Race Report: Schwalbe British 4X Series – Round 6 – Leamington Spa
Here's what went down during the final round of this year's British 4X Series...
Schwalbe British 4X Series – Round 6 – Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
On Sunday, 1st September, the Schwalbe British 4X Series made its final stop of the 2013 season at Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. Round 6 of the series would see riders racing on the popular Leamington track that is always kept in fantastic condition by elite rider Nathan Parsons. The track is flowing, fun, great for beginners and a challenge for elites. With a few tweaks by Nathan in the last few weeks, the scene was set for a great days racing.
It was sunny and warm, so with blue skies once more looking down on the 4X racing, action began at 12.00.
A great turn out of Rippers with 11 riders competing was great to see. The future of 4X is safe in the hands of these guys! Styling it up all the way down the track and looking faster every race, these guys are great to watch. Brandon Fermor was flying in Juveniles, the Hutchinson vs Delsoll fight was on again in youth, 13 riders in masters who could have all won, the influx of some bmx riders in vets was great to see, the seniors where picking a winner even in the motos was hard and the fast guys in the juniors where Luke Cryer as national champion would try and beat some super fast guys. There was action in every race and with big crowds cheering them all on, the atmosphere all day was great.
All season, the women's racing has been getting better and better and attracting more and more females to give 4X a go. Over 2013 32 female riders have tried a round of 4X but at Leamington it was truly fantastic to see 18 women enter making it the biggest women's race of 2013. 18 women meant that there would be quarter finals for the first time this year. Katy Curd was on fire. In practice she looked quick and come moto time, she was in dominating mood. With the 4X World Championships just 3 weeks away now, Katy was using this race as her final preparation for the worlds and she wasn’t messing around! Amongst the new faces there were riders from Downhill, Enduro and BMX. Who was going to challenge Katy was anyone’s guess.
In the quarter finals there were a couple of big names who crashed out. Jess Greaves and Megan Wherry came together on the first straight and crashed out. In the semi finals it was Mabel Mundy, Michelle Eaton, Seren Mahon and Clare Curtis who didn’t make the cut. In the small final Michelle Eaton got the snap and led the race from start to finish to claim 5th position and the final step of the podium.
So it was time for the women's final. Katy Curd with first pick of the gate took gate 2 (to give her a little extra space into turn 1), Renee Diwell took gate 1, Liz Fowler on 3 and Lana Redgewell on 4. The gate dropped and Katy rocketed into the lead. Her speed on the first straight was impressive. A good battle for 2nd between Liz and Renee kept the crowd on the edge of their seats for the whole race. Katy led from start to finish and pulled away all the way. She took the deserved win ahead of Liz Fowler, Renee Diwell and Lana Redgewell.
In the men’s race, the big news of the morning was Scott Beaumont was not racing. With his preparations for World Championships in full swing and the overall series already wrapped up, Boom Boom decided to train through this weekend. Scott was on the sidelines though cheering on the racing all day and enjoying being a spectator!!
Local rider Nathan Parsons was the favourite going into this race. He knows the track inside out and was looking quick in practice. Tom Dowie was on some good form coming into this race, whilst Will Evans and Alex Metcalfe were fighting for overall series positions.
In the motos it was Parsons, Evans and Dowie that were winning the races. Come semi final time, it all looked interesting. In semi final 1 it was Alex Metcalfe, Dan Bateson, Lee Ferry and Leon Rosser. The gate dropped and Metcalfe had a slight lead on Bateson. Into the first turn they were still battling, but it was Metcalfe who got ahead. These 2 were close all the way and booked their place in the final.
In Semi final 2 it was Dowie, Parsons, Evans and Jordan Lunn. The gate dropped and from Gate 2, Parsons got the snap and managed to get across on Dowie. Evans made an amazing pass in turn 1 to move into 2nd, and then Dowie got him back. In the last turn Evans went inside again and took 2nd place. Looking like he had it in the bag, somehow Dowie with little speed managed to jump the pro line. When the 2 riders came back together at the finish, Dowie just got it on the line.
In the small final Evans made sure of the final step on the podium, taking the win and 5th for the day. This result was important for Evans as it gave him enough points for 2nd overall in the series.
So it was time for the final. Dowie took gate 1, Bateson on 2, Parsons on 3 and Metcalfe on 4. The gate dropped and it was Parsons again with the snap. Battling with Dowie on the 1st straight, Natedogg just had a slight lead over the double into turn 1. Then disaster struck. The bar banging led to Nate crashing out in a cloud of dust. Dowie was away and did not look back taking his first ever elite 4x series win. Metcalfe moved into 2nd and Bateson came home in 3rd. Parsons rode his bike to the finish unhurt, but the frustration was evident. The whole crowd were cheering him as he rode down.
A truly fantastic days racing was followed by the prize giving ceremony for round 6 and for the overall series titles. Here are the winners from round 6:
Fun – Luke Roberts
Big Fun (17+) – Liam Munn
Rippers – Harry Fernihough - DBS
Juvenile – Brandon Fermor – Stealth 4X
Youth – Ryan Hutchinson – Stealth 4X
Junior – Luke Cryer – Naked Racing
Senior – Matt Hillyard - Identiti
Masters – Chris Smith - Identiti
Veterans – Dave Godfrey - WU Asquith Nurseries
Full results from Round 6 are here: http://www.british4x.com/news/rd5-leamington-spa-results-2013/
2013 Overall Series Champion
The 2013 Schwalbe British 4X Series has been one of the best yet. Great racing at every venue, new tracks in the series, new faces at every race and the usual great atmosphere everywhere have made 2013 memorable. With just under 300 riders competing in the 2013 Schwalbe British 4X Series, the sport continues to go from strength to strength. These guys and girls though are the champions. The riders who over 6 rounds gained the most points and took home the number 1 plates for 2013.
Kore gave cheques for the overall Series prizes and Fox took care of the Juniors.
Rippers – Harry Fernihough – DBS
Juvenile – Jordan Fermor – Stealth 4X
Youth – Ryan Hutchinson – Stealth 4X
Junior – Luke Cryer – Naked Racing
Senior – Dave Richardson – Yeti Racing UK
Master – Chris Smith – Identiti
Veterans – Dave Godfrey – WU Asquith Nurseries
Elite Women – Katy Curd – Rose Vaujany
Elite Men – Scott Beaumont – Yeti Racing UK
Team Cup winners – Stealth 4X
Full results for the 2013 Series are here: http://www.british4x.com/news/2013-series-points/
For full details check the website www.british4x.com
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Photo Credits: Charles Robertson.