Video: 2nd Place on an Enduro Bike at 4X World Champs

Aug 28, 2019
by Nukeproof  

Slipping on a National Jersey and representing your country is an honor not to be passed up if you ever get the opportunity in any discipline.

For Nukeproof athletes Natasha Bradley and Elliott Heap, it was awesome to have the opportunity to represent Great Britain at the 4x World Championships. Natasha made the switch from BMX a number of years ago and, despite being still only 21, she's now a seasoned pro on the 4x scene. Multiple British titles, Fort William Pro Tour wins and a previous silver 4x World Championship medals show she's a rider with some pedigree. She is always pushing her riding to the limits and this year has focused on riding more off-road than ever before, racing enduro, downhill and the Megavalanche on her Mega 275.

For Elliott Heap, he first raced a Pro Tour round as "a bit of fun" while racing the downhill World Cup at Fort William, a race he was only doing as he had a weekend off Enduro World Series commitments. Elliott's awesome performances at Fort William's Pro Tour in 2018 and 2019 have earned him a spot on the Great Britain team, despite his playful character and styling up any jump on the track in practice, he's ultra-competitive and wasn't coming just to make up the numbers.


Good form in qualifying saw Elliott in 5th on his Mega 275c enduro bike and a 3rd place for Natasha, allowing them to progress into the final rounds on the awesome floodlit track in Val Di Sole, Italy. On race day this is a pretty special place, lined with thousands of cheering fans and the odd downhill and XC pro watching ahead of their races the next few days. The atmosphere is just insane.


The fans would not leave disappointed as there was close racing, overtakes, big jumps and the odd class of riders laid on a great show. With Elliott in only his 4th ever 4x race and up against seasoned BMX and 4x pros, he had to use his track speed to pull off plenty of overtakes and amazingly to the onlookers securing a position in the men's Elite final to battle for the title. In the women's race, Natasha was in good form sending the Pro line and riding well to also navigate her way into the elite final.


When the gate dropped for the women's elite final Natasha gave it everything and was battling with the 2018 World Champion Romana Labounkova. Unfortunately, she narrowly missed out on the Gold she craved, but took an awesome 2nd place and silver medal. An amazing achievement for Natasha. She was stoked to have her family and friends along to support her, second was an amazing result and a great addition to the British 4x National Title and Pro tour win she has racked up this year. (Plus there was an awesome 4x after party!)


Elliott Lined up in a stacked men's final featuring a 4x World Champion in Felix Beckman, a BMX World Championship silver medallist Romain Mayet and veteran of 4x racing Urban Rotnik. He was 4th into the first corner but an awesome move around the outside saw off Felix and Urban. Giving it everything, he closed the gap on Romain around the 2nd turn nearly drawing level but Romain's power and BMX experience down the Pro section jump straight was just too much and he pulled away slightly from Elliott. He still finished 2nd and earned himself a World Championships Silver medal! What an amazing achievement from Elliott. To further prove his credentials as an all-round rider he has a Junior Downhill World Cup series overall 3rd place, an under 21 Enduro World Title and now an Elite 4X World Championship Silver medal to his name. There was no time to celebrate for Elliott as he was straight on the plane to the Whistler round of the Enduro World Series and Crankworx events!

Roll on 2020 when Natasha and Elliott hope to be back to go for the Rainbow Stripes again.

www.Nukeproof.com

Regions in Article
Bikeland Val Di Sole


18 Comments

  • 7 0
 I got to watch and talk to Elliott in line at the Whistler Crankworx Dual Slalom practice and qualifying — what a nice guy and a great rider. I haven’t seen many people in the last 20 years trust their bike and tires (prototype Michelins) like he did...leaning it over noticeably farther than the others as he dove into corners (after qualifying 4th). It might be partially due to the fact that he says he only rides one bike, his Mega 275, and he obviously knows it well. The Whistler track was rough and had some G-outs, so most people who brought dedicated dual slalom bikes decided to ride their bigger / enduro bikes instead. Tomas Slavik and I were on 130mm and 100mm full suspension 26” bikes respectively, and both of us mentioned to each other at different times that we felt a bit outgunned on a few spots on track, relative to the riders on bigger bikes that better handled the choppy off-camber grass corners and the 2-3 G-out berm-slap drop corners.
  • 2 0
 I also watched him ride that slalom, on that enduro bike, was blown away with his skills and style...spoke with him after wards and was a fun, good hearted kid. he also rode that bike in whip off haha.

I believe there were some borrowing of wheels from his team manager (NIgel Page) bike, point being-the kid made do with what he had and smiled about and RIPPED.

He's a boss for sure.
  • 2 0
 Just shows his all round ability...Elliot is moving up in the EWS ranking and loves pies...seems a propper pie loving grounded pie...
  • 3 0
 Elliott Heap future Legend :-)
Great edit guys
  • 6 8
 That's great and all, but the title implies that riding an Enduro bike in the Fort Bill 4x was somehow a handicap. Errr it isn't. That track is rocky, rutted and beat up - mostly by the weather. Loads of people ride it on full-sus
  • 5 1
 This article is about 4x world champs in Val Di Sole, not Fort Bill though... and apart from one rock section (pictured above), having an enduro bike probably WOULD have been a disadvantage. Track is pretty smooth.
  • 2 2
 @nickism: I can confirm from experience that Val Di Sole is far from smooth. Hidden rocks in every turn, high speed straights into loose sandy corners. Full bounce dream
  • 6 0
 Not on a full 275 Enduro bike tho pal
  • 4 0
 @crazycurrie: As can I, having been there only a few weeks ago. Loose corners yes, but definitely don't need an enduro bike! Short travel FS or hardtail. Getting 2nd with an enduro bike on that course is impressive!
  • 1 0
 @nickism: over the past three years I’ve ridden the course on a hardtail, full sus slope bike and an adapted enduro bike (similar set up to Elliot), beyond any doubt the enduro made the course much more comfortable and rolling speed was higher. Guess it’s different under race situations
  • 2 0
 Pies.
  • 1 0
 Elliott is a machine.
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