Round 2 IMBA European Ladies MX Championship
Genk Belgium

Round 2 of the IMBA Ladies European MX Championships took place at the Belgium Genk track. A full gate on a fast and gravely track made for tricky conditions made worse by a hot and dry spell meaning dust would become a problem.  the

Back on the gate and returning to defend her title for the rest of the series was former world champion Steffi Laier, however new to the grid was Australian champion Emma Milesovic racing for Australia. Milesovic was in Europe to progress her MX career at world level.  For once in the IMBA series Steffi didn't have it her own way after Milesovic took the first race win and pushed Steffi to the limit in the next two. This made the pace very quick indeed.

The British team had mixed fortunes but showed great potential. Newcomer Bethany Farmer rose to the challenge with a strong performance in race 1 running in 4th place for the first few laps and only after a couple of minor errors dropped back to 6th place. Team mate Gabby Hamlet chased hard after a poor start working her way through to a strong 12th place followed by Georgia Ithell with a solid 20th place and the injured Vicky Marriott in 22nd.

Race 2 promised more exciting action and it delivered with Bethany Farmer gating well in 8th place closely followed by Vicky Marriott in 10th place, this time Gabby having a bad start in 21st and Georgia in 24th. Beth took the challenge to the front runners and picked off two more places to finish in another brilliant 6th place, Vicky fought hard at the frantic pace of the front runners but lost places as she made a few mistakes, her race finishing early after being taken out by Belgium Brenda Wagemans. falling again on her injured arm. Gabby dug deep and battled through the dust to finish a strong 15th with Georgia closing at 23rd.

The final race was looking good for Beth Farmer to get a brilliant overall but a fall and finally being taken out again by the ragged Belgium Wagemans dropped her down to 17th place ruining her chance of a brilliant top 10 overall result, Gabby finished another 15th place giving her 15th overall with Georgia finishing in 22nd overall. Vicky's race didn't really start with further injury to her arm from race 2 her race was just for points finishing with a creditable 24th overall.

Now we have a two month break until the GB round at Lower Drayton in June where hopefully the team have time to recover and get ready for a strong performance.

1st Steffi Laier 174pts Germany
2nd Emma Milesovic - 168pts Australia
3rd Brenda Wagemans - 147pts Belgium
4th Gwenda Haans - 144pts Netherlands
5th Fionna Hoppe - 135pts Germany
6th Amber Everts - 119pts Belgium
7th Emma Scheppmans - 115pts Belgium
8th Demi Verploegh - 113pts Netherlands
9th Bethany Farmer - 110pts Great Britain
10th Barbara Aargaard - 106pts Denmark

14th Gabrielle Hamlet - 84pts Great Britain
22nd Georgia Ithell - 58pts Great Britain
25th Vicky Marriott - 49 pts Great Britain

Great Britains Vicky Marriott being introduced to the crowd
The girls from each country shake hands in the spirit of international friendship
Frantic start of the first race of round 2
Australian Champion Emma Milesovic took the race to Former World Champion and current IMBA Champion Steffi by winning the first race and runner up in the next two
Great Britains Bethany Farmer rode at a great pace running in the top five to eventually take two 6th places before being taken out in the last ruining her overall chances.
Another brilliant and gutsy ride by Gabby Hamlet suffering from some bad luck on the starts damaging her chances of a better overall
Georgia Ithell put in another solid performance with three strong rides.

Round 1 IMBA European Ladies MX Championship
Emmen Holland

Sunday 23rd April saw Round 1 of the European IMBA Ladies Championship which promises to be an exciting season with last years Champion and former World Champion Steffi Laire not competing this year leaving the championship wide open for a new winner.

The Emmen track is typical deep Dutch sand with deep lines and berms and well constructed jumps on a track that flowed nicely but played heavily into the hands of the Dutch and Belgium ladies.

With Steffi Laires absence a new star took her place in the shape of Hollands Gwenda Haans giving a lesson on how to ride sand fast and smooth taking the overall with two wins and a fourth closely followed by fellow compatriot Demi Verploegh.

Top Brits, Gabby Hamlet and Bethany Farmer, fought and raced their hearts out in the deep sand battling and trading places with each other to finish a creditable 7th and 8th overall respectively. Race two saw Beth take highest race finish iwith 6th place and Gabby right behind in 7th,  putting them in a strong position for the hard pack tracks to follow.

Fellow Brits Georgia Ithell and Vicky Marriott both suffered set backs. Georgia struggling to get her KTM 125 out of the start and while battling hard with the mid pack couldn't find the speed to make the passes despite running strong times and Vicky Marriott struggled after aggrevating a torn bicep muscle from a pre season accident, bravely riding for team points which could be crucial come the end of the season.

No time to wait for Round 2 at Genk in Belgium a week later on 30th April where the Brits hope to gain an advantage on the familiar hard pack track.

1st Gwenda Haans 167pts Netherlands
2nd Demi Verploegh 158pts Netherlands
3rd Fiona Hoppe 154pts Germany
4th Brenda Waggemans 154pts Belgium
5th Cynthia Swets 133pts Belgium
6th Brit Van Muylem 127pts Belgium
7th Gabrielle Hamlet 117pts Great Britain
8th Bethany Farmer 113pts Great Britain
9th Selena Brummans 111pts Belgium
10th Mandy Vogelzang 111pts Netherlands

The 2017 Great Britain team of Beth Farmer, Georgia Ithell, Vicky Marriott and Gabby Hamlet.
Georgia Ithell mastering the deep sand finishing 19th overall
Top Brit Gabriella Hamlet finishing a creditable 7th overall
New team member for 2017, Beth Farmer leading enjoying her first taste of International European competition finishing a strong 8th overall
Vicky Marriott aggrevated a pre season injury struggled to finish in 22nd place with a brave performance