Double delight for British champ

Connor Hedges. Picture: Helene Pearce
Connor Hedges. Picture: Helene Pearce
Abbie Manley leads her Hargroves Ridley Montezuma's team-mate Amy Perryman through a corner at the Swanmore Motocross Track. Picture: Neil Marshall (171339-131)

Fareham Wheelers dream of national service

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Connor Hedges has become a double British champion.

The Gosport 12-year-old impressed with his skills to win the cruiser title before defending his BMX crown 24-hours later at the championships in Kent.

Hedges, who is a student at Brune Park Community School, had entered the 24-inch wheel cruiser class as a warm-up for the main event.

But his stellar promise came to the fore as he beat world numbers four and five as well as the national number one to claim glory.

His dad Neil Hedges said: ‘He has never ridden in the cruiser class before but he has a natural talent for it.

‘We put him in the race for a bit of fun and he just happened to win it.’

Hedges was one of only two riders out of more than 1,000 across all the age categories who completed the historic double.

His talents have been obvious since he took up riding aged four and won his first race three months later.

He claimed his maiden British title last season in Birmingham.

The Gosport BMX Club and UK Bike Store ace has high hopes of being picked for the British Cycling talent schemes after making the Hampshire squad and being spotted by regional scouts.

But for now, Hedges has had to put those dreams on hold after a training accident which is set to rule him out for the rest of the season.

His dad added: ‘He scratched two vertebrae when he crashed going over a jump and landed on his back.

‘My wife and I were worried but when we got to hospital it was nothing too serious.’

Hedges will miss the South Region Championships but hopes to be back up to full speed in time for the start of the British Youth Series in the spring.

There he will race alongside his eight-year-old sister, Hannah, who proved brilliant bike-handling runs in the family with a fourth place finish in the British Championships.