Sunday 15th July, Harthill, Cheshire
Katy Curd and Scott Beaumont are the 2012 British National 4-Cross champions, following a great day of racing at Harthill in Cheshire.
Incredibly, after weeks of heavy rainfall, the track was absolutely superb - dusty in places and, after a few late tweaks, in perfect condition for the biggest domestic 4X race of the year.
As it was the National Championships, senior riders rode with the elites to crown the senior National Champion. The senior categories used a timed qualifying run to get the men down to the top 32 and the women down to the top 8. The women qualified first and there were no surprises when Katy Curd took the fastest time. Curd, fresh from her third overall in the 4X ProTour, looked fast and took the qualifying convincingly. Suzanne Lacey was second with Jess Greaves in third.
In men's qualifying, Lewis Lacey set the early target with a good run. Tom Dowie then took over as the fastest, before Scott Roberts put in a stormer of a run. The final rider was Scott Beaumont. He looked to have a pretty perfect run and as he crossed the line it was close, but “Boom Boom” just got it ahead of Roberts and Dowie.
Once the racing began, the favourites were soon moving through the rounds comfortably. By the quarter finals, Dave Richardson, Dave Roberts and Danny Hughes were still fighting against the elite riders. Danny Hughes kept the seniors’ hopes alive by moving into the semi finals, but in the end, Richardson and Roberts finished third in their respective races and were out.
Dave Roberts' brother, Scott, was in the third quarter final. After making a great start, he unfortunately crashed in the first corner. With the extreme medics getting to Scott instantly, he was in great hands immediately. From the initial examinations, Scott was in a lot of pain, so he was immobilised whilst an air ambulance was called. Scott was stabilised on site and flown to hospital soon after. We wish him a quick recovery.
In the first semi final, Scott Beaumont lined up against Lewis Lacey, Will Evans and Alex Metcalfe. Beaumont got the snap and led from Will Evans. Lacey was bar-to-bar with him for a lot of the race, and battled him all the way to the finish but just could not find a way through. Beaumont and Evans moved into the final.
In the second semi-final, Tom Dowie, Dan Bateson, Danny Hughes and Duncan Ferris lined up. There was less drama in this race as Dowie and Bateson held a good lead over the others and booked their places in the final.
First up, however, it was the women. Katy Curd took gate 1, Suzanne Lacey was in 2, Cara Murray in 3 and Jess Greaves in 4. Curd got an awesome jump out of the gate and just did not look back. She hit the jumps and even threw down a couple of whips on her way to the win. Suzanne Lacey took the silver and Cara Murray the bronze.
The final race was the elite men. Beaumont took gate 1, Dowie 2, Bateson 3 and Evans 4. Beaumont got the snap and opened up a good lead. It looked like it was going to be a comfortable win, but a slip on the penultimate turn gave Will Evans a chance. Evans swung wide on the final turn to carry speed but unfortunately crashed out, leaving Beaumont to take it from Bateson, Dowie and Evans.
So that was it: Katy Curd and Scott Beaumont are the senior 4X National Champions for 2012 and will be wearing the Union Jack flag on their sleeves for the next year. The other National Champions are:
Juvenile: Dylan Grell Delsoll
Youth: Luke Cryer
Junior: Jordan Lunn
Master: Gareth Parr
Veterans: Chris Day