The first ever National Dual Slalom Championships and the National 4X Championships saw Scott Beaumont and Sophie Cade take back-to-back titles in a brilliant weekend of racing at the Malverns Classic Festival.
National Dual Slalom Championships
For the first time in over 25 years, the Dual Slalom National Championships were back, with riders taking to the grass race track in a bid to be crowned national champion.
In the senior women, new mum Sophie Cade took the fastest time in qualifying ahead of Josie McFall and Becci Skelton, with Cade and McFall battling it out for the gold, as downhill superstar Skelton was able to take the small final win and secure the bronze.
McFall put up a great battle, but Cade was able to take the win from both final runs to be crowned the national champion.
The senior men were absolutely flying all day, making the tricky course look easy. In the small final, a great ride by Pete Watson secured the bronze medal, before Jack Hudson had to face Scott Beaumont in the main final.
In the first race, both riders were level for the whole run until the penultimate corner when Hudson washed his front tyre out and went down. Beaumont was able to take the win and Hudson was awarded the maximum first round gap of two seconds.
In the second round, Beaumont showed his vast experience and simply sat on the wheel of Hudson all the way, keeping it smooth and giving a little burst across the finish to take the overall win and the national title.
4X rider Izak Williams looked good early on during practice and qualifying to take the fastest time by 0.4 seconds. Throughout the knockout stages, Rubin Passberger was also riding well, facing Williams in the final. Looking fast and confident, Williams was able to take the junior national crown.
Youth and juvenile categories
In the juvenile girls, Amelia Martin took the win after a combined race with Youth Female. Layla Begley-Tracy took the youth girls win after a combined race with Juvenile Female.
In the juvenile boys small final, it was Freddie Day who took the win from a hard charging Thomas Jenkons. In the final it was a super close race, with Reed Darley taking the win ahead of Barnaby Tucker.
George Cawdell rode great all day and in the small final made it count to claim the bronze medal. In the main final it was Jack Jenkins taking the win from Finlay Woodcliffe in the youth boys.
Racing some incredible adaptive machines and absolutely pinning it start to finish in each round, the adaptive category was one of the highlights of the weekend. In the final, it was Ki New who took the win from Martin Tavendale. Michael Dewsnap took the win in the small final to grab the bronze medal.
Masters and veterans
Matt Hillyard put all his 4X experience to work, taking a well-deserved win and claiming the national championship jersey in the masters category.
It was a great final in the women’s veterans, but it was Fat Creations paint supremo Rebecca Booth who took the gold medal from Barbara Bishop.
Wales finest Gareth Hopkins put on a great show in the men’s veterans. Former World Cup downhill riders Hopkins and Aidan Bishop lined up to do battle. Hopkins was the victor, taking the win on both runs to secure his first ever national championship title.
Event organiser Simon Paton had a great team working on the Malverns Classic, giving him time to race in the grand veteran’s category. It proved to be a great decision as he took the win ahead of Oliver Jones.
National 4X Championships
On Sunday, hundreds of spectators lined the race track to watch the 2023 National 4X Championships at the Malverns Classic Festival.
At about a minute long, and speeds in excess of 40mph, the track was fast, flowing and physical. The senior men and women would qualify against the clock, whilst the other categories would use the traditional three moto format for qualifying.
Fastest qualifier Rebecca Booth went into gate four, as Sophie Cade went in three, Josie McFall chose gate two, and Jessica Greenhalgh took gate one.
McFall got the snap and led the whole way down the track until the last corner, when Cade made her move and went into the lead. The gap opened up and Booth also slipped through into second as McFall had to settle for third on this occasion. Cade rode brilliantly all day and took a deserved win.
In the senior men’s race, Jono Jones, Scott Beaumont, Dave Roberts, and Pete Watson took to their gates. Beaumont got the snap leading down the first straight to take an early lead. He continued to pull away down the track and, even though the others closed in the final turn, he had it under control. Taking his 11th senior men’s national title and adding his dual slalom championship title, it was a hell of a weekend for Beaumont. Second place went to Watson and third was awarded to Jones.
Jack Sherrington got the holeshot in the junior men’s final, leading from start to finish ahead of Rubin Passberger and Izak Williams.
Youth and juveniles
The juvenile boy’s final was wide open, with each rider having performed well in qualifying. Reed Darley held it all together to take the win from Felyx Williams and Harrison Schofield in third.
In the youth girls, Amelia Martin was crowned the winner as Layla Begley-Tracey and Alice Taylor took second and third, respectively.
In youth boy’s category, it was a great battle between George Caldwell and Freddie Robinson, with Caldwell taking the win.
Masters and veterans
The masters have been one of the most competitive categories in 4X this year, and the national championships was no different. Battling into turn one, it was 4X regular Matt Hillyard against Ben Deakin, as Hillyard got his wheel in front and was able to hold the lead to the finish line. Deakin finished in second, with Simon Nash in third and Alastair Keen in fourth.
In the men’s veterans, Dave Richardson and Dave Sibley pushed hard into turn one and they both almost crashed, allowing former World Cup downhill rider, Aiden Bishop, to slip through on the inside. Bishop held on to the finish line to take his first national championship title ahead of Mike Taylor, Sibley and Richardson.
The grand veteran’s category saw event organiser Simon Paton competing once again, backing up his dual slalom title on Friday with a 4X win ahead of this David Michael and Stephen Joy. Rebecca Booth was also awarded the women’s grand veteran’s title.
A huge thanks to The Malverns Classic for organising this incredible event.
Thank you to all the riders, medics, commentators, officials, commissaires, marshals, family and friends who attended the racing throughout the weekend.