The British BMX Series hit Perry Park in Birmingham for rounds three and four, and the riders were treated to a finely groomed raceway which in turn threw up some awesome race action for the fans.
The Superclass action showcased the top male athletes who went bar to bar through the technical “pro section” of the track and provided a great spectacle. As ever in BMX, anything can happen and it certainly did in the final of the class on both days of racing.
On day one, British Cycling Academy athlete Quillan Isidore and Yess UK’s Curtis Manaton went into the final as favourites after both going unbeaten through their motos and qualifiers. As the gate dropped it was Manaton who got the holeshot and lead the race out through the first three quarters of the race. The pair were neck and neck into the last berm with Isidore looking to make a move around the outside when Manaton got loose and they collided, going off the track over the top of the berm.
During the chaos, Twisted Doublecross rider Billy Luckhurst had made a move around Crucial BMX’s Adam Brazil and hit the front down the last straight to take his first Superclass win.
The Runnymede club coach was elated and said: “It feels great to get my first ever Superclass win. I got a mediocre gate from the inside but that got me into a decent spot. I battled with Brazil down the pro straight and just managed to get around him in the second turn.
I was trying to keep my jelly legs in a straight line down the last straight, but yeah to get a final win for the first time in elite felt brilliant! - Billy Luckhurst
“When I saw Isidore and Manaton both hit the deck I was concentrating more on not hitting Manaton’s bike as it fell down the turn and I was trying to keep my jelly legs in a straight line down the last straight, but yeah to get a final win for the first time in elite felt brilliant! I’ve just got to try and do it again!”
In the second day’s racing it was Manaton again who went into the final as favourite and he kept clear of any carnage to secure the win in fine style.
Isidore again was Manaton’s closest rival but he slid out in the second berm, leaving the door open for Green Machine’s Ryan Stack to slip through into second place with Adam Brazil battling hard in third.
We caught up with Manaton on the finish line and he beamed: “After crashing out on day one when leading, I was again feeling good all day. Picking up the win in my semi, I was looking forward to the final.
“All day I knew it was going to be a close battle but I had a great first straight, over-jumping the jump out of turn one but I stayed smooth the rest of the lap to take the win! I had a fun weekend with the YESS team and I’m glad to have a decent team area to keep warm as it was a cold one....bring on Scotland.”
In the Championship women’s class Bethany Shriever, who was recently selected to represent Team GB at the World Championships in Columbia in May, showed what an awesome prospect she is as she won the class both days.
I loved riding the track and it was great to get in the mix with the British girls again - Bethany Shriever
The 17-year-old British Cycling Academy athlete only dropped a lap each day on her way to the top step of the podium and was ecstatic: “I came into this weekend to just enjoy riding and have fun because I personally love this track and compared to the World Cup it all felt more chilled out and relaxed.
“I loved riding the track and it was great to get in the mix with the British girls again. Taking the win on Saturday gave me a boost, it's just an added bonus to a great day’s racing! Sunday was the same really, very chilled and relaxed going into the final, struggled with the gate a bit, but was able to get out strong in the final and hold the inside line and take the win again! Overall, absolutely great weekend, good spending time with friends, family and sponsors! Thanks for everyone's continuous support!”
Abbie Taylor from GET Racing/Maxtrax kept Shriever honest in both day’s competition to take the second step of the podium and the third place finishes were shared between the Peckham girls; Katurah Davidson on day one and Blaine Ridge-Davis on day two.
Across the Challenge classes there were a number of fine performances for the host club as Alexander Talbott in the 11s, Chad Hartwell in the 13s and Ryan Martin in the 16s all won both days to rack up a great points tally.
In the younger age groups Jared Hill from Norwich Flyers did the double in fine style and Burnham’s Taylor Hunt continues his unbeaten streak in the 9s.
In the older age groups Bailey Ridge Davis from Peckham, Scott Beaumont from USN and Ian Archibald from Musselburgh Monarchs all did themselves proud as they took maximum class points away from the weekend.
Many of the girl’s classes saw the winner taking the points in both days competition including Emelia Harvard Taylor in the 6s, Freia Challis in the 8s, Lily Brindle in the 9-10s. Emily Hutt in the 11-12s and Elissa Bradford in the 15-16s.
Rounds five and six of the series will be at the popular Cumbernauld Centurions track in Scotland on 14-15 May and we will have full coverage of the event right here.