Saturday- 45-49 Cruiser
Results: Moto’s 1st, 1st, 1st, Eighth 1st, Quarter 1st, Semi 1st, Final 1st
In preparation of my 30th British Championships, we headed to Derby a week before the race with the team to try out the new electric gate and track changes. I had a good session so was feeling confident to keep the seasons momentum going and challenge for the titles.
Warm and sunny weather with low wind was perfect conditions for the afternoons racing although things didn’t start off great for me as the gate dropped after an issue whilst I wasn’t ready. I still made it through the pack from last into the lead so it wasn’t an issue in the end. My gates were a little inconsistent during the day but I rode well and won all my laps to get first gate pick and the inside line in the final. A mediocre gate in the final had me slightly concerned for a few seconds but my main rival clipped out of his pedal and I was able to take the O’neal holeshot award. I kept it smooth and held on to take the win and my 6th consecutive cruiser title. Also happy for my eldest son who took 2nd in his cruiser final to add to his 2nd place national ranking.
Results: Moto’s 1st,1st,1st, Eighth 1st, Quarter 1st, Semi 1st, Final 1st
Another great days weather greeted us on Sunday morning for my 20″ class and with 65 riders entered, we would be having eighths for the first time in years. I won all my races and everything was going well until my semi-final where I flipped the gate because an airhorn went off just before the starting beeps. Luckily the start official heard the horn and the race was re-run which allowed me to qualify for the final with a win. As on Saturday, I chose the inside gate and focused on getting a good start to get me out front and into the lead. Things didn’t go to plan and another mediocre start left me with work to do to catch my fast starting rival. I made up ground through the first jump and rode smooth to take the lead and the O’neal holeshot award for the second time. I relaxed a little too much and the second placed rider caught me up going into the final berm and drew alongside me as we hit the last straight. I kept a smooth line and held my flow to take the win, super happy to take my 18th British Championship title and 40th UK title. My results also helped the team secure the Elite team British Championship title so pretty much a perfect weekend.
Thanks to Rich at Pure for my 5th year on the team and the great support from our team sponsors: Maxxis Torch tyres, HT components T1sx pedals, Alienation rims, Phazebmx parts, Faith racepants, B73tees for clothing and G-Shock UK.
The final race of the year just went down in Derby, and the Derby BMX Club and all its helpers did not let us down for the big end of season finale!
65 riders in Vets meant 1/8th Finals for us, I haven’t raced a 1/8th final since 1983, so it was going to be a long day for my legs… Practice was short lived only two laps, and on the second gate I had, I pulled something in my back, it was agony. I was literally sobbing round the back of the team area, when an old race buddie Ian Dixon walked past… Ian is a master in healing right now with laser devices etc etc, I said Hi, and could he help me? Ian went to his car, retrieved a small gadget which I think he called “scenar” and set to work on my back for 20 mins using the machine to alleviate the tightness and pressure. It worked, and although I could still feel the injury, it wasn’t half as bad before Ian started work on me… I was good to go and ready to race, thanks to Ian.
Come race time I started the day well with a second place finish in the first moto, my second moto was a toughie, but I managed a 4th place finish, and the last moto was fairly uneventful cruising round behind Hilly and Buday for third…
The 1/8th Finals came around pretty quick, and It was probably the only race all day that I actually felt confident in, and I took the win from the gate powering my way round this long Derby track using my Maxxis tyres and HT Pedals to the advantage, and taking the win.
This 1/8th final was even more spectacular as the Vets were giving Neal Gibson a guard of honour, I jumped off my Pure Bike to join in as Neal crossed the finish line. Neal is an amputee, and it was his dream to compete in a BMX race, what a top bloke he is, and fair play to him getting on the gate, hopefully we will see him at more races to come?
The obligatory region parade meant, time to fuel up, and get ready for the Quarter Finals aboard my Super-Fast Pure Bike XXL… I had second pick behind Hilly, so lined up next to him on the gate in lane 2, gate went down and I had a wicked gate, and snapped my teamy, but by about the 4th pedal he was passed me, so I tucked in behind him and managed to avoid some carnage in the first straight and hang on for second place, and through to the Semi Finals of the British Championships!
Semi-final time, or would that be Semi Finals time, as I had to race twice! Before the drama unfolded I had third pick behind Hilly and Buday, Hilly went in 1, Buday in 3, an easy choice for me, go in-between them, much rather be between two riders I know that can go in a straight line than be outside in amongst some that might not (no offence fellow Vets).
It was a long pause in the sequence, and someone in the crowd let off an air horn, which sent Hilly, Ellis and Nicholls over the gate! Then the gate went down, and I had to ride over Hillys bike to get going, not knowing what would entail, I cranked on through to 4th, but was passed by Craig Hughes on the last straight, so ended up 5th. The finish line commissaries asked us to wait, and a few of us complained about the air horn on the gate sequence. It was decided it would be re-run! It was tough on those that had qualified and tough on those that were impeded, all because of mindless actions of someone in the crowd. If it were the other way around those riders would of said the same surely? We were all asked to gather on the start hill again, there was no real break, I was still pretty much out of breath when the gate went down for the second semi-final, but I gave it everything, and was in an ok position down the first straight, but nearly performed a double manual on the second jump by accident, and had to grab a handful of brake to avoid looping out! Coming out of the second corner, my legs were done, and I shut it down, my race day was over!
I set out at the start of the day to compete in 7 laps, I did just that, but unfortunately two semi-finals don’t really count, well not unless your 4th or less in the second one! I competed well, won a race, and got further than I anticipated at the start of the day, so all good…
I only make the Brits final every 2 years anyway, so see you in the final next year!
Thanks to all my sponsors for helping me race this season, the last three months have been really tough for me, BMX was the only thing keeping me sane! Without the sponsors and Mrs Logistics (Paula’s) support it could’ve been worse…
See you next year, the winter training starts now, so I’ve just been down the café for a full English…
#purebikeco #maxxistyresuk #gshock #htcomponents #phazebmx #b73tees #rsd