James, 9, takes on BMX world ti­tle event

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MERSEY­SIDE BMX racer, James Crid­dle, is rid­ing high af­ter mak­ing it to the fi­nal heats of the world cham­pi­onships in Amer­ica – and he’s only nine-years-old.

James was one of just five qual­i­fy­ing young­sters in the nine­and-under cat­e­gory from across the coun­try who flew out to the States rep­re­sent­ing Great Bri­tain in the cham­pi­onships.

He has been rac­ing since he was just five years old and was able to take part in the pres­ti­gious an­nual com­pe­ti­tion, held this year in South Carolina, af­ter qual­i­fy­ing in a na­tional con­test in Birm­ing­ham last year.

James, who lives in Crosby with his par­ents, Iain Crid­dle and Ruth Jones, suc­ceeded in get­ting through the fi­nal heats be­fore be­ing knocked out, along with the four other Bri­tish rid­ers in his age group.

His father Iain, a lawyer, ex­plained that the BMX cour­ses in Amer­ica are dif­fer­ent to those in this coun­try and their home­grown rid­ers con­se­quently have an ad­van­tage, us­ing their dif­fer­ent tech­niques.

But James, a Mer­chant Tay­lors’ pupil, who rides under the name Jimmy Crid­dle, is de­lighted to have done so well.

“He trains three times a week in Pre­ston, where he has one-toone coach­ing, and his suc­cesses just spur him on,” said Iain, adding that James, his only child, al­ready has his sights set on the Olympics in years to come

“I’m re­ally re­ally proud of him and it’s thrilling to think that thou­sands of peo­ple across the world watched him and the other com­peti­tors on in­ter­net TV and U-tube.

“As well as hav­ing to con­tend with a dif­fer­ent type of course they also had to deal with 100F tem­per­a­tures so it was an amaz­ing achieve­ment for him.”

Luck­ily for the plucky school­boy – whose in­evitable in­juries over the years have in­cluded a bro­ken hand, badly gashed leg and a split chin – his proud par­ents are 100% be­hind him.

Which is for­tu­nate, for as well as foot­ing the bill for the trip to Amer­ica there is the cost of his BMX bike and es­sen­tial pro­tec­tive cloth­ing.

And James has even been known to prac­tise his skills by jump­ing his bike over his prone dad.

“He’s re­ally ded­i­cated and trains hard so we are happy to back him all the way,’’ Iain ex­plained.

‘‘James is so keen he even had the let­ters BMX shaved into the back of his hair.”

james was the ‘poster boy’ for the Birm­ing­ham cham­pi­onships and has now just agreed to ride for BMX Widow Pho­tog­ra­phy Race Team next sea­son, which he is thrilled about.

Per­haps sur­pris­ingly, de­spite his fear­less tal­ents while on his bike James is ac­tu­ally a quiet lad, who is oth­er­wise quite happy en­joy­ing a leisurely game of cricket.

TT BMX Pics

Mersey­side BMX racer James Crid­dle

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