Great Britain’s Liam Phillips and Kyle Evans kicked off the domestic BMX season in fine style with big wins and podium finishes all round at the season opener in Manchester.
The gold rush begun at the Saturday night open Supercross which was flooded with an international field due to the UCI points attached to the race and the looming World Cup opener in April.
The elite men’s class saw Great Britain sweep the board as both reigning world champion Liam Phillips and Kyle Evans went into the final unbeaten with team mate Tre Whyte joining them on the gate. The silence was deafening for the start and out of gate three Phillips powered down the start ramp into the lead and from there commanded the race to take the win. Evans showed his potential by shadowing Phillips throughout the lap to finish second with Whyte looking equally comfortable on the team’s home track in third.
In the women’s race the juniors were mixed with the elites and Charlotte Green scored the best result for the Great Britain squad on the night with a fourth place after being squeezed down the start ramp and having to back off on the first jump to avoid a collision. Great Britain Olympic Development Programme rider Valerie Zebrokova rode a great lap amongst strong opposition to finish fifth and Abbie Taylor had to settle for seventh after also falling victim to a near-collision on the start ramp.
Taylor made up for the disappointment of the open supercross race with a great win in the championship women’s class in round one of the British BMX series the following day. After getting squeezed on the gate again, Taylor found some room in the first turn and jumped her way past the leaders as they bobbled through the second straight. Manon Valentino from France was the best of the rest in second with Danish rider Simone Tetsche Christensen finishing third.
There was more success for the British men on the second day of racing with Phillips continuing his domination of the elite class. Yet again Phillips and Evans eased into the main event of the day with clean sheets all round and were clear favourites for the podium.
As the gate dropped Phillips made it look all too easy, with fluid style and awesome leg speed he hit the front and didn’t look back to claim another victory. After the race he commented, “That was a long but successful weekend of racing. I was pleased to win last night’s UCI open race and today’s UK national in Manchester.”
Evans meanwhile edged closer to Phillips throughout the lap and showed true class in second place saying, “I’m happy with that solid ride. It’s a good way to start the season. Thanks to everyone that makes it happen.”
The final step of the podium was filled with Canadian Tory Nyhaug who made a great move in the last turn to swoop from fifth to third.
Earlier in the day the championship men’s class was won by GET Racing’s Dom Skidmore as he held off the hard-charging Yeti rider Scott Beaumont and Braintree and Aggro Racing’s Oli Cutmore who kept the field at bay with a strong third place finish.
Other stand-out performances came from one of the youngest in the competition; Derby’s Myles Wildbore who won the 6 and unders, Hayes Hawks Emily Hutt who continued where she left off in the previous season with another win in the 9-10 girls, Gosport’s Connor Hedges who swept the board in the 12-year-olds and Nottingham’s Wilfred Njuguna who rode up an age group and won the 16-years-olds at his first attempt.
Rounds two and three of the British BMX Series will be held at Cyclopark, Gravesend, Kent on 12-13 April.
Top-class BMX racing will return to Manchester on 18-19 April for the opening round of the 2014 UCI BMX Supercross. Tickets are on sale now here.