2022 Schwalbe British 4X Series Round 1 & 2 – Afan, South Wales

Rounds 1 and 2 of the 2022 Schwalbe British 4X Series took place at Afan in South Wales at the weekend. The season would begin on this iconic track and as the defending champion, Scott was excited to get the season started.

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.

On Friday, Scott did a photoshoot with team photographer Charles Robertson to get some images on Afan’s trails as well as on the 4X track.

Then, Scott did a small amount of practice on Friday evening on the 4X track to see how the track was riding and dial in some lines. 

Saturday – Round 1:

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’s first moto was going to plan until the final corners where another rider dived inside of him. There was contact and Scott unfortunately crashed out of the race. It was a fairly slow crash so didn’t look like it was anything to worry about. On any other day he would have been straight back up and on his feet, but something was wrong. He stayed down and looked uncomfortable. After a few minutes he tried to stand but couldn’t so he was carried off the track and over to the waiting ambulance. After a thorough examination, it was determined that he had twisted his knee and that the lateral collateral ligaments had been stretched.

So……. Scott made his way back to the truck and was obviously distraught. There was a small delay as the track repairs were carried out. The whole team could see Scott was weighing the options up. After a few minutes, his race bike was ready to go again and he immediately took the bike around the back of the truck (out of sight) and had a roll around. Incredibly, he reported that there was no pain when riding his bike. So. In typical Scott fashion, he decided to give it a go. His 2nd moto was the easiest of his motos on paper. Scott made an ok start but was able to make a good move in turn 1 and he ended up winning the race! This was enough for him to roll down in his 3rd moto and still qualify for the semi final. So that’s what he did to preserve his focus and energy.

By the time the semi-finals rolled around, Scott was feeling confident. With his results in the motos, he had final pick of the start and was left outside on gate 4. He made an incredible gate and tried to get across to the inside. He didn’t make it all the way and settled into 2nd. He was able to hold position and crossed the finish line to qualify for the final.

The team were ecstatic. We had gone from retiring from the meeting after moto 1 to making it to the final!

In the final, Scott was left again with gate 4. Saving his best till last, Scott made a perfect start and was able to get all the way across the other riders to take the holeshot! He was pulling away until the tight turn above the rock section. His rear wheel skipped off a rock and he had to unclip and dab a foot (luckily his right), before setting off again. The pack were on him again and Scott powered down the rocks and into the pro line doubles. He pulled a slight lead again and it was enough. Crossing the line Scott was clearly in disbelief! From a disastrous start to winning the opening round in a couple of hours.

“I could not be any happier. This has been one of the toughest days of my racing career. It also goes down as one of my best British 4X races ever. After that crash earlier, I thought it was all over. But we have stayed focused all day and made it happen. I am absolutely stoked to have won. 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 2 race to now rest his knee and focus on the 4X ProTour series which starts in Fort William in two weeks.

Sunday – Round 2:

The team got the call absolutely 100% right. After a nights sleep, Scott’s knee had bruised up and it was not possible to compete on Sunday.

However. What a story Saturday was. As Scott said it was his best ever British 4X race. We couldn’t agree more. He toughed out a huge amount of pain and was able to beat the best 4X riders in the country. It was an incredible day that we will celebrate for years to come.

Thank you to all our team partners. We could not do this without you.

Race Report – 2022 HSBC British BMX Series Rounds 3 & 4: Cyclopark, Kent

Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2022 HSBC British BMX Series took place at Cyclopark in Kent. An incredible facility for BMX, road cycling, cyclocross, XC and a great skatepark too. 

We arrived on Friday afternoon, parked the motorhome, set the team tent up and then it was a couple of official practice sessions. Scott looked great on track and quickly got to grips with the technical jumps. It was pretty windy but the track was in fantastic condition and we were ready for a great weekend of racing.

Saturday: Round 3

Saturday morning rolled around and it was time to get the show on the road. 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 rough start, getting pushed wide in turn 1 and dropping back to 5th. It was a rough start! In the second race he finished 2nd and in his final moto he took another 2nd.

Qualifying through to the final, and with 3rd pick, Scott took gate 3. Making an ok start Scott powered down the start, just a fraction behind the leader. In a battle into turn 1, Scott came off worst and got bumped to the back of the pack. He started his comeback and ended up salvaging 6th across the finish line. .It was a frustrating race but that’s BMX

“I am disappointed with that race. I gave it my all and today it wasn’t quite enough. I found myself in a tough position in turn 1 and I chose to hit the brakes rather than try to force it. I have had a great day though and it’s amazing to be racing in Cyclopark again” said Scott in the finish area.

Sunday: Round 2

After some great food on Saturday night in our Dethleffs team motorhome and a decent sleep, it was time for round 2.

In the motos, Scott looked on fire. Even though he scored a 4th, 2nd and 4th, he was battling hard and those results could have easily been 1st, 1st, 1st as the top 4 in each race were only covered by less than 0.3 seconds. It was tight racing and Scott was in the hunt.

After the motos Scott decided that he would change gearing, dropping from a 44-16 to a 43-16. Just to try and get a better jump out of the start and get across to the inside.

In the final, Scott took a huge gamble and chose an outside gate – 7. The theory was that the riders had been bumping and banging all weekend and this would give him a clean run around the outisde. He made a great start and rocketed down the start straight. Level into turn 1 unfortunately the rider next to him made a mistake and ran him extremely wide. Scott hustled and got himself back into 5th. Scott came close to making a couple of passes, but he crossed the line in 5th.

“That was a tough day, but again, I’m really happy with my riding. Finishing 6th yesterday and 5th today doesn’t reflect how well I was racing and now as we head towards the first 4X Nationals and ProTours of the year I am happy with how fast my legs are turning. I leave here in 5th overall in points with only 20 points separating 2nd to 6th! There’s plenty to be happy about” said Scott after the final.

The team now has a couple of weekends off before the first round of Schwalbe British 4X which will take place at Afan in South Wales on 30th April and 1st May.

Many thanks to all our team partners for your support.