Schwalbe 4X National Championships 2012
Sunday 15th July was the date and Harthill inCheshirewas the venue. The 2012 Schwalbe 4X National Championships are in the record books.
Incredibly, after weeks of heavy rainfall, the track was absolutely superb – dusty in places and in perfect condition for the biggest domestic 4X race of the year. A few small track changes took place on Saturday evening to ensure the track was perfect for Sunday and they really worked out.
As it was the National Championships, senior riders would be combined with the elites to crown the senior National Champion. The senior categories would use a timed qualifying run to get the men down to the top 32 and the women down to the top 8. The women qualified first and there were no surprises when Katy Curd took the fastest time. Curd, fresh off her 3rd overall in the 4X ProTour, looked fast and took the qualifying convincingly. Suzanne Lacey was 2nd with Jess Greaves in 3rd.
In men’s qualifying, Lewis Lacey set the early target with a good run. Tom Dowie then took over as the fastest, before Scott Roberts put in a stormer of a run. The final rider was Scott Beaumont. He looked to have a pretty perfect run and as he crossed the line it was close, but Boom Boom just got the fastest qualifier ahead of Roberts and Dowie.
Onto the racing and all the favourites were moving through comfortably. By the quarter finals, Dave Richardson, Dave Roberts and Danny Hughes were still fighting against the elite riders. Danny Hughes kept the seniors hopes alive by moving into the semi finals, but unfortunately in the end, Richardson and Roberts finished 3rd in their races and were out.
Dave Roberts’ brother, Scott, was in the 3rd quarter final. After making a great start, he unfortunately crashed in the first corner. With the extreme medics getting to Scott instantly, he was in great hands immediately. From the initial examinations, Scott was in a lot of pain, so he was immobilised whilst an air ambulance was called. Scott was stabilised on site and flown to hospital soon after. All the thoughts of the British 4X and whole Mountain Bike community are thinking about Scott and hoping for a quick recovery.
The riders were all a little shaken by the accident, but as Scott left the venue, he was quick to wish all his mates the best of luck and to let him know the results as soon as possible. A racer through and through and these words got everyone ready to resume the event.
In the first semi final, Scott Beaumont lined up against Lewis Lacey, Will Evans and Alex Metcalfe.Beaumontgot the snap and led from Will Evans. Lacey was bar to bar with him for a lot of the race, and battled him all the way to the finish but just could not find a way through. Beaumont and Evans moved into the final.
In the second semi final, Tom Dowie, Dan Bateson, Danny Hughes and Duncan Ferris lined up. There was less drama in this race as Dowie and Bateson held a good lead over the others and booked their place in the final.
First up it was the women. Katy Curd took gate 1, Suzanne Lacey in 2, Cara Murray in 3 and Jess Greaves in 4. Katy Curd made an awesome gate and just did not look back. She hit the jumps and even threw down a couple of whips on her way to the win. An amazing ride from her. In 2nd, Suzanne Lacey rode great to take silver and Cara Murray in 3rd.
The final race was the elite men’s.Beaumonttook 1, Dowie on 2, Bateson on 3 and Evans on 4.Beaumontgot the snap and opened up a good lead. It looked like it was going to be a comfortable win, but a slip on the penultimate turn gave Will Evans a chance. He swung wide on the final turn to carry speed but unfortunately crashed out.Beaumonttook it from Bateson, Dowie and Evans in 4th.
So that was it. Katy Curd and Scott Beaumont are the senior 4X National Champions for 2012 and will be wearing the Union Jack flag on their sleeves for the next year. The other National Champions are:
Dylan Grell Delsoll