The penultimate weekend of the National Series move as far south as you can get without getting wet as Gosport welcomes the BMX community.
The track at Gosport is something a little different; seven straights and six berms add a new dimension to racing that is usually done on tracks with four straights and three corners. It's tight, twisty and certainly a challenge when eight riders hit the track at full speed!
Cruisers are always the first to the gate with 9-12's getting racing underway. Love Not Money - RSD Sports rider Shay Casey didn't start the season riding Cruisers but certainly is ending it well on one with another win. Mid Lancs pair Cam Jones and Kim Baptista (Free Agent) finished second and third. One bike, two riders, two class wins; Redman Rockstar's Jimmy Orena took 13-14's and Cam Howard took 15-16's.
Local rider Simon Homans got the win in 17-29 ahead of Kieron McAvoy (Clark & Kent Contractors) with 30-34 going to Roy Sutton (Love Not Money - RSD Sports) who needs the points to keep his title challenge alive. Redline's Alan Hill has been challenged by Mario Presi (Haro) this season but got the win in Gosport to sew up the overall title in 35-39.
Ultimate Pro BMX's Clive Hawkins edged out Intense/Route 55's Tony Fleming for the win in 40-44, with Dialled Bikes rider Jon Moore third. This is a tough class with precious points fought over! Nic Preece will be glad of the win in 45+ to help his title hopes, he got it ahead of Billy Stupple (Dialled Bikes) with Paul Andrews third.
Louise Abbott won her first National with a great ride in 17-29, beating local rider Lucy Gates into 2nd and Helen Nicholl an excellent third. Claire Morrison (Dialled Bikes) took the win in 30+ followed across the line by Renee Diwell and Redline's Abi Hill. Kim Bent was absent having racked up eight wins in the previous rounds and therefore the overall title.
Lucas Craik put his home track knowledge to good use to win 6 and Under boys with Ella Foster taking the honours in the equivalent girl's class. Redline's Emily Hutt added yet another win to her already impressive tally this year in 7's and Jack Hawkins (Ultimate Pro BMX) did the same in 7 boys, leading the Free Agent duo of Cory Maggs and Elliott Bowyer. Eight's saw another local rider, Ethan Craik (Intense/Route 55) victorious, a similar story happened in 9's with Free Agent's Matt Harman another Gosport club rider using home track advantage to its maximum potential.
Eleana Stafford (Sharp/Full Speed BMX) looks like a mini pro and rides like one two, a great win from her in 9-10's ahead of Fine Lines rider Ellie Jo Chappell and Elissa Bradford (Bunneys/O'Neal.) 11-12's has been the Katurah and Blaine show as Miss Davidson and Miss Ridge-Davis have been doing Peckham proud this year with some fierce but clean battles. Braintree's Beth Shriever has crashed the party lately giving the class some added depth. That's the order they finished on Saturday though.
Ross Cullen (Sharp/Full Speed BMX) has dominated 10's this year and racked up another win on Saturday. Redman Rockstar's Gideon Orena hasn't had things as much his own way as Ross but still has a commanding lead in the series, chalk up another one in the win column for him on Saturday. EA/Pure's Aaron Dalleywater got the win in 12's ahead of Harley Taylor with closest overall rival Haydon Green (MD Racing) fourth, it could be the result that makes all the difference when the final points are tallied.
Intense/Route 55's Robert Jesson was his usual impressive self winning 13's on Saturday with EA/Pure's Paddy Sharrock much the same taking the win in 14's. Redline's Valerie Zebrokova proved that anything the boys can do girls can do too with a dominating performance of her own taking 13-14's whilst Redman Rockstar's Angelica Orena kept title challenger Beth Campbell in the best possible place; behind her as she got the win in 15-16's.
Speaking of dominance, 15's saw Jimmy Orena (Redman Rockstar) do what he did on Cruiser on 20" as well, as did team-mate and occasional bike sharer Cam Howard who took 16's ahead of Michael Hawker (Edwardes). 17-24 is a battleground of fast guys who may be shaping up to go Elite at some point. Carlos Vasquez was the best of the bunch on Saturday. 25-29 is low on numbers but high on action. Simon Homans is a Gosport rider and that made all the difference, another win for him.
Masters is electrifying, with contenders in every moto. Redline's Alan Hill has nevertheless dominated the season despite the quality of his competition and took the win on Saturday. Martin Ogden added a second place on 20" to the third on 24" earlier in the day. Veterans has been Pete Power's personal playground so far this year but he could only manage fourth on Saturday with Richard Green taking the spoils.
Saturdays' main events saw Redline's Jacob Roberts show he's back to his best after a pre-season collarbone break, leading all the way to the last corner but losing out on the win to Kuwahara's Ben Clarkson who pulled off a brilliant move in the last berm to get the victory. Dialled bikes rider Quillan Isidore, riding up two age groups, continues to impress with his performances getting third, with ONE Bicycles rider Jack Hall fourth. Jordan's Perry and Smith were next two across the line followed by Dan Pullen and Alex Brown.
Championship Women saw home rider Ayesha McLelland (Redline) challenge EA/Pure's Charlotte Green but she couldn't get the win, settling for second ahead of Charlotte's team-mate Ria Goodman who won World Titles on Cruiser and 20" in Copenhagen. Amelia Silvestre had a good race to take fourth, Redman Rockstar's Izzy Ferrada was fifth ahead of Elly Skinner, Haro's Lauren Smith and Emma Lambley.
Elite Men is always hard to predict and no-one could have foreseen the huge crash that took down five riders in the main; EA/Pure's Dan McBride, Stay Strong's Aussie star Darryn Goodwin and South African Dean Holdstock were a very lucky international three who stayed upright and raced it out, with the win going to Darryn, Dan in two and Dean third. Haro's Grant Hill picked himself up and got fourth, useful points for his title challenge, Scott Waterhouse (Clark & Kent Contractors) got fifth with Kyle Evans sixth, Stay Strong's Oliver Hoarau seventh and Ultimate Pro BMX's Marcus Bloomfield eighth. Bloomy was holding the wrist he'd broken in Papendal, clearly in pain.
Round 10 of the series got underway with the big rigs once again first to rip round the track; Shay Casey did the double by taking a fine win in 9-12's as did Jimmy Orena and Cam Howard, still sharing that orange bike! Kieron McAvoy turned the tables on Simon Homans and got the win. SE's Dave Ives is behind LNM's Roy Sutton overall, and was behind in the first until the two clashed leaving Sutty with an injured ankle and out of contention for the day.
As Saturday went, so did Sunday in 35-39, Alan Hill got the valuable victory with Mario Presi cooking up another fine ride in second place. 40-44 saw Flemdog take another win, he's always in the hunt for round wins and titles too. Second went to local boy (ok, man) James Christie with a fine ride, he's representing CLIC Sargent (Cancer Leukaemia In Children ) so every good result raises more awareness of the charity. Please see www.clicsargent.org.uk for more info.
45+ went to Nice Preece, this time beating Kai Riviere into 2nd. EA/Pure's Ria Goodman got the win in 17-29 to lock up the overall title whilst Redline's Abi Hill took the top spot in 30+.
Lucas Craik took the win in 6 and Under giving him the double, 7's went to Jack Hawkins, Ethan Duffy took second to keep his hopes of a high finish overall intact. Ethan was another Craik racer who did the double for the weekend, taking the win in 8's. Redlines Matt Hutt got the job done in 9's. Ross Cullen. Apparently he shares a surname with a vampire in popular books. He's just as invincible and won again in 10's.
Ellie Jo Chappell took the win in 9-10 girls, unfortunately the racing in the class was marred by Eleana Stafford crashing and breaking her arm. Best wishes to her and the other injured riders over the weekend. Eleven-Twelve's was a repeat 1-2-3 of Saturday, with Kat leading Blaine and Beth over the line. More great racing from these three! Valerie put another W next to the date with a great win ahead of EA/Pure's Lauren Stack.
Euan Hunt took advantage of a mistake by Gideon Orena to win 11's, with Shay Casey also capitalising in second place. Harley Taylor got the better of Aaron Dalleywater in 12's with Haydon Green getting crucial points in third. Robert Jesson led home Intense/Route 55 team-mate Daigoro Fortune in 13's, 14's saw the entertaining battle between Paddy Sharrock and Jake Power resume with them finishing in that order, after a tangle took Jake out in Saturday's main.
The Jimmy Orena show continues, with another fast, skilful lap to take the win in 15's. Sister Angelica made it a very winning weekend for the Orena family with the glory in 15-16's. Cam Howard had a fantastic weekend getting the win on Sunday to give him the lead overall in 16's. He's in front of Mike Hawker, but only by two points!
Carlos Vasquez got another win under his belt in 17-24 but Redline's Andy Clucas got second, enough to keep him in the overall series lead. Twenty-five to twenty-nine saw Shaun Fry take a great win for Team Wu, riding to keep the memory of British BMX legend Winnie Wright alive. Alan Hill continues to ride with brilliance, getting another win in Masters, this time ahead of Free Agent's Keith Bryceland and Martin Ogden with another good ride for Identiti in third. Vets was taken by Richard Green, with Pete Power winning the B Final, his worst result of the season!
Sunday's main events were every bit as dramatic as Saturday's. The riders in Junior Men proved that five riders crashing in the previous day's Elite final was nothing; all eight riders crashed in the third corner as Jack Hall (ONE Bicycles) lost his front wheel and the rest of the pack, chasing hard, had nowhere to go. Ben Clarkson was the first rider up and remounted his Kuwahara and piloted it the rest of the way for the win. Haro's Dan Pullen got the runner-up spot with Dom Skidmore (Intense/Route 55) third, Redline's Jacob Roberts fourth, Dialled Bikes rider Quillan Isidore fifth, Jordan Smith sixth, Jack seventh and Team Bunneys /O'Neal rider Jordan Perry eighth.
Championship Women saw home rider Ayesha McLelland (Redline) try everything to get past EA/Pure's Charlotte Green, with a do-or-die move in the final berm not coming off. The riders touched shoulders, Ayesha had to stamp her foot down to maintain control and Charlotte carried on for the win. Amelia Silvestre (MD Racing) took an excellent second place, Ria Goodman got yet another top three place with third, Redman Rockstar's Izzy Ferrada crossed the line fourth ahead of Elly Skinner, Lauren Smith (Haro), Emma Lambley and Ayesha finally home in eighth.
Elite Men saw EA/Pure's Dan McBride, Haro's Grant Hill, Ultimate Pro BMX team-mates Curtis Manaton and Marcus Bloomfield, Scott Waterhouse (Clark & Kent Contractors) Kyle Evans, Oliver Hoarau, and Darryn Goodwin (both Stay Strong) line up to contest the main. No crashes this time, Bloomy (thankfully able to race despite a sore wrist) was out in front with Darryn chasing hard. The final berm had been the site of many a move over the weekend and it was so in the last race; Darryn swooped, Bloomy lost ground allowing Oliver through too. The two Stay Strong riders finished 1-2 with Bloomy third, Dan fourth, Curtis fifth, Kyle sixth, birthday boy Scott seventh and Grant eighth.
Another exciting weekend of National racing ended in typical adrenaline thumping fashion. The final rounds are in Manchester the first weekend in September. It'll be a blast...