Liam Phillips and Shanaze Reade got British Cycling’s Olympic Performance Team’s domestic BMX season off to a fantastic start as they took two wins a piece at the opening round of the British Cycling British BMX Series in Manchester.
The gold rush started when Phillips who was on supreme form won the Open Supercross final on Saturday night from start to finish in a great display of bike riding. Canadian Tory Nyhaug made his trip worthwhile in second and the Dutch National Team rider Jelle Van Gorkom secured third.
“It was good, it’s always difficult to get out there for the first time of the year,” said Phillips after his win. “I’m really pleased to perform the way I did and ultimately the win sets me up nicely for the World Cup next month.”
On Sunday in the Elite Men A final it was Phillips again who powered away from the field from the gate and was untouched. Nyhaug kept his silver streak in second with third place going to another Dutchmen; Raymon Van Der Biezen.
Shanaze Reade sent the home crowd into a frenzy as she hit the front of the Elite Women’s class in the Open Supercross and rode a super solid lap to take the win by some 30 metres from French girl Manon Valentino and Belgium’s Elke Vanhoof.
Reade, who was riding for her new team Prophecy, said: “This is the first Supercross race I’ve done here as I didn’t get to race last year through injury.”
When asked about how the NCC facility has helped the GB team she added: “Racing at home is great as we know the track like the back of our hand. The whole GB team is stepping up, making finals and getting faster and faster.”
Reade rode in the Championship Women’s class on the Sunday with another awesome performance to hit the front and take the top step of the podium giving the fans plenty to cheer about.
The Dutch National Team rider Merle Van Benthem lead the rest of the pack home in second as the Dane Simone Tetsche Christensen pipped British Cycling’s Olympic Development Programme and Identiti Factory Team rider Charlotte Green on the line for third.
Thirteen year old British Cycling Talent Team rider Beth Shriever made her debut in the Championship class and narrowly missed out on the A final, taking a fantastic result in the B final with a win.
In Saturday night’s Junior Men’s final, Quillan Isidore got the ball rolling for the BC team when he came from behind in the second corner with a great move to take the Junior Men class win. Second place went to the Dutch rider Niek Kimmann and British Pure Addixxion team rider Ryan Stack earned third place when he took the spot on the line with a great lunge.
After the race Isidore, the 16-year-old World Champ from 2012, said: “It feels great, I didn’t get the best start and nearly went down on the second straight. It’s the perfect start to the season, I was aiming for the top three and I got the win.”
Isidore didn’t have the same good fortune in Sunday’s Elite class as he crashed out in the semi-finals.
The new Championship men’s class hit the track for the first time on Sunday and Clark and Kent Contractors team rider Ash Davey put himself in the history books as the first class winner after British Cycling Talent Team rider Paddy Sharrock went for a move on Davey in the second corner but went down, and is being checked for a suspected broken thumb. Braden Bradford rode a great race to take second from Team-Hard’s Dean Reeves in third.
There was a truly international field across all of the Challenge classes and some of the highlights were the two favourites Pure/Addixxion’s Emily Hutt and Lynda Webber going head to head in the 9-10 girls with Webber taking the spot as Hutt eased off a little early on the line.
Eleven-year-old World Champ Ross Cullen going unbeaten in all motos, qualifiers and final in the 13s. Braintree’s Evan Tulloch nearly taking two class wins in the 13-14 cruisers and 14 boys, but got disqualified for cutting the first corner which gave the win to Profile’s Harley Taylor.
17-29s cruiser British Champ Oli Cutmore started where he left off in 2012 with a win for Team Aggro. Source/Route 55’s Tony Fleming was back on track after a lay off and won the 45+ as Manchester’s Louise Abbott enjoyed the glory in her first outing in the 30+ ladies. In the Vet’s team Doublecross Ian Sharp rode like a man possessed for the win by 10 bike lengths from Team Identiti’s Pete Power.
It was a great season opener for all riders with the Open Supercross showcase giving the spectators and younger riders a great opportunity to see their heroes close up as we head towards the first round of the World Cup at the venue on 19-20 April.
The British Cycling BMX Series round 2 will be held at the new national venue of Cyclopark in Gravesend, Kent on 27-28 April 2013. For more information, please visit the BMX series homepage.