Callum pips the British No 1 to become champ
CALLUM Chard-Maple has become a BMX champion – only three years after losing his stabilisers.
The six-year-old made light work of winning the British tournament at Cheddar, beating Felix Twitchett, the nation's number one, and Dexter Phillips, nephew of Team GB Olympian Liam.
Callum, who started racing competitively only two years ago, has already won a regional contest and his proud mum Michelle said he is travelling to the South West Championships this weekend in the hope of picking up even more trophies
Michelle said: "He had three heats, or motos as they call them, to compete in and he won all of those so he progressed to the quarter-final, which he won, the semi-final, which he won, and then the final – so he won everything.
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"He will compete in the South West competition which is on September 30 so if he wins that he would have won the regional, British and South West tournaments which we are hoping he will do as that is the best you can get.
"The next thing for him is the nationals. We didn't take him this year because of the funding and it is quite expensive but everybody said at Cheddar that he should be doing it because he beat the British number one," she added.
Callum's first bike as a three-year-old was plastered with stickers from the animated movie Cars and was fitted with stabilisers for only two days. He was given a Raleigh Bomber on his fourth birthday in 2010 but he soon progressed to a bike set up for races in order to enter, and win, a regional competition in the same year, despite being up against top riders around two years older than him.
Michelle added: "He first started riding a bike when he was three and he first raced just after he turned four, but he practices all the time and loves cycling.
"Somebody told me at Cheddar that by the first berm, or bend, the kids were doing 30mph, which is a heck of a speed on a push bike."
Callum, a Tiverton BMX Club member, has improved thanks to the track at Amory Park. Thanks have been paid to Callum's aunt and uncle Graham and Ali Canon and Jay Cowley from the Bike Shop, Gold Street, for their sponsorship and to other family members for support on race days.
Callum said: "I couldn't do this without dad and I want to thank him for his help and training."