After what had seemed like a long winter the British BMX Series 2016 headed to the home of British Cycling at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester for the season’s opener.
There were some awesome results for the Olympic Development Programme athletes over the two-day event which featured nearly 900 entries from across Europe with riders ranging from age five to over 60.
The Superclass showcased the top male racers and used the most technical sections of the demanding indoor race facility. On the first day’s racing, the spoils went to Peckham’s Kye Whyte who went unbeaten through the day to take the top step of the podium from his club mate Tian Isidore from the Pure Bicycles Factory Team. Joining the Peckham pair on the podium was Identiti Bikes Factory Team rider Oli Cutmore.
On Saturday evening the elite supercross UCI points gave a truly international flavour to the event with riders from across the globe amongst the entries, all focused on picking up vital UCI points in this Olympic year.
The atmosphere in the arena was electric as the main event of the evening took to the gate and when the gate dropped it was Frenchman Damien Godet who got the holeshot and led the lap from Norway’s Tore Navrestad and Dave Van Der Burg from the Netherlands.
On the second day’s competition, British Cycling Academy athlete Quillan Isidore joined the Superclass and put on a great display of bike handling as he went unbeaten through the day to win the class.
After the race Isidore said: “Overall it was a very positive weekend for me. To bounce back after a bad practice and first two motos on Saturday evening to a few really solid laps for me, I'll take that. The results may have not been the best for me on both days in SX event, but I’m very happy with my performance. Sunday was a tough one - racing both classes, having a total of 10 laps!”
Improving on his finish on the first day, Oli Cutmore rose to the occasion in the final to jump his way through to a solid second place finish with Euan Hunt from Team Doublecross hot on his wheel. Cutmore beamed after the podium presentation: “It’s great to get on the podium in both classes amongst such strong competition. A great start to a new season with Team Identiti!”
The Championship women’s class also featured British Cycling’s Academy riders and it was Beth Shriever who dominated the class throughout both day’s domestic competition as she went unbeaten through all of her heats, qualifiers and the final to put her on the top step of the podium.
She also won the Junior Women’s class in the Saturday night UCI race which was a big breakthrough for the 16 year old, who said: “This weekend has been one to remember, as it was my first ever race in junior with my team-mate Blaine Ridge-Davis!
“I came into this weekend wanting to gain experience from racing with the elite girls on the big hill and getting in the mix, in preparation for the World Cup! I knew this weekend was going to be a big one due to taking part in both championship and junior both days, but it all helps for future development! It felt great to be back on top of the podium, it's been a while, such a good feeling!
“I'd like to say a massive thanks to my sponsors for sorting me out with all my kit, my coach Marcus Bloomfield for his help and advice this weekend and my friends and family who are always there for me cheering me on and keeping me going. Roll on Birmingham, see you trackside!”
Lauren Stack had a great first day of competition to chase Shriever down in second with Blaine Ridge Davis in third. Ridge-Davis looked sharper on the second day and pushed the rest of the pack to claim second, just ahead of Haro Bikes Emily Green.
Across the Challenge classes there were a number of fine performances including Taylor Hunt from Burnham who won both days in the 9’s. Emily Hutt battled hard in the 11-12 girls and took the top spot in both days competition. Chad Hartwell from Birmingham destroyed the 13 year old boy’s class with an unbeaten streak. Veteran Darren Reidy was unstoppable in his class, but the rider with most wins across the weekend was Braintree Bullets’ Seb Pantlin who went unbeaten in both 9-12 cruiser and 12 year old boy’s classes. Overall he won 22 laps of racing!
The British Cycling BMX Series moves onto Perry Park in Birmingham for rounds three and four on April 23-24 which takes the Series outdoors and adds the British weather into the equation.