Braintree BMX Club race report
British BMX Series National – Round 1 – Manchester Velopark – 15/16 March 2014
After a long, wet winter 32 riders from Braintree Bullets BMX Club ventured to Manchester Velopark Indoor BMX facility for round one of The 2014 British BMX Series national races. The opening race of the season saw the Bullets gain some fantastic race results amongst the 761 entries from across the country and even from the continent in a number of classes.
The first days racing compromised of the under 8 year olds and Cruiser classes with the Braintree riders in the thick of the action come final time. Henry Rowe was the first finalist from the club and he rounded off a consistent days racing by finishing 8th in the A final of the 8 year olds class. After narrowly missing out on the main event, Eddie Cannons rode a strong lap in the B final of the class to finish 3rd.
In the 9-12 cruiser class Sydney Allen had looked destined for the A final but a mistake in the semi final stage saw him relegated to the B final where he fought hard at the front of the pack to finish 2nd. Jake Coombs was up next in the 13-14 cruiser class and had some strong results to finish 5th as did Charlie Giles in the 15-16s who finished 6th.
The clubs lady Cruiser riders were also on track with Lana Redgewell riding to 4th in the 17-29 class and Jen Cannons competing in her first national race in Manchester, narrowly missing out on the final in the 30+ ladies.
Oli Cutmore went into the national series as the 2013 National Champion and got his campaign underway in fine style by winning the 17-29 class. Not only did Cutmore win the final but he was unbeaten all day and will be a real contender for the title again. Also in the final was Chris Potter who had to settle for 8th after fighting hard in the pack of riders. The eldest Bullet on the day was Julian Allen in his first outing in the 40-44 class and he got his season off to a fantastic start with a place in the A final where he finished 8th.
After a fantastic Saturday night Elite showcase race which was won by Team GBs current World Champion Liam Phillips the second days racing was set up to be a great day. Adam Gilbert and Cameron Parrish kicked things off for the Bullets and rode to the quarter final stage of the 9 year olds. In the 10’s Sebastian Pantlin hit the front straight away in the heat races and continued to grow in confidence throughout the day. Regrettably he got caught up with another rider in the semi finals and crashed out. Redeeming himself, Pantlin rode in the B final to a fine 5th place. Sydney Allen was the sole Bullet in the 12s and he fought valiantly through to the quarter finals in the class.
One of the unluckiest riders on the day was Ollie Rowe in the 13s. Rowe had dominated his heat races and was top points scorer as the class entered the qualifying stages. Come the semi final and Rowe had been looking certain to go through to the final when an error saw him crash out and settle for the win in the B final, ahead of club mate Charlie O’grady who was also unfortunate in the semi finals when a mechanical issue forced him to get a poor start. Jake Coombs and Lee Butson also rode in the class.
Up into the 16s and there were three of the eight A finalists flying the flag for the Bullets. Off the gate Ryan Hutchinson was well up at the front of the pack and he diced with the front runners throughout the lap to finish 4th. Less fortunate from the gate was Josh Butson who was squeezed down the start hill by his fellow competitors and settled for 7th with Lee Golder also getting bunched in 8th. Charlie Giles just missed out on the semi final stage in the qualifiers. In the girls class Isabel Potter rode in the 15-16s heat races.
Julian Allen was once again battling hard in the Veterans category and set about the job in hand with a strong start after winning his first heat. Allen progressed through the qualifiers into the A final where he avoided some on track carnage to finish 6th. In the B final, Ian Gunner made up for a disappointing semi final by taking the win.
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The last Bullets on track for the weekend were the guys in the Championship Men’s class and they shone bright amongst strong competition. After a win on the first day’s racing Oli Cutmore set his sights on the Championship class. Off the gate Cutmore was in the pack but an awesome move on the first corner saw him slip underneath a number of riders to move into 3rd. As the race progressed, Cutmore’s smooth riding kept him safe and he wound up in the podium spot with club mate Taylor Andrew’s making some fantastic moves to chase down the leaders in 5th. Chris Potter also rode in the heat race stage of the class. Kelsey Dixon and Lana Redgewell finished 18th and 19th respectively in the equivalent Women’s class.
Braintree BMX Clubs riders will be competing at the East Anglian Spring Classic in Norwich on 23rd March with the clubs summer programme commencing in May. For further information on the club, racing and coaching please visit www.braintreebmx.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
All pics from Spencer Moret –http://moretphotography.com/