Supported by the newly reformed ‘Lisburn BMX Club’ and with a new and improved track, including higher berms (corners) and more technical jumps, the 1st heat in the series was sure to prove a challenging, but excellent day of BMX racing.
100 BMX riders from across Ireland attended, with varying degrees of expectations, some had the objective of winning, others just wanted to fulfil the dream of rolling back the years and taking part. 12 members of the ‘Lisburn BMX Club’ attended, all capable of competing well in their relative age groups, so spirits were high going into the first hour of practise.
Lisburns’ Owen Spence, Mark Kennedy and George Gordon rolled back at least a few years, and showed they hadn’t lost it by racing well during the practise rounds. Once the hours practise run was over, it was time for the real thing, expectations were high from a ‘Lisburn BMX Club’ perspective, they could be going home North with some silverware…..
The racing was run according to a 5 x race moto plus semi-final then final system with many of the Lisburn racers doing well, namely Jack and Tom Gordon making it comfortably out of their moto races then finishing 8th and 6th respectively. Other members of the Lisburn club did equally as well, Alex Malone made it through the moto’s and got a fantastic 3rd in her final, Jacob Dixon, sponsored by the ‘ABD’ bikes team won all his moto races and finished first in the final, fantastic result. Mark Kennedy made it through his moto’s and into the final but had to pull out as a result of an injury he picked up in his second race, Owen Spence got a creditable 3rd in his final having achieved 3 wins out of 5 races in his initial moto’s, but unfortunately George Gordon’s’ day finished early with a fall in his first race of the day and couldn’t continue.
Chris Madden, another Lisburn member was in the 16+ category, one of the toughest age categories racing that day, Chris made the final and finished in a respectable 8th place.
Another Lisburn rider Jamie McCullough, was one of the favourites in his group, the ‘super class’ so the pressure was one. The Super Class race was the best of the day, with Jamie showing his talent by coming from mid pack into the last turn then powering his way to 1st by only half a bike length, to the obvious cheers of the ‘Lisburn BMX Club’ supporters.
A fantastic day was had by all those racing in the 1st BMX National of the season, and credit must go out to those Lisburn racers who travelled and performed valiantly despite not having a track of their own; hopefully this will change in the near future, over to you Lisburn Council. Let’s bring BMX back to the City of Lisburn.
Photographs courtesy of Stephen Kane