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Schwalbe British 4X Series Round 2

Afan, South Wales

Last Updated: May 5, 2014 07:16pm
Harvington, Wychavon
By Chris Roberts
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What a perfect weekend. Amazing 4X track, blue skies, huge crowd, brilliant racing and an electric atmosphere all day. Round 2 of the 2014 Schwalbe British 4X Series raised the bar and took 4X entertainment to the next level.

A few weeks ago Architrail spent a few days at the Afan track making a few changes and tweaks to get the track ready to race; and what a job Phil Saxena and Duncan Ferris did. The track was perfect and would make for some of the best 4X racing ever seen here in the UK. The track has loose turns, a corkscrew bridge, huge rock section and pro line doubles that all test the riders skills and nerve, over the 40 second track.

Practice began on Saturday. Sunshine was certainly here to stay over the weekend and with no wind, riders were going big over the Pro Line doubles from the start. With photographers snapping away, everyone was having a great time. After practice, there were lots of BBQ’s and talk about the race on Sunday!

Sunday arrived and the weather was perfect again. Blue skies, warm temperatures and no wind. Perfect. Practice ran until 11.30 then racing began at 12.

Katy Curd was racing in the senior men’s class to give herself the best preparation ahead of the 4X World Championships in June. Without doubt in the motos she was giving some of the men something to think about as she qualified for the quarter finals.

In Elite women, Cara Murray looked like she was continuing where she left off at round 1, looking dominant and taking the wins in her motos. Liz Fowler was back racing again and looked to be Cara’s main challenger, but heading to the semi finals, Megan Wherry, Clare Curtis and Mabel Mundy could not be ruled out.

In the Elite men’s, Scott Beaumont was in the mood for racing! Taking 3 wins in his motos, the 3rd moto against Lewis Lacey, Duncan Ferris and Dave Richardson was an absolute spectacle for the huge crowd. Boom Boom led on the first straight, Lacey jumped into turn 1 to take the lead, Ferris swooped under both of them in turn 1 leading on the second straight, Lacey took it back, then Beaumont went from third to first in turn 2. The battle continued all the way to the finish with Beaumont taking it from Lacey and Ferris. Leon Rosser was looking pinned, Nathan Parsons was on it and rookie Luke Cryer was once again in the mix.

After the motos it was semi final time. In semi final 1, it was Beaumont, Ferris, Cryer and Jack Hudson. Beaumont got the gate, but once again Ferris, on flat pedals made a great pass in turn 1 and took the lead. Ferris held on to the finish to take the win from Beaumont with Cryer and Hudson going to the small final.

Semi final 2 and it was Lacey, Parsons, Rosser and Alex Metcalfe. The gate dropped, Lacey got the snap, then unclipped and was 4th. Rosser had the lead with Natedogg in 2nd. Lacey was charging though and through the corkscrew moved from 3rd to 1st. Nate held on to 2nd and Rosser was now 3rd! In the last turn, Lacey held on but Nate and Rosser came together with Rosser hitting the ground hard. It was just a racing battle and it was good to see Leon on his feet straight away and ready for the small final.

So onto the finals. Rippers were once again won by Leo Rosser’s son, Tyla. These guys are aged between 10 and 12 and were making this tough track look easy. Amazing to watch the future stars in action. In Big Fun it was Chris Beckett taking the wins. Harry Fernhough stormed to the win in Juveniles with Dylan Grell Delsol claiming the honors in Youth. Juniors and these guys are always showing why they are the next Elite stars. In Afan it was Joe Wallbridge who held it together to take the win. Masters, and it was Matt Hillyard who was unstoppable all day, whilst in the ever competitive vets class it was Ben Rafferty who made it 2 for 2 winning again in Afan after his first win in Harthill. In Senior ‘men’, Katy Curd had made it all the way to the final. The gate dropped and it was tight, but Katy found herself in 4th. Matt Sills led the race from start to finish, but the action was behind him as Katy battled into 3rd behind Alastair Keen.

Elite Women were next up. In the small final, Megan Wherry took the win to give her 5th place for the day and the final step on the podium. In the main final, Cara Murray got the snap and the led the race all the way to take her 2nd win of the series. Behind Cara, Heather Kay, Liz Fowler and Clare Curtis were trading places all the way, but across the finish line, it was Kay from Fowler and Curtis.

So finally, it was time for Elite Men. In the small final, Jack Hudson used his full suspension bike to it’s full potential, hitting the rock section like no one else and taking the win and 5th place for the day. The last race was the Elite Main. Beaumont took gate 1, Lacey in 2, with 3rd gate pick Ferris took 4 and Parsons went into 3. The gate dropped and Boom Boom got the snap. In turn 1 Ferris went for the cut back but this time he didn’t quite make it. Beaumont set off with Lacey in tow. These 2 rode what looked like a perfect lap with about 2 bike lengths separating them all the way, but across the line it was Beaumont from Lacey with Parsons in 3rd and Ferris in 4th.

After the podiums it was time to reflect on one of the best days British 4X has ever seen. It was action packed and proved yet again just why this is the best Mountain Bike spectator sport out there.

The next rounds are on May 31st and June 1st for rounds 3 and 4 of the 2014 Schwalbe British 4X Series at Much Wenlock, Near Bridgnorth.

 

For all the series information, take a look at: www.british4x.com

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Full results are here: http://www.british4x.com/news/rd2-afan-results-2014/

 

 

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