From Luca Cometti
After just about a month off the whole team was excited to get back together for the 3rd round of the World Cup Series in Fort William, Scotland. Unfortunately, just a few days before our trip began, we got some bad news from Dean Lucas. He sustained an injury while riding and told the team he had broken his ankle and would be out for both the Fort William and Leogang World Cups. It has been a bit of a rough season with injuries, First Jack at our training camp in January with a collarbone injury, missing race one, and now dean, being out for at least two rounds.
While the whole team was super bummed out for Dean’s injury, we were extra motivated to try and pick up the slack for being one rider down. We were greeted in Scotland with sunny skies and got to take in the amazing landscape that Fort William has to offer. Nik and I were extra excited to be out in Fort William since it was our first time at the Legendary venue that we both grew up watching countless videos of.
You can watch all the videos in the world, but you will never truly now what a track is like until you walk it. Our track walk confirmed that it truly is a man’s track, with over four and a half minutes of nonstop abuse to both your bike and your body. After our track walk, we all went for a quick pedal around the venue to spin our legs after a two plus hour track walk. I began to feel a bit of pain in my lower back. I didn’t think much of it since my back has been bugging me for the past few days. After returning from our pedal, I did some stretches to try and loosen up my back, but that only made the pain worse. In the next twenty minutes I went from having some minor pain to hardly being able to stand.
As day 1 of practice rolled around I got to the track extra early to try and get my back adjusted from the “body mechanic” Martin the masseuse. He did some work on it and got it feeling a bit better, but the main thing that I needed was rest. Clearly that was not an option at this point, so with a back brace, some painkillers and a lot of motivation I headed out on track. Luckily I didn’t have any crashes during training, which kept the rest of my body injury free, but I was not able to ride like myself. I was riding tight and in a lot of pain that only worsened throughout the day.
I woke up Saturday morning even stiffer than the day before and with only the hope of making it into Sunday final. It is amazing what adrenaline can make your body do. If it wasn’t for it flowing through my body I don’t think I would have ever stood a chance in qualifying.. I was on pace to qualify well within the top 80, but a dumb crash at the bottom that cost me precious time left me 4 seconds away from a qualifying position. Lucky for Jack and Nik, they both had good enough runs to get them into Sundays final.
Fort William welcomed in an estimated 26,000 fans for Sundays race. With the recent passing of Stevie Smith and the final race of legend Steve Peat at Fort William it was sure to be a more than emotional day. Both Nik and Jack were ready to lay it down in there race runs for the screaming fans. Nik was up first and finished a respectable 6th place with two major bobbles in his run that cost him precious time. Jack improved from his 40th place result in Cairns with a 26th place on the day, proving that he is back up to speed after a rough couple years away from the circuit.
The team is now in route to the next race in Leogang, Austria. With a week of straight sun in Scotland, the forecast looks like it’s going to turn on us this week with showers in the forecast for every day. Bring on the mud!