RACE REPORT – Twisted Concepts BMX, Glasgow
The team’s gazebo set up for the weekend was in the thick of factory row, track side, half way down the first straight with a great view of the first half of the track, but due to the size of the jumps no one would get a perfect view of the whole track. There is talk of grandstands for future events to solve this problem. Things in the team area were muddy, the walk ways tight and all the teams were in close together, but Twisted towers, running the standard triple gazebo set up held tight and dry, with a maximum effort being made to keep bikes, riders and equipment clean, looking good and running as smoothly as possible in the conditions. The atmosphere in the team tent was as fun as ever, despite the rain the laughs and fun carried on throughout the weekend. We had loads of visitors coming by to check out the hardware, talk frames and hubs and generally see what we’re about. Again, the Twisted gazebo was one of the places for the teenagers and young adults to pop by and be seen, hanging out with our team riders and seeing if any other big names had popped in for a chat.
The weather for the weekend was as forecast, heavy rain on the Saturday, making racing hard work, the track slowed slightly, as would be expected, but the quality of the build shone though and there weren’t any soft spots or ruts to speak of. Sunday was an improvement on the weather, the sun shone through the clouds and track ran at full speed. This allowed GB squad rider Kyle Evans to show the crowd what the track was really designed for as he did a full demonstration lap off the 8-metre hill and jumped his way through the pro straights easily.
This weekend we were down a few riders, with school trips, injury and illness taking its toll on the team members, so it was down to the remaining crew to make an impact. We did however have a new rider trying out an SCR and looking at a possible move onto the Twisted factory team, Meeshaq Malone and he made a great impression. Meeshaq is Nathan Konggutong’s Hackney club mate and training partner, and like Nathan he has an unbelievable level of skill and he’s sure to be a big name outside of London (where he’s already very popular on and off the track) very soon. On Saturday Meeshaq tried the poorly Rich Ayles’ bike in a couple of motos after only riding it up and down the road a couple of times and seriously impressed us all by getting a couple of mid pack finishes in 17-24, on a bike he’d never taken on a track and that was too big for him. If things work out and we get Big Shaq on a custom-built bike fitted exactly for him, we think we can expect to see big things.
Ben Hallett (Cruiser, age 9-12 and Expert age 11)
Having arrived in Glasgow on Friday lunchtime, Ben was keen to check out the track, immediately running up the stairway to the top of the start hill. Impressive, yet daunting at the same time, Ben’s immediate thought was that it was similar to the Manchester indoor start hill, but the first jump seemed much closer to the base of the hill.
Ben has been concentrating on the Cruiser class this year, but after riding around the track a few times, he felt he would ride his 20” as well, so opted to compete on Saturday only for this class, while competing in the Cruiser class on both days.
Saturday was a cold, wet, blustery day. The rain varied between a light shower to torrential downpours throughout the day, followed by short intervals of sunshine. After morning practice, Ben was feeling apprehensive about his day. The wet and slippery conditions had unnerved him. In the Cruiser class, Ben had a couple of wet Motos, where the main aim was staying upright. Like many riders, the mud and soaking conditions made it hard to keep his feet on the pedals and he slipped his footing a number of times. Although Ben is 11, his small stature means he lacks power and he struggles to compete against some much larger opponents. Unfortunately Ben went out after the Moto stage, but has already been talking about how he can improve his strength and stamina.
As Ben lined up on the gate for his first 20” Moto, the skies opened and a torrential downpour started. Within minutes there was a river running down the start hill and the Organisers stopped all racing for 20 minutes, while we all waited for the rain to slow down. Fortunately, the start gate is under cover, but standing on the gate, getting cold in the torrential rain didn’t help Ben’s nerves at all. While some of his competitors made light of the occasion by flossing on the start gate, Ben stood at the side and looked overwhelmed. By the time the gate dropped, Ben was cold, wet and losing confidence. Unsurprisingly he went out in the Moto stages.
Sunday and the weather was slightly better. It rained during practice but dried up for the Moto stages. Ben was competing in Cruiser only and was feeling a little bit more confident. In his races, he was closer to his competitors and by Moto 3, he had a great battle with another rider, swapping positions a couple of times.
Overall, Ben’s view of the track were that it was more difficult than he had first thought as it had some steep jumps and was, in Ben’s view, very peaky. He felt it was difficult to keep his rhythm on the 3rd straight, because of the Toblerone-style roller. However, every race is a learning experience and Ben is already looking forward to the next round of the Midlands Regional Championship (at Huncote) and the next National at Telford.
Morgan Haslam (13-14 Girls)
Arriving at the new track on Friday morning for a practice Morgan’s first thought was how big everything was and after a roll out she realised it was definitely one of the toughest tracks she had ever ridden! Practice went well and she was confident jumping the first and second straight, she found herself actually quite excited to race!
Unfortunately, on Saturday the weather was against her and Morgan crashed out in practice, when her wheel washed out landing a jump on second straight. She was taken to the medics as she couldn’t walk properly and had badly bruised her thigh and hip, having landed in a heap on her handle bars. The medics patched her up and she went back to the team area, even the walk back was a struggle, so she decided it was time to see if she could actually ride.
Even getting on her bike was a challenge and when it came to pedalling she couldn’t even clip in, so Morgan thought there was no way she could race, she was gutted. Another injured rider Paul ‘Ginge’ Maidment from the BMX Talk team came over to see how she was and he got Morgan doing some stretches to ease the soreness and pain she was in. Surprisingly for Morgan she started to feel better and could move a little easier. Next the team set her bike up on rollers and supported her in trying to pedal, the more she moved the more the pain eased! With 10 minutes to go before racing started Morgan decided to try one moto. She said, “It was hard and painful, but adrenaline got me through. I had some good motos somehow managing to get 2nd, 1st, 1st with a 3rd in my semi and 5th in the final!”
Sunday was another tough day, feeling stiff and sporting some large purple bruises it wasn’t easy, but the results were good! She got a clean rack of 1st place positions through the motos and in the semi. Unfortunately, she got boxed-in in the final and struggled to squash the jumps pumping down the third straight due to restricted movement in her leg. This caused her to lose momentum and she dropped into 4th place. She told us after the weekend “I am disappointed the injury affected my riding but that’s a risk that comes with jumping… and I jumped in every single race so overall not a bad weekend! Although I’m definitely feeling that crash today!”
We think Morgan showed a huge amount of courage and determination to go out and grind the results out after a big off in practice, where many would have thrown in the towel, she was defiantly our team rider of the weekend.
Fin Clark (15 boys)
Race day 1 of the weekend kicked off with some nerves for Fin as the last round didn’t go to plan. We were going straight to Semis and we were dropping 16 straight away, A strong 3rd showed those nerves had been forgotten and it continued with a more impressive 1st and 1st in the following motos, so it was game on.
Semi Final time, the gate dropped, and Finn was 2nd into the first berm, it was looking like happy days, but this was short lived, (now the dust has settled he had what could be described as a racing incident) and he found himself in the Pro Section. He dives back in, colliding with others, only to end up on the floor, wounded. That was a sure spot in another well-earned A final gone. Oh well he had to focus on the B final and gain some good points. He did just that, boom, a 1st, and it was happy days in the end.
Race day 2 started with the confidence of day 1, he came 3rd in the first moto and continued with a 2nd and 2nd. Semi Finals time, not as good a start as the Saturday, but a more sensible berm move found him sitting in 5th, with that all important 4th place in sight. It didn’t take long before he was in 4th and heading for the Main. It wasn’t all plain sailing though, with Edward Pole pushing him all the way to the line. A Final time and as always, these guys battle to the limits, and Finn was in the middle of the pack narrowly missing a rider as they slid out. Fin was holding a strong 5th until he was past with metres to go, so a 6th. He said, ‘A great weekends racing, earning some very valuable points…Thank you again to Twisted Concepts SCR BMX’.