The British BMX Championships at Derby saw record numbers with 1108 entries from across the six regions around the country, and heralded the crowning of a plethora of new champions.
The Championship classes were awash with British Cycling Academy athletes and they rose to the fore to take the premier class titles.
In the Championship Women’s class Beth Shriever earned her place on the top step of the podium following one of the most exciting races in the class this year.
Off the gate Shriever was bar to bar with the South West’s Charlotte Green and it took all her strength to hit the first berm ahead and take the holeshot. Green wasn’t off the pace though, and came back alongside Shriever down the second straight to challenge again in the second half of the lap.
But Shriever rode with great technical skill and style and defended her lines to carry the momentum into the last straight and cross the line in front to be crowned British Champion. Green had put up a great challenge and rode through in a well-deserved second with Abbie Taylor from the Midlands third.
I loved the track and the atmosphere, it’s one of the best races on the circuit so I just had fun and really enjoyed it - British Champion Beth Shriever.
Straight after the podium presentation we caught up with Shriever and she said: “It’s been an amazing weekend. I loved the track and the atmosphere, it’s one of the best races on the circuit so I just had fun and really enjoyed it.
“I always plan to make the podium and then I see how it goes through the day, but as it was going through I felt I really wanted to win. It was a really close race between me and Charlotte which is always good and it was a great race to finish off the year and it felt like it was earned.
“As we go into the winter I’m going to stay committed to my training and have fun and not put too much pressure on myself. Massive thanks to my sponsors, friends and family, Mark Seaman and Marcus Bloomfield.”
The Men’s Superclass was set as a showdown between British Cycling podium squad team mates Tre Whyte and Kyle Evans and the fans were not disappointed as the pair went at it from the drop of the gate.
Evans got the snap and led down the first straight with his legs spinning like a blur. Out of the first turn Whyte was hanging with him and was just a few inches off Evans’s wheel with the pair locked in a tight battle.
Through the left handed second berm Whyte looked to his left and went to make a move that wasn’t going to stick and then when Evans flicked wide into the final tight right-hander Whyte saw his chance and dived on the inside.
On the exit of the berm the pair locked arms and it looked like Evans may have been going to fall but he kept the pedals turning and straightened himself up for a final charge down the last straight but Whyte was already clear and crossed the line as British Champion. Out of the melee in the final turn the South’s Quillan Isidore had found a gap between his British Cycling team mates to take second and Evans stayed on to cross the line in third.
Whyte was elated to take the title and said: “I always knew that Kye (Whyte) and Curtis (Manaton) on the inside of me was going to be a struggle, then Kyle (Evans) came across and everyone and I knew I just had to pull him around the track. I thought about making moves, but he held me out wide in the second turn and I knew the last turn was the only place I could do it.
When you come to the British Championships you want to win not get British number two. - British Champion Tre Whyte.
“When you come to the British Championships you want to win not get British number two and I managed to win last year so I was happy to retain my title. I’ve got two World Cups coming up in America and I’ve got a European race so if I make a final in those two World Cups, my aim is to go to the podium in those World Cups and this is a stepping stone to that. A big thankyou to GET Racing, Maxtrax, ENV, Edwardes Cycles, Prophecy and all my friends and family.”
There were many great individual performances across the challenge classes including some guys who doubled up the national series and British champions titles: Preston’s James Clitheroe in the 6 and under and Leon Parker in the 7s, Braintree’s Freia Challis in the 7-8 girls, Peckham’s Xander Mavolwane Wright in the 8s, Burnham’s Taylor Hunt in the 9s, Birmingham’s Alexander Talbott in the 11s, Braintree’s Seb Pantlin in the 12s, Hayes Emily Hutt in the 11-12 girls, Cyclopark’s Luke Shriever in the 14s, Nottingham’s Elissa Bradford in the 15-16s, Derby’s Jay Bovill 9-12 cruisers, Braintree’s Oli Cutmore in the 17-29 cruisers, Alan Hill in the 40-44 cruisers and Manchester’s Louise Abbott in the 30+ ladies.
In the club team competition, Preston Pirates took a narrow victory to also double up the national and British titles from Derby and 2015 winners Braintree Bullets took third and in the regional team competition the South took the clear victory from the North with the Midlands in third.