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National BMX Series Rounds 7 & 8
Redditch 16 & 17 July 2011
Words: James Tresman | Images: Richard Robotham
Video By Corinne Walder
Rain didn't stop play at the Redditch rounds of the BMX National Series; despite occasionally torrential downpours, the assembled riders and supporters got on with the task at hand, namely racing hard all weekend!
Rounds 7 and 8 kicked off the second half of the series, with many riders having established themselves as contenders already whilst rivals knew they had work to do. The track proved a challenge to a lot of the competitors but held up well in spite of the deluge. With Redditch having been a fixture of BMX racing in the sport's heyday, its return to hosting the National Series is a positive sign of the sport's renewal.
Cruisers are always the first to fight it out on the track and the 9-12's were first up. Kim Baptista (Free Agent) and Erin McPake duel it out with the boys in this mixed class and both did well; Erin netting seventh in the main whilst Kim got a fantastic second behind Love Not Money - RSD Sports rider Shay Casey who is finding form on the bigger bike.
Jimmy Orena (Redman Rockstar) continues to amaze with his riding, he got the win in 13-14 Cruiser ahead of Roy Jones and Scott Dominguez. Jimmy's retina shattering orange bike got another run out under Cam Howard in 15-16 Cruiser and got another win too with Cam getting it ahead of Bradley Minns (Bunneys/O'Neal).
The 17-29 category is the Fast and the Furious on two wheels; young men going flat out to cross the line first. Best of the bunch was Kieron McAvoy (Clark & Kent Contractors) who had a great race against Oli Cutmore with Ryan Vinyard third. Roy "Sutty" Sutton (Love Not Money - RSD Sports) has a slender lead over SE's Dave Ives in 30-34, with every point precious as it looks like a fight between these two for the title. Sutty got the win ahead of Liam Fielding and Mark Sleigh.
In 35-39 points don't seem to matter much as Redline's Alan Hill has every round bar one so far this year with a second place in the other round. He took the win on Saturday ahead of Haro's Mario Presi, the rider who bested him at Braintree. Fourty-44 is still the largest Cruiser class, and stacked! Intense/Route 55's Tony Fleming was once again looking in good shape but crashed whilst leading the final allowing Karl Sanderson to power past for the win ahead of Ultimate Pro BMX's Clive Hawkins and James Christie. Forty-five+ isn't a picnic either with British Champ Keith Wilson and Dialled Bikes team-mate (and World number 3) Billy Stupple as well as Ady Warden each winning a moto the scene was set for a thrilling final. Billy got the win ahead of Ady with Keith third.
EA/Pure's Ria Goodman has been pushing for a win on 20" but collects them seemingly at will on Cruiser; she got another in front of Emma Lambley and Louise Abbott in 17-29. Lea Pendleton is establishing herself as a force to be reckoned with in 30+ but Kim Bent is still the rider to beat, something that hasn't happened so far this season as she took another win ahead of Lea with Redline's Abi Hill third.
Rupert Twitchett went 7 of 7 with another win in 6 and Under, Finlay Todd bagged second which keeps him in the same position overall, with Joshua Lynch third. Isabella Hurry and Chloe Yates finished tied for points in 6 and Under girls but Isabella took the win by finishing a place ahead of Chloe in the fourth moto. Another win for her this year. Ethan Duffy crashed out in the main after looking like a good candidate for the win through the motos. Cory Maggs crossed the line first with Free Agent team-mate Elliott Bowyer second and William Goode (Urban Crusader Cycles) third.
Ethan Craik (Intense/Route 55) is usually to be found winning races in 8's with Keon Smith-McDermott (Sharp - Full Speed BMX) taking advantage of any mistakes he makes. Redline's Travis Wilson is hard on the wheels of these two. That's the order they finished on Saturday and the order they're in overall.
The same situation can be found in 7-8's with Emily Hutt (Redline) having a perfect run of wins in the series so far, followed by Emma Jeffers and UCC's Isabel Hallam in the overall. Another class mirroring this top three trend is 9-10's as Ellie Jo Chappell (Fine Lines Racing) lead series rivals Darcie Taylor and Haro's Imogen Hill home on Saturday. Each of them has won a round this series, as has Eleana Stafford (Full Speed BMX) it's going to be a great battle between the four girls for the overall title if they race all 12 rounds and the wins keep getting shared out.
Free Agent's Matt Harman is locked in a fight with Intense Route 55's Ryan Brookes and Big Daddy/Avent's Kobi Joyce in 9's; Matt got the much needed win with Kobi getting a valuable second with Ryan third. Ross Cullen (Sharp Full Speed BMX) is looking like a good bet to win 10 boys but MD Racing's Josh Coppin is keeping him honest with another runner up spot on Saturday. A crash whilst leading the 11's main saw Gideon Orena (Redman Rockstar) drop points as Euan Hunt got the win, Gideon still leads overall comfortably though.
EA Pure's Aaron Dalleywater and MD Racing's Haydon Green have been duelling in 12's with honours going to Aaron on Saturday. Intense Route 55's Robert Jesson continues to impress and took the win in 13's followed by Tom Novis and the always improving Scott Dominguez. Eleven-12's is still all about Kat Davidson and Blaine Ridge-Davis, both from Peckham. Braintree's Beth Shriever is getting in on the action though and that's the order it finished. Redline's Valerie Zebrokova showed promise all last year and this season she's delivered. Developing more skills all the time and growing in confidence she took the win in 13-14's with a determined ride by One's Jenny Noble netting her second place. Redman Rockstar's Angelica Orena got the job done in 15-16's beating Beth Campbell to continue the pair's entertaining fight for the overall title.
There's another entertaining battle in 14's as EA Pure's Paddy Sharrock is being pushed every round by Jake Power. Both have sublime skills and jump pretty much everything but Paddy has the edge so far, chalk up another win for him. Redman Rockstar's Jimmy Orena is difficult to write about, but only because his skill uses up superlatives so quickly. Another great ride and another win for him in a tough class, with some quality performances too coming from Jordan Hatcher (Dialled Bikes) in second and Bunneys/O'Neal team-mates Brad Spick and Josh Tucker in third and fourth.
One age group up and we get 16's with yet more speed, skills and gutsy riding on display; Saturday saw Cam Howard (Redman Rockstar) get the win in a thriller against Mike Hawker (Edwardes), with Cam desperately trying all the tricks in the race craft manual to keep a fast Mike at bay. George Warner (Redman Rockstar) keeps the team in decent points with third.
Redline's Andy Clucas is still recovering from an ankle injury sustained at Braintree, and he was slower than his usual pace at Redditch which T & J Racing's Jason Fay capitalised on to take the win ahead of Rob Hawker (Edwardes) with Tom Palmer (J&R Bicycles) third. Michael Smart came out on top again in 25-29, a small but physical class. Alan Hill (Redline) got yet another win in Masters, with Daz Reidy (SE) 2nd and Stay Strong's Andy Shaw 3rd. Vets saw Pete Power make it 7 from 7 for the season, very impressive!
This class has seen some stellar performances so far this season, with Dialled Bikes rider Quillan Isidore holding his own against older riders. He was in the thick of the action today challenging Kuwahara's Ben Clarkson, no stranger to crowd pleasing riding, with both of them out front in the final. Ben got the lead and held off Quillan with some sublime skills. Jack Hall (One Bicycles) was third with EA/Pure's Ryan Stack fourth. Redline's Jake Roberts took fifth, a result to be pleased with after suffering a nasty broken collarbone in pre-season and missing much of the early races.
EA/Pure's Ria Goodman has been showing increasingly good form in recent Nationals and had a great snap in the final to take the lead into the first berm. She managed to hold it for the second straight but team-mate Charlie Green edged past her and stayed in front to the line. Ria bagged second for her efforts, surely a win is coming! Redline's Ayesha McLelland got third.
Always the most anticipated event, the Elite Men final saw EA/Pure's Dan McBride looking to repeat his win from the previous round, Grant Hill (Haro), Free Agent's Cal Strickland, Kyle Evans, Scott Waterhouse (Clark & Kent Contractors) and Ultimate Pro BMX team-mates Tre Whyte, Curtis Manaton and Marcus Bloomfield who was returning from a horrific wrist break sustained at the Papendal Supercross and who is due to be a new dad any day!
Curtis got the holeshot and netted £50 for his troubles from the event sponsors, he battled Grant for the lead with Bloomy making a charge through the pack after unclipping out of the gate. Dan was hard on the leader's wheels with Cal in close attendance. Into the last berm, Grant and Curtis cancelled each other out with a tight line going high on the exit, which allowed Dan to swoop past for the lead which he didn't relinquish. Grant got back on the gas for second with Cal taking an excellent third. Curtis got fourth, but will be disappointed after challenging for the win, Marcus recovered to fifth with Kyle sixth, Tre seventh and Scott eighth.
Harley Taylor got Sunday under way with a win in 9-12 Cruisers, with Jimmy Orena again taking the honours in 13-14's. Bradley Minns (Bunneys/O'Neal) got a richly deserved win in 15-16's and Kieron McAvoy (Clark & Kent Contractors) was victorious again in 17-29. SE's Dave Ives kept his challenge for the 30-34 title alive with a win and Redline's Alan Hill was once again dominant in 35-39. In 40-44 Intense Route 55's Tony Fleming made sure of the win ahead of Karl Sanderson and James Christie. No errors this time!
Fourty-Five+ went to Ady Warden with Dialled Bikes team-mates Billy Stupple and Keith Wilson second and 3rd. Emma Lambley scored a great win in 17-29 whilst Kim Bent got yet another victory in 30+.
Rupert Twitchett got the win in 6 and Under, he's got a perfect record in the series and should be a lock for the overall title. Ethan Duffy won 7's with Jack Hawkins second, Jack still has the lead overall but this is a great battle that could still go either way! Ella Foster got the win ahead of Isabella Hurry in 6 and Under girls, another close class that could go down to the wire. Redline's Emily Hutt has no such worries in 7-8's as she's won eight rounds and has a perfect score. 9-10's has some great young racers and is too close to call at this stage of the season; Fine Lines rider Ellie Jo Chappell got a great win on Sunday but in the overall she has a narrow lead over Darcie Taylor and Haro's Imogen Hill.
In 8's Keon Smith McDermott (Sharp Full Speed BMX) was caught in the middle of a Gosport club sandwich, as he finished second with the south coast club's Ethan Craik (Intense Route 55) taking first and Redline's Travis Diwell-Wilson 3rd. Nine's saw Big Daddy/Avent's Kobi Joyce beat a trio of Preston Pirates as he took the win ahead of Harvey Howard, Ryan Brookes (Intense Route 55) and Connor Cassidy. Free Agent's Matt Harman has a slender lead overall in yet another class where there's still all to ride for!
Ross Cullen (Sharp Full Speed BMX) has the overall lead in 10's ahead of MD Racing's Josh Coppin, with that being the order they finished on Sunday. Josh also has second in the overall standings and thanks to a win in the first round, has enough points to keep Ross within reach. Gideon Orena (Redman Rockstar) continued his winning ways in 11's with Love Not Money - RSD Sports rider Shay Casey hot in his tyre tracks. Gideon has the overall lead but Euan Hunt and Shay are close in second and third respectively.
The battle in 11-12's has developed nicely; Beth Shriever is now in the mix alongside Kat Davidson and Blaine Ridge-Davis.
The win went to Kat, with Beth second and Blaine third, with Kat leading overall from Blaine and Beth. Still an open class that promises to see more bar-to-bar racing! Redline's Valerie Zebrokova took another dominant win in 13-14's, she's out in front overall too. Behind her are some very talented riders like One Bicycles rider Jenny Noble who took second on the day and sits there overall. She has a one point hold on that place from EA Pure's Lauren Stack. Redman Rockstar's Angelica Orena took the win in 15-16's on Sunday which keeps her in the lead overall. Bethany Campbell was second on the day and realistically is the only one capable of challenging Angelica for the title. These two always produce good close races so keep watching!
George Moret scored an impressive and popular win in 12's ahead of Aaron Dalleywater (EA Pure) with T & J's Eddie Moore third and Haydon Green (MD Racing) fourth. Aaron has the overall lead with a slight cushion over Haydon with George third and Eddie fourth. This one will be an exciting finish! Intense Route 55's Robert Jesson hasn't done much wrong all season and took the win in 13's. He leads overall ahead of Tom Novis who took second on the day.
Paddy Sharrock (EA Pure) is dominating 14's - he took another win with recent sparring partner Jake Power third, Nathan Hastings split the two on the day. Redman Rockstar's Jimmy Orena has sewn up the 15's title after taking another win on Sunday, so now it's a fight to see who gets second overall; Jordan Hatcher (Dialled Bikes) is currently in that spot, with T & J's Oliver Fay third and Callum Wing (Intense Route 55) fourth but there are enough points left from the remaining rounds to shake this up.
Mike Hawker (Edwardes) has been flying of late and took the win on Sunday in 16's ahead of Reece Hoggatt and Bradley Minns (both Bunneys/O'Neal) this class is just pure speed and although Mike leads overall it's still open as we head into the final stages of the season. Seventeen-24 is still led by Redline's Andy Clucas, but his injury at Braintree has cost him dearly; his lead has eroded and now Mark Maddox is within striking distance. The win on the day went to J & R rider Adam Brazil who leaves for Canada as part of his degree. Best of luck Adam! Michael Smart made it a double win for the weekend in 25-29 and has a comfortable lead in the overall standings.
Masters saw Redman Rockstar's Zoltan Buday take a brilliant win, he's been challenging for a while and made the breakthrough on Sunday. Redline's Alan Hill is never far from the front of the racing and took second with Daz Reidy (SE) third. Zoltan's win was enough to move him up to second overall behind Alan, with Stay Strong's Andy Shaw currently third. Pete Power has been perfect so far and Sunday was no exception, another win gives him eight for the year and locks up the National Series title. Richard Green took second on the day and sits there overall too.
Ben Clarkson has developed a taste for winning and got another mouthful with victory on Sunday. He has a wafer thin lead of four points overall in Junior Men from Jack Hall (One Bicycles). Championship Women has seen EA Pure rider Ria Goodman challenge team-mate Charlotte Green at each round, but here both were bested by Redline's Ayesha McLelland. Ayesha is another of the riders who improves every race and the three have a tense run in to decide the title. Charlotte leads overall but Ayesha leapfrogged Ria with Sunday's win.
Elite Men is always hard to predict, some riders can win a round then not make the main next time out. Making his first appearance in the elite eight at a National round was Profile's Billy Luckhurst who provided a moment for the crowd to gasp at by nearly crashing on his introductory roll out. The popular rider saw the funny side and saluted the spectators as he made his way somewhat more cautiously back to the start hill. Billy was joined in the main by Haro's Grant Hill, Free Agent's Cal Strickland, Kyle Evans, Ultimate Pro team-mates Tre Whyte and Curtis Manaton, Clark & Kent Contractors rider Scott Waterhouse and EA Pure's Dan McBride.
When the gate dropped it was all Kyle, he looked super smooth as he got the holeshot and stayed out front, Curtis was tucked in close but couldn't get round and Kyle lead all the way to the line. Curtis got second with Cal third. A great win for Kyle, especially as he suffered a hard crash in motos that left a lot of skin on the track.
After eight rounds, Dan sits atop the standings with Grant second, and Cal in third. The Series moves on to Gosport for rounds 9 and 10.