Braintree Bullets BMX Club are celebrating success as they were crowned British BMX Club Champions 2023 at the British Championship in Derby. The Bullets fielded the largest squad, with 78 riders out of the 1376 entries at the event and saw two Bullets claim the British Champions title while they also took 11 class podiums and saw 24 finalists to rack up the points.
The first British Champions came in the 7 girls’ class as Phoebe Millar claimed back went unbeaten throughout the day to storm to victory nearly two seconds faster than the 2nd place rider. Millar is now a two-time British Champion and will be looking to wrap up the National title in two weeks’ time. In the Equivalent boys’ class, Ethan White had an amazing day of racing to take 2nd place with his fastest lap of the day.
In the 13’s, Heath Thomas went into the finals amongst the favourites after going unbeaten through the heats and qualifying rounds. Thomas got the start of his life in the final and romped home to victory, matching Millar by claiming his second British Title. In the equivalent girls’ class, Lily Heighes had a solid day of racing to finish in a fine 5th place.
Friea Challis went bar to bar with the newly crowned World and Olympic Champion Beth Shriever in the Championship Women class. The 15-year-old who is a three-time World Champ herself gave chase throughout the day to take a 2nd in fine style.
The girls kept the podium finishes coming for the club as Poppy Bishop jumped her way to a solid 2nd place in the 11 girls. Bishop who is riding up an age from the 10s showed her true skill on the bike as she chased down the leader. Emma Kiss also made the final and battled mid pack for 5th while Allegra Trew bought home the pack in 8th.
Next up was Katie Millar in the 12 girls. Millar was first out of the gate but lost a little momentum on the first straight and had to give chase in 2nd place with club mate Sidonie Cleave just behind in 4th. In the boy’s class, Oliver Tyers gave a great display of tactical race craft as he sliced his way through the pack into 2nd place, while Freddie Richardson stepped up into the finals to finish 5th.
In the cruiser classes, Andy Heighes made his first British final and avoided first straight carnage to claim a superb 2nd place. Club coach Julian Allen was a little less fortunate as he was battling with the leaders when they crashed and he went off the track and down on the first straight, but he remounted to fight back to 4th place. In the 55+ class, James Yeo came close to victory but had to settle for 2nd place. Molly Nice is a big wheel specialist and looked great on track as she finished 5th in the 17-29 ladies’ cruiser and Thomas Millar kept the family name in the sharp end as he made his first British final in the 15-16 cruisers and scored 6th.
There were two more podiums at opposite ends of the racing spectrum with Holly Bishop battling her way back to 3rd in the 8 girls’ class after slipping a pedal at the start and having to use all her track craft to stay in contention. In the boys’ class, Rex Ford gave his all on the way to a fine 4th place and Mia Kiss made her first British final in the 9s, finishing 6th.
The final podium of the weekend came from Josh Wallis in the 19-29 class. Wallis was the defending champion and was looking sharp all day through the rounds. Into the final and it was super tight as the pack barrelled into the first corner. The leader slid out and took six others with him including Wallis, but he was back on his feet first and remounted to take 3rd, ahead of club mate Josh Butson in 4th.
Lastly, the eldest Bullet to make a final was 61-year-old Josephine Burston who showed that age is no barrier on her way to 7th in the 30+ ladies’ class.
The Bullets will be back racing at the final rounds of the national series in Manchester next month. For more information on the club, coaching and racing please check out www.braintreebmx.com