Top flight BMX racing returned to London for the first time in over 20 years last weekend as rounds seven and eight of the British BMX Series descended on Burgess Park in Peckham.
The 635 entrants put on a great show for the heaving crowds of spectators and it was British Cycling’s Charlotte Green who stole the show in the Championship Women’s class.
Green, who will be representing the Great Britain Cycling Team as a wildcard at the UCI BMX World Championships in Belgium next month, went unbeaten all weekend and looks to have found some great form just at the right time of the season.
“It was great to be back racing a full double national weekend packed full of fun. The track rode well and the atmosphere was snazzy! I was happy to bring home the double win for Rockfield media and North West BMX Centre.”
Abbie Taylor from Haro Bikes kept Green honest as she gave chase in second on both days, and Peckham’s Katurah Davidson got the home club fans on their feet as she held down two third place finishes.
The Elite men’s racing was just as nail-biting to watch and it was GET Racing’s Kelvin Batey who did the business in the first day of competition with an almost flawless lap to take the win. Ryan Stack fought his way through to second and Paddy Sharrock laid on the style in third.
On day two Grant Hill showed the kind of form that has eluded him since his tentative return to racing earlier in the year. Hill left the gate like a rocket and hit the front from the first jump. The pack sped like a freight train through the big pro section, but Hill was in full control as he headed for home.
Batey was chasing hard, but a small mistake saw him go down on the last straight with Braden Bradford which left the door open for British Cycling’s ODP rider Paddy Sharrock to take the second step of the podium.
After racing, we got a few words with the weekend’s winners and Kelvin Batey said: “It was great to take the win on Saturday after feeling strong all day but Grant was on fire on Sunday and had a great first straight in the final which got him out front.
“He had a good lap so while settling for second down the last straight I just wanted to make sure I didn't go into the back of him and lost balance on a manual. All in all it has been a good weekend which has set me up nicely for the world's next month.”
Grant Hill was ecstatic and beamed: “I wasn't coming into the weekend with the best preparation with only coming home from Cuba at 7.30am on the Friday of the national, so to come home with a win was amazing.
“It has been two and half years since my last win at Birmingham and then I had my crash which wiped me out for the 2013 and 2014 season.
“But in all honesty it has only been the last couple of months I have wanted to ride and train again as I just didn't have the correct mind-set to race at national level, so I'm pretty happy that. Haro bikes have stuck with me which I would like to repay them with their first win of 2015.”
The Challenge classes turned up some great performances and the home club riders were at full throttle all weekend. The most popular wins came for Bailey Davis in the 17-24s as he doubled up for the first time this year.
“I felt good in practice on Saturday and knew I'd have a lot of pressure from it being my home track and all but I kept my head strong had a lot of fun and winning on both days was just a bonus,” he said.
Xander Mavolwane Wright took his first ever win in the 7’s on his home track and ensured it was a weekend to remember by making it two on the Sunday, while Flo Hefft also took a pair of wins in the 15-16 girls and extends her lead in the national points standings.
The final rounds of the series will be at Perry Park in Birmingham on 8-9 August and will see the British champions of 2015 crowned.