4x is an exciting form of sport in which four mountain bikers race downhill. The races are short but pack an incredible amount of thrill into that short time.
Both Charlie and Tyde were selected for the GB team, an honour made all the more impressive as they are both the youngest in the Elite Men’s and Women’s races by around three years. Age didn’t hold them back however, as Charlie managed to achieve 22nd place in the qualifiers and 19th overall while Tyde came in at an impressive 6th place.
Charlie was absolutely thrilled with this year’s results, especially after a puncture prevented him from qualifying last year. With a lot more training and racing in the Elite Men’s field rather than his own category, Charlie felt prepared for this year’s race, saying: “I felt like this year I properly earned it.” Indeed, up against Olympians and former world champs, Charlie’s placing in the race becomes all the more impressive.
But this season of 4x wasn’t over for the two inspiring racers. Both Charlie and Tyde then competed at the finals of The 2017 British National 4X Series. Charlie was delighted to come in fifth while Tyde secured her position as overall national champ of the Elite Women’s field, saying: “I’ve won before but winning overall was the next big step.”
Of course, while this offered another amazing opportunity for the two young riders, the atmosphere wasn’t quite the same as the one at Val di Sole. “It was another level of competition”, begins Charlie. “The experience was amazing. The atmosphere, with crowds of over 10,000 people, was insane.” Football stands of people surrounded the tracks, which, when combined with the floodlit atmosphere of the night-time races, made for an incredible setting that the two cannot wait for next year when they hope to return.
Charlie, who finished at Truro and Penwith College this summer, reflects on his time at the College and how it helped him become the rider he is today. “I wasn’t expecting these results when I stepped up to Elite. It really puts into perspective where I am now compared to where I was two years ago when I started College. I feel like I’m where I am meant to be and Truro has been great for giving me the grounding for wherever I want to go in the sport.”
During his time at College, Charlie was a part of the High Performance Programme; a programme that is designed to support national and international level athletes via bespoke S&C, rehabilitation and nutrition guidance and coaching. This programme helped hugely with training for both students and will hopefully continue to aid athletes at the College as they compete at national and international level.
Charlie will be chasing pro biking and high profile events, hopefully beginning with New Zealand in March while Tyde will be entering her second year of College, continuing to race and hopefully returning to compete at the world championships in 2018.