Connor Hudson took a storming elite men’s win in the first round of the National 4X Series at Chicksands Bike Park in Bedfordshire.
Hudson made light work of his home track to secure the victory, while elite women’s racer Josie McFall entered the male senior category and cruised her way into sixth place. With more in the tank for the season ahead, McFall is set to push women’s racing in 4X to a new level.
The team at Chicksands worked hard in the weeks leading up to the event prepping the track for a stellar day of racing. With inside berms being added, a variety of line choices opened up along with extra speed. New and familiar faces graced the newly-refurbished track, which was dry and loose, to make for an exhilarating day’s racing.
Hudson blitzed the final run to take the elite men’s win ahead of Tom Bell in second and Ian Forsyth in third. Kingsley Mears had promising moto results going into the final, with two firsts and a third place, but was unable to match the speed of the top three.
The elite category comprised of both familiar and new faces, with the likes of Freddie Cadman Carpenter coming up from the junior ranks to take eighth place. Jack Hudson mixed up the pack coming from senior, taking a final result of fourth.
The senior men’s race had a new competitor in the form of Josie McFall, who made moves all over the course and showed she can race bar to bar with the boys, as well as being the fastest female of the day. The top spot was snapped up by Tommy Magnenas, while second place went to Jordan Lunn, and Louis Hopkins rounded off the podium in third.
In the senior women’s category, Katie Hayes and Alexia Desile raced hard all day and kept level from corner to corner, holding slides in loose sand and brushing arms over jumps, with Hayes prevailing to take the win. Desile came in second, and Hannah Escott claimed third.
Another brilliant battle ensued amongst the junior racers, with the first corner becoming a tight funnel into the S bend. James Sankey, who eventually took first place, battled all day through the motos. Healthy amounts of bar rubbing could be seen, with strong competitors such as Izak Williams in the mix keeping Sankey on the pedals. Lots of new faces have joined the junior category this year, with riders progressing up and joining for the first time. Sankey was joined on the podium by Jack Sherrington in second and Kyran Patel in third.
The youth race was closely fought as Lucas Rose managed to negotiate some tight bar-on-bar action to stay grounded and take the win in the A-final. He was joined on the podium by Finley Davies in second and Harvey Gulliver in third.
In the B-final, Danny Pattinson and Jacques Gilks-Stokes battled into the first S bend, resulting in Gilks-Stokes sliding off his bike. This allowed Thomas Browne and Zak Chapman to sneak into the lead but ended with them tangled at the second S bend.
A packed juvenile category saw Jono Harradine and Barnaby Tucker battle in the first half of the race, before Tucker managed to keep the distance all the way to the line. Harradine finished in second, while Jay Holt-Davies took third place.
The rippers is an ever-growing category, with this round seeing a fantastic 11 riders take to the start gate. Joshua Sylvester took the win, while Robin Matern Alonso came second, and Hadley Harding took third.
Martin Ogden made his return to 4X this weekend, finishing in third place. With a strong start from the gate, Matthew Hillyard claimed second, but it was David Sibly who showed his dominance to maintain his lead and take first place.
Seasoned BMX racer, Julian Allen, swept through the veterans’ category to take the win. Joseph O’Neill took second place, while third place went to Mick Ridgway, who also returned today after a long time away from the sport to shake up the pack.
Grand Veterans (50+)
Also coming out of retirement for the weekend, Ben Rafferty took first place in the grand veterans category. He went head-to-head with Si Paton, with both riders showing their years of experience, with some close-fought racing finishing up with Paton taking second, followed by David Michael in third.
The second round of the 4X series takes place at FlyUp 417 in Gloucestershire on Sunday 7 May.