Jack Carthy in Antwerp
Thursday 1 September 2011
by Jebegood , Ben Swales

PNG - 383.8 kb Among the spectators at the Antwerp World Cup was a fourteen yeard old lad who was dying to join the Elite riders on the sections. Koxx and Tribal Rider Jack Carthy, recently crowned Cadet World Champion in Charleroi), had stayed in Belgium to train with Elite World Champion Kenny Belaey and to attend his first World Cup, to get a taste of the Elite world circuit and see with his own eyes how an Elite UCI competition was run and what the sections were like. Although he couldn’t ride in the competition, his Sky 2 was not far away, and during the lunch break he got it out and put on a great show on the Elite warm-up sections. He literally jumped over the obstacles, negotiating them with impressive ease. Here are a few pictures from this show of strength that left us all gobsmacked as he prowled around the obstacles like a cat before leaping over them in a single bound. Just phenomenal.

He started with a series of sidehops on the big wooden step at the entry to the warm-up area, landing them both ways with ease, planting his front wheel first or landing on both wheels ‘English style’…

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Coming at it the other way…

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And then a perfectly executed up to front… JPEG - 202.4 kb

...before going on to clean the rest of the warm-up area under the awe-struck gaze of riders and spectators alike, leaving us all wanting nothing more than to see how he would get on on the Elite sections of the final . This dream was realised at the end of the competition, when Jack put on an ‘after show’ that we won’t forget for a while. He was joined by two decorated Elite riders, Hungary’s No. 1 Laszlo Hegedus and Britain’s top ranked international rider Andrei Burton, who were as astonished as we were by the young prodigy’s performance. It looked to us as though the Cadet rider had taken them both to school, or at least matched their performances, working his way through the sections (the concrete pipes and the logs) with obvious ease. Nothing got in his way and he landed everything first time, despite having confided in us that morning that it was all a lot bigger than he was expecting and a bit scary. In the end though, the Elite sections of the World Cup final posed no real difficulty to Jack. We asked him his impressions of the World Cup weekend and his time in Belgium… “To begin with I thought the sections were a bit beyond me, too big, but after the trial I did everything fairly easily, apart from one move that gave me a few problems. But I’m training hard, running, gym, riding and working on similar stuff to these sections in order to be in a position to attack the World Cups next year. I really enjoyed riding with Kenny too, he’s really good and super smooth, I can’t wait to see him again next year. I want next year to go even better than this year and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure it does!”

Jack in section 3… this enormous up to front was child’s play for the Cadet World Champion!

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Laszlo on the same obstacles; we were treated to a real spectacle!

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Laszlo is visibly impressed by the young prodigy.

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Jack tackles the big kicker in the middle of the section... unbelievable!

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He doesn’t stop there and lands the enormous sidehop at the start of the section majestically.

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Laszlo follows, landing it to rear wheel to remind Jack to respect his elders…

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More skills on show in section 3...

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Those spectators that had stayed on were treated to an incredible spectacle... "I think I must be dreaming!"

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Andrei headed over to section four, busting out a huge static hook on the tree trunks.

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Jack ‘Clean Machine’ Carthy... He made short work of the big, technical obstacles in this section, notably cleaning the big digger bucket that cost Abel Mustieles so dear in the final...

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We wondered if it had all been a hallucination, but no, it was real. We had witnessed something very special, spectacular, that day, something that would stay in our minds as long as anything we had seen in the final. We’ve been saying for two years now that Jack would shake things up when he arrived in Elite, but we didn’t think that it would go so quickly! Jack already has the makings of one of the greats, even the current World Champion Kenny Belaey is sure that the future World Champion will be British!