Gold-plated effort from BMX club at national titles
BMX: Four Clarence Valley athletes have arrived home with five Australian plate rankings from the BMX Australian National Championship titles held at Bathurst.
But the entire contingent of Clarence Valley BMX Club members showed they were right up with the best BMX riders in the country, with many qualifying into the quarters, semis and the finals despite only a few practice laps on the huge, demanding track before racing.
Alex, Ryan and Jake Hyatt are all fairly new to big racing events like this one. 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. However, George's jersey got tangled up with another rider's handle bar which sent both riders flying off the track and out of contention.
Brendan, Stacey, James and Greg Brown all 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, however, 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 of Tahlia, Josh and Nick brought home four Australian plates between them,. The ever consistent Tahlia now has two No.7 Australian plates in 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 No.7 plate in the 15-16 boys 24-inch class.
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 him from muscling out some of the bigger riders to take out the No.4 plate in his class.
The new world class BMX track on the side of Mount Panorama at Bathurst was the biggest and longest track any of of our local riders had ever ridden and is designed to challenge even the best riders in the world with its pro-jump over a berm and S-shape switchback corner section in the second straight.
Cut into the side of a hill, it consists two parallel tracks launching from the 5m or 8m start. Riders gain so much speed that the slightest bump from another rider or mistake is bound to send them crashing into the track and Bathurst hospital and ambulance services were stretched to the limit with injured riders.
While at Bathurst many of the Clarence Valley BMX riders rode their bikes down the famous Mount Panorama car racing circuit. Starting at the top of Skyline, there was little need to peddle as the riders used the brakes to stay at a safe speed before getting down behind the handle bars after the last corner and gaining enough speed to cruise all the way down Conrod Straight.