BMX: Academy riders dominate at latest British BMX Series races


Location: Perry Park, Birmingham
Event: 25-26 May 2013
Report: Julian Allen
Photos: Spencer Moret

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The British Cycling Olympic Development Academy team riders dominated the podium spots again at rounds four and five of the British BMX Series held at the brilliant race facility in Perry Park, Birmingham.

Curtis Manaton gave the fans a taste of things to come early in round 4 when he put in the fastest time of 32.31sec in the time trial, ahead of BC young gun Quillan Isidore on 32.73 and Grant Hill with 32.71. The top seven riders were all within a second of each other and this bode well for some tight and action packed racing.

The semi finals were a time of real pleasure for some and pain for others. Catastrophe struck for Quillan Isidore in round four as he unclipped from his pedal at the end of the third straight and ejected over the double into the last corner, breaking his tibia and fibula in the process.

More mayhem ensued in round five’s semi finals when Team Ireland’s Kelvin Batey made a controversial move in the last turn on Ryan Stack seeing them and the pursuing riders go down and a mad scramble for bikes to finish the race.

In the final on day one, Manaton completed an awesome lap with some superbly technical riding to take the win ahead of fellow academy rider Kyle Evans and Daniel McBride.

On day two, it was Manaton again who got the holeshot down the first straight, but Grant Hill was breathing down his neck. Through turn one, Hill rode an amazing line to come out in the lead and held Manaton off to the line for his first win of the season with Tre Whyte working his way through a very tight pack for third.

The Championship Women’s class finals were controlled all weekend by Abbie Taylor who rode a spotless lap both days to do the double. Charlotte Green had been looking like the favourite on day one as she was unbeaten before the final, but had to settle for second with Denmark’s Simone Christensen taking third. In day two’s final Green and Christensen swapped positions throughout a very close race with Christensen just coming out on top.

The Championship Men class hit the track, and Manchester’s Jabob Roberts took his smooth style to the win on day one as 15-year-old Paddy Sharrock worked his amazing track skills to second place and round two’s winner Mark Maddox used his awesome power to secure third.

Come Sunday’s race and Sharrock was looking to go one step further as he rode a first turn from the Gods to come out on top and take his first class win of the year, commenting afterwards: “I’m very happy with my results this weekend: second, first and come away with £105. Couldn't ask for anything better, to be honest.”

Roberts had to settle for third after he got baulked with a number of other riders, and had to chase down Peckham’s Dean Reeves who rode an almost flawless lap to claim second and his best result of 2013 so far.

Highlights from the Challenge classes included a first ever national win for Braintree’s Jake Coombs who took the 9-12 cruiser both days with club mate Sydney Allen in second on day two. Gosport’s Ethan Craik took riding to the next level in the 10 year olds class to claim two victories. Matt Hutt from Runnymede did the same in the 11s, as Alex Brookes and his brother Ryan from Preston both made their first A finals of the year whilst riding up an age group.

Also riding up was club mate Ross Cullen who continues to dominate the 13s with Braintree’s Josh Peters claiming his first podium spot in the class. Harley Taylor was the man in charge of the 14s as was Benjamin Martinez in the Masters with two very convincing wins for the home club each. In the 15s Jack Critchlow from Crewe rode his heart out for his first win of the year on day one.

The Birmingham club had put on a great event with fine attention to detail on the track, added to that some great weather it was one heck of a great weekend. The British Cycling BMX Series rounds six and seven will be held at Platt Fields, Manchester on 29-30 June 2013. For more information, please visit the BMX series homepage.

British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.