The British BMX Series returned to Burgess Park BMX Track in Peckham, London, for the second year running for rounds seven and eight, where the first national champions of 2016 were crowned in the Challenge classes. The British Cycling Academy riders were also in the thick of the action in the Championship classes and swamped the podiums all weekend.
There was a real local flavour in the Superclass with both Tre Whyte and Quillan Isidore from the British Cycling Academy alongside their brothers Kye Whyte and Tian Isidore amongst the contenders and all hailing from Peckham.
In the final on day one the pair were loaded into the gate alongside fellow academy rider Paddy Sharrock. As the gate dropped it was Whyte who hit the front and took the holeshot into turn one.
Through the turn, Kye Whyte slipped into the mix but down the second straight he got held up by another rider and slipped back. The leading pair were just inches apart and when they landed off the last of the “Pro Section” jumps, Isidore made his move under Whyte to challenge or the lead. They headed off bar to bar but Isidore had the best line into the last turn and held on for the win with Whyte in second and Sharrock in third.
Isidore was pleased to be back at his home track, and said: “The weekend as a whole was great. I thoroughly enjoyed racing at my home club, the track made for some good racing - especially with my team-mate Tre Whyte.
"The European championships in Verona is next on the agenda for me. So I'll be back to Manchester prepping for that.”
Come day two, and Whyte was as determined to make the final his own and took the holeshot again. His pedalling on the back sides of the first straight jumps just gave him the edge on Isidore and it was the Peckham pair who dominated the race again with Whyte taking the win from Isidore with Sharrock styling his way to third again.
We caught up with Tre and he told us: “It was great to be competing at home. I didn't get to race last year and this year was a pleasure. Family, friends, the atmosphere, the big track, I had a really good time.
“It was close racing between me and Quillan both days and Paddy, Kye and Tian chasing us down. It's a good feeling for me and Quillan stepping on to the gate with our little brothers.
“The European Champs in Verona is my next big race and then whilst I'll be cheering the boys (Liam Phillips and Kyle Evans) on as they will be competing at the Olympics in Rio. I'll also be training and looking to head out to finish the year on a high at the last two world cups in America.”
In the women’s class it was Charlotte Green from Crucial BMX who took the spoils on day one. Off the gate she was clear from the first pedal with GET Racing Maxtrax rider Abbie Taylor on her wheel.
Academy rider Beth Shriever had come unclipped and was having to give chase. In third throughout the race was Peckham local Blaine Ridge-Davis who has pressure throughout the lap from Shriever but she rode some solid lines and was able to hold on for a great finish. Taylor kept pushing Green, but Green was too far ahead and took the win.
On the second day Shriever was all business and claimed the holeshot as she went through the first berm just ahead of Green, this time in second. The pair were inseparable throughout the race, with Green matching Shriever in both speed and technical prowess. Shriever kept working though and her lead was just a notch too far for Green to make the move and she held on for the win with Green in second and Ridge-Davis again in third.
Green told us after the final: “What a great weekend full of great racing! Day one went well for me, a small bobble on the third straight almost cost me the win but I managed to hold on to it!
"Day two brought a wheelie out of the gate big enough to cost me the holeshot, but a great battle with Beth around the track led me to second place and a smooth lap.”
Amongst the riders in the Challenge classes to claim the first of the national titles were the Braintree Bullets BMX Club pair Freia Challis in the 7-8 girls as she wrapped up seven wins and Seb Pantlin in the 9-12 cruiser and 12’s. Pantlin has the most wins of the season so far, only being beaten on two laps through the eight rounds.
Taylor Hunt from Burnham also added the national title to his list of superlatives in the 9’s with Chad Hartwell in the 13’s, Nick Oaten in the 13-14 cruisers and Alan Hill in the 40-44 cruisers.
The British BMX Series moves onto another new venue at Blackpool and Rounds nine and ten on July 23-24.