[All Photos: Nathan Hughes]
After the fourth and fifth round of 2018 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, we have just about resumed normal programming with the whole team reunited and on-course.
Let's catch on the last few weeks of action.
First, the team travelled to the picturesque valley and mountains of Val Di Sole, Italy to see Dean Lucas and Charlie 'Chuck' Harrison compete, while Jack Moir recovered at home in Australia from a recently broken collarbone. Val Di Sole's course is hugely respected on the UCI world circuit, and has a bit of everything, from the technical root and rock sections to steep and wide-open high-speed downhill straights.
With the weather changing track conditions throughout practice and qualifying, there was little or no point anticipating the results and riders were ready for the sky to open mid-race runs. The clouds held out, however, leaving a level playing field that saw Charlie take 20th place, and Dean a half-second behind in 21st – still feeling rocked from his crash in Fort William.
The fifth round of the year took place in Andorra's resort town of Vallnord, a fast and open track compared to the treacherous course of Val Di Sole. No weather interruptions for this round, much to riders' satisfaction in being able to predict how the race weekend would turn out, even more so now that the team have spent 5 rounds on their M29 FRO team bikes. Chuck qualified 16th and Dean qualified 29th, each bettering their results to grab 15th and 27th place in racing. Jack rode in practice but decided not to compete at Vallnord.
Charlie's consistency is paying off, as he ascends into the Overall Top 20 overall, now sitting in 17th heading into round six; Mont-Saint-Anne, Canada. Dean will be working to slip back into the top 10 as he is now in 11th, and Jack plans to rejoin the race and build on his 14th place overall.
Catch all the action at MSA from August 10-12 on Red Bull TV.