For Team CRC/Nukeproof’s 2012 British Downhill Series winner Matt Simmonds, last winter was a time to wind down after what had been a hard fought season. Whilst rest was high on the list, getting some intense training in during the off-season was also a priority.
With the 2013 season now in full flow we catch up with Matt following the recent British Downhill Series second round in Fort William, Scotland…
As Matt stepped onto the podium in Fort William what was evident was that his winter training had paid off – securing third place behind two World Champions, Danny Hart and Gee Atherton.
“Fort William couldn't have been any different from round one in Combe Sydenham; rough, fast and double the length. The track itself has taken a beating over winter from all the snow and by the time our race runs came around it was like a battle field with holes everywhere,” says Matt.
The challenging track at Fort William is renowned for being one of the toughest on the calendar, putting both rider and bike through five minutes of extreme racing.
“I’ve really felt fantastic onboard the new Nukeproof Pulse and have been able to really dial it in to get the best for every condition. My seeding run at Fort William felt really good and I was happy with how strong I felt on the track. On race day I put a good run together and ended up third, the rest of the podium was occupied by previous winners and World Champions, so all in all surrounded by some good company! It’s great to feel that the first race wasn't just a fluke and I've backed it up with another good result, bring on the rest of the year!”
The 2013 CRC/Nukeproof team.
Simmonds has been a long time member of Team Chain Reaction Cycles but for him this season is different with new sponsors, new bikes and a new team mate in the form of previous World Champion and mountain bike legend Sam Hill. For the British Champion everything is clicking together and going the right way for 2013.
“I feel we have upped our game for this year definitely. Sam joining us has brought a bit more of a presence to the team on the circuit which is good. Honestly I’m probably the most excited I've ever been for a season. We have the best equipment, I'm in the best shape I've ever been in and I like the look of most of the tracks on the calendar. I love Fort William and to have it as the first World Cup round this year is amazing. It's like having the Olympics every year. I don't think it gets any better than in front of a home crowd and the atmosphere is just mental.”
As he gears up to heading to the UK Outdoor Capital at the start of next month, Matt is staying focused on the job in hand and hopes that 13 (his jersey number) really is a lucky number
“I’m aiming to give 110% this season and the plan for the next few weeks is to be maintaining the strength and fitness I've built over the winter along with getting plenty of time on my Nukeproof Pulse. We’ll have a full team line-up at the third round of the British downhill series just before the World Cup in Innerleithen, so that should keep us sharp ready for the following week.”
Here's Matt in action:
Good luck to all the team this weekend, we’ll have a full report next week.
Intervals in the sun. Easy peasy…not!
Getting the arms warmed up ready for Fort William with team mate Joe Smith and the boss Nigel Page at a day of moto enduro.
The start of another great session with Scott from Gym Nation, Telford.
Scott, my strength coach who has helped a lot this winter.
After big gym interval sessions, a trip to Paul from Restore Sports Massage is a must.
Time to wash up, rest up and get ready for World Cup number one.
Uplifts midweek when the sun's out brings a smile to all our faces!