NINE members of the Bideford Bombers went out of the gate and head to head against some of the best national riders after taking part in the British Championships at the weekend.

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The North Devon club took a range of ages to the annual event at Cheddar in Somerset, hosted by British Cycling and featuring some 1,200 riders from across the British Isles.

Saturday saw the cruiser racing, with four ‘Bombers’ in action – in the 30-35 year-old age class, Richard Chapple made it through to the finals achieving sixth place overall. Team mate Justin Gatting who also just missed out on a place in the finals but gained 10th.

Teenager Alex Hammett rode with the 15-16 year old cruisers and battled through the motos – heats - just missing out of a place in the semis but gaining 21st place out of the 24 that took part. First time Brits contender Darren Phipps made 45th place in a 50-strong group.

On Sunday the 20-inch classes took to the field, with young Bomber Fletcher Powe making it to the quarter finals and achieving an excellent seventh place. Club mate Curtis Gatting, in his first British championship, achieved 36th place.

The only Bideford female to qualify, 10-year-old Leah Chapple, also just missed out on a semis spot after making 18th place in her 28 strong race group.

Another first time Brits rider Lewis Ross, also aged 10, qualified for the quarters and raced brilliantly to pull seventh place from 56 riders. Zak Scales, 14, was up against 45 riders and managed an 33rd place. Alex Hammett, competing in the 16-year-old 20” class against 40 others secured a place in the quarter finals and reached seventh.

Also riding a second bike Richard Chapple rode with the masters and just missed out getting through to the semi finals achieving 17th place of the 26 that took part.

Bideford Bombers meet for the South West Championships on Sunday, September 30 their home track of Pollyfield in East-the-Water. All are welcome to take part. The cost is £10 per rider and entrants must wear full length sleeves and trousers, gloves and a helmet. For information contact Justin on 07800 854526 or email cjuliean8@aol.com.

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