Ireland’s Kelvin Batey (33) travelled to the 2014 UCI BMX World Championships with high expectations. A year of training all leading up to this event in Rotterdam where Kelvin would not only race in the Masters class but also the 30-34 year old Cruiser class.
Every year the Masters class gets harder as new riders reach the minimum age requirement of 30 years. This year Kelvin not only had to deal with Argentina’s Cristian Becerine, the number 1 USA BMX Vet Pro, but also Denmark’s Olympian, Morten Therkildsen. Not an easy field to navigate!
Kelvin’s Masters challenge got off to a perfect start with three perfect laps in the moto’s resulting in three wins. In the semi Kelvin went into the big sweeping first berm level with Becerine but came out in second where he sat comfortably for the rest of the lap, easing up on the final straight.
Photo: Simon Murphy
Master Moto’s – Kelvin Batey, World Number 2 – 2014
Master Semi Final – Kelvin Batey, World Number 2 – 2014
Second place in the semi final put Kelvin in gate 4 for the final with Becerine in gate 2 and Therkildsen in gate 5 beside Kelvin. With such a short first straight the advantage was firmly in Bercerine’s court.
The Argentinian got a brilliant gate giving him the holeshot at turn one. Kelvin came out in second and after a slight bobble on a jump sat in behind Becerine until the third straight where he opened up and took first place by the end of the straight but got checked in turn three, which killed both Kelvin’s and Becerine’s speed. That left the gate open for Therkildsen, who was behind by a significant distance, to whip by both of them on the last straight taking the title. Kelvin managed to regain momentum to take the silver medal on the line with Becerine in third. The Masters had been all about these three.
Master Final – Kelvin Batey, World Number 2 – 2014
Photo: Simon Murphy
After the final Kelvin responded with ” It’s been a great year wearing the stripes and it’s been one of the proudest things I’ve ever done in my life. Silver medal this year after a great race and beaten by my long time friend and someone I really respect, Morten Therkildsen,congrats mate you deserve it. Thanks to everyone for the well wishes and the support I have had at this championship.”
It’s our opinion that Kelvin was visibly the fastest rider on the day, he is definitely faster now than he was in New Zealand 2013 when he won the Masters title but it’s the tiniest little things that happen in the frantic 30 seconds that can change everything.
On the Friday Kelvin hopped on to a borrowed Cruiser for the first time this year, swapping all the parts he could from his bike on to it, stating that he was ‘going to ride it like a 20″ ‘. And that’s just what he did, not dropping a lap all day in the moto’s, quarters and semi. A class above! In the final our man did not get the best of gates but by half way down the first straight he was level and being the only rider to jump the big triples going into turn one put him out front. From there he was gone and cruised to victory and his second World Championship title in as many years. Kelvin Batey, World number 1, again.
One week, two bikes, two medals. Brilliant.
30-34 Cruiser Moto’s – Kelvin Batey World number 1 – 2014
30-34 Cruiser Final – Kelvin Batey World number 1 – 2014
Kelvin interviewed right after winning.
Kelvin will be back next year to reclaim his Masters title at BMX Zolder in Belgium. But what are Kelvin’s plans post Belgium? Well this is where it gets really interesting … an extended period off work, serious full time training and a return to the SX Series with an eye on Olympic qualification for Rio 2016 when the World Championships roll into Medellin, Colombia … “Its the last piece of my career that’s missing so I want to fully go for it this time“. Start planning, we’re going to Brazil …
Result: Kelvin didn’t drop a lap all day. 1st in the final.World Number 1! See HERE for more info.
Cruiser 30-34 Final – Kelvin Batey, World Number 1 – 2014
Cruiser 45+: Friday 25th 8.00 – 13.10 Tom Campbell#462 Moto#66 Result: Tom made it to the 1/8′s, just missing the 1/4′s. Eamonn Wyer#463 Moto#67 Result: Some good moto results got Eamonn to the 1/8′s but an outside gate pick meant he was up against it.
Two years in the making and worth every single minute. Round 4 of the 2014 Irish National Series rolled into Lucan BMX on the 28th & 29th of June bringing with it gazebo’s, VIP tents, camper vans, information booths, catering, banners, flags, DJ’s, raffles, prize money, UK elite riders, a World number one, a newly discovered commentating talent and the sun. Yes, the sun even played ball, the first National of 2014 to be fully drenched in sun! Not just a race … an event, a marker for the future.
To open the track we went straight to the top, Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar TD did the honours with the help of track designer and current World Number 1, Kelvin Batey. By all accounts the Minister was very impressed with the facility, we’re sure it won’t be the last BMX track he gets to cut the ribbon at. Cycling Ireland’s CEO, Geoff Liffey and President, Denis Toomey where also on hand to witness the track opening and the thrilling racing to follow.
The real star of the show was the new world class Lucan track, which had been pruned to perfection for the event by the Lucan BMX Club. It not hard to see where all those long days and late nights went.
The event kicked off on Saturday morning with a coaching session by Get Racing’s Kelvin Batey who was also here to race for the first time since Irelands first new school BMX race in November 2011. The difference being, this time Kelvin had serious competition in Stay Strong’s Paddy Sharrock and Haro’s Cal Strickland. Also in the Haro UK travelling party were Abbie Taylor and Lauren Smith who gave an excellent coaching session on Saturday evening.
Sunday morning and the racing started a little earlier than usual as we needed time for speeches, photo shoots and flights home. The racing did not disappoint …
Aaron Larkin came out nowhere to win his first National race, not dropping a lap all day in the Under 6 Boys class, a future star. He was followed home by Alex Waller with Callum Dunleavy in third. None of whom had any issues with the new track.
Corey Waller emulated Aaron Larking by not losing a race in the 7-8 Boys category. Lucan BMX’s Callum Clancy took the second step on the podium with Charlie Jackson taking the third. Charlie is quickly becoming one of the raddest (he’s already the maddest) young talents we have, keep a close eye on him.
One of the most hotly contested classes is the 9-10 Boys with Niall Davis, Ryan Quinn, Calvin Dunne and Lee O’Sullivan all in the mix. This one ended with Ryan, Niall and Calvin on the podium in that order but the winner of National number 5 is totally up for grabs.
At this point we should mention the one and only Chad Gilmer, our newly found commentator. He is what we have been missing until now. Atmosphere has arrived at Irish BMX racing! The most commonly asked question of the day … who is the American guy on the mic? Brilliant!
Daniel Barker from Unit 8 Haro won the 11-12 Boys by quite the distance followed by the returning to form Cian O’Sullivan who looked impressive all day. Morgan Kearney had to battle his way from the back of the pack all the way to third after a slip on the first straight, impressive stuff.
Kings – N – Leon star Leon Curley was on fire taking the win in the 13-14 years boys class. Only the fast improving Matthew Campbell of Team Reconcile was able to get close to Leon, he did manage to beat the overall winner in one moto. A brewing battle here! Lee Byrne grabbed the third podium spot for the day.
The 15+ guys had Haro’s Elite rider Abbie Taylor to contend with. She sat in behind Eoin Corrigan and Adam Davis all afternoon until exploding into action in the final, taking the win. Route 55′s Eoin had to settle for second with Adam Davis riding up an age group in third. Tactically, Abbie may just have taught a valuable lesson here …
The biggest crowd reaction came for KT O’Neill in the 15+ B Final, very close race with the lead changing more than once.
The 30+ Vets class was on a bit of a comeback, Geoff Lynch from the East Coast Raiders was on flying form in his first National of 2014 but couldn’t reel in the new kid Joey O’Neill who took first despite his new facial hair. Tom Campbell from Team Reconcile took the third spot on those 24″ wheels. Brian Smyth was in the mix all day too. Ian Hamilton had to sit it out after a crash in practice on Saturday and instead turned his skills to finish line marshal.
Summit Racing’s Chloe Byrne was all over the Under 7 Girls taking the win followed by Skyla Nally and Chloe Steacy. Ava Quinn was right in the battle making light work of the track.
Shauna Byrne won every lap in the 8-10 girls with Moto Maniacs Jade Gaffney in second. Aoife Murtagh took the third place trophy home.
GHP’s Abby Steacy was cruising around in first all day followed by Kate Larkin and Caitlin Gaffney, both getting faster.
The Ladies 15+ saw Haro’s former W3, Lauren Smith coaxed out of retirement for the day and taking the win. Alison Murphy from iPLANiT Racing took second place followed by Alex Malone.
The Superclass was stacked with world class talent. Batey, Sharrock and Strickland where always going to be the three fighting it out for Ireland’s biggest BMX cash payout to date courtesy of Principle Environmental, Congress Print and iPLANiT. While Paddy and Cal swapped some places in the moto’s, Kelvin took first in all three. In the final Kelvin didn’t get the best of gates leaving him half a bike length behind by the bottom of the 5m hill but by the midpoint of the first straight he had powered into the lead and was gone. Sharrock dove under Strickland in the first berm securing second with Cal finishing third. Joe Presswood, also travelling from the UK, was the only rider to get close to the first three all day. He finish 4th with Aaron Edwards in 5th. Matthew Malone, Sam Murphy and John Ward split the rest of the prize money.
The Ambulance crew expended the least amount of energy all day with thankfully nothing to do, with the exception of maybe one plaster. They did enjoy the racing though.
Thanks to the crew who turned the race into a brilliant event, Simon, Eamonn, Kevin, Owen, Paula, Miriam, Aidan, Eugene, Karl, Brian, Jane, Grace, Wayne, John, Janice, Michael, Tom, the two Suzanne’s, Eamon O’Boyle, Callan, Euan, Mathew and Scott, most of you know their surnames. Liam and Chris for hiding away in the office most of the day doing the hard work. All of these people were whipped into shape by the unstoppable Nathalie Lawlor. Thanks!
A huge amount of effort has gone into getting this fantastic new track from a hope to a reality. Countless hours of work from Eamonn Wyer of the Cycling Ireland BMX Commission on everything to do with everything, Kelvin Batey on design, Tom Campbell working on the gate with Pro Start, and Shay McNally, who as usual is never far away.
Fingal County Council with Hans Visser had the vision to push ahead and believe in BMX. There would be no track without Mr. Visser. Funding was provided by Philomena Moore & Co at the Fingal Leader Partnership along with fundraisers in the BMX community and Mr. PJ Gallagher, you have all made a huge investment in the youth of the area and our sport.
The Laragchon Residents Association have also been very supportive of the project with some of their members coming on board for the day to day track operation. Not forgetting the track builders, Euroservices Ltd., who have invested a lot of time and manpower into the facility, treating it more like an art project than a construction one.
Lucan BMX have a large amount of sponsors, please support the people who support our sport (click on thier links below to visit thier sites).
Round 5 of the Irish BMX Series is to be held on the 20th July at a yet undecided location as the planned track is no longer an option. As soon as the details are finalised we will spread the word. Stay tuned!
The National Table is updated HERE and the Team Table is HERE.
As usual, thanks to the people who make us look good in their photographs. It takes a huge amount of work to take the shots, edit the shots and then upload them all. Click their names below to go check out all the images.
It’s been obvious for awhile now that young Abby Steacy has been getting faster and faster as the weeks go by, the regular trips to the British BMX Series are starting to pay off. She always looks pretty trick too in her stealthy mirrored goggles and matching gear so understandably it was only a matter of time before she got noticed by the talent scouts.
Neil Anyon from Greg Hill Products UK (GHP UK) has had an eye on Abby since the 2013 Manchester National and has seen the improvements, so much so that since the Preston round of the British Series Abby is now officially part of the GHP UK team! You couldn’t pick a better place for a young female BMX racer to be, she will be surrounded by brilliant female BMX talent. It’s not hard to get inspired by British Champion Louise Abbott or World #7 Libby Smith. If that’s not enough, GHP UK have also got one of the most naturally gifted BMX riders of our generation in French man Denis Teullet on the team.
Abby meeting her new team.
Abby in action in the UK
Greg Hill, the man behind GHP, is a legend in the BMX world. Greg dominated the Pro BMX ranks during the 1980′s winning countless titles in the US and internationally. Now Greg spends his time designing new products and training young riders. Greg will be in the UK coaching in the near future, be nice to Abby and she might hook you up.
Greg Hill in front as always
As you can imagine, Abby’s dad, Keith, is pretty delighted too “We are so happy for the chance, a big thanks to all at GHP UK for making Abby’s dream come true”. Keith will be travelling with Abby to the remainder of the 2014 UK Nationals and on into the 2015 series. Hopefully, they will bring some of Abby’s new team mates to this side of the Irish Sea for some racing and clinics. Mr. Teullet would love Ireland.
Abby will be rocking the GHP colours and the delicious 2014 GHP fame at a track near you soon, form an orderly queue to stare in jealously.
Wet, cold, windy … a perfect summers day for a race. Shay’s personal weather god has abandoned us all! Saying that, there was still some great racing from the hardy bunch that braved the tough conditions out at Ratoath BMX. The weather did contribute to a steady stream of crashes though. Lee Byrne and Geronimo Roa probably had the worst of them, hopefully they recover and get back on it quickly.
The youngest group, the under 6 boys, was decided with moto racing. Alex Waller took it followed by Callum Dunleavy and Evan Fynes. Carly Hayes was in the thick of it all day battling with the boys as was Luke Murphy.
Corey Waller was again on top in the 7-8 boys closely followed by Callum Clancy who is getting quicker all the time. James Woods took the third spot with Charlie Jackson not far behind in fourth. Seven riders meant this group was at full pace all day in moto racing.
The 9-10 boys had some great 1st, 2nd and 3rd straight battles between Ryan Quinn and Lee O’Sullivan but it was Ryan first over the line in all four moto’s. Aaron Masterson Wyer, who finished third, was in a tight battle all day with Calvin Dunne, one of the fastest improving riders this year. Special mention to Eoin Williams in his first National race, the weather didn’t make it easy!
The super competitive 11-12 boys group won by speedy Daniel Barker from Morgan Kearney and Jake Larkin. Cian O’Sullivan was unlucky to crash and end his chances.
The hardest working (with a shovel & rake anyway) Irish BMXer, Leon Curly, took a deserved win in the 13-14 year olds. With Matthew Campbell in second and Jason Rowe in third. Lee Byrne, as mentioned earlier, never made it to the gate after a bad crash during practice followed by a trip to the hospital.
Chole Steacy took the under 7′s girls by a single point form Chloe Byrne with Skyla Nally in third.
In the 8-10 girls class Shauna Byrne was the runaway winner with Alannah Carolan in second closely followed by Aoife Murtagh.
The older Steacy sister, Abby, also took top spot in her group, the 11-14 girls. Kate Larkin finished the day in second with Shauna Rowe in third. Ella Murtagh put on a brave show too in the rain and wind.
In the 15+ male class it was Eoin Corrigan cruising around unimpeded taking the win. Adam Fynes had some very fast starts but needs to get his legs spinning faster to keep up with Eoin. Patrick Bradley was in the mix too, ending up third with David Dorney in forth. David looked impressive on his new whip. Katie O’Neill, the only girl in the group, had an impressive moto win followed by an equally impressive spill on the last berm. Adam Davis who was on fire at the previous National was seen walking around with his hand bandaged, what happened there?
The 30+ Vets saw Ian Hamilton win all but one of the four moto’s putting him on top of the podium for the day. Joey O’Neill managed to win the last moto giving him second overall. Tom Campbell ended up third after some fast first straights. Johnny Reid looked strong all day, ending up forth with Michael Wilson, in his first National, just behind in fifth.
The Superclass riders were again happy to allow Joe Presswood get used to leading a race from start to finish, they are an accommodating group after all. Matthew Malone, in his second Superclass year took a very impressive second followed by team mate Sam Murphy in third. Ilmars Virsis had an altercation with the step up on the second straight sending him from second to forth and taking Eamonn Wyer with him. The Superclass is proving once again to be the most completive class with all finalists in with a chance at a podium spot, well steps two and three anyway.
Massive props has to go to the Ratoath BMX crew led by Shay McNally for a great event in less than ideal conditions. The Ratoath Summer Sessions kick off on the 25th of May.
Chris Larkin, head commissaire for the day, did a great job in spite of the wellies, assisted by his minions, Alison, Owen, Steve and Kevin.
Mark your calendars for the 29th of June, Lucan BMX is on the horizon … round four! Let’s hope for some sun.
The National Table is updated HERE and the Team Table is HERE.
We are forever grateful for the people who make us look good in their photographs. Hit their names below to go check out all the images.
Round 2 of the Irish National BMX Series took place at the Ratoath BMX Club’s track. The newly re-furbished track was lightening quick during the week preceding the event but unfortunately on the day the weather was not playing ball, wet and windy, very windy, but still 87 brave riders got on the gate to rip it up. After a biblical downpour the skies did turn blue for the majority of the racing. Ratoath’s spiritual leader, Mr. McNally must have his own personal sun god stashed away somewhere …
The U6 Boys was won by Callum Dunleavy by a single point in a tight contest with Alex Waller and Evan Fynes with Luke Murphy also going well. Callum, the leader in best dressed competition too, sporting a fine onesie on the podium. If only we could get green Cycling Ireland versions in time I’d send the team off to Holland in them.
Corey Waller, in the 7-8 Boys took the win again from a fast improving Callum Clancy who won all his moto’s. Charlie Jackson, on fire again followed in third with James Woods, Dylan Moore and Cal Gilmer all going well.
The Boys 9-10 was won by the on form Nial Davis. Ryan Quinn ended up on the second step of the podium after some great racing. Calvin Dunne took the three spot followed closely by Lee O’Sullivan, Reuben Byrne and Jake Nally, all going well in the motos. This group is always one of the best to sit back and enjoy.
Super fast Daniel Barker was at it again in the 11-12 Boys, he’s getting faster by the day. The naturally gifted Morgan Kearney ended up second with Jack Larkin in third. Ross Callaghan, Alex Nally and Ronan Phibbs were also right in the mix all day.
The Boys 13-14 is shaping up to be a season long battle between some great young riders. Jason Rowe took the win form Matthew Campbell and Lee Byrne, Home track favourite Leon Curely had a bad crash in his first moto and didn’t really get back to 100%, keep an eye on him at the next round.
The very fast and stylish Eoin Corrigan, in the 15+, won the battle to win again but it was Adam Davis, riding up an age group, who almost stole the glory with a great pass in the last corner of the final but had to settle for second by the finish line. Jake Campbell going well, took third from Patrick Bradley ahead of Katie O’Neill, who was racing both the male and female categories, it’s tiring even thinking about it. Adam Fynes was unlucky in the final having gone well in the motos.
Girl U7 was won by Chloe Steacy in a real tight battle with Chloe Byrne from Skyla Nally, this group had moto racing with the two Chole’s having the same points so the winner was decided on the last moto. Very close.
Shauna Byrne took the Girls 8-10 class from Jade Gaffney and Alannah Carolan.
In the Girls 11-14, Abby Steacy was on it again, taking the top spot from Shauna Rowe, Kate Larkin and Caitlin Gaffney.
Katie O’Neil, running from the finish line back to the start hill for the 15+ Ladies took the number one spot from Alison Murphy in second, followed by Alex Malone in third.
Adult 30+ was won again by Joey O’Neill, two for two, not bad for his first season racing. Belfast BMX Club’s Johnny Reid, who in his first BMX race since 1991 managed to stay alive and take second at the same time. Ex Superclass rider Ian Hamilton took third. It would be brilliant if we had all our 30+ riders back for round 3, some were spotted riding the track after the race, we know you want to!
The Superclass was won easily by Joe Presswood from the UK, again showing that actual training goes a long way, hopefully some of our best can learn a thing or two. The good thing for Irish BMX was that Aaron Edwards, Jake Lynch, Matthew Malone and Sam Murphy are now realising their potential and learning that winning sometimes requires a battle. Aaron worked hard all day for his second spot and Jake proved that it doesn’t matter how you get to the final it’s what you do when your there.
Round 3 is back out at the Ratoath Track on May 11thwhen we can expect another great event from the Ratoath crew, Shay’s personal sun god is promising a harder, faster surface too. Now if only we could get everyone who raced the Nationals to turn up to a race on the same day … now that would be special!
You can see the National Table HERE and the Team Table HERE.
Yet again we had lots of great photographers out at the track making us look better than we actually are, you can see all their images in the links below.