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Different race meetings explained

Club racing is where it all begins with riders of all abilities taking to the track, either for their first ever race or to fine tune their performance. Novice and expert race categories give people the chance to take those first pedals in a race and get used to the schedule of a day. Here at Manchester BMX Club we host one off race meetings and an annual race series with trophies presented at a big end of season party.


Regional racing

Sees riders from clubs across the North of England come together for a big one day event which rotates from club to club during the season. Around 350 riders across novice and expert classes come together for an action packed day. Novice racing gives riders an introduction to large race formats in an informal setting. Be sure to tell the club before you attend your first regional race and we'll make sure our fab team are on hand to help you navigate the day. 

The British Cycling National Race series

600-700 riders from across the country come together for a double header of racing over 2 days. Riders need to have completed 5 regional races at expert level to qualify for a national race, where there is only an expert level category. 

The British Championships

Known as the Brits, is a single event held on the August bank holiday to decide the rider who gets the privilege of calling themselves the best in the country and ride the number 1 plate for the following year. Riders will need to have qualified via the regional race series 

European and World Championships 

Held annually for riders who have met the British Cycling criteria through either the national series or Brits. Riders making the final are given the honour of carrying an E# or W# plate the following season with the W1 plate marking you as the best rider in the world

The Olympics

The pinnacle of sporting achievement, held every 4 years with only the very best elite level riders being selected to represent their country and compete to get their hands on the prestigious gold medal



Which category is right for you

Novice racing is the perfect introduction for any newer riders, giving you the chance to experience a race day with other newer riders, with officials and volunteers on hand to guide you through the day. Available at club and regional races, you are eligible to complete one full season of racing at novice before moving up to expert. At club races, this is one full race series, at regional events this is a maximum of 5 novice events in total.

For expert racing you will need to have a British Cycling race license and a mylaps transponder. The racing is much more competitive but still with a fun element to it. 

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What will my plate number be?

A rider's plate number is what is used to distinguish them from all the other riders in their category. When starting out, Manchester BMX Club have spare plates we are able to lend out for the day. As you become more confident that BMX racing is for you, it's time to get your race licence, which also gives you your plate number

British Cycling issue race licences to riders of all ages. You can register here for yours. You need a silver membership and provisional licence to race expert level regional races. A bronze membership is sufficient for novice racing. Your plate number is made up from the last 3 digits of your race licence. This would include any preceding zeros, giving a number of 068 as opposed to 68. This number will not change from season to season so you will carry it into every race unless you earn a ranking number from winning tournaments. 

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Registration, Motos, Finals & Grand Prix Racing

Upon arrival at any race meeting you will need to sign on your rider. This is done in various ways depending on the event so be sure to check the instructions from the race organisers. 

At Manchester BMX Club races and at North Regional races, novice riders should visit race control so the riders name, plate number and category can be checked. Expert riders at these events are usually able to ride the track and have their transponder sign them in.

All riders should check the sqorz website ( to ensure they are in the right category and there is a green tick against their name and transponder (if using one). This will be where race details and results are published during the event. If there are small numbers of riders in a category it may be merged with another to increase the number of riders on the track at once, however the final results are determined just on the original entrance category. Races are listed in the format race number: gate number. So race 26:4 means the rider is in race number 26 (and should enter pen 6) and will be starting from gate number 4. Similarly a listing of 110:1 would mean race 110 (in pen 10) starting from gate 1.

If there are 8 riders or less in a category (or merged category) then the event is grand prix style where 4 motos (races) are scored to determine the final standings. The winner of the 4th and final race will not necessarily be the winner of the event.

With 9 or more riders, motos will be followed by finals. Motos are the first 3 rounds of racing where riders score points to rank them in their category. From here riders advance to knock out stages..

  • Between 9 and 16 riders, competitors are split into A and B finals. (if B finals are being run)

  • Between 17 and 32 riders, competitors are split into semi finals with the top 4 from each progressing to the A final and the rest moving to the B final

  • Between 33 and 64 riders, competitors are split into quarter finals with the top 4 from each progressing to the semi finals and others finishing racing for the day

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