#OnTheHunt Team CRC/Nukeproof – 2014 Season Recap
It’s been a mixed season for the boys from CRC, Sam Hill came back to form and both Joe Smith and Mike Jones had some decent results through the season.
After breaking his hand in a pre-season race Mike went to South Africa to race and ended up cutting his cast off and racing on a three week old break. A bit of liberal handlebar padding and some tape to the fingers Jones rolled out in the heat of South Africa. After mechanical Mike didn’t qualify but Sam landed his goal of a top ten result so not a bad start to the season.
Before the next World Cup the guys headed to Sam’s house for a week to ride some of his local tracks, Joe named it the Filthy Sausage for some reason, probably best we don’t know why! In Cairns at WC2 the guys had a solid weekend, podium for Sam, 14th for Joe and 31st for an injured Mike.
Onto Fort William and a top qualifying result for Mike in 10th and Sam bagged another podium with second behind fellow countryman Troy Brosnan who took his first World Cup win. Leogang was up next and not a track favoured by many, Sam’s mechanic Jacy mentions how limiting it can be for a rider like Sam and after a few problems with his bike 10th was a damage control results in the eyes of manager Nigel Page.
A couple of good results back in the UK for Joe and Mike punctuated the season and set the guys up for the trip across the water to Mont Sainte Anne. Sam hit that race, according the Nige Page, with the same focus he had earlier in the season, he was there to win and win he did. 1.241s ahead of Bryceland Hill took the win, back where we like to see him and pushing seconds into the other riders rather than hundredths.
Confidence was high going into Windham and on such a short track everything had to be spot on to land a good result, the whole team did just that. Mike Jones went fastest with 6th in his first year Elite, Sam Hill was just 0.1 back on him in 7th and a 9th for Joe meant that the team had their best race of the year on the shortest track.
Into World Cup finals and Nige felt Sam had a good chance of winning in Meribel, he didn’t disappoint on a flat out track that all the riders were into. Josh played it safe to take the overall but it was Hill’s day in France, we are definitely looking forward to more races over there soon.
The last race of the season in Norway, Worlds and with his focus back it seemed like everything was set for the race of his life. It so nearly was, he was up on every split and coming into the last rock section he was on fire, that was until he dipped his front wheel into a gap in the rocks and went over the bars.
Worlds might have not gone to plan but 2015 showed a great set fo results from the team and proved they are back to winning ways, here’s to 2015 and another flat out season.