What Happened at the Worlds 2012
Day 1 – Quarter Finals
The first day of racing was pretty good. The three Australians, Brady Kurtz, Lawson Walters and I had each been put into separate quarter final draws, each consisting of 16 riders contesting 5 heats. This ensures that you race against each rider in the field once. The top 11 point scorers in each quarter final would progress the Semi finals the following day. All three of us made it through with me managing 2nd, Brady 3rd and Lawson 6th in our respective heats. This is a great result because all three of us had to get through to the semi final to be able to field an Australian team in the country ride off on the final day of racing.
Day 2 – Semi Finals
Very stressful day for me….. To determine the field to progress to the finals, there are two rounds of semis with the top 8 point scorers from each semi moving through to the final day. As my goal for this year was to get to the final, I had to make the most of every heat. I had drawn a very challenging field to contest the semi finals and more pressure was placed on me when I suffered a mechanical problem in the first race and my bike stopped on the line – no points.
Every single point is so important and to come out of the first heat with nothing puts you under enormous pressure to perform throughout the remaining heats. I managed a 2nd place in the second heat and then 3rd in the fourth after overshooting the first corner in my efforts to get ahead of the field. This mean that I had only 3 points after three heats – not nearly enough to feel confident about getting through. My last two heats were better and I got a 1st and 2nd which put me in equal 8th position with another rider on 8 points, forcing a ride off with both us looking for that last spot in the final.
This is exactly what happened last year and on that occasion I didn’t get in so I was a bit worried. In the ride off the other guy was obviously feeling the pressure too and ran into me and knocked me off my bike – this meant that he was excluded and gave me the final spot in the following day’s final. Not really how I wanted to get there but just so happy that I was.
Brady put in some awesome rides and finished his semis top scoring and Lawson managed 3 points which meant that he couldn’t progress.
Day 3 – Youth Gold Trophy Final
Last heat with Sam Jensen
We’d had a bit of bad luck the previous day and came to the final hoping that we’d used it all up the day before. The final lineup consisted of twelve riders from Denmark, one each from Norway and Sweden and two Australians. This reflects the superior talent of the Danish in this sport but is a pretty good result for Australia to have two of their three riders contesting the final.
The racing was pretty fierce and just about everyone was having some mixed results. Some of the favourites were dropping points and others capitalising on this so the scoring was really tight. After four heats I had one 1st, two 2nds and a third giving me 8 points. At this stage, Brady, who was putting in another great day, was on 10 points with another rider, Sam Jensen from Denmark on 9 and four of us on 8 with one heat to go.
Brady was devastated to suffer a mechanical in his last heat and didn’t score a point which pretty much threw the whole thing wide open. I was up against Sam Jensen in my final heat and a first would have put me in 3rd place overall but I wasn’t aware of that at the time. I managed a great start and got into the lead but Sam was just too fast and passed me on the second lap. This gave him the win and the three points that were enough to secure him the Championship.
I picked up the two points for 2nd which gave me 10 points overall and had me in equal fourth on points but after a countback, 6th outright. Brady also finished on 10 points but with more heat wins, he secured 4th place in the Championships. It was a really close in the end with just two points separating 1st and 6th place. I don’t know if it’s been that close for a while, if ever. The first 6 places consisted of 4 Danish riders and two Australians.
I think we can be pretty proud of that and I’m looking forward to tomorrow which is a fun day and the Australian team should put in a good showing.