THE THRIVING Nottingham Outlaws BMX Club, based in Bulwell, are looking forward to resuming their winter race series — after the pre-Christmas tonic of a visit from a world champion.
Outlaws, who race at their Sellers Wood track, welcomed Shanaze Reade for the Second Round of the series, which attracted a record 140 entries.
Reade (23), who will be gunning for gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games, made the journey from her adopted home in Manchester to compete in the 16-to-29-year-olds’ category.
A professional BMX racer and track cyclist, she pitted her skills against some of the top riders in the Midlands, including Outlaws stars Jordan Perry and Chris Wimbledon. But after reaching the final, she had to pull out of the race because she got mud in her eye.
The race was won by Perry, with Doncaster’s Jordan Smith second and Wimbledon third.
However Reade intends to seek revenge by returning for the rest of the series, and she was full of praise for the Outlaws’ set-up at Bulwell.
“I was very impressed with the well-organised event and the friendly atmosphere at the club,” she said. “The track is great fun too.”
Reade also delighted her fans by posing for photographs and signing race shirts.
At the Olympics in London, she will be hoping to make amends for 2008 when she was favourite to land the gold medal in the women’s event but crashed in the final. She believes that race series, like the one held in Bulwell, against male riders can only help her ambitions.
The race series begins again at Sellers Wood a week on Sunday (January 8) from 11 am. There will also be novice classes suitable for beginners.
Outlaws run weekly coaching sessions every Saturday, including one for complete beginners. More details can be found on the club’s website, www.nottinghamoutlaws.com.
OUR PHOTO shows Shanaze Reade with one of Outlaws’ youngest enthusiasts, three-year-old Elsie-May Gray-Blest, the daughter of club chairman, Phil Gray-Blest.