Location: Braintree BMX Track, Braintree, Essex
Event: 18 August 2012
Report: Julian Allen
Following on from the buzz around the Olympics, Braintree BMX Club held their Race to Rio as part of British Cycling’s Go-Ride Games. The Go-Ride Games was an initiative supported by British Cycling to form a legacy for cycling sport following on from the success at The Games. It was a hugely fun and well attended day where the club recruited around 20 new members.
The Race to Rio was the clubs way of giving new riders an opportunity to take part in BMX racing. The day started with an hour’s coaching with the clubs coaches Julian Allen and Gavin Stokes where the riders were given able to find their feet on the track under guidance to ensure a safe and controlled environment.
Once all of the riders had successfully completed a lap of the track under the coaches’ watchful eye, the new riders were joined by some of the clubs more experienced regional and national riders for the competition part of the day. The riders were split into teams to represent the four most successful nations in the BMX event at the Olympics Latvia, Columbia, Australia and USA with the riders being split into novice and expert categories.
The 8 and under novice class was the first on track and there were 12 riders in the class which bodes extremely well for the future. The class was won by George Menon, riding for Australia who has attended a few coaching sessions and was overjoyed to win his first ever race. In second and third place were Ewan Thomson and Milan Vladacek representing Latvia.
It was the riders representing USA who took control of the 9 and over novice class and the win went to Cameron Crozier with team mate Joseph Walters in hot pursuit. Max Day took the third step of the podium for Latvia.
The pace stepped up a little as the more experienced riders hit the track and the Formula 5 class for the 7 and unders was won by Joseph Harris for Columbia who had battled all day with Cameron Parrish for Latvia. Kai Judd and Stanley Allen were riding for Australia and were virtually inseparable through the day as Kai just came out on top for third.
Owen Vaughan and Thomas Knight were the familiar figures at the sharp end of the Formula 4 for 8-10 year olds. Vaughan was riding for USA as he hit the front of the class and took the win from Knight scoring points for Columbia. Adam Gilbert was in third and got another pile of point in the bag for USA.
The win in the Formula 3 went to the Australian team and Sydney Allen who had to dig deep to keep Tom Stokes at bay as he looked for the front for USA with team mate Jospeh Carter just a little bit behind in third.
Dan Gilbert took charge of the Formula 2 as he lead out each lap for Columbia. A trio of lady riders battled behind him with Hannah Whiteley working hard for Latvia in second, USA’s Meg Vaughan in third and Australia’s Isabel Potter in fourth.
There was some great racing in the Formula 1 class and Chris Potter jumped his way to the front for Columbia, giving the new riders something to really aspire to. The battle raged behind Potter as Serge Lacoutre for Latvia narrowly pipped USA’s team captain Steve Gilbert on the line.
Once the points were counted back it was Team USA who came out on top with 566 points from Australia in second with 424, Latvia in third with 402 and Columbia in fourth with 383 points. All of the novice riders were given special Go-Ride Games medals, certificates, drinks bottles and T-shirts kindly supplied by British Cycling, with trophies for the winners of all the classes.
The club would like to thank all of the volunteers and new riders and parents for making the day a great success and look forward to finishing off the last two rounds of their summer evening race series with swelled ranks. For more information on the club, coaching and membership please visit www.braintreebmx.com