Tuesday, September 8th, 2015
Mike Jones year has been one of contrast, the highs of a 3rd place in Lourdes World Cup and having to ride with a few niggling injuries, which saw him unable to ride at the last World cup round in Val Di Sol.
A natural racer, Mike was determined to finish on a high and start his collection of rainbow jerseys. A few days of recuperating and riding after Val Di Sol with team mate and friend; Sam Hill seemed to work for him. From the outset in Vallnord, Majestic was loving the track, more confident than ever aboard his brand new custom liveried Nukeproof Pulse. Mike was instantly comfortable and able to get wild on the technical track in Vallnord, Andorra. There can be no higher praise than given by his team mate, Sam Hill on how “well/ fast/ loose/ scary” Mike was riding. Mike was oblivious to this, stating he was in control all the way… Just loving the track!
Mike and Sam’s biggest moan was on Friday when torrential showers cut practice short, they were loving railing the track in the mud (mechanics Jacy and Brooks were not so keen!).
Mike’s seeding run was solid with a few incidents/ crash’s denting the runs time, but still good enough to put him in the top 10. Sam had a sighting run down, getting up to speed sitting 15th
With Finals day in the bright sunshine of Andorra and on a drying track, Sam and Mike were always going to be a little up against it setting off 63th and 25th. Sam, after a tough season blighted by injury was enjoying the track, but a slip in the middle sector, send into the catch netting where his bars got caught up and left him 45th. For Mike, the first split showed him 1.5 seconds down on Sik Mik Hannah’s marker time. Mike admitted later that he was too nervous on the top section and it took half a run to calm himself down. The lower section of the track was much more to his taste and he came into his own on the steeper more technical sections and produced a split time only bettered by eventual winner: Loic Bruni. With Mike in the hot seat as rider after rider came down, 2-3 seconds up at the first split, but unable to live with Mike and his Nukeproof Pulse on the technical lower section of the course. Massive credit to Mike’s skill and natural talent on a bike as well as the capability of his vessel.
It took previous world champions and world cup winners Greg Minnaar, Josh Bryceland and new Wold Champion Loic to dislodge Mike form the hot seat and miss out on a medal with a highly impressive 4th place overall. The whole Nukeproof team is immensely proud of what Mike has achieved. A few months of winter “beasting” at Sam Hill’s Aussie boot camp and we will see what next season brings for the CRC-Paypal rider.
Our congratulations go to Loic, who was a deserving winner after so much promise and speed all year.
Mike and his CRC-Paypal team are now preparing for the final two Enduro World Series races and the final round of the British Downhill Series. Mikes team mate Joe Smith will also be racing this weekend at Red Bull Hardline.