The domestic mountain bike season kicks off this weekend with Round 1 of the HSBC UK British 4X Series at Chicksands Bikepark, Bedfordshire. Chicksands has been a regular on the British calendar for several years now. Known for its infamous S-bends, the action is only ever a few moments away.
The 2019 season saw Chicksands local, Connor Hudson take home the national series overall. Hudson looked ahead to round 1: “I’m coming into 2020 with really high hopes after a really consistent year in 2019! It’s been a wet winter so bike time has been a bit inconsistent but overall, it’s been probably my best off-season yet, so I hope I can do the number 1 plate some justice!”
Hudson explained: “there’s always pressure competing at Chicksands. Living literally in sight of the bike park creates a fair bit of expectation to do well, coming mostly from myself.”
Nine-time national champion, Scott Beaumont faced a tough 2019. A broken arm early in the season, followed by a broken thumb at the UCI BMX World Championships.
Beaumont said: “I’m excited to get the 2020 season started as 2019 was one I’d like to forget! Two major surgeries on separate injuries was an awful lot to deal with! I’ve had a good winter of training and I am feeling strong and confident ahead of our opening round”. The reigning national champion Will Evans of Cornwall will not be in attendance of the first round of the year.
In the women’s field, the 2019 national series champion, Megan Wherry also of Cornwall will not be back to defend her title. Courtney Abbis will be looking to capitalise on that to move up into the top spot. Two-time World Championship silver medallist, Natasha Bradley will be taking on the senior men yet again this season. Bradley said: “I’ve been getting as much bike time as possible. This year I’m going to race some downhills and enduros as well as 4X to aid the skills.
“I’ve trained hard in the gym so hopefully it’ll give me a good shot at a World gold.” Added a confident Bradley."
The event will kick off on Sunday 22nd March, with heats starting at 12pm.