My preparations for the British Championships went well with a win at my home track at the last regional of the year and some good training sessions at Derby. Racing only cruiser on Saturday, I won all of my laps in the run up to the final and was feeling confident of a good result. With on-off rain all day, the conditions were challenging but the track held up great and the gate was still grippy. My start in the final was good and I pedalled through the first jump to keep my speed but couldn’t quite take the holeshot and slotted into 2nd through the first turn. I railed the second turn and used the exit speed to dive up the inside into the last turn and take the lead, holding on to take my 16th Brits title.
After a late night at the awards presentation, it was good to wake up to a dry and sunny day for my 20” class. I won all my races leading up to my final and was happy to get first lane choice and the important inside pick. I got the gate I was looking for in the final and led down the first straight but only with a slight lead on the rider on my outside. Trying to hold him wide, I left a gap on the inside going into the first turn and was passed by another rider. With nothing left in the tank, I was unable to chase him down and had to settle for 2nd, disappointed after a costly mistake.
Its been another good year with the Pure Bicycles team and all the sponsors that support us. I’m looking forward to representing the team again for my 5th season next year but first were off to the USA for the Grand Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma in November.
The British Champs 2016… Wow what an awesome event and not just my result but the whole weekend, despite the weather trying to spoil things on Saturday!
Friday Practice went well, I felt good on the track and my Gates were simply spot on… The gate was a bit slower than normal, which always helps, and I seemed to be pushing it down and Snapping some of the young guns around me.
Saturday came and it was only another practice day, but after being at the track for training twice in the last few weeks I decided to give the 9AM stint a miss, at 11AM the heaven’s opened and it was raining for the second session, so I decided to give this session a miss also and save my legs for Racing on Sunday.
Sunday came round with the Sun shining, and race day was upon us, with 58 riders in Vets it was going to be a tough day with Quarter Finals looming.
First Moto on the gate and I was really nervous, which doesn’t normally happen for me, was I starting to regret no practice on Saturday?
Boom… The Gate went down and I took the Holeshot and held on for the win in Moto 1, same again in Moto 2, but I chilled and rolled home in Second.
Moto 3 came around and again I took the lead and held on for another Moto win, so it was a 1-2-1 in the moto’s and first choice on lane pick for the Quarter. I knew even before seeing the line-up I was going in lane 3… When the Lady on the hill asked me I said “1”!!! “no wait a minute, don’t know why I said that as I was always going in 3”! maybe nerves, but lane 3 it was… The quarter was tough, but I had confidence knowing that I could get through it, and although it wasn’t my best lap of the whole weekend, 3rd was good enough to see me in the Semi Finals… I had 4th or 5th pick in the Semi, but ended up in gate 2 next to Ian Archibald who was in lane 3, I thought to myself just follow Ian round and I will make the Brits Final?
Gate dropped and I got a really good gate again, tucked in behind Ian down the first straight and never looked back, cheering myself across the finish line in Second, I had made yet another A final, this one meant a lot, as it was the British Champs!!!
Now totally relaxed, knowing I was in the Final, the pressure was off, I ended up in lane 1, and a great gate saw me battling for 3rd down the first straight, whilst Archibald and Nicholls battled for the 01 plate, I was chasing down Campbell for that final Podium spot, with Campbell eventually getting it… It was a great Final with a Photo Finish deciding the winner, and I was elated to come home in 4th!!! 4th at the British Champs sounds pretty good…
This topped off a great season for “The Warlock” and his Pure Bicycle, National Number 6 and 4th at the British Champs… Thanks to all the Sponsors, but especially to Rich Townsend from Pure Bicycles, probably the fastest bikes in world!