Britain’s leading BMX riders will descend on Gosport this weekend for the culmination of the national series.
New champions will be crowned, but for some – including Gosport’s very own rising star of the sport, Ethan Craik – the event will be more of a victory parade after already being declared winners.
Gosport BMX club chairman Darren Fells is delighted his outfit have been selected to host the prestigious event. He said being picked to stage the final rounds was a big honour.
‘It’s rounds eight and nine, the final two of the national series, and we are expecting anywhere up to 700 riders,’ said the 42-year-old.
‘Previous events have been held in cities like Manchester and Birmingham, as well as the Cycylepath in Kent.
‘There are only five clubs in the country that were offered them and we are one of them.
‘It’s a big honour to stage such an event.’
Fells, who has been with the Gosport BMX racers since the club’s formation in 2006, said it was fitting that Craik would be able to celebrate his national title on his home track.
He also tipped the 10-year-old to become a leading figure in the sport.
With series points decided by each rider’s best seven results from the nine rounds, Craik has already sealed the Male 10 category crown.
An unbeaten series now lies in wait for the talent, who was ranked second in the world in his age group in 2012.
‘Ethan has already won his national category,’ said Fells.
‘He is that far ahead of everyone else that they couldn’t catch him even if he didn’t race this weekend.
‘He’s been at the club for four years, and we all know his talent.
‘One day he could quite easily become a world champion.’
Age groups ranging from six-year-olds to over-40s will be competing today (midday) and tomorrow (2pm) at Grange Road.
And for aspiring riders such as Craik, extra incentive to succeed arrives with news that Olympic riders Liam Phillips and Shanaze Reade could be in attendance.
Fells added: ‘Liam has just won the national championships in New Zealand and he and Shanaze may both turn up.
‘That would be a massive boost for the kids.’