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Round 5 Videos: 7-8 Girls | 6 & Under Boys | 7 Boys | 9-10 Girls | 10 Boys | 6 & Under Girls | 15 Boys | 11-12 Girls | 8 Boys | 9 Boys | 14 Boys | 15-16 Girls | 11 Boys | 12 Boys | 13 Boys | 15-16 Cruiser | 16 Boys |
Results: Round 5 | Round 6 | Series Rankings: Riders | Clubs | Teams
Series Reports: Rounds 1 & 2 | Rounds 3 & 4 |
The Nationals reached their midpoint in serious style, with winners of the 2010 Best National award Braintree playing host to rounds 5 & 6.
Beautiful blue skies and bright sun bathed the BMX community and finished off the Braintree Beach theme to a tee with club members dressed as lifeguards (complete with red ‘BMXWatch' t-shirts) and the track cabin kitted out to resemble a surf shack, the atmosphere was fantastic.
Thanks to event sponsors Higgins Construction, as well as Essex County Council 2012 Legacy Fund, Braintree District Council and Greenfields Community Housing, the event had a professional feel from the welcome banner at the entrance to the track to the smoothly run proceedings throughout the racing.
The track was in top condition and rode fast all weekend; the first straight featured doubles that most blasted over without hindrance with a triple into the first berm that caught a few out over the course of racing. A long left hand berm was best hit at full speed with no let up in pedalling to hit the demanding second straight in full flight.
A table top and moderate step up/double led into a big set of doubles that became the defining feature of the track; those that jumped them had a clear advantage. The third straight was a technical rhythm section that proved a challenge for many riders, catching even those with normally impeccable skills out on occasion. The last berm was shaped to give plenty of opportunities for last minute do or die moves with a relatively mellow final straight.
Braintree attracted another large turnout of racers, with 588 riders on Saturday and 570 on Sunday. The average rider number for the first six rounds of the 2011 National Series is a staggering 591! To put this in perspective 2010's average rider count at Nationals was 467. In 2009 it was 398. Spread the word - BMX Racing is growing!
The by now familiar Elite Time Trials were eagerly anticipated by the crowd who made full use of the viewing platform erected by EA to allow perfect views of the action. Stay Strong's Aussie sensation Darryn Goodwin is a crowd favourite, known for his ability to delight with style as well as racecraft. He was first up and stopped the clock in 32.48 seconds to set down an impressive marker for the weekend.
Dan Whyte was looking fast until a bobble on the third straight cost him dearly, Antony Tuffs made a welcome return to racing but had a huge moment on the third left him off the pace too. SE's Ash Davey looked very smooth but his 32.71 seconds couldn't dislodge Darryn from the hotseat atop the Higgins berm. Kieron McAvoy was next up with 34.51 seconds followed by a great lap from Profile's Billy Luckhurst whose 32.46 seconds earned him some time on the berm. EA/Pure's Jordan Hayes was oh so close with 32.50 seconds.
Intense/Route 55's Kelvin Batey has been riding Elite for a lot longer than the rivals he raced over the weekend and his experience showed with a flying lap of 31.54 seconds. He slipped trying to ride up the berm to the hotseat but wasn't in it for long anyway as after Gabor Deli unclipped down the first straight which ended his contention, Scott Waterhouse demonstrated the fine form he's been in of late and recorded 31.49 seconds.
Ultimate Pro BMX team-mates Curtis Manaton and Tre Whyte stopped the clock in 32.00 and 31.66 seconds respectively followed by Free Agent/Rockstar's Cal Strickland who lived up to one of his sponsor's names by ‘treating' the crowd to a nice little tune called ‘Slaughter' by Pantera. Rock indeed. Cal torched the track to get 31.33 seconds but his hotseat visit was brief, 30.72 seconds to be exact as that's the time it took next rider up, Haro's Grant Hill, to complete his lap. The last two riders, Kyle Evans and Dan McBride, failed to better that and Grant was top of the Elite pile.
As always, Cruisers were first to the gate for racing, with 9-12's the youngest on the big bikes getting things started. Love Not Money - RSD Sports rider Shay Casey was the pick of the pack in a class where most riders competed on 20" as well. Impressive. 13-14's saw Redman Rockstar's Jimmy Orena take his bright orange bike round the track quickest for the win, before just as swiftly handing it over to team-mate Cameron Howard who was waiting on the gate to do his laps in 15-16's. Same bike, same result with a win for Cam.
Seventeen to twenty-nine is a fast class and fastest on day one was James Goodwin, putting his home track advantage to full effect. He was trailed home by fellow Braintree Bullets Chris Potter and Oli Cutmore. 30-34 was once again a showdown between SE's Dave Ives and Love Not Money -RSD Sports rider Roy Sutton, with the spoils going to the SE rider this time. Liam Fielding had a great result with third.
Redline's Alan Hill has made winning a habit but that's a testament to his brilliance rather than a knock on anyone else. 35-39 is a stacked class and Hilly was pushed by Identiti's Martin Ogden with Glyn Cartwright third. Jools Allen got a great result with fourth. 40-44 is the largest Cruiser class by far and the A Final had 8 riders who were all contenders for the win. Top dog was the man they call Flemdog, as Intense Route 55's Tony Fleming lived up to his pedigree with another win. Ultimate Pro's Clive Hawkins took a fine second with Bernie Schaale third.
Nic Preece was back to winning ways in 45+ with Ady Warden second and Dialled Bikes rider Keith Wilson third. EA/Pure's Ria Goodman has been challenging on 20" this year, not hampered by her riding Cruiser too. She took the win on 24" wheels in 17-29. Kim Bent has made a welcome return to racing after taking some time off to produce an addition to the next generation of BMXers, she added to her win tally with a victory in 30+.
The little people on little bikes impressed at Braintree, with Rupert Twitchett taking the win in 6 and Under but there's a lot of emerging talent with Tyler Stephenson, Lucas Craik, Rupert's brother Felix and Harry Ives all looking good. Jack Hawkins was out front and in control in 7's and got the win ahead of Elliot Bowyer. Keon Smith-McDermott got the holeshot in 8's but was pushed hard by Ethan Craik who capitalised on a slight error by Keon in the second berm and got the win.
Isabelle Hurry took another win in 6 and under girls, Emily Hutt looks like a full on factory pro, only pint sized, and was dominant for Redline in 7-8 girls. Haro's Imogen Hill took a great win in a hard class; 9-10 girls has some future stars in the shape of Imogen, runner up Ellie Jo Chappell (Fine Lines), third place Libby Smith (Intense Route 55) Deborah Parrish, Ellie Featherstone and Darcie Taylor. Eleana Stafford is usually a good bet for the win but a crash in her semi meant that her win had to come in the B Final.
Free Agent's Matt Harman edged out Edwardes rider Connor Hedges in 9's with Ross Cullen absolutely flying in 10's to take the win. There are 63 riders between these two classes, proof positive that our youngsters love racing! Redman Rockstar's Gideon Orena showed he's as fast as his skilful siblings with the win in 11's. EA/Pure's Ethan Vernon edged out Love Not Money - RSD Sports rider Shay Casey for second.
Eleven to twelve girls provided a thrilling race as usual. Peckham club-mates Kat Davidson and Blaine Ridge-Davis are always entertaining and are closely matched, but at Braintree local girl Bethany Shriever stole the show by using her home track knowledge and a healthy amount of intestinal fortitude to jump the first set of doubles on the second straight. Third to first just by jumping, she got the win.
Haydon Green (MD Racing) had a great battle with EA/Pure's Aaron Dalleywater with World number 4 Harley Taylor third in 12's. Intense Route 55's Robert Jesson and Daigoro Fortune were also battling in 13's - both have power and skills and thrilled the crowd. Jesson took the win, not bad considering he's riding with a broken collarbone.
Redline's Valerie Zebrokova is getting more confident with every National win, at Braintree she proved that girls who jump are girls who win. She was the only one to do the first doubles on the second straight and it gave her a lead over One's Jenny Noble and EA/Pure's Lauren Stack that she didn't relinquish.
Jake Power (Picton Cycles) is an emerging force in 14's, he has a great snap and bags of skills but for now at least can't solve the problem of Paddy Sharrock (EA/Pure) Paddy first, Jake second. Redman Rockstar's Jimmy Orena has no problems in 15's - if you had to pay to watch him race it'd be money well spent! Bethany Campbell was out in front and looking safe in 15-16 girls but Angelica Orena was hunting her down and made a great move in the last berm and made it stick, they went side by side down the last straight but Angelica had done enough to take the win. Lesson learned for Beth.
Sixteen's saw Mike Hawker (Edwardes) put in a fantastic ride - holeshotting from gate eight, he looked in total control as he held off Redman Rockstar's George Warner for the win. Reece Hoggatt (Bunneys) took third with Warner's team-mate Cam Howard fourth.
Seventeen to twenty-four is an all-killer no-filler class with so many riders in contention, but Redline's Andy Clucas has taken the class by the scruff of the neck with wins in three of the first four rounds and a second in the other. Chalk up win number four for Andy as he held off former Elite rider Tom Palmer (J&R Bicycles) with Tom Bauer showing he's one to watch with a great third.
Michael Smart went round Braintree like he was riding a rocket and took a great win in 25-29, Simon Homans and Shaun Fry were second and third and are always a threat for the win.
World Masters Champion Marco Dell'Isola (Stay Strong) somehow manages to run a brand whilst training for races at the highest level. He was pushed hard by Redline's Alan Hill but looked to have the race won until he over manualled the end of the third straight and washed out. Hilly took advantage with SE's Darren Reidy coming through for second and EA/Pure's Rich Townsend third. The Champ finished in eighth.
Old's cool with the Veterans class a fast and competitive clash of experienced riders. Pete Power is one of the few to use flat pedals but doesn't seem to be at a disadvantage and took his fifth win from five races ahead of Free Agent's Lee Alexander, who pushed Power hard and made a race of it down the final straight.
The Junior Men class is like watching a heart attack unfold in front of your eyes. Jack Hall (One Bicycles) looked good but went high in the second berm and faded, Ben Clarkson was defying the laws of Physics with his riding and got second but ride of the day went to Quillan Isidore (Dialled Bikes) with a fantastic win.
Championship Women has been getting more competitive as
riders have raised their games. It's still Charlotte Green (EA/Pure) racking up wins but she's being pushed hard by team-mate Ria Goodman and Redline's Ayesha McLelland. Ayesha split the Pure riders to take second.
Elite threw up some surprises, with Round 4 winner Kyle Evans moto'd on 11 points, normally an amount that would see a rider safely through. The final saw EA/Pure's Dan McBride, Ultimate Pro team-mates Tre Whyte and Curtis Manaton, Intense Route 55's Kelvin Batey, Clark & Kent Contractors rider Scott Waterhouse, Haro's Grant Hill, Stay Strong's Darryn Goodwin and Free Agent's Cal Strickland line up to race for all the marbles.
For a few tense seconds all was quiet as the random sequence kicked in...then all hell broke loose; Tre unclipped, Grant took off like a bat out of hell with Darryn and the others in hot pursuit.
In the second berm Darryn tried a move but lost his front end and went down, with riders taking evasive action to avoid the stricken Aussie. Cal went from fifth to second and Tre got back in touch with some determined riding, Kelvin hit the barrier face first but picked himself up and finished seventh. Grant took his first Nationals win, with Cal leading Dan, Curtis and Tre home before Scott and Kelvin crossed the line. Darryn threw some style as he cruised round after dusting himself off for eighth.
Back to the big rigs for Sunday's early start and it was Shay Casey getting it done again for Love Not Money - RSD Sports with a win in 9-12's. Jimmy Orena was denied by some fine riding from Roy Jones with Scott Dominguez a well deserved second in 13-14's.
Cam Howard doubled for the weekend with a win in 15-16's giving the orange bike three wins from four for the weekend. Oli Cutmore was the first bullet home in 17-29, with Chris Potter again second and Saturday's winner James Goodwin third.
Liam Fielding won the first moto in 30-34 but couldn't capitalise and finished third behind SE's Dave Ives and Love Not Money - RSD Sports rider Roy Sutton. The title race looks like a straight fight between these two, with Roy leading at the moment but Dave slowly eroding the points lead. 35-39 saw a fantastic ride by chef Mario Presi to earn a slice of victory pie, getting the win ahead of Redline's Alan Hill and Paul Eccles in third.
Flemdog (Intense Route 55) was winning again in 40-44 with Clive Hawkins (Ultimate Pro BMX) in 2nd and Karl Sanderson bettering Saturday's result with third. Each of the top three had won two motos; a case of the cream rising to the top. 45+ saw a new name added to the honours list this season as John Stockwell took the win, with Keith Wilson (Dialled) in second and Ady Warden third.
Nic Preece got fourth enough to keep him in the overall lead. Ria Goodman and Kim Bent were again the leading ladies in their respective classes.
Back to 20" and Rupert Twitchett was the unbeatable boy again in 6 and Unders, with Isabella Hurry golden 6 and Under girl. Jack Hawkins didn't have things all his own way in 7's, as Ethan Duffy, winner of both Dagenham rounds pushed him all the way. Ethan crashed out in his semi on Sat and wanted to make up for it on Sun. Job done.
Emily Hutt was factory Redline all the way again for yet another win in 7-8 girls, with Ethan Craik besting Alex Brookes in 8's. Ryan Brookes (Intense Route 55) got a richly deserved win in 9's, with Connor Cassidy second and Saturday's winner matt Harman (Free Agent) third, keeping him leading overall.
In 9-10 girls, Darcie Taylor crossed the line first ahead of Eleana Stafford (Sharp - Full Speed) who made sure she made the final on Sunday with determined riding. Ross Cullen was again on top form not losing a lap all day to take another solid win in 10's. He grows in confidence every race. The first three in 10's all jumped the first doubles on the second straight. Impressive.
Eleven Boys had the same top three in the same order as Saturday. Redman Rockstar's Gideon Orena led Ethan Vernon (EA/Pure) and Shay Casey (Love Not Money - RSD Sports) in this tough class of 30 riders, 6 who made the main won motos - an even spread of talent. Peckham club-mates Kat Davidson and Blaine Ridge-Davis were once again duelling it out in 11-12's, Beth Shriever got boxed in so couldn't unleash her jump and it was Kat who took the win with Blaine second and Free Agent's Kim Baptista third with Beth fourth.
Aaron Dalleywater and Haydon Green were battling again in 12's, with Aaron coming out on top after getting by Haydon over the big doubles on the second straight. He now leads his rival in the overall standings, but it's too close to get comfortable, with 6 points in it! In 13's Daigoro Fortune showed some awesome pull chased hard by team-mate Robert Jesson; Daigoro took Robert high on the second berm and moved clear, Tom Novis did a great swoop to take second with Joshua Moore third.
Jake Power gave it 100% in the 14's final, getting the snap of his life and moving over to cover the racing line, both cranked hard round the never-ending first berm and took the first doubles on the second straight comfortably, Jake tried to hold on but Paddy cleared the big doubles to take the lead which he held to the line.
Valerie Zebrokova was out to show she's the title contender in 13-14 girls - a dominant performance once again saw her the only rider to clear the first doubles and she had a relatively straightforward win. Alesi Tye got second with Natasha Bradley third.
Michael Njuguna took advantage of Jimmy Orena unclipping to take a lead he held onto but Jimmy scythed through the field to take a very impressive second in 15's. George Warner can be rightly pleased with his first National win in 16's, with Cam Howard showing great versatility getting second and Michael Hawker made it a good weekend with third.
Bethany Campbell didn't make the same mistake twice and didn't let up on the way to the win in 15-16 girls with Angelica Orena taking second. In 17-24 favourite Andy Clucas (Redline) had a massive crash over the first doubles, clashing midair and landing hard in his semi. The final was taken by Adam Brazil (J&R Bicycles) with Shaun Issitt (Love Not Money - RSD Sports) getting his best result of the season so far with second and Jason Fay in third.
Michael Smart made a do or die move over the big doubles and around the second berm to take the lead in 25-29, Shaun Fry got second and Alex Dick pulled off some great moves of his own with a last berm swoop to net himself third.
Alan Hill and Darren Reidy were again the top two in Masters, giving Jai Kemp who manages both Redline and SE a great result. Haro's Ryan Yearsley had a great ride to take third. Pete Power had Lee Alexander for company round the track in the Veterans final but made it six out of six with another classy win.
Haro were again getting good results, this time with Dan Pullen getting the win in Junior Men. Ben Clarkson did more jaw dropping riding, finding lines that no one else can see riding the white line at the top of the second berm to take second. Jake Roberts (Redline) and Ryan Stack (EA/Pure) were vying for fourth but crashed as they made moves in the last berm, Jake was making his return to racing after a nasty collarbone break pre-season and for a while looked to have reinjured it but walked off with nothing more than pain and a determination to do better next time.
Charlotte Green was again pushed all the way by her team-mate Ria Goodman who had a great snap and looked like she could draw level until Ayesha McLelland made her focus on defending second place which she did, just.
And so to the main event.
Scott Waterhouse, Dan McBride, Tre Whyte, Curtis Manaton, Kelvin Batey, Darryn Goodwin, Grant Hill and Jordan Hayes lined up to contest the Elite Men final. It was pretty even heading to the triples at the end of the first straight until Kelvin came off and took Grant down, with nearly the entire pack ploughing into the back of them.
Dan and Scott were the only two not to crash, taking full advantage and racing it out to the finish. Scott made his move in the last berm, swooping to the inside but Dan had enough speed to keep the lead to the finish to take his first National win. Grant remounted and took third and sported some bloody grazes whilst standing on the podium. Tre, Jordan, Curtis and Darryn were next home with Kelvin having left a good deal of skin on the track recording a DNF.
A crazy end to a fantastic weekend of National racing - fantastic facilities, popular track, hard work from the hosts and a wonderful atmosphere. Braintree 2011 will be hard to beat!
Under 14 Cruiser