Great news from Round 1 of the Nissan World Cup is that Marc took his first win! 24hrs before the final, however, things looked very different. Marc had a bad crash in qualifying which dropped him back to 77th place. This meant he would be one of the first riders off in the final. He had deep cuts to his knee and a sore shoulder.
The weather over the weekend was changeable with heavy rain over night on Saturday leaving a wet track for timed training on Sunday morning. Marc posted the fastest time in timed training, before quickly preparing and heading back up the hill for his early start time in the Final. He came down very happy with his run and jumped into the hot seat, with a long wait for the top ten riders he usually competes against. Another bout of rain midway through the finals slowed the track a little before the sun re- emerged to dry things out more and more as the faster riders hit the track. Sam Hill, David Vazquez and Steve peat came close to Marc’s time but as Steve (fastest qualifier) hit the last jump into the finish it was clear Marc had done enough to win his first World Cup and on top of that take the UCI leaders jersey and help catapult the MBUK Santa Cruz team to the number one position.
Marc said: “I’ve dreamed about doing this since I was 15 years old, after crashing yesterday I knew I needed a good result today to make up the points. I had a great run and yes I was lucky with the weather but that’s racing and I just can’t believe it, I’m pretty overwhelmed.” Donny’s run came right in the middle of the rain shower and he was a little disappointed with his 16th place, although this was some five seconds faster than most of the riders coming down the hill at the same time as him.
Saturday night saw the first round of the World Cup 4X Series in front of a massive crowd of crazy Spanish fans. This was my first 4X race of the season and I was looking forward to getting back in the mix. First round of 64 riders went well and I got a great gate, leading from start to finish on the track which was a mix of natural downhill and BMX track, lending itself perfectly to my short travel Blur 4X. Second round and I was shoulder to shoulder with World Champ, Prokop down the top half of the track before tucking in behind him down the last two straights to advance on to the next round. My gates were better than ever and I made the semi final where I narrowly missed out on a final place, coming in just behind Gee Atherton, eventual winner and Michal Prokop.
In the Small final I had the outside gate and decided to stay wide then cut back inside round the first long, steep right hander. Cutting back inside the other riders, things almost went to plan, but my front wheel slipped out and I went down hard coming out of the turn. Still 8th place was a solid start to the year and a real confidence boost heading into round two in Switzerland.