British 4x Series - Round 1, Chicksands

Posted in: Nurishment Active Blog by Alex Metcalfe on 15 March 2016

Alex Metcalfe

Name: Alexander Metcalfe
Age: 21
Location: Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Occupation: Pro-Elite Mountain bike racer
Sport: Mountain bike 4cross
Level of achievement/participation: At 15 I won the junior (17 to 18 class) national champs, now currently ranked 6th in the pro-elite class.

This year was the earliest start to the 4x series, as March the 13th saw the start at Chicksands, Bedford.

Chicksands hasn't been used on the national circuit for a few seasons now, however, due to popular demand by 4x riders themselves on the end of season survey heard the outcry for a race there! So the organisers responded and made it happen!

Elite has always been a tough category, but with 14 riders all with the ability to win, made it harder than ever.

The track is very sandy and loose, but firm at the same time, the Mitas Scylla tyre, even though it's my fast rolling tyre, really seem to do the trick and never once felt like I was losing grip in the corners! Along with the brand new Orange Crush 650b and matching O'Neal race kit I was ready!

First off practise, the thing with the chain on the bike, if it snaps or slips in my case, it's always when you're putting 100% power in and when it goes there's nothing you can do about it, OTB time! (Over the bars)

My thumb took most of the hit; the same thumb I broke last year, I was more worried about my new bike and kit, but everything seemed fine and I straightened myself out, fixed the bike, strapped my thumb up and got straight back on the gate, all going well, it was time to race!

First heat ran pretty smoothly, battling to the line and finishing 2nd. The second heat didn't quite go to plan, 2nd into the second corner saw another rider hit me from the inside and putting me over the corner, snapping 3 spokes in my front wheel! With the new wheel size this season and no spares I had to do a quick repair and get back for my last heat! Sitting in 3rd I made a move on the second to last corner to first but not quite holding on to it went inside on the last corner and had my back wheel ridden over it was that tight and left me on the floor yet again finishing in 4th and ending my day early!

Onwards and upwards from here, so looking forward to racing my favourite track in Afan, Wales for round 2 at the end of April.

Massive thanks to the guys who are helping make this season happen Nurishment Active, Orange bikes, Mitaz tyres and Oneal.