Twisted Concepts Race Report – British BMX Series | Cumbernauld
Photo’s & text submitted by Team Manger Paul Hallett
Words by Miles Kirby
14th – 15th May
Last year the superb Cumbernauld race track held it’s first ever national and it was hailed by many people as the best round of series, so this year the team were really looking forward to rocking up and seeing what the fuss was all about. For most of the team it was their first visit there and the track would be an unknown quantity. The whole facility is amazing, the track is situated behind the Broadwood football stadium giving plenty of shelter from the wind, eliminating the uncertainty of gusts blowing riders around in the air. The track is a great build by masters of the art Clark and Kent for Cumbernauld Centurions following funding from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Legacy, it was finished last year and in perfectly manicured condition for the weekend’s action. The national/Euro track has a canopied gate area, much like Birmingham’s on top of a 5 metre hill, this is situated next to a canopied novice/club 3 meter hill, which was where the DJ and commentators were based for the weekend. Because of the split hill and first jump (being smaller on the inside for novices) the first straight is split to about half way down making it incredibly wide into the first berm. The Tarmac berms are spacious, smooth, steep and bowled out, giving plenty of room for moves and mistakes giving the rider plenty to think about and the fans something to really cheer about! The Pro section is on the outside of the second straight and has a great run in from the first berm, making the three big pro jumps more do-able in racing than some other tracks on the national circuit, the sheltered environment also helping the racers cause. The amateur second straight has steep step up at the end which is almost as big as the 3rd pro set, but without the grass, so it can be a real game changer in racing, with the best jumpers in the older classes seeming to fair best over it. The third straight starts rhythm, then the finishes with a long low step up and a long double, both needing careful manualing. The final berm is tight leading into a long technical rhythm section with just enough of a gap between the final roller and the finish line for a sprint finish, so no coasting over the line, or you could easily loose a place. The team area is situated on a service road right behind the back of the stadium, on a tiered area on the final straight overlooking the track from above, an ideal area for the Twisted Concepts 3 tent castle to be set up, with a perfect spot half way down. Our home for the weekend was perfect, the team’s gazebos were laid out pretty much the same as Birmingham, with the warm up and down rollers and race board at one end and the hospitality/rider relaxing/refreshment area at the other. The main difference this weekend was the superb and mostly un-forecast weather, so we could keep the back open and watch the racing in the sunshine from our amazing viewpoint. The atmosphere in the team gazebo was great fun and mostly very relaxed, we had parents getting their grove on dancing to DJ Flyz tunes that were being pumped out of the banging Cumbernauld PA system all weekend, much to the embarrassment of some of the younger riders on the team, we also saw some of the older riders joining in with the kids drawing and sketch pad sessions between races! We saw plenty of visitors coming to check out bikes and build options we have have to offer, as well as most of the country’s top riders popping by to say hi and have a chat in the shade. There was quite a Buzz going round about the bespoke wheels we can provide, especially the beautifully engineered and market leading Onyx hubs, which we have now become the official service and warranty centre for Europe! So how did everyone get on?
Elizabeth Bown | 7-8 Girls
Our Maggie has without doubt been one of the sensations of this years national series so far in any categories, in her first season on the national circuit she has exceeded all expectations, mixing it up with World and European ranked riders at every round. In practice Maggie was looking very quick indeed, riding the first straight as quick as most boys her age, so she was really looking forward to racing. Her age group had 16 riders, that meant she had to get good results in every moto in a tight 8 girl gate to ensure a good gate pick for the final. She didn’t back off once, she got great gates and superb speed down the start hill, sending the first jump and really pushing W7 and series leader DK Bikes Freia Challis all the way to the first corner, something hardly any boys in the 8 year olds can do. Maggie got 2nds in her motos on Saturday enabling her to get a descent pick and an inside gate for the final. The gate dropped in the final and Maggie headed over the first jump in second, with Freia just ahead, but the W4 of Lucy Simpson just snuck under her in the first berm, pushing Maggie back to third, our little rocket consolidated a strong position on the track, pulling away from the following pack, but had to follow the lead two as they fort for victory. So a podium finish and massive smiles all round on day 1. Day two kicked off in very much the same way, but disaster struck in the third moto when Maggie was pushing for the lead and came off going flat out over the first jump, she was sent flying up the track in a huge cloud of dust, she managed to pick herself up, much to the relief of her parents and the rest of the team. The unfortunate crash didn’t do her point situation much good, she made the final, but on 11 points, so she would have to battle from the outside, Elizabeth tried her hardest, but even with a gate as good as hers our little warrior would have her work cut out as it’s such a long way over to the inside, she slotted over into 4th place, which would finish, still an amazing result we couldn’t have dreamed of at the start of the season.
Ben Hallett & Harry Kirby | 9 Boys
Ben Hallett and Harry Kirby were really going to have their work cut out this weekend with 31 riders in their class, there would be 15 to drop for semi finals in the real age group of death, an age group where there are multiple World and European ranked riders and no one is guaranteed a final. Harry and Ben are really starting to hang with the pack down the first straight, Ben was getting some of his best ever starts and getting some of his best laps in, but both seem to suffer with riding in the pack in the first corner when everyone is going flat out. Neither got out of the motos over the weekend, but they can take massive positives from their first straight performances and we know where the improvements need to come from, so we’ve got plenty to work on over the rest of the season. Ben put in his best national performance of the season so far on Sunday, pipping Harry by a couple of places for the first time. Both boys always try their hardest, regardless of results are always happy, great sports and are credit to the team with their attitudes, the rests will start to come soon enough as long as they keep giving it their all.
Ethan Cremin | Male 16 – 24
The 16-24 year old class is enormous this season, filled with serious talent, riders who’ve dropped down from Superclass, former British champions and national champions, as well as riders aiming for the Superclass next year. Many of the riders are good enough and easily fast enough to hang in Superclass too, taking their training very seriously. This weekend was huge as normal, with 48 riders competing, so every moto was stacked. Ethan’s best results came on Saturday where he only missed out of the quarters by a few places, he rode well on Sunday too, getting through the weekend crash free again, which is always a bonus in the 16-24 chaos. Ethan by no means looks out of place, giving his best in the pack, but as yet hasn’t broken through to the knock out rounds, but it’s the same with plenty of others quality riders in the class. Ethan said Cumbernauld is probably his favourite track now and the weekend was his favourite national so far, with everyone enjoying themselves and having a good time. He would like to thank his sponsors for everything they’ve done for him and the team.
Richard Ayles | Masters
After making the decision to drop out of the cruisers at Birmingham and solely concentrate on 20″ from now on our man in Masters was looking fresh and sharp all weekend and the sacrifice seems to have paid off. The results in the motos were great, getting 2nd’s, 3rd’s and an odd 4th in every race, which would give him some reasonable gate picks in the final on both days. Rich has some great bar to bar battles over the weekend, with the most exciting and enjoyable to watch ones coming against Veteran BMX and 4X legend Martin ‘Oggy’ Ogden who’s dropped down for some tougher action with the 30 year old ‘youngsters’. Saturday went well, Rich came out of the motos on 8 points and got a highly respectable 5th in the final, giving himself a nice confidence boost for the next day. Richards best final result came on Saturday, he took his fluorescent orange Doublecross to a podium finish in a stacked final. He got a great gate and stormed the first straight in the middle of the pack, riding an impressive and fearless first corner he pulled out into 3rd place, getting the second straight super smooth he pulled away from the following pack to chase the leading two to the line. Richard knows Peckham track really well, having been to plenty of gate sessions there and having done some races at the London track too his hopes are high for rounds 7 and 8 of this years series.
Spencer Cremin | 45+ Cruiser
The Twisted Concepts muscle machine was looking as beefy and buff as ever this weekend, but riding in both cruiser and 20″ was taking its toll, even on a gym fanatic like Spence. Saturday the big man started to struggle with the cruiser, the 45+ class is one, if not the most competitive class in cruiser racing, stacked with huge amounts of talent, world class riders and ex-80’s pro’s, so you have to give 110% conviction and very few riders enter Vets as well. Spencer got through the motos well enough, but struggled in his semi final, only managing a 7th, but pulled out a good 3rd place in the B final. 20″ went better though, seeing Spencer progress to the semi finals out of a field of 28 with only 6 moto points, pulling 2nds in every race. The semis in Vets are always stacked, but the big guy came through with a 4th giving him an all important slot in the A final, but with all the exertion of racing both classes Spence started to get cramps and the final didn’t go as planned. After a chat with a senior team mates and the team manager it was decided that the cruiser should be dropped and the 20″ concentrated on, a strategy which had worked well for Rich Ayles who was in the same position at the Birmingham national. Sunday, Spencer seemed much more comfortable, cruising though his Vets motos again and securing a place in the semi final, but unfortunately didn’t get the luck this time and finished in the dreaded 5th place slot. Spencer didn’t let the disappointment get to him though and he responded in the best way a rider can in that situation and came out to smash the B final with an emphatic victory.
Rhys Wood & Billy Luckhurst | Superclass
Rhys Wood and Billy Luckhurst were both in action over the big jumps again, but the competition would be the toughest of the season so far, with even more big names stepping onto the gate, GET Racing’s Tre Whyte and Pure’s Quillan Isidore were back on track. There was a huge buzz about the Pro’s this weekend and the tension was high all weekend on the gate. Rhys was looking very smooth all weekend and he’s looking much more comfortable over the pro sections, putting in probably his best national laps of the year so far, only missing out on the semi finals by a couple of points on Saturday. Sunday Rhys didn’t get the luck he deserved, or the results he wanted, but that’s racing, he’s learning all the time and he’ll go to Peckham a stronger rider after some real confidence boosting rides. Billy Luckhurst didn’t have the best build up to Cumbernauld, he had to rest up for a couple of weeks after bending his handle bars on his ribs after a massive pile up in the Sunday final at Birmingham, but The Butcher was going to give it his best shot, both days panned out in a pretty similar way, great mid pack moto results, seeing Billy getting 3rds in most of his races holding his own and mixing it up with the biggest names in British BMX at the moment, only to get the disappointment of the dreaded 5th place in the semi finals on both days. We know Big Bill has what it takes to win, so we’re hoping for better luck at Peckham for the next rounds. Billy is off on holiday to the Word Championships in Columbia at the the moment, so we’re sure he’s going to come back revitalised and fired up for the rest of the season.
Also in action at over the weekend was Twisted Concepts supported athlete Charlee Green in Championship Women. Charlee was on fire all weekend, getting 2nd place in the finals on both days. Most memorable was Sunday’s final, where she lead the whole way round after a great first straight battle with Abbie Taylor, only to be pipped on the line by up and coming star Beth Schriever, a great race, but not quite the result she was after.
Next stop for the Twisted Concepts team will be rounds 7 and 8 of the national series at Peckham. Please call by and say hi, we can show you what fantastic builds we offer at the very highest end of BMX racing bikes and components. Twisted Concepts are the importers of Doublecross Frames, Onyx hubs, Turn3 cranks,Turn3 frames and Epik rims.We are pleased to announce we are now the European service and warranty centre for Onyx hubs. We also produce our own range of titanium brake mounts, and bolts, as well as warm up and warm down posts for all sizes of bike and rider, from from Micro Mini to XXXL.
We would like to thank our other team partners Crucial BMX, Wright Engineering, RWB builders,Wharftside electrical wholesalers, Carbon Creative, Custom racing,Racer Concepts and Crankbrothers.