Friday, June 8th, 2012
Nukeproof/Bikeyard team member Nathan Parsons headed to Val di Sole for the third round of the 4x ProTour. Check out his report here.
After 3 weeks training since my last 4x event it was time to pack my bike up and head off for the 3rd round of the 4x protour in Val di sole located in the Dolomite Mountain range.
Day one: After a good nights sleep and some breakfast it was time to head up to check the track out since last year’s race. As always the weather was amazing which is always one of the reasons why this is my favourite venue of the race season. First impressions of the track were that racing was going to be very open with lots of passing, not a lot had changed since last year with the same super loose rocky surface though there looked to be a bit more grip and it wasn’t so fresh as the previous year. After getting my bike built up and letting the weather cool down a bit I headed up for some open practice along with some of the other riders. First run down was enough to get the pro line done and was just really a case after that of playing around with tyres to find as much grip as possible as it was very loose . Practice was very relaxed as there was no time limit , most people were throwing a bit of style over the proline for the cameras, after that we did a track walk with the officials picking some very interesting flag positions which would really mix up the racing .
Day 2: Coming into qualifying I was feeling good just getting some full runs in and taking full advantage of the uplift before qualifying. With temperatures reaching 30 degrees it was key to keep hydrated after each run. I had about an hour to wait before my run in qualifying but was interesting to see people struggling on the pro line as there was a slight headwind coming into it. I had quite a steady run down just trying to leave it mistake free without pushing too hard. I ended up qualifying 26th which wasn’t too bad and only just over a second off Thomas Slavik’s blistering run giving him 1st . Being in the lower half would mean not such a hard first heat.
Day 3: Race day and I was feeling good. In practice it was just about working out some different lines with Scott Beaumont to see what worked and gave us some tactics for racing cause there was sure to be plenty of passing and moves being made on this wide open track . After a few gates and runs it was time for racing to be begin. As we were waiting at the top the crowds were forming and there must of been around 4-5 thousand watching which really made for an amazing atmosphere. My race soon came round which was heat 11. I had gate choice 2 with fellow Nukeproof rider Michael Mechura on the inside of me. Coming out the gate I followed Michael into the first turn diving up the inside but coming out just behind him taking the inside on the second turn just to stop anyone behind from putting a move in. After that it was a case of just following him to finish line which would put us both into the next round. In heat 2 I would be lining up against Michael Mechura, Adam Stasek and good friend Scott Roberts on the outside of me. A good snap this time would leave me close behind coming into the first turn but decided to put the brakes on and dive up the inside sliding out I lost some speed which left me in 4th. Coming in to the next corner Roberts and Stasek cametogether and I managed to get into 4th over the table top leaving me behind Stasek until the last corner where he blocked the inside making me go wide and getting a bit of a sling shot I passed him for 2nd and a place in the quarter finals. The next heat was going to be a tough one lining up in gate 4 with Micheal Prokop, Michael Mechura and Primek Techman on the inside of me. Out the gate I had another good gate and went inside again just coming up along side prokop on the exit I got a bit of a slide on again which put me in 4th and it pretty much stayed me following Techman’s every move to the last corner until he passed Michael for 2nd. I finished 16th Overall very pleased with my riding but there are still some things to work on before Round 4 this week in Fort William, Scotland.
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See you there!