On Sunday, 21st September, the Schwalbe British 4X Series made its final stop of the 2014 season at Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. Round 7 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 great to see so many new faces at the event. With the BMX National season now finished, it was especially nice to see so many BMX riders giving 4X a go. The weather forecasters got it spot on. Sunshine all day and a dry track meant that we were in for a fantastic final round of the 2014 series. After 2 hours of practice, racing began at 12.00.
All riders competed in 3 motos to qualify them through to the knockout stages. There was action in every race and with big crowds cheering them all on, the atmosphere all day was great. In the women’s racing, it was great to see Katy Curd racing 4X again in her rainbow jersey after being crowned the 4X World Champion back in June. It was also great to see 19 riders entered in women’s – the highest rider category on the day. The women’s racing was also close and unpredictable. Lots of passing was making predicting the result tough. In the men’s it looked like being a Beaumont versus Ferris battle. Coming into the weekend Duncan Ferris was leading the overall points, however after only competing in 4 races so far in 2014, Scott Beaumont was in a great position to add his Leamington result to his points total and take the Series Championship. Through the motos it was Beaumont, Ferris and Alex Metcalfe who were winning races and looking like the favourites heading into the finals.
So, after the motos, quarter finals and semi finals, it was time for the finals. In the Big Fun category there was a great entry of riders, but at the finish it was Chris Beckett who took the win ahead of Marti Pearce, Stuart Wiltshire and Ryan Turner. For most people, the rippers have been a real highlight of the year and Tyla Rosser has been the star of the show. However it looked like he may not have this one his own way. As the gate dropped it was BMX rider Sydney Allen who took the lead down the first straight. Rosser was on his, but at the finish line it was Allen from Rosser, Rhys Mahon and Adam Wilson.
On to the Juveniles and the ever stylist Dec Willicombe took the win ahead of SShane Davies, Fin Keogh and Harry Fernihough. In the youth, Dylan Grell Delsol has been getting stronger and stronger all year. Dominating at Leamington he took the win from Shane Redgewell, Stuart Burrows and Allen Dalleywater. In juniors, the season long battle again had the crowds going wild. On this occasion it was Conor Hudson taking the win ahead of Joe Wallbridge, Keaton Greenwood and Rhys Jenner. We are all looking forward to some of these guys being in Elite next year…..
Seniors and Adam Thomas looks to be back at his best – winning this round ahead of James Whitby, Tom Burch and Dan Wagstaff. The Masters always deliver a good show! Lee Ferry was the man on it, winning the race ahead of Stephen Russell, Andy Robson and Mark Fernihough. In the Vets, Ben Rafferty has been the man to beat all year, but on this occasion it was not to be. It turned into the battle of the disciplines…. Julian Allen fresh from a great BMX season took the honours here ahead of British Downhill Series Organiser Si Paton, with 4X National Champion Rafferty in 3rd and Simon Rickett in 4th.
The women’s finals lined up. In the small final Tyde D’Souza took the win to grab 5th place on the podium. In the main final it was Katy Curd in gate 1, National Champion Liz Fowler in 2, Cara Murray in 3 and young Megan Wherry in 4. The gate dropped and down the first straight it was tight, with Curd holding the advantage. Through the first turn she pulled a small lead, but Fowler was close. By the finish line, Curd held on to take the win ahead of Fowler, Murray and Wherry. A fantastic day for women’s 4X and a real feeling that this category will just continue to grow in the coming years.
The elite men’s finals were the last races of the day and the 2014 season. In the small final, Dave Richardson made a great pass on Paul Bakewell to take the win and 5th overall for the day. In the main final, Scott Beaumont took gate 1, Duncan Ferris in 2, Alex Metcalfe took 3 and BMX rider Oliver Cutmore in gate 4. The gate dropped and Beaumont got the holeshot. Beaumont, Ferris and Metcalfe got very close on the first straight and Ferris backed out of the action. Into turn 1 Beaumont was pulling a lead from Metcalfe. Cutmore was close to Metcalfe all the way but at the finish it was Beaumont from Metcalfe, Cutmore and Ferris.
A truly fantastic days racing was followed by the prize giving ceremony for round 7 and for the overall series titles.
Full results from Leamington can be found here.
2014 Overall Series Champions
The 2014 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 2014 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 7 rounds gained the most points and took home the number 1 plates for 2014.
Rippers – Tyla Rosser
Juvenile – Dec Willicombe
Youth – Stuart Burrows
Junior – Connor Hudson – 44 Racing
Senior – James Whitby – Slam 69
Masters – Stephen Russell
Veterans – Ben Rafferty
Women’s – Cara Murray – Maxim Bikes/Intrepid Apparal
Elite Men’s – Scott Beaumont – Yeti Racing UK
Full results for the 2014 Series are here.
Team Cup winners – Dartmoor/X-Fusion
Team Cup results can be found here.
So that’s it from another year of Schwalbe British 4X Series. We just want to thank our title sponsors Schwalbe for their continued support of 4X racing. The team at Naked Racing for registration, finish line and set up, Mark and Sue Metcalfe for call up and start gate, all the marshals throughout the year, the medics, Mop Head and Andrew Cooper for commentating, Pete Newman for the film edits, Charles Robertson for the photos and all the BC commissaries. Finally a huge thank you to the riders, friends and families who continue to support 4X racing. See you all in 2015.
Photo Credits: Charles Robertson.