As the 2017 season began, things were looking good for Bikmo ambassador Matt Walls. After a great winter training block, a superb showing on the Berlin track and the UK National Track Championships just a few week away, this was sure to be the ideal start for his first season on the GB Senior Academy team.
Partnered with Ethan Hayter, Matt took to the boards for the Berlin 6 day and the U23 Talent Cup. With some excellent racing and cheered on by some very passionate crowds, Matt and Ethan took the win in the last couple of laps of the last event…it couldn’t have been much closer, and was well deserved.
Next up was the National Track Championships, and Matt’s first taste of competing at Elite level. Not one to be intimidated, Matt took 4th place in both the Scratch and Individual Pursuit, and an excellent 2nd place in the Team Pursuit. With the Omnium being competed under its new Olympic format for the first time, Matt was in a strong position after three events, sitting in 2nd. With the 100 lap Points race being the final event, it was all still to play for.
Now, if you want to win in style, you leave it to the final sprint of the final race, which is exactly what Matt did (probably not intentionally, but it’s great for the spectators), adding another National title and jersey to his collection…well done Matt.
With the track season over, it was now time for Matt to switch his focus to the road, starting with a 10 day training camp in Majorca, before flying out to the academy base in Montichiari, Northern Italy. With his first block of racing in Belgium, known for its fast and relentless pace, Matt was unfortunately involved in a multi-rider pile up in his 2nd race. Being almost a carbon copy of the start to his 2016 season, this was his second year in a row that he had broken a collarbone early season.
With the operation going well, Matt was back on the turbo for 6 weeks to aid his recovery and rebuild his fitness. Getting the all clear to return to the road was welcome news, meaning he could return to Italy on the 1st May to start his road season again. Being only 6 weeks into the season, there’s still plenty of racing ahead, and he’s looking forward to gaining valuable experience as a first year U23 rider.
Highs and lows are all part of a cycling career, and Matt has already shown how well he’s able to cope with setbacks and come back physically and mentally stronger. With the season still young, team Bikmo wish Matt the very best for his next races, and we’ll keep you updated on his progress.