Rockets compete in World Championships
Mixed results in Birmingham for Royston contingent
THE BMX World Championships returned to Great Britain for the first time since 1996 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham recently with almost 2,500 riders from over 30 nations registered for the event.
A team of track builders had just five days to build the start hills and track to meet the demanding international standards of the UCI – a feat they achieved with time to spare. The track was short but very fast and technical and many riders were caught out by the layout – including two of the 11 Royston club riders who were taking part in this event which covers all ages unlike the Olympic BMX event later in the year which is limited to the best of the world’s riders in the elite category.
The Rockets had both low and high moments during the week with Lee Alexander taking a fall in the short crowded practice sessions to finish his participation before even getting into race mode. The racing rules used in this event are slightly different to those normally used in domestic events with about half the riders in each class being eliminated after the first three qualifying ‘moto’s’ and any rider that qualifies for the knock-out stages can be regarded as having done well.
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Many of the Rockets were taking part in their first World Championships and just the size and speed of the event can be very disturbing for riders of all ages and more so for the younger ones who are looked after by the team manager and their assistants with little access to parents and friends.
Joshua Abbott in the seven-year class made it through the first stages into the last 64 in his class but his racing finished when he was unable to qualify from the last 16 but in the eight-year class Elliott Bowyer managed to go one further into the quarter-finals before being eliminated.
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The 11-year class saw James King taking part but he was unable to move out of the qualifying rounds and the same fate befell Myles Fisher in the 12-year class but team mates Daniel Blanche and Ethan Vernon both made the quarter-finals in the same class before their day’s racing ended.
The 13-year class saw Aaron Dalleywater make it into the last 16 while Tom Dowie in the 17-24-year class was one of the many riders unable to move on from the qualifying stages. Chris Mapp was riding in two classes and in the 25-29-year standard BMX bike category he made it to the quarter-finals but fell heavily the next day from his Cruiser bike to end his challenge.
But older brother Laurence Mapp was the star Royston rider with a fourth place in the final of the 25-29 year class to get a trophy to show around.
The next event on the BMX race calendar is the second round of the East Anglia Summer Series at Braintree on June 10 followed by another trip to Braintree later in the month for the sixth and seventh rounds of the 2012 National Series.
The Rockets Tuesday sessions are now underway with the gates opening at 6am with alternate weeks of coaching and general practice before the club’s own summer Series starts in June.
See more about the club and BMX racing in the region at www.roystonrockets.co.uk and the BMX East Regional site on www.bmxeast.com or ring 01763 260959 for more information on BMX racing.