Laxey’s Colin Clague is BMX star in making
by Lee Brooks [January 6, 2012]
THERE may be something in the water in Laxey – beneficial to two-wheeled sportsmen.
Having already produced a certain Mark Cavendish, the village is also home to promising young BMX rider Colin Clague.
The 16-year-old Ramsey Grammar School student had a great season competing around the UK in the National Series, and has qualified for the World Championships in Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena in May, an event which will feature the world’s top professionals vying to secure qualification to the London 2012 Olympic Games.
His placing in the National Series marks an impressive improvement – he finished third (up from eighth in 2010) in the cruiser class, and seventh (up from 32nd in 2010) in the 20-inch class.
He was inspired to try the sport just two and a half years ago after watching a race.
Within four months of starting he had qualified for the British Championships in Somerset, finishing 27th out of 60 in his debut event.
The better he gets, however, the more expensive the season becomes – each trip includes the cost of taking a car with a bike rack on the ferry, race entry fees, plus the general expenses of bikes, kit, repairs and replacement parts.
Colin is able to build and repair bikes himself, and has work experience at Eurocycles in Douglas.
Colin, along with his parents Iain and Marianne, are appealing for sponsors to assist the family with the cost of the World Championships and his 2012 season.
They have applied for a grant from the Isle of Man Cycling Association and Sports Aid, though they have not been successful. Marianne gains the impression most cycling funds in the island are directed toward road cycling ahead of mountain biking and BMX.
On the Manx scene, Colin, who is one of a number of Manx BMX riders who travel to compete in the UK and Ireland, says: ‘It’s good here, but there’s a lot more going on away. In Somerset they showed me how to ride properly!
‘I’ve quit park riding now – I need to jump but stay low. In a race I would hit six feet but others would only jump two feet so I was losing ground.’
Training is difficult as he says the Ramsey track is too small, although he reckons the track in Douglas could be good if it was smoothed out a bit.
He will finish his GCSEs this year and is contemplating a move to Manchester to study at the British Cycling Centre and become a BMX coach.
Being based in the UK would be a big help for his racing.
For now being part of the British team is not an option as, although he has beaten guys who are in that squad, he could not train with them in the UK every weekend.
Longer term, once his competition days are over, Colin says he would like to return to the island and open a bike shop.
The family would like to thank BMX Isle of Man chairman Dave Black and the rest of the club for their support so far.