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Race Reports

Identiti BMX Team

Birmingham - Rd 3&4

 

The British BMX Series hit Perry Park, Birmingham last weekend for rounds 3&4 and the riders were treated to a finely groomed raceway which in turn threw up some awesome race action for the fans. The Identiti BMX team were in the thick of the action across the weekend with all the guys making their way into the mains.

 

The vibes in the team pits were as chilled as ever with Mrs Redgewell keeping the kettle hot and the all-important cups of tea were flowing. Our Syd was working the social side and keeping the passing fans entertained as they popped in to visit the riders.

 

Out on track Christian White is hitting up his first full season of national racing and after taking the B final wins at Manchester he was looking to take it one step further at Birmingham and make the mains. His weekend started as badly as it probably could as he went OTB while leading out his first moto and had to regroup to find his way through the qualifiers. Coming back out for moto two, he smashed it from the gate and set himself back in the game!! He continued that theme, minus the crash through both days of racing, even stepping up to the semi win on Sunday. Come the mains he was set and the goal was achieved, anything else on top was all gravy from here on in. The nerves got to him a bit as the gate dropped, but once the pack were through the first turn, he held his own amongst the deep competition in the 15s class and kept himself in the fight with a fine air of 5th place finishes. The ball is rolling!!

“Who’s that girl on the Identiti?” is a question I’ve been asked a few times this season already. Well, she’s Maddie Owen-Matthews, 15-15 girls British Cycling apprentice and she’s as rad as you like. She had big shoes to fill at the start of the year as she was replacing possibly the raddest British female racer ever; Joey Gough. No pressure then. She had her best result ever in Manchester and was looking to keep the momentum going on her home track in Brum. She had her groove on through Saturdays racing, taking consistent 2nd place finishes in the moto’s she breezed through to the semi where she took the win. Sunday’s racing followed a pretty similar pattern only with wins through the motos. In the mains it was all about the gate, as size isn’t on her size down the hill. Over the first jump, she was just an elbow behind as they bunched down the straight and dropped into 4th through the turn. Maddie always has style for miles and smoothed her way through the mains with two 4th place finishes over the weekend. Consistency is key to a good season and so far, things are right on track.

A few words about me…………..I nearly quit last year as a racer. Injuries are a nightmare over 40 and I didn’t think I could do it any more………I was probably right, but I’m far too stupid to stay away. So with trepidation I decided to give it one more shot. Manchester was a baptism of fire, but I thought that if I never tried I’d never know, so I went and had a go and it didn’t go anywhere near as bad as it could have. I’d had a little more bike time before Brum and knew I had some speed, as long as I could stay rubber side down. Gates were my strength, so I focused on getting out and tried to avoid too much mid pack fighting which seemed to work out ok, I even took a moto win. Yup, I was surprised as anyone!! Through the semis I made more mistakes than I care to admit, but found myself in the Vets mains at the end of both days, claiming a 6th on Saturday and a 7th on Sunday………….as far as bad decisions go, returning to racing seems to be going OK!!

I’m pretty sure that no one would argue that the 17-24 class is possibly the most competitive there is at national level. A deep mix of weekend hero’s, possible pro’s and washed up warriors in massive numbers taking no prisoners and making BMX racing look as exciting as it should. That’s where our Shane Redgewell puts himself every weekend. One of the class rookies, just stepping out of the 16’s last year he has made a great account of himself so far, battling hard amongst the top 16 in Manchester, he even got himself into a main. Things went well through the motos in Brum, keeping in the top 3 throughout he turnbarred his way through into the quarters where he kept his consistent run going and made those all-important top 4’s to go through to the semis. It’s make or break time at that level as the gate drops and if you’re not qualifying by the half lap time it’s a massive hill to climb to make the bubble spot. Regrettably Shane got mixed up mid pack and didn’t make it through, he got damn close with a 5th on Sunday though and will be in the top 8 on the gate again this year. In the B finals he was right up there in the on track battles, scoring a 6th on Saturday and a 3rd on Sunday. If you take the 25-29 guys out of the equation, he may well have actually been in the main………….tick tock, tick tock………

 

We’ll drop a little cruiser action in here as both Shane and our man Oli Cutmore also wage war on 24. Again, the 17-29’s is the premier cruiser class with all the top guys being fast on any bike regardless of wheel size. Our pair have a great pedigree on the big wheels though, with both guys having had British and National titles as well as Oli having his W5 plate proudly zip tied to the front of his big rig. Both guys were in the same moto a couple of times across the weekend and it was an awesome sight to see them in formation through the third straight, mirroring each other’s moves through the rhythm section. Come the mains and it was set to be a great show down for the win with at least 5 guys capable of taking it. Oli came out on top with a podium place both days taking a 2nd and a 3rd while Shane was super consistent taking 6th both days.

Last up then was Oli again, this time in the Superclass. You may have noticed that we don’t sandbag for points here at Identiti. If were scoring, were scoring in the big classes. All out action for the flouro flyers!!

Day one didn’t quite go to plan for the man they call “Buh!” He made the semis, but got stuck mid pack and had to sit out on the main. Come the second day though and it was on, nothing worse than a 3rd saw him through the motos and the semi’s and into the main with the top boys in the country. That 4XL, 23” TT frame of his looks awesome out there and its stability in the air is testament to the brand. Out the gate and down the straight, Buh was in the mix and made it safely through the pro straight. When Quillan went down, the pack spread out and he did well to miss the stricken bike and body to flow through the third straight into 5th where he stayed to the line. Oli will also be our sole representative at the worlds in Columbia where he will be racing in the 17-24 20” and 17-29 Cruiser classes, looking to retain his W plate from 2015. All the best Buh, show em the way round!!

To sum up the weekend as a TM, I was totally stoked with the team and how they performed, but more importantly it’s the vibes and sense of support around the team area. We get on and make each other’s race weekends easier. Cleaning bikes, helping with repairs, chatting gate picks, making tea……….whatever it is, someone’s doing it.

 

Massive thanks to Ison Distribution, Identiti Bikes, Gusset Components, Halo Wheels, TSG International, HT Components, ODI Grips, Renthal, Pat Campbell-Jenner, Matt Andrews, Lloyd Townsend and all the guys behind the scenes for their support.

 

The rest of us will be at Rounds 5&6 of the series at the popular Cumbernauld Centurions track in Scotland on 14-15th May

 

Pics from Johnathan Hearn, Tony Twist, BMX Widow and Cameron Smith.

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