After a 23-year sabbatical, the British BMX Series returned to Scotland for rounds five and six where the host club, Cumbernauld Centurions, had worked hard to provide the 638 entries with some great facilities and an awesome track to race on.
The British Cycling Academy Riders took top honours in the Championship Women’s Class as Charlotte Green showed Abbie Taylor a clean pair of wheels in the final on day one.
Green went unbeaten throughout the day and said afterwards: “It was great to win in Scotland. I really felt at home on the track and couldn't be happier to stand on top of the podium again. I’d like to thank British Cycling, my Mum and dad and my team for their support.”
Peckham’s Katurah Davidson held off club mate Blaine Ridge-Davis to take third and Beth Shriever was back on track after 13 months away following a badly broken tibia and fibula.
Shriever looked at home on the bike and said: “Being away from racing has been tough, but it did give me motivation to stay positive in my recovery and take my time.
“It's been a roller coaster of emotions but I've finally made it out the other end and it feels amazing to be back. Having fun on new tracks, racing with friends, being part of the team again and genuinely just riding my bike, I love it!”
Day two saw Green sitting out and the honours went to Taylor who took the win from Ridge-Davis who pushed her every inch of the way with Davidson taking third.
The Elite men’s class greeted Ultimate BMX’s Curtis Manaton back to the fold and he wasted no time in getting back to where he left off at The British Championships in 2014 with a pair of wins over the weekend.
Manaton had taken some time out since leaving the British Cycling Academy and had been recuperating from some issues with his patella tendon. But he certainly didn’t look to be suffering any ill effects as he took the win from Haro’s Cal Strickland and GET Racing’s Kelvin Batey on day one.
On day two, his trademark first straight put him ahead of the field by the first jump and that allowed Identiti Bikes’ Billy Luckhurst to open up down the inside and slot into second place through the first turn. Luckhurst held on for his best ever finish in an Elite final after a drag race to the line with Batey who finished third.
Manaton beamed from atop the podium and said: “This weekend was my first national since winning the British Championships in 2014. It was great to be back racing injury free. I was happy to pick up the win both days but most of all I enjoyed being back racing with the elite guys and riding the sunny Scottish track.”
The most popular win of the weekend came for the home club as Josh Hanlon romped home to his first ever national win in the Championship Men’s class.
Hanlon, who works at the Cumbernauld facility for NL Leisure was genuinely emotional after the race and said: “I’ve had an unbelievable day at Cumbernauld today. My first national win and to do it on my home track, couldn't have been a better place to do it. A big shout out to all the Scottish BMX clubs for your support. The cheers were definitely the loudest cheers I've ever heard! Thanks to my dad for everything, and getting so exited he nearly ripped the fencing down!”
Second place went to Braden Bradford who was in his first back following a pelvis breaking crash just a couple of months ago and Harley Taylor took third.
The Challenge classes turned up some great performances and the track seemed to produce a number of shake ups. However there were a number of dominant performances with riders winning their class both days including Decoy’s Harry Banks in the six and under class, Lucy Hutt in 7-8 girls, Exeter’s Calum Chard-Maple in the 9s, and Seb Pantlin in the 11s.
Pantlin’s Braintree club mate Adam Gilbert also picked up his first ever national win in the 10’s after going unbeaten all day in round six.
Betsy Bax continued to dominate the 9-10 girls’ class and took two more clean sheets to keep her unbeaten in every lap of the year so far for Bristol.
Luke Shriever continued where he left off at the previous rounds in Kent with another pair of wins for T.N.T in the 12s.
The girls classes saw more girls doubling up their points tally as Blackpool’s Lauren Anyon stood atop the 11-12s, Redditch’s Libby Smith took the 12-13s and Peckham’s Flo Hefft ran away with the 15-16s.
The 14s saw Jake Greene miss out on some mid-race carnage on the second days racing to take his first national win for Derby.
The Veterans class saw Alan Hill rack up another pair of wins for Norwich with second place going to Musselburgh Monarchs over the weekend and Julian Allen from Braintree took his first podium of the year on day one.
The series moves onto Burgess Park in Peckham, London for rounds seven and eight on 20-21st June.