As is now the norm, the UK National BMX season kicked off at Manchester Indoor. After taking a 1 year hiatus from UK team competition (in protest against British Cycling’s decision not to award the younger age groups national series points or rankings), the new look FTB BMX team will once again be competing for the National No.1 Team title in 2017. Here’s a rundown on how each team member faired:
James Clitheroe (Male 7)
National and British Champion Jimmy C started the defence of his National crown at Round 1 exactly how he finished 2016, winning the race from wire to wire on every lap. Round 2 was a carbon copy of round 1 for James, yet another perfect set of laps, and not one place dropped for the weekend, more top steps, more silverware and more smiles from the boy wonder. A perfect weekend for Jimmy C, already an FTB legend at the age of 7.
Mathilda Leak (Female 8)
New signing and European Number 2 Mathilda looked at home on her new FTB Revolution from the moment the gate dropped for the first moto, posting a win on her first national lap for FTB. Unfortunately, a fall on the last straight in her 2nd moto left her with work to do for the rest of the day as she was racing Grand-Prix. But Mathilda dug deep and showed why her bike wears the E2 plate, coming back to post 2 more wins and take 1st place overall, and the top step of the podium in her first national event for FTB. For Round 2 Mathilda was again racing Grand-Prix, meaning every lap would count for her overall placing. The pressure was on, but Mathilda took it all in her stride, posting super-consistent 1st 2nd 1st 1stlaps and another top step on the podium. A dream FTB debut for Mathilda!
Ben Longley (Male 8)
Ben showed the kind of fighting spirit that we have become accustomed to as the night before the race he’d been struck down with a sickness bug, but that did not stop this little warrior going out and battling for every inch of the track. Ben put in an awesome days work and considering he must have been feeling pretty shocking it was nothing short of Herculean. Ben made it through to the Quarters where he took the all-important 4th spot to set up a tough Semi-Final, but he was running out of gas and had to settle for the dreaded 5th place. 8th in the B final, with an empty tank it was time for Ben to recover for Round 2 on Sunday. Feeling better, but still not great, Ben once again made it through to the Quarters on Sunday, but this time he did not progress to the Semis. All things considered, Ben had a great weekend, not only battling his competition on a demanding track, but also his sickness. Expect to see Ben in future finals this season once he is 100% again.