Team Wideopenmag’s newest recruit Charlie Hatton just completed his first World Cup race! Charlie qualified 25th and then 21st in the final.
Here’s his thoughts on his very first big time bike race!
// Thanks to Sam Hatton and John Oldale for the images.
Wow. My first World Cup, what an experience to say the least!
I went into this race straight from the British Downhill Series at Ae Forest. We packed up the van, stopped in at home quickly and then hit the road again. After the 15 hour trek from the Forest of Dean we finally arrived in sunny Lourdes. I found out a few weeks before the first National that I had been selected by British Cycling to race and Iv’e been buzzing to get stuck in ever since. I would be racing my brand new Nukeproof Pulse and running a GB team jersey over my new Fox kit.
Thursday was track walk. I walked out of the start gate, round the first corner and boom, rocks everywhere. It looked pretty brutal and couldn’t wait to get on the bike and ride it on Friday!
I came down from first training run with a massive grin on my face. The track was rad! When it came to qualifying on Saturday though I was so nervous! There were so many people watching trackside! I didn’t want to hit the deck so I rode pretty cautiously making sure I made it in the top 30. I came down around half way through the category of 52 and ended up 25th so I just made the cut. That felt amazing and meant I was through to the big final on Sunday.
Riding Sunday was like nothing I’ve ever done before. I came down the track and the atmosphere was mental. There were air horns, chainsaws, people scream, it was insane! The track had taken a battering as well as the bikes and myself. I even almost hit a spectator who was leaning out into the track! I felt like I had a scrappy run but I crossed the line and went in to the hot seat. I ended up in 21st place – which felt great for my first race. World Cup racing is where it’s at! I can’t wait to do some more!
Big thanks to Wideopenmag and to Jake Ireland for working on my bike for the weekend! Also to my Mum, Dad and my brother Sam for driving me over there. And of course to all of my sponsors!