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Race Reports

RACE REPORT – Identiti

2017 Season Review

Identiti Bikes

Season review 2016

 

The 2016 British BMX season is done!! Twelve nationals, a load of regionals and of course, The British Championships are in the books. The Identiti BMX team have had a blast, with some great results ranging from Regional Champions to World Finalists, weve covered all the bases both on and off the track.

 

So let’s recap on the last national and the Brits and hear from our riders on how they think their season went and what they have planned for the future. Both the Telford and Derby clubs had clearly gone all out to get their track in tip top condition for racing and the racing over both weekends didn’t disappoint with success for the teams riders all both races.

We’ll kick off with Oli Cutmore, you know, that lanky kid with who makes cruiser racing look sexy and who gets well involved in the Superclass. Oli took the national title in 17-29 cruiser with 10 wins out of 12 rounds, and Telford was no different as he took the wins in his usual casual style. That added to his World number two plate he picked up in May in Colombia. Not content with that level of domination, he had the British Champs title still within his grasp at Derby. In the main, when the gate dropped he got a good one and by the time they hit the first jump he pulled a bike clear and styled his way untroubled to the win without dropping a lap all day. In the Superclass he was in the mix through the motos and made his way to the semis after some great moves through the turns. The semi didn’t quite go to plan and he bowed out of the class at that stage. Considering the depth of talent in the class that includes the British Cycling podium and academy squads and Team GB’s Olympians, his national number 7 plate is an awesome feat and it’s been a pleasure to have Oli involved this year. As a man of few words, Oli simply says “It’s been an awesome year with an awesome group of people. The highlights are definitely going to Colombia and travelling the continent to the Euro rounds with my Dad. I’m looking forward to getting loose throughout winter before next season begins. Thanks to Ison Distribution, Team Identiti, all the team sponsors and support staff and most importantly, my Dad.”

We were looking for a female rider in the closed season last year and when Maddie Owen-Matthews dropped us a line to let us know she was interested in being on the team we jumped at the chance to see what she could do. With this being only her third full season of racing, she has already jumped through all sorts of hoops to make her mark on the 15-16 girls class, including holding down a place as a British Cycling Olympic Development Apprentice in her spare time. She came into the season at the younger end of the class following a number 8 plate in 2015 and we didn’t really have any specific targets for this year just to improve on her work in a pack and to aim for another top 8. Well the national series saw her take the chase for the National Champions title down to the last race of the year. Her style on track is awesome and she goes about business with a strong mind and determined attitude. In Telford she took the penultimate rounds win and left herself with a slim, but mathematical chance to take the title. The final race was a nail biter with Maddie and Elissa Bradford almost inseparable through the final. Props to Elissa on taking the win and the title, but were so stoked for Maddie on what she’s achieved in the nationals. Onto the Brits and it was the same pair who were favourites for the win after they went into the main having both won their semi-finals. Again it was a great race and our girl gave her all to take British number two. Not a bad season as it goes!!

Maddie gave us her thoughts on the year, saying “I had a positive mind-set starting the season, my goal was to get top 5 in the national series, and podium at the Brits and I managed to get both with national no.2 and British 2. It’s been a successful season on my Identiti and great support from the team and sponsors!

My plans for the future are to stay on the Olympic development pathway and head for Tokyo 2020 and of course have fun riding my bike! “

As many of you will know, Syd Allen didn’t have a great start to the year following a broken femur in a Motocross accident just before the Brits in 2015. His doctors had advised him not to ride, but he was determined to get back on the bike and after some reluctance from me (his dad) he took to a few regionals with the strict instructions of “if it gets busy, pull the brakes!!” Well he went well and took the win in his first regional of the year and progressed well to end up East Anglian Regional Champ. On top of that he had a pop at a couple of late season nationals as a bit of a test for the forthcoming Brits. Considering he was one of only a few riders on flats in the hugely competitive 14 year olds he made his way to the semis here and there and finished 31st. At the Brits he was in the mix through the qualifiers and set himself up in the quarters to give it a shot. He came super close to making it through to the semis too after holding down the bubble spot for most of the lap before getting done over in the last turn. It’s been great to see him back on his bike and once after he’s had his final operation on his leg in January, he’ll be looking to get back to full speed in time for the second half of the 2017 season. As cool as ever, Syd says “Following my injury last year I had really no expectations of this season. So I just gave it my all on flats and had some fun! Finishing 31st in the season after only doing 4 rounds, regionally, taking the 1.3 plate!! Next season will be the exact same as this. Having another op on the leg in January will only tell how the seasons going to go, but once I’m fit I’ll be back in the mix and throwing some turnbars!!”

A bit of a revelation for some has been the new boy, Christian White. There’s been no pressure on Christian to perform this year, it just been a case of taking each race at a time and getting some experience of racing at national level. In Telford he had a bit of another good weekend, with a 5th on day one he was still in the hunt for a very unexpected top 3. On the second day it didn’t quite go to plan and he got a little loose in the semi seeing in back in the B final. Determined till the end he smashed in a solid lap and took the win to round off his first full national season in 5th. The Brits has been a bit of a focus for him, and he really wanted to get a good result to leave a mark on the class. He was consistent through the qualifiers and took that all important 4th place finish in the semi to get himself in the final gate of eight in the main. As the gate dropped he had the pull, but couldn’t get over and things got busy for him in traffic through the lap. He settled for 7th and although a little disappointed with his own performance, we did remind him that it was his first ever Brits final and was a pretty good marker for the future.

 

To sum the season up, Chris told me “This year was my first full set of nationals and my biggest year for improvement with learning how to work my way through a pack and also getting out in front and getting the holeshot. At the start of the season in Manchester I started off with B final wins and progressed throughout the year to take a national win in Peckham and a second in Cumbernauld. However, I was very disappointed at Blackpool as on the second day I was out in the lead out the first berm and put on the gas too early causing my pedal to hit the floor and my feet to unclip. Telford was a track that didn’t suit me at all as of the short first straight and tight corners and day one was a disaster with a crash before my first Moto when warming up and flipping over the gate in my first Moto which knocked my confidence for the day. At the Brits the motos were going reasonable and managed to get through quarters and semis, and in the final I was third to the second jump but was then cut off pushing me down to 7th and stayed in that position till the end.

In conclusion the year went much better than expected as I wasn’t even sure if A finals will be made. I finished 5th in the national standings and was aiming for top 10 at the start of the year so I’ve got a great foundation to work on.”

Shane Redgewell has taken to the super competitive 17-24s like a Vet to a rimmer. He doesn’t suffer with a lot of nerves in any situation and has given his all amongst some heavy competition. The penultimate round at Telford went as sweet as a nut for him too, as the track allowed him to work to his strengths and saw him through to the A main with a fine 4th place. Day two didn’t go quite as well and showed the depth of competition in the class and the narrow margins these guys have on each other. It was a B final on this day and a 4th place finish again. To get in the top 16 in this class is a big thing, but to make the top 8 at the end of the season is a great year and Shane will ride with plate number 8 in 2017. Not content with the 20”, he’s also handy on the cruiser too and wrapped up the season with two main events to score him 4th overall in the premier 17-29 cruiser class. At the Brits the 20” was gonna be a massive test as usual and those fine margins were at play again. The semi went down to a photo finish and it was the dreaded 5th place that saw him just out of the main. On the cruiser, things got loose but he was in the main where he belonged and finished the lap unscathed in 8th. Shanes the longest serving member of the team and always reps our sponsors to the max.

Not shy of a few words, he wrapped up his season saying “A great season with the Identiti Bikes team. One of my best seasons for racing in a tough age group and happy to take the 8 plate in 17-24 and the 4 plate in 17-29 cruiser. The highlights were riding the pro side at Blackpool and just a great atmosphere in the team tent having a laugh and enjoying the weekends. A few bad bits mainly coming 5th in semi finals but overall a great year and wouldn’t be possible without the work put in by all the guys at Ison distribution and everyone in the team making it a memorable season. Get loose Buh!”

So that just leaves me. Much like Syd, I started the year with nothing planned but to see if I could actually ride a bike after having my elbow rebuilt last August. As it goes, it turned out I could and most importantly I really enjoyed it. Come the final rounds at Telford, I was in a solid position to take the number 5 plate and go through the year unscathed. Well, things went to plan and I made the mains after binning myself in the first moto on day one. A 7th and a 4th saw me take the place in the top 5, my highest national ranking ever. Considering I started racing nationals in 1986, Ill class that as a big positive thing. The Brits was an awesome weekend with massive numbers and a great track to race on. Things went well through the qualifiers and I took to the gate in the semis in both the Cruiser and 20”. As determined as ever, I had the mindset to make the mains…..regrettably, my inner chimp messed with my output and I didn’t make the cut. The cruiser semi was a tough one, but no excuses, I just didn’t have the track speed and missed out in 5th. The 20” was going well and off the gate I was in position when I just forgot the lines and started bonking jumps slipping back from 4th to 6th….GUTTED!!

To sum the season up I just want to thank each and every member of the team at 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 and for giving me the opportunity to be involved in their organisation. Managing the Identiti BMX team gives me such a good buzz, tough at times but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Thanks to the team riders for going about business in a focused way while remembering to have fun on their bikes. The parents of the riders for all their help with setting stuff up and taking stuff down, it wouldn’t happen without them. Lastly, but not leastly for my ever suffering wife Hayley who pokes up with a house full of bikes and bits and me not being home half the time while I travel around doing skids on a kids bike.

 

2017 is gonna be a banger I’m sure and we’ve got plans in the pipeline for some new stuff to bring to British BMX. See y’all trackside!!

 

Jools.

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