Bethany Shriever maintained her fine form with another double in rounds seven and eight of the HSBC UK | National BMX Series, while Cal Strickland caused an shock in the men’s event.
Strickland upset the in-form Curtis Manaton in Saturday’s round seven, before the winner of each of the last four rounds hit back with a victory of his own in round eight.
Shriever, who had won each of the last four rounds heading into the Manchester event, maintained her momentum to take the overall series lead with four rounds left to ride.
While Manaton, who missed the first two rounds of competition, may be left to rue missing out on another double come the end of the series.
Shriever streaks to victory
Charlotte Green, the series leader heading into Manchester, pushed her rival all the way in rounds seven and eight, but Shriever once again proved too strong,
Shriever kept her calm in Saturday’s final to reel Green in during the closing stages after she had taken an early lead.
While on Sunday Shriever took gate one for the final and led the race the whole way, with Green having to settle for second once again.
And for the teenager, who was this week named in the Great Britain Cycling Team for the junior World Championships next month, it was the best possible preparation for what lies ahead.
“In Saturday’s race I went for the outside lane in my final,” she said. “Charlotte Green managed to get ahead of me by the first straight, so it was race on and a bit of a repeat of Scotland. I managed to get past her on the final straight and take the win. It was a close one again.
“On Sunday I felt more confident, so chose gate one this time and managed to hold the front of the race all the way to the line.
“Pretty happy with my performance again and now my concentration is going on my selection for the Worlds and hopefully I’ll be able to carry my form over to there and have the best race I can.”
Strickland makes his mark
Saturday’s win for Strickland was his first at the elite level in nine years of competing, and came after a mistake by the current dominant force in domestic BMX racing.
Manaton went awry on the opening jump and, despite battling hard to eventually finish second, it was enough to let Strickland in for the win.
The Burnham BMX Club rider responded on Sunday, though, and took control of the final in the closing stages to leave Kye Whyte in second and his brother Tre in third – Strickland settling for sixth.
And despite Saturday’s mistake, Manaton was still happy with his weekend’s work.
“I was still happy with second, considering I made a mistake at the start, happy for Cal to take a win as well, that’s his first elite win, he deserves it, he works hard,” he said.
“Then on Sunday I had first pick, picked lane four to give myself a bit of space on the outside and I had a good start.
“I got level with Tre, he’d managed to get underneath me on the first corner and then it was just a case of biding my time and got him on the last corner and down the last straight and got the win.”