fastest time, but current 4X ProTour overall leader Gustaw Dadela couldn’t beat Scott’s time. So we placed 4th for the night and the team were happy with that result.

Friday Night – 4X ProTour Round 3:

It was time to start racing on Friday night. With thousands of fans rolling into the venue to watch the 4X, the sun set, floodlights came on and everything was ready.

After the first hour of practice for Scott, it wasn’t the best preparation. A big crash on his second run left him with multiple cuts, gashes and bruises. With his kit ripped, it was a full change, straighten the bike out and there was just enough time to grab 2 practice starts. In the second one as he was pulling off the track he was hit by another rider which snapped 7 spokes in his back wheel and bent his rear mech. So it was onto his spare bike for racing. Thankfully he had 10 minutes where he could sit down, calm down and regroup.. At 21.00 it was go time.

Scott lined up for his first round on gate 1. He made a perfect start and led the race from start to finish. It was a great start to the evening and settled all our nerves. Onto the quarter final and again he had gate 1. He made it work perfectly and took the lead into turn 1 – again leading from start to finish, thankfully clear of a big crash that happened behind hime.

In the semi final, Scott took gate 2. He made a great start and went into turn 1 in 2nd. Scott rode an incredibly smart race, carrying speed but defending in the passing places. He crossed the line in 2nd and we were all stoked to make another final.

In the final, it was the top 4 qualifiers – surprisingly quite a rare thing. Scott – having qualified 4th had the final pick so was left with gate 3. The gate dropped and Scott got the initial lead but couldn’t get across. In turn 1 he was then ridden a little wide and slipped back to third. He was being hounded by the rider in fourth all the way and was defending all his lines, not carrying speed. In the rocks, unfortunately it came unglued and Scott was pushed back to 4th. 

In the finish area Scott said:

“That was one of the best 4X races I have ever raced in. The crowd were incredible. The track was perfect. I am proud of how I rode all night and whilst I am disappointed with 4th in the final, I have gained some valuable points for the overall title. 2 weeks and we go again in JBC.”

Whilst that is correct, our next 4X ProTour race is in 2 weeks, we had more pressing matters. The race finished at 23.00 on Friday night. The team were up at 04.00 and on the road, driving back across Europe with a 20 hour drive, arriving in Gosport late Saturday night. On Sunday Scott raced round 6 of the 2023 BMX National Series. Full report from the mid week!

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.

2023 Schwalbe British 4X Series – Rounds 4 & 5: Shredhill

Last weekend, rounds 4 & 5 of the 2023 Schwalbe British 4X Series took place at Shredhill in Gloucestershire. This iconic track with the most amazing views has a huge history as being one of the best 4X race tracks in the UK. This weekend it did not disappoint providing edge of your seat racing in every lap.

A cornerstone of the British 4X Series for many years, Shredhill is fast, flowing and always a favourite for riders and spectators. With fun jumps, high berms and split lines on the track, racing is always amazing. With the sun shining all weekend, the scene was set for a great weekend of racing.

Saturday – Round 4:

Scott got on track for the first time for practice on Saturday morning to get his lines dialled and get ready for racing. All was going great and he looked fast. However. It is worth mentioning now that he has tonsillitis…… However. He looked good and was always thinking about the bigger picture as we move through the series. 

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.

Racing got underway at 12.00. Scott rode flawless and took 3 convincing wins in his motos. He looked great on track and was laying down some seriously fast laps. Admittedly at the finish line, he was hanging, but he was making it work.

In the final, Scott chose gate 1. Saving his best till last, Scott made a perfect start and checked out. Laying down a perfect lap and pulling a big lead, Scott raced past the team pit area nodding and already celebrating before the finish line. With a big whip over the finish jump, he punched the air with delight as he took the win.

“I could not be any happier. A perfect race day doesn’t come along too often but we have been able to nail it today. Thank you to everyone for their support. We go again tomorrow”.

Sunday – Round 5:

Sunday morning arrived and again we were greeted by blue skies. The track was even better than Saturday and was running really fast.

In the motos, Scott didn’t have it all his own way. Taking a second in motos 1 and 2, with passes galore and a pair of seconds, he rode a great last moto to win. The crowds were cheering as the Elite riders had brought their A game to round 5 and the racing was incredible.

Onto the final. Scott chose gate 1. It hadn’t been the favoured gate all day as the first turn high low move from gate 4 had been working so well.

Scott made his best gate of the weekend and then proceeded to catch the other riders off guard in turn 1. Instead of hugging the inside, he shot to the outside and then railed turn 1. The high low move that had caught riders out all day was now cancelled out. However the action shifted to turn 2 as a rider dived inside of Boom Boom. He carried so much speed around the outside berm that on the exit, with cm’s to spare he shot onto the third straight in the lead. From here it was all about hitting the marks and riding a clean lap. Scott crossed the line with a big lead and was ecstatic.

“That was one of the most incredible British 4X Series races ever. We are so lucky to be able to do this amazing sport. Thank you to all my sponsors, the series organisers and British Cycling. The British 4X team for putting this race on and finally the crowd for cheering us all on in that final. It was intense but the crowd made it incredible.”

Now the team are already on route to Val Di Sole in Italy for round 3 of the 2023 4X ProTour which takes place this Friday night. Then the team will drive back across Europe on Saturday so that Scott can race in round 6 of the British BMX Series on Sunday in Gosport. It’s certainly a busy week, but Scott is riding great and we are ready for it.

We look forward to reporting back next week from the hectic week ahead.

Race Report – 4X ProTour Round 2: Dobrany, Czech Republic

The third round of the 2023 4X ProTour took place at Dobrany Bikepark in Czech Republic yesterday. With big crowds watching all weekend, this race is certainly here to stay on the ProTour. The track was huge. Big jumps, high speed and a real challenge for all the riders.

Scott arrived at the track on Thursday and was excited to ride the track on Friday for the first official practice session.

On Friday, riders had 3 hours to get to grips with this crazy track. It took Scott most of the session to really dial in the track. It was huge and a lot to work on to get up to speed and dial the tyre choice in. By the end of the session though, Scott was certainly looking quick and we were focused on a great result on Saturday.

Qualifying and the race took place on Saturday, so riders had to be ready for a full day of action. Seeded number 3 into this event, so he would go third from the end. Scott made a great start and put together a great run. He crossed the line in 3rd position. He was happy and felt good going into racing as the team immediately leapt into action getting the race bike prepared for the racing.

Racing went well for Scott winning his early heats and moving through to the semi finals. Scott now found himself on gate 2 and a good start would be essential. He was clearly in the mood. He made a great start and battled down the first straight. After a bump and a bang Scott settled into 2nd. He was under some pressure in the lower corners but he rode them perfect and took the qualifying spot into the final.

In the final, Scott had gate 2. The gate dropped and Scott got pinched but he made a great move in turn 1 and dived inside. A bump later and he was in 3rd. He used every trick he has to get into 2nd, hounding him all the way but he could not make it past. Across the line he finished 3rd. A solid day and another podium result which has moved him into 3rd overall in the World Series.

In the finish area Scott said: 

“I can’t believe it. I am so annoyed with myself. I had the speed in the final and I messed up. It’s on me. I just couldn’t find a way past and I am absolutely gutted. There’s nothing else to say. This one got away and it stings pretty bad.”

The result, although disappointing for Scott, was a fantastic race. Just imagine being so consistently fast that you are that annoyed finishing 3rd in a World Championship event……. This result now moves him up to 3rd overall in the 2023 4X ProTour overall rankings. His consistency with podiums at every race so far is paying off. There are 2 rounds left and he is certainly fighting for the overall title.

The next round is at the end of June at the teams favourite track Val Di Sole in Italy. Let’s keep the momentum going.

Thank you to all our team partners for your support in 2023.

All images by Charles Robertson