Images: Sandra Smith / 5311 Media
Elite British champions Ellie Featherstone and Quillan Isidore both praised the track at Derby’s Alvaston Park after the venue hosted some exhilarating racing at the HSBC UK | British BMX Championships over the weekend.
Featherstone and Isidore both claimed their first elite national titles, two of over 40 categories decided over two sweltering days in the East Midlands.
For Isidore in particular, the win ended a long wait. He said:
“It’s my first win – I raced in 2014, 2016 and 2018 at the British Championships while I’ve been in the elite category, and I’ve come second every time, so it’s nice to finally win.”
Of his final, which saw crashes take out both Kyle Evans and Paddy Sharrock, Isidore said:
“My game plan out there in the final was just to get out of the gate and try to holeshot, and I did that. Then I focused on myself and on riding a smooth lap – I didn’t even know what happened behind me; I was just focused on myself and getting to the finish line.
“I didn’t really like the track here at Derby before, but now they’ve made some changes, I really like it. It made for good racing; it’s quite tight on the corners and it suited me, so I really enjoyed it.”
Isidore’s praise of the Derby BMX Club venue was replicated by Featherstone, who also picked up her maiden elite British title.
“I love the track – it’s really, really technical, especially when there are only six racers and it’s like a final every lap. I love to race here, and hopefully will have a couple more chances next year.
“I’ve been out in Switzerland for the majority of this year, so I haven’t really raced that much in the UK, so it’s nice to have a little bit of fun and to prove myself after the world championships, in what was a tough category.”
Of the calibre of her competition, Featherstone added:
“All of the girls are stepping up massively, but in the majority of the motos Markella Houli was really on my back wheel for most of the time. She’s looking so good, and the other girls are really fast, so it was great to take the British championship title.”
Elite-level domestic BMX racing will return in the spring, at the commencement of next season’s HSBC UK | BMX National Series. The dates and venues for those events, and for the 2020 HSBC UK | British BMX Championships will be announced by British Cycling in due course.