Last week four Clarence Valley families headed to the BMX Australian National Championship titles held at the world class BMX track on the side of Mount Panorama at Bathurst and returned home with 5 Australian plate rankings.
The new track at Bathurst was the biggest and longest BMX track that any of our local riders have ever ridden on. The track is cut into the side of a hill and is designed to challenge even the best riders in the world with its pro jump over a berm and the S shape switch back corner section in the second straight. Launching from the 5 or 8 metre start hill riders gained so much speed that the slightest bump from another rider or mistake send them crashing into the track, so much so that the Bathurst hospital and ambulance services were stretched to the limit with injured riders. The best BMX riders from all around Australia competed at the Nationals, trying to get in the final in their age class and the prize of an Australian plate and ranking for the next 12 months.
Our local Clarence Valley riders were right up with the best BMX riders in the country, many making it into quarter, semi and the finals. This is a great achievement, seeing they only have a few practice laps before racing on the huge track.
Alex, Ryan and Jake Hyatt are all fairly new to big racing events like this best but that did not stop them from having a go. Britney and George Cole both rode well mixing it up and challenging the other riders in their races. George’s jersey got tangled up with another riders handle bar which sent both riders flying off the track and out of contention. Brendan, Stacey, James and Greg Brown gave it their best shot taking on the mountainous track with mixed results. Stacey was unlucky not to make it into the final of the 14 girls as another rider crashed and brought her down. This did not stop her as the next day Stacey rode in the 13-14 Girls 24 inch Class and took out the 5th place ranking in the final. The Marsh family Tahlia, Josh and Nick brought home four Australian plates between them, Tahlia who is ever so consistent, now has two number 7 Australian plates in both the 13 Girls 20 inch and 13-14 Girls 24 inch classes. Josh was right up there until he too was taken out by another crashed rider but got back up and managed to get the number 7 plate. Nick had to step up into the 17-24 Men’s 24 inch classes this year which can be a bit intimidating but this did not stop Marsh from muscling out some of the bigger riders to take out the number 4 plate in his class.
While at Bathurst many of the Clarence Valley BMX riders rode their bikes down the famous Mount Panorama car racing circuit, starting off at the top of Skyline there was no need to peddle too much and the riders used the brakes a lot to stay at a safe speed before getting down behind the handle bars on the last corner and gaining enough speed to cruise all the way down Conrod Straight.