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Report: BMX Inter Regional Round 1 - East Midlands v Midlands
With just two weeks to go until the first national round of 2011, 426 riders from across the country descended on Peterborough BMX track for the annual East Anglia v The Midlands Inter-Regional. This is the largest number of riders at an East Anglian BMX race for many years and riders from across the country made the journey to start their campaign to qualify for the British Championships in September.
The track and facility has seen a lot of work over the last few months to get it ready for the national and the sun shone all day long.
The 6 and under pocket rockets started the day and Preston's Finlay Todd took the win. East Anglia's first rider home was Ipswich's Hayden Gladwell in 5th. Milton Keynes' Elliott Bowyer was only beaten in one race all day in the 7 year olds and won convincingly from Derby's Benjamin Perry. William Goode from Huncote Hornets was 3rd.
Preston riders were unstoppable in the 8 year olds, with consistent moto finishes; Keon Smith-Mcdermot and Alex Brookes ripped the final apart finishing 1st and 2nd respectively. Sam Stonebridge from Peterborough finished 7th.
In the 9 year olds it was Preston riders again taking the top three podium spots. Ryan Brookes, Connor Cassidy and Harvey Howard battled each other for the whole race and put on a great show. Milton Keynes' Luke Mendes rode to an impressive 6th, just in front of Sydney Allen from Braintree.
Charlie O'Grady came alive in the 10 year olds and proved that his winter training is paying dividends. He secured a place in the A final where he lead the field for the whole lap to take the win for Braintree. Taylor Johnson from Nottingham was 2nd, and Jacob Watkinson from Preston was 3rd. Olly Rowe who had beaten Charlie in a moto race earlier in the day settled for a strong 5th in the final.
After his Euro win a couple of weeks ago, Braintree's' Josh Peters rode up an age group in the 11 year olds. In the semi final he finished 2nd, securing a place in the A final. He battled hard against the bigger lads to a well fought 7th place finish. The class was won by Euan Hunt from Preston just in front of Royston's' Miles Fisher in 2nd.
Arron Dalleywater from Royston showed why he's just picked up a new sponsor in the 12 year old A final. He won every race all day and looked awesome. Shane Redgewell from Braintree improved every lap of the day and secured the 3rd step of the podium. Club mate Evan Tulloch had an inconsistent day but rode well to a 7th place finish and Bethany Shriever mixed it up with the boys to finish 8th after a crash in practice.
In the 13 year olds Nottingham ruled the roost with Robert Esson and Ben Carnhill taking 1st and 2nd respectively. Ethan Vernon continued his return from a broken leg in 3rd for Royston. Braintree's' Lee Golder got his head down and made 4th place, Shane Pavitt returned to racing after a winter lay off and made a superb 5th place in the A final with George Moret finishing 8th.
Paddy Sharrock showed a real national quality for Mid Lancs in the 14 year olds. Unbeaten all day he won the class from Nottingham's Louis Colon. Local lad Nathan Hastings rode to a super smooth 7th and 12 year old Josh Legrove rode up two age groups for Braintree to finish 8th.
In the 15 year olds class, Peterborough local Bethany Campbell rode hard against the boys to an incredible 7th place. Michael Njuguna for Nottingham was unbeaten all day for the top step of the podium.
15 year old Taylor Andrews from Braintree rode up an age group to take an awesome win in the 16 year olds A final after a big crash in his first race nearly put an end to his day. Braden Bradford from Nottingham was 2nd and Bristol's Matthew Abbott was 3rd.
The 17-24 year old class had a huge field of 54 riders to whittle down for the final stages. Peterborough local Jonathan Hastings proved that local track knowledge can pay off in an impressive 4th place. Elite national champion Kelvin Batey wowed the crowds with awesome speed to win the class from Burnham's Adam Brazil.
Rob Reed from Hayes Hawks rode with class to 1st place in the 25-29 year olds, Peterborough's Lee Carrick was 2nd and Darren Eastall rode well for Braintree Bullets finishing 4th in this Grand Prix class.
The Masters class was won by Keith Bryceland from Dagenham. Jason Jessop riding for Braintree was the first of six East Anglian finishers in the class in 3rd. Richard Townsend from Royston was 4th, Jay Mills 5th, Braintree Bullets Head Coach Julian Allen was 6th, new dad Matt Barnard was 7th for Milton Keynes and Peterborough's Matt Allen was 8th after a crash whilst challenging for the lead.
Royston's Lee Alexander won a stacked Veterans class final. He was pushed hard by the Dagenham pair of Martin Parker and Tony Slater in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Norwich's Ady Warden returned to East Anglian racing and finished in a well deserved 7th just in front of Peterborough's Michael Ledlie.
Onto the girls classes and the first golden ticket race was the 6 and under girls, Ella Foster from Peterborough was the winner and took home the £25 to spend on sweets. The next golden ticket race was the 7-8 year olds which was won by Summer-Lily Cross from Birmingham, 2nd place went to local girl Drew Raven. Eleana Stafford blitzed the 9-10 year old girls riding for Preston. Mary Johnson rode for the home club to remain unbeaten in the 11-12 year olds, and local girls continued the winning theme in the 13-14 year olds with Katie Plumb and Mollie Dobson taking the top spots. Braintree's Lana Redgewell was the first East Anglian rider home in the 15-16s, riding to a fantastic 5th place.
In the younger cruiser classes, Midlands's riders were unstoppable and had clean sweeps in the first 5 classes. The hugely competitive 35-39 cruiser class saw East Anglian make a comeback with Glyn Cartwright continuing his return to racing for Royston in 1st place, Andy Carter from Braintree rode well for 5th place. Paul Maidment from Peterborough looked set for the win in the 40-44 year old class, but an uncharacteristic mistake saw him lose the lead and settle for 2nd. The 45+ class was stolen by local lad Nigel Stonebridge in fine style. In the ladies cruiser classes, Helen Nicholl took the win for Royston and Nadine Mcfedries for Braintree finished 4th in the 17-29. Abi Hill for Norwich got a super 2nd place finish with Dee Williams battling to 5th in the 30+ class.
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.