Rounds 2&3 of the British BMX Series were held at the Cyclopark, Gravesend in Kent. The venue was a virgin to the National Series so was out to impress. With the bar being risen every year regarding the standard of tracks and facilities Cyclopark surely had a headstart.
The track offered a fast and technical challenge for the riders. A ‘jumpy’ first straight and a tricky first corner lay ahead for the amateurs. The third and fourth straights were both steep and deep, no place to loose you concentration.
Only a week previous UKBMX had been treated to a perfect display of Supercross BMX at the Manchester Indoor by YESS/ULTIMATE BMX’s Liam Phillips and TEAM GB’s Shanaze Reade. Sadly neither were in attendance at Cyclopark so it was left to the young guns to showcase their talents before the race fans.
One thing that no one can do is book the weather. Mother nature always has the upper hand and she threw everything at the race fans on Saturday. UKBMXers are hardly souls though and raced on regardless.
Championship Women Day 1
IDENTITI’s Charlotte Green took the win wire to wire with a great lap on the Cyclopark track can catch the best riders out. Smooth and controlled Charlotte had it wrapped up and seemed unaware of the battle raging behind her for second place. HARO’s Abi Taylor and rookie of the class YESS/ULTIMATE BMX’s Beth Shriver were battling hard for the second spot. The rookie with £££££ signs in her eyes was keen to win over the more experienced Taylor. She fought hard but Abi reeled her in exiting the last turn and pulled away for a clear second. Beth held on for third despite a late charge form Valerie Zebrokova.
Elite Men Day 1
Although the start gate at Cyclopark stands at 5m it is still considered a flat hill. And with YESS/Ultimate BMX’s Curtis Manaton looking strong and commanding his choice of lane pick on the inside you had to favour him for the win. We’ve seen hi pull on the conventional BMX hills and he is strong! Eager to bring home a good result after his disappointment at the Manchester SX the week before Curtis did exactly that. When the gate dropped his power was down! BENSINK/STAYSTRONG’s Kyle Evans kept him honest though and shadowed his back wheel all the way round. Out of the pro section Dan McBride held the third spot only to be passed by class veteran ROUTE55/INTENSE’s Kelvin Batey – theres life in the old dog yet! At the line it was a close 1-2 with Manaton taking the win over Evans and McBride nipping and stealing the third spot from Batey with a super smooth last straight.
Day 2 saw blue sky come out., still cold the temperatures rose when the racing started. The rain stayed away and soon the horrors of the previous day seemed distant.
Championship Women Day 2
Out of the gate yesterdays winner IDENTITI’s Charlotte Green picked up where she left of building a commanding lead of 4-5 bike lengths over HARO’s Abi Taylor. The rookie YESS/ULTIMATE BMX’s Beth Shriver was in th mix once again and was ready to move on any mistakes by Green or Taylor. Down the third straight Green looked comfortable whilst Valerie Zebrokova was all over Shriver like a cheap suit! Into the last straight and it was all change, Green bobbled and gifted the win to Taylor whilst Shriver faded and Zebrokova took the final podium spot.
Elite Men Day 2
The final race of the weekend was on the gate. It was filled with the young guns from lanes 1-8. YESS/ULTIMATE BMX’s Curtis Manaon in lane 1 had to be the favourite, we know he likes to double and who would bet against him? Maybe the seven other riders that lined up to his left. One of which really wanted to be the spoiler – BENSINK/STAY STRONG’s Kyle Evans took the holeshot from the pack charging towards the first turn. Manaton got a little squeeze on the inside but he wasn’t about the give up. Exiting the first turn in second his sights were firmly set on Evans and the top of the podium. HARO’s Grant Hill held third heading down the third straight. Entering the last turn it all got a bit messy mid pack, McBride went down Hill hit Quillan Isidore and bumped him of the track before managing to hold on for the third spot. Ahead of all this Manaton and Evans were drag racing through the last straight rhythm when they both got it wrong on the tabletop – over the line it was Manaton veering across Evans that took the win – chalk up that double! A little messy at the end but nevertheless it was a great main!
All in all the weekend was eventful, be it the weather, the riders or the racing. Get well soon wishes go out to those who were injured and had to endure hospital visits before long trips home. All in all another cracking National weekend. Next stop Brimingham.