Along with Chris Froome making history by winning the Tour De France this weekend, it was also time for our future British cycling talent to take centre stage with two-year-old Ned from Battle riding his way to bronze at the 2013 Strider British Balance Bike Championships qualifying event at the Cyclopark in Gravesend.
Backed by Britain’s top BMX rider Shanaze Reade, this was the third major event of the 2013 Strider British Balance Bike Championships which brought together 70 children between 18 months and 5 years old to ride and race no-pedal balance bikes over one of the UK’s best BMX tracks with the ultimate aim of being crowned British Champion later this year.
With a great family atmosphere and friendly, yet competitive, day of racing it was Ned who emerged victorious striding home to third in his age-group. Ned’s dad, Tom Jones said: “The Strider British Championships were fantastic – it really was an excellent day and Ned did a great job to come in third in his age group.”
Shanaze, who was unable to make it on the day, said: “The Strider British Balance Bike Championship events not only give children the chance to ride over some of UK’s biggest and best BMX tracks, but also race against some of their friends. There really is no other way for toddlers as young as 18 months old to get the experience of riding at a major event. It’s an amazing opportunity.
“I would have loved the chance to ride at an event like the Strider British Balance Bike Championships when I was a toddler – these are the experiences that inspire children to get into a sport. You never know, some of the children riding at this year’s championships could be our world or Olympic BMX champions of the future!”
The event also saw Ned secure his qualifying spot for the Strider British Balance Bike Championship Final later this year. This will see the top riders from six major qualifying events across the country face off against each other for the title of 2013 British Champion and the chance to represent Great Britain at the 2013 World Championships in Florida.
Melanie Thomas, Strider British Balance Bike Championship organiser said: “What a day of racing. There was a real buzz of excitement around the venue. Although a special congratulations goes out to our winners, every rider who came along to the event deserves our heart-felt praise for their efforts on the weekend.”