Team Rider Matt's 2022 Round Up | 16.12.22

Racing is life… anything else is just waiting.

Where do we start with Matt, trusty workshop mechanic by day and king of speed by the weekend. His passion for racing and love of riding bikes is astounding. If we could bottle his enthusiasm for mountain biking and sell it here at Stif, it would probably be banned by the UCI as a performance enhancing stimulant.

Once the racing season was in full swing in 2022, Matt’s calendar was fully booked and there was rarely a Saturday where he could be spotted here in the Stif workshop, instead he would be somewhere in the UK racing his Megatower to consecutive podium positions.

Matt has a relaxed approach to his racing and riding, aiming to ride and have as much fun as possible, leading to faster and faaster stage times. He did loosely set his sights on a EWS top ten this year whilst also looking to secure a race win, both of which were achieved with 10th place at the Tweed Valley EWS and a win at the BNES in Llanflyin. These were amongst many impressive results from Matt in 2022.

With youth on his side and his boundless energy, we were all amazed at what he achieved during a particular month of back to back racing on the domestic and international enduro scene… After placing 5th at Ard Moors and then a superb 3rd at the British Champs at Tweedlove, the following weekend he grabbed his bike, passport and two multipacks of penguins to go racing at Round 8 of the EWS at Loudonville and The EWS Trophy of Nations in Finale Ligure the weekend after.

After a saddle time, at Loudonville, of 8hrs 25min and 2500m+ of descent Matt stayed strong to bring it home in 23rd in the U21s only to then go and represent Team GB at the Trophy of Nations in Finale Ligure, racing to 5th position as a team. Looking back, this was Matt’s proudest and most memorable moment of 2022…

“Some of the stages in finale were wide open and we could ride super close to each other. The feeling of racing at that speed in a train of the best riders in the UK was incredible, especially whist being chased down by Team France. Something I’ll never forget”.

Matt received an invitation to represent GBR in the EWS Trophy of Nations alongside fellow countrymen Jack Piercy and Dom Platt after accruing an impressive amount of UCI qualifying points throughout his 2022 campaign. It’s not just Matt who’s proud of this achievement, here at Stif we are all very pround of Matt and his ability pull off consistent outstanding results, especially four weekends in a row with two of those racing the world’s elite. Nothing short of remarkable.

This season Matt was riding a stock Megatower CC XO1 Reserve build with a slightly modified Burgtec cockpit and finishing kit. There are also a few small modifications to the stock build such as a 210mm dropper post. Matt runs a very interesting brake set up… being quite light at 65kg, its quite hard to get the correct balance between the front and rear brake, so to correct this Matt runs a 220mm rotor at the rear and a 200mm rotor at the front. Combining this with running the levers extremely close to the bar, almost pulling into the grip, he can use the brakes as he wishes without the fear of them locking up. Also on longer alpine stages it can mitigate against any arm pump from extensive braking.

This level of attention to detail also transfers to his wheel set up, running a Reserve SL front wheel and a Reserve HD on the rear, achieving a small amount of weight saving but more importantly some added compliance. This combined with a softer spoke tension allows the wheel to flex slightly and hold a line better without any deflection or transfer of small bumps through the bars.

Matt has loved his Megatower this year and won’t be switching in 2023, feeling like he has the perfect set up underneath him to not compromise his riding ability.

He’s Never happy if there’s a roof over his head, which explains Matt’s love for driving his MX5, that he’s currently working on over this Winter. Loving the outdoors like he does if he’s not pursuing two or four wheeled adventures at warp speed he’ll be documenting his adventures on either his digital or vintage film camera.

Looking back at 2022 Matt feels as though his strengths lied in where he spends the majority of his riding time, in slower technical terrain. Racing the World’s best on the continent, he feels as though his strength and stamina on longer faster alpine tracks could be an area for improvement before the 2023 season.

Matt will be moving out of the U21 category this year, focussing on continuing his success into the Seniors. Contemplating his strategy for improving into 2023 he’s looking to ride his bike as much as possible seeking out longer, faster terrain here in the UK where he can push his bike and body to the limit, obviously having as much fun possible along the way, we can’t wait to see what he achieves.

Well done Matt, Well Bastard Fast!

Matt's Weapon of Choice

The Santa Cruz Megatower

Carbon CC | XO1 Reserve Kit | Size: Large

Keep up with Matt's adventures on Instagram