Both Bethany Shriever and Curtis Manaton doubled up in Birmingham this weekend with wins in rounds three and four of the HSBC UK | BMX National Series.
With attention being paid to the European Championships next weekend, racing could have been lacking an edge, but Schriever and Manaton were sharp as a tack to take wins on Saturday and Sunday.
Curtis is the Manaton
The 2016 Superclass Series champion was a smooth operator all weekend, despite having yet to open his account for 2017.
But that changed at the Birmingham Bike Park as the Burnham BMX Club rider delivered the goods in both finals, and with a flourish.
Kye Whyte, of Peckham Challengers, had impressed in his Motos, with a virtual clean sweep, but he could not repeat that form in the finals and ended up leaving Birmingham with a second and third place – shy of his clean sweep in rounds one and two in Manchester.
While it was Mid Lancs’ Paddy Sharrock who edged Whyte into third in round four, to claim some useful series points.
And while some chose to miss Birmingham in favour of European preparations, Manaton was pleased with his weekend.
“A couple of the other guys were at training camp, so it would have been nice to have everyone here,” he admitted.
“It always really good racing when we’re all here, but you can only race who are here on the day.
“I’d been on point all weekend but I knew in the final that if he [Kye] was behind me on the second straight I’d have to be pretty smooth and fast to keep him off.
“I managed to do it. Rode a clean lap, and managed to take the win both days so pretty happy with that.
There’s quite a few races on the bounce now, including the Europeans in Holland next weekend, so it’s going to be a full packed year, I’m looking forward to it of course and am happy to have got some points in the National Series.”
Shriever turns form around
After not performing to her best in Manchester in rounds one and two, T.N.T.’s Shriever performed an about turn and dominated both days in Birmingham.
Two smooth and controlled performances took her to victory, but Charlotte Green – of Cornwall BMX Racing Club – pushed her all the way.
In the final race of the weekend Green took the lead early on, but Shriever kept her cool and sat on her shoulder, eventually storming past her in the finishing straight.
And that race also saw Blaine Ridge-Davis, of Peckham Challengers, on the podium having finished fourth in round three.
But the weekend belonged to Shriever, and she was understandably happier after Birmingham, that she was leaving Manchester.
"I came into this weekend feeling good,” she said. “I was pretty relaxed to be honest, of course there was a bit of pressure in the finals as I had to battle it out with Charlotte and she’s a strong rider.
“Both finals I ended up making a move on her in the final meters and bringing her in and then I just kept my cool and brought it all the way to the finish.
“I’m a lot happier with how my performance played out this weekend than at Manchester, my performance there inspired me to up my game and of course it worked in Zolder at the Europeans and here in Birmingham this weekend.
“Going forward I feel really motivated to carry on with this form now for the rest of the season. Onwards and upwards."