A few things surprised me on this Friday morning: 1) Matt Scoles can use a computer; 2) he managed to set up a blog; and 3) he can write! Scolsey penned (well, typed) an update about his experiences in South Africa at Round 1 of the World Cup.
Last week was the first round of the World Cup in South Africa. We arrived in South Africa on Monday evening, picked up our rental van(which happened to be rear wheel drive, which made for a bit of fun) from Durban airport and headed inland for Pietermaritzburg. We arrived in the dark and all we had was the address of the B&B we were staying at, but after asking a few locals, we somehow managed to find it!
After a few days of lurking, trying to find a safari or a zoo,and witnessing the South African culture, it was Wednesday and time for rego and track walk. The track was looking good untill we got out of the top section in the trees and for as far as we could see was a huge pedal, but there were also some sweet looking jumps!
Thursday was the first day of practice, and after some overnight rain it was super slick, but it was a pretty fun track to ride! Friday was practice in the morning and qualifying in the afternoon. After some good runs in the morning and feeding the monkeys it was time to qualify; I had a pretty steady run with a good top section but held back a bit in the pedal and lost a bit of time and ended up in 43rd.
We had another couple of hours of practice on Saturday morning so I decided to harden up my suspension and up my tyre pressures to try carry a bit more speed on the flat sections of the track and it was feeling good! Sunday was the big day! I got a couple of good practice runs in the morning and was feeling pretty good for the race where I wanted to finish up in the top 25 as the track didnt really suit me too much with flat pedals!
I had a pretty good top section but held back a bit as it was easy to lose a lot of time with a mistake! When I came out into the pedal I got stuck in and pedalled my arse off! Then coming into the bottom there was a big hip jump which not many people were hitting; I tried it once in practice but came up a bit short, so I was just going to miss it out for the race, but after a pretty good run I decided to get amongst it and I got the bastard!
Not too sure if it was any faster or not but the locals loved it when someone jumped it! I came down into the hot seat with the fastest time so far. I lasted there until Jared Graves came down and knocked me off. I ended up in 18th place so I was pretty happy with that for the first race of the season.
Next up is World Cup round 2 in Scotland on the 5th of June so looking forward to that!
Thanks to all my sponsors: Five Ten, Cicli Cingolani, Trek, Marzocchi, Oneal, Salice, ODI, Maxxis
Make sure you follow Scolsey's season on his blog HERE