Posted September 19 2010
Kelvin Batey is the new 2010 British BMX Champion, crowned at Cheddar's Broadway House.
In a finals lineup also containing Marcus Bloomfield, Liam Phillips, Dan Whyte, Dan McBride and Arran Shoesburry, Batey took the inside line into turn one, forcing Phillips wide.
Dan Whyte took full advantage, swooping under into second place - but not before Dan McBride gathered enough momentum to make a pass of his own into second spot.
Somewhere behind there was carnage as Phillips and Bloomfield came together, leaving Batey to take the win uncontested, McBride - still a Junior - with second and Whyte third.
For Batey, it was concluded a successful domestic campaign, while British BMX Series Marcus Bloomfield was left wanting in his quest for the clean sweep of UK wins.
Apparently, there's a recession on. The news is full of stories of impending cuts in spending and how organisations are getting smaller. Well, judging by the scale of the British BMX Championships in Cheddar, BMX must have missed the memo.
Last year's event was also at Broadway House and at the time, seemed as though it would be hard to beat. The Burnham club surpassed the mark they set twelve months ago though; with everything from the archway over the site entrance to the massive covered podium screaming "this is a sport on the rise!"
The most obvious sign of our sports health is of course the number of riders who show up to race. If last year's Brits had an impressive turnout, the 2010 incarnation had a fantastic one, as the official count hit 778 riders.
The growth in number of competitors prompted a change to the race format; Cruisers moved to Saturday to make sure there would be enough hours of daylight to accommodate all the racing. This move saw many riders decide to do double duty and race both Cruiser and 20", seeing the total number of entries for the weekend reach 874!
Far from being marginalised by the move to Saturday, the big rigs got their moment in the spotlight. Each Cruiser class had a lot of regular riders doing battle with an influx of 20" racers keen to bag a British title.
First up was the 9-12 class, with 20 riders gunning for that top step of the podium. Credit must go to Kim Baptista for battling against the boys in this class, but she didn't make the main. Haydon Green impressed with 5th, joined in the top five by fellow South West riders Scott Dominguez in 4th and Tom Novis in 2nd, split by a great ride by Harley Taylor, doing it for the Midlands in 3rd. They rode well, but couldn't edge the new champ, Paddy Sharrock, who took the title with a virtuoso display of smooth riding.
In 13-14 there was a great battle between some seriously talented young guns; Roy Jones looked on form, but just missed out on the podium with 4th behind Andrew Green. Quillan Isidore took 2nd with his usual combination of power and speed, but no-one could touch Jimmy Orena thanks to some fantastic riding that left the crowd buzzing.
There was a thrilling contest in 15-16's which saw Jack Hall the cream of the crop, getting the best of Toby Bearne, Bradley Minns, Joe Stupple and Ben Clarkson. Cruisers are meant to be uncool aren't they? Whoever thinks that needs to watch some of these guys race 24's; fast and furious doesn't come close.
For years 30-39 was the equivalent of "Elite" on Cruisers and whilst the new 35-39 class is the largest and most competitive 24" class, it was 17-29 at Cheddar that saw some big names from the Elite 20" in action. Ryan Bauer is the National Series Champ in this class and acquitted himself very well indeed getting 5th in the main at the Brits. Mark Maddox did one better, just missing out on the podium but shouldn't be down on his performance as the top three were Liam Phillips in 1st, with Dan Whyte 2nd and younger brother Tre 3rd.
30-34 was utterly dominated in the National Series by Neil Harbour, but he arrived in Cheddar with tonsillitis and spent several hours on race day travelling between doctors and chemists to get antibiotics. Hardly ideal prep for the biggest event of the year. He made the semi, but crashed out after a clash with Jez Beck. The main saw more top 20" riders proving they can get the best out of bigger wheels too; Matt Barnard, Dave Ives and Zoltan Buday are all in the top 10 in Masters and Adam Buday races Elite. Mark Sleigh was the top regular from this class doing his best to keep them honest and he got an excellent 5th for his efforts. Like the 17-29 class however, the British title went to an Elite rider, as Adam Buday edged his brother with Ivesy 3rd.
35-39 had 45 riders sign on and produced some of the best action of the day. The final consisted of Ian Sharp who has serious speed, National Series Champ Alan Hill, Nats round winners Clive Hawkins and Paul Eccles and the rather handy on bikes Dave Godfrey, Shaun Andrews, Damian Mead and Mario Presi and the action was intense from the moment the gate dropped. On paper, anyone stood a chance of taking the title, but when the racing is for real Alan Hill seems to operate at another level. Hilly took the 01 plate with his usual blend of smoothness, skills and sheer talent.
40-44 is another Cruiser class full of action, seeing 40 riders gunning for the number one spot. Yet again the main saw all eight riders as genuine contenders to take the title and there was drama from the first straight onwards. Roger Wilbraham, buoyed by a win in the Vets 4X National Champs, crashed out, reducing the field to seven. Bernie Schaale and Paul Maidment were also listed as DNF after crashes, leaving Jon Moore out front but being hunted down by Michael Gough and Karl Sanderson. Neither could close the gap though and Jon took the title that had eluded him by the narrowest of margins in 2009.
Keith Wilson will be delighted with his win in 45+ as he got the better of Ady Warden who is always a threat to take the victory. Keith adds the 01 plate to the W4 he has for this class. The W3 of Billy Stupple was beaten into fourth by a fast finishing Shaun Calvert, himself no stranger to the big stage.
Another World's plate winner, Ria Goodman, was on form and on the top step in 25+ Ladies. Ria was pushed by Kim Bent who finished 2nd, with Nicky Spiers in 3rd. Ria also took home the perpetual Barbara Harbour Memorial trophy.
After the Cruiser racing, the focus switched from the track to the fantastic podium which was covered and floodlit, leaving many riders feeling like rockstars after their trophy presentation. A large crowd watched and cheered enthusiastically, both for the Cruiser titles and the Nationals presentation. Although it was late by the time the show finished, the mood was good and this was a really positive showcase for the sport.
Sunday was an early start for the 20" riders looking for their own moments in the spotlight. First up to race as always were the 6 and Under classes; they may be the youngest racers but they handle the track and the pressure with ease. Jack Hawkins was the best of the bunch in the boys, followed across the line by William Goode and Cory Maggs. Emily Hutt took the title in the girl's class, with Molly O'Laughlin 2nd and Emma Jeffers 3rd.
7 Boys saw a rapid pace set by Keon Smith-McDermott; in a main chock full of experience and skill. Keon held off his rivals to take the title with Ethan Craik the best of the rest and Jack nation pipping Alex Brookes for 3rd. The 7-8 girl's race saw one of the most dramatic finishes of the weekend; Imogen Hill and Darcie Taylor were out front heading into the final straight and it looked a dead cert that it would be between them for the title. A clash of wheels brought both girls down and they blocked the track, causing a pile up. Isabel Hines was the first to negotiate the carnage and she crossed the line to an unexpected but deserved win. Megan Nevard took 2nd with Ellie Featherstone 3rd.
Kobi Joyce was the main (young)man in 8 Boys, number one out of 45 riders who signed on in Cheddar. Matt Hutt and Ryan O'Laughlin finished 2nd and 3rd the second time a young Hutt finished ahead of a young O'Laughlin at the Brits, after the lad's sisters had done battle in 6 and Unders.
In 9-10 Girls, Kim Baptista made 2010 a perfect season. Wins in all 12 rounds of the National Series and the British Championship title as well. Extremely impressive. Mary Johnson was 2nd with Olivia Howard 3rd.
Ross Cullen looked equally impressive in winning the 9 Boys title; he's made the leap this year from contender to Champ. Great riding too from Josh Peters in 2nd, and Joshua Coppin rounding out the podium spots.
Gideon Orena should always be the first name mentioned in a list of candidates for taking the win in 10 Boys, and he justified that with a commanding win at Cheddar. Euan Hunt and Lewis Locker made the podium, out of yet another quality Brits main, with Shay Casey impressing in 4th (after making his own drama in the quarters; nearly overcooking it on a berm and slipping a pedal) Lewis Hipkins 5th, Dieren Macauley-Perry 6th, Myles Fisher 7th and Jamie Norris-Still 8th.
11-12 Girls was Lauren Stack's race from the drop of the gate; she beat Alesi Tye and Katie Plumb into 2nd and 3rd in a field of 25 riders.
13-14 Girls has seen some fantastic battles this season, with riders like Valerie Zebrokova emerging to challenge Jenny Noble and Bethany Campbell. Isabelle Ferrada has raced in Championship Women this year and impressed in doing so, but riding her actual age in Cheddar, she crashed exiting the first berm and Valerie had no time to take evasive action going down hard. Bethany was already out in front at this point and it stayed that way across the line, with Jenny 2nd and Antonia Rickett 3rd.
Kye Whyte impressed with the win in 11 Boys, with Haydon Green proving he's as fast on a 20 as he is on bigger wheels with 2nd. Aaron Dallywater was 3rd.
12 Boys saw Paddy Sharrock make it a double reason to celebrate as he added the 20" title to the Cruiser title he won on Sunday. Second place was taken by Tom Novis, who occupied the same position behind Paddy on Saturday. Joshua Caddy rounded out the podium in 3rd. Diagoro Fortune had a nasty crash; thankfully he left the track under his own steam. He'd been entertaining the crowds earlier with some fine dance moves.
Jimmy Orena was another rider to make it a double title weekend, with the win in 13 Boys. I wrote one word when making notes on his race; "wow." Jimmy's superb display of riding combined skill, power and flat out speed. Jordan Hatcher took second with some pretty good riding of his own with Jack Clarke 3rd.
14 Boys saw Quillan Isidore earn the British title that Jimmy had denied him on Cruiser the day before. He's another rider to keep an eye on with blistering speed, although his speed nearly got the better of him on the third straight, overcooking it over the second double. Michael "Ninja" Njuguna put in a great performance for 2nd with Taylor Andrews 3rd.
Bethan Hallett took the win in 15-16 Girls with Emma Lambley 2nd and Alice Law 3rd. These girls have all competed in Championship at points in the season and should hold their own if they move up.
15 Boys was full of contenders, with the top riders making motos look easy, including favourite Jacob Roberts pulling a one hander over the huge double on the third straight. BMX racing is a sport where anything can happen though and two top hopes faced disaster rather than triumph in the semis; Dan Pullen and George Warner had a clear lead and were looking comfortable until an inexplicable clash on the fourth straight took them both down. The final saw Jacob get the holeshot and stay out front, with Ryan Stack a well deserved 2nd and Shane Dean 3rd. Jacob has now done the Nationals/Brits double for an incredible four years in a row.
Jack Hall had every right to feel like the favourite in 16 Boys, he'd won on Cruiser on Saturday and was in form. Again though, ours is a sport where anything can and often does, happen. Adam Smith had a great snap and was right on Jack's wheel down the second straight, taking a great line into the second berm, he held his line leaving Jack nowhere to go but off the track and down hard on the tarmac edge. Adam held on for the win, with Jordan Perry 2nd and Toby Bearne 3rd.
In 17-24, Billy Luckhurst has emerged this year as a rider with some serious speed to accompany the big bag of skill he's always had. A huge x-up over the third straight's monster final jump in motos announced he meant business but also felt comfortable, but it wasn't his day. The final saw him get the snap but go down in a crash at the end of the first straight. The rest fought it out to the line, with the British title going to Jason Fay, with Robbie Goodman beating Maris Strazdins to the 2nd spot.
25-29 has been a fight all year and the Brits was no exception. Matthew Allen got the 01 plate, with Darren Eastall 2nd and Lee Carrick 3rd. The final was fast paced and hot bloodied, with Mike Pinnock looking good for the win but 8th after judged to have cut a corner.
Masters is always entertaining, with so many riders capable of getting the win on race day. The action was exciting all day, with moves like Dave Ives going from 8th to 4th in the semi highlights. Come finals time, Alan Hill showed why he's the National Series Champion with yet another great lap when it matters most. Hilly added the Brits Masters title to the Brits 35-39 title he won a day earlier. Combine that with the National Series title for both those classes and the redline rider has had a stunning season. Clive Hawkins had a great ride to 2nd edging Zoltan Buday. Paul Eccles impressed with 6th in a rare 20" outing.
The Vets final was without Nationals winner Wayne Foster who crashed out in the semi. Like Masters, this class has been a joy to watch all year, with several dark horses you just can't rule out. With Shaun Calvert, Richard Green and Neil Hope in the final, and throwing in Ady Warden, Karl Sanderson, Kevin Brown, Bernie Schaale and Steven Williams the stage was set for a real battle. Bernie came out best of the bunch after a commanding lap, Neil Hopes took 2nd with Kev Brown 3rd.
Junior Men promised much and didn't fail to deliver. With Jordan Hayes having made some incredible moves to take the wins at Cheddar in this year's Nats, he was a favourite for the title. Unfortunately he had a horrible face plant in the first berm in the final leaving the other Juniors to do battle. Curtis Manaton had impressed in motos, with super fast wheelies into the first berm and his speed carried him to 2nd ahead of Jonathan Hastings in the main. Grant Hill had made it known he was setting his sights firmly on the title however and he rode his "Brits special" yellow intense podium frame all the way to the top step with a searing lap to take his second Brits title in a row.
Last year saw Charlotte Green bitterly disappointed by losing the Brits by the width of a tyre to Abbie Taylor and this year she made sure of the title in emphatic fashion with a clear win from the gate. Charlie Phillips took second with Ayesha McLelland recovering well from a huge crash in motos to take third.
And so to the main event; Elite Men. The field was stacked with all the domestic title hopefuls plus several Dutch riders, over for the experience of racing on the UK's biggest stage. Marcus Bloomfield crashed on the final straight in motos, Kyle Evans also had an off in his first race of the day. Everyone was pushing themselves to their limits and beyond. The Semis had more drama, with Luke Gamble and Adam Brazil crashing over the first jump and out of the final and Scott Waterhouse making a do-or-die move in the second semi, trying to dive inside Dutchman Rick Van Den Dikkenberg, but he couldn't make it stick and both went down.
The main was made up of Dutch visitors Noud Verstegen and Jesper De Groot, Dan Whyte, Dan McBride, Marcus, Liam Phillips, Arran Shrosbree and Kelvin Batey. It was Kelvin who sieved the initiative with an explosive start, followed by Liam Phillips and Dan Whyte who'd been charging hard all day. Bloomy pulled up down the first straight and into the first berm Liam looked as though he clipped the back of Dan's wheel, causing him to go down. Kelvin was clean gone at that point, the clash of wheels slowed Dan enough to allow Dan McBride to slip through for second. Arran finished 4th, Noud 5th, Jesper 6th and Liam 7th. Kelvin has now taken the Elite British title for an incredible 6 years in a row.
In the British Team Championships competition we had 3 teams in equal 1st place. They are Dialled Bikes Factory Team, Intense Route 55 and Ultimate BMX. Top performers for Dialled Bikes were; Keith Wilson, Jon Moore and Quillan Isidore on 20" and 24". For Ultimate BMX, top performers were; Jack Hawkins, Liam Phillips. Kobi Joyce and Charlie Phillips. For Intense Route 55, the top performers were; Jack Hall, Kelvin Batey, Jordan Perry and Grant Hill.
With a champagne spray worthy of a Formula 1 podium, the Elites finished off a superb event in Cheddar. Action, excitement, community, fun. This year's Brits had it all.