The final rounds of the British BMX Series saw the riders return to Perry Park in Birmingham where the cream of the country’s racers were crowned as national champions last weekend.
The facility in Birmingham is world class and the riders really have to rise to the occasion to make their mark.
The Elite men’s category saw British Cycling Podium Academy athlete Kyle Evans back in the fold and he dominated the class all weekend on his way to two first place finishes.
On day one Evans got clear of the field through the first berm and led into the pro section jumps. Quillan Isidore - also from the British Cycling Academy - was in pursuit when disaster struck and he crashed on the landing of the first gap jump which left the field scattered all over the track.
Masters world champion Kelvin Batey was the first to pile in and he went down hard receiving a nasty knee injury in the process. Out of the melee, the third Academy athlete in the pack Paddy Sharrock avoided the carnage and made his way through to second place behind Evans.
Calum Strickland took third for Haro and was the first Championship Men’s class rider home. Ryan Hutchinson from the British Cycling OLympic Junior Academy had a great race in his first Elite Men’s final and took fifth, his best result to date.
The second day of racing was equally exciting as Sharrock was tied on points for the overall title with Ryan Stack as they took to the gate in the final.
Off the gate Evans was in charge with Ultimate BMX’s Curtis Manaton slotting in behind. Strickland was just behind but lost momentum on the pro jumps allowing Sharrock to slip past into third. That’s how they crossed the line but on countback it turned out that Stack had done enough to take the title in sixth place.
“It really means a lot to me,” said Stack. “I've had a tough year on and off the track and after crashing on Friday and yesterday, to come out on top makes it even more special. The biggest thank you to my mum and dad for supporting me through everything and always believing in me.
“To all my friends who give me encouragement (you know who you are!) and of course to Danger UK for all their support throughout the year, whenever I needed anything it was done. See you at the Brits!”
In the Championship Men’s class finals Wilfred Njuguna got the win under his belt on day one for Stay Strong with a flawless lap ahead of DK’s Taylor Andrews and Haro’s Josh Moore. Andrews was all business on day two after narrowly missing out on the main final.
Off the gate the Braintree Bullet lead the pack and kept his cool, even as Stay Strong’s Josh Hanlon closed him down towards the finish to take the first national round win of his racing career. He was elated after the finish and said: “I’m so happy right now, I put in a decent lap and came away with the win. Thanks to everyone for their support, it means a lot.”
After a shaky start to the weekend, British Cycling Olympic Senior Academy athlete Charlotte Green took day one’s win in the Championship Women’s class.
The Cornish girl led out the final in fine style and was untroubled by the pursuing pack. On day two Green took the holeshot again as she lead out through the first berm. Abbie Taylor from Haro slotted into second and the pair were locked together through the race.
As they exited the last berm, Taylor was carrying great momentum and pulled alongside Green and as they pushed for the line it was Taylor who had the pace and took the win by a tyre width. BC Academy’s Beth Shriever continued her return to racing following her injuries in 2014 and took two third place finishes over the weekend.
The youngster said: “This time last year I broke my leg the second time and I was fit and healthy to perform this weekend. I was super happy with how this weekend turned out for me, all the hard work and rehabilitation has finally started to pay off! Grateful for all the love and support that surrounds me, couldn't do this with you guys you know who you are!”
The Challenge classes saw many new champions crowned and titles retained, some of the guys taking wins and the titles included Myles Wildbore from Derby in the seven year old boys who doubled up over the weekend. Freia Challis from Braintree took that illusive first win of her career not once but twice in the 7-8 girls.
Rupert Twitchett did the business all weekend in the 10s for Preston to wrap up the title as did Braintree’s Seb Pantlin in the 11s.
The 12s saw TNT’s Luke Shriever in charge again to add the national title to his European championship title. Lauren Anyon had another great weekend in the 11-12 girls for Blackpool.
Rhys Deans wrapped up the 14s title with a strong pair of wins as did Callum Pittas in the 13-14s cruiser.
Riding up in the 15s, Ryan Martin was on fire and shook the class on his return to the UK as he took two more wins. Gideon Orena stamped his mark on the 16s as he won all weekend and is now national champ. Karys Richards had a great weekend to finish the season as she rode to two more popular wins and staying with the 15-15s classes, Braintree’s Shane Redgewell is your new national champ in the cruisers.
Up into the 17-24 and Peckham’s Bailey Ridge-Davis really showed a touch of class on his way to the national champion’s title while Ollie Cutmore added the 17-29 cruiser title to his World number 5 plate.
In the club points rankings, Braintree Bullets secured their first national Title while Pure Bicycles claimed the Elite teams trophy.
That wraps up another great season of British BMX racing with only the British Championships to go on August 29-30 at Platt Fields in Manchester.