The Hill family from Lynn tasted success when they travelled to Tulsa, Oklahoma to compete in the USABMX Grand Nationals over the American Thanksgiving weekend.
With more than 3,000 riders from 21 countries entered in the 130 different racing categories, it was the biggest BMX event in history.
After a full day of practice on Thursday, racing started early on Friday morning with the Race of Champions.
Jared (8) progressed to the finals in 8 Cruiser and 7-8 Open, racing against the current world champion. Jared fought his way to an impressive fourth place finish in cruiser and fifth in Open. Semi retired from major events, mum Abi finished the day with two sixth place trophies in 41-45 Cruiser and 41 & over Women.
Kyle (13) progressed to the semi-finals in 13 Cruiser and quarter-finals in 13 Expert after a heat win but the international class field made things a little too tough for him to make the finals.
Alan warmed up for his age classes with a sixth place in the 31&over Open final. With a good start in the 41-45 Cruiser class, he took a convincing win and the coveted ROC 1 numberplate and title.
In the penultimate race of the day at 11pm, Alan lined up for the 41-45 Expert final with a tough lane draw on the outside. Another great start saw him take the lead but the second place rider slid out and took Alan with him. Despite a heavy bang to the head, Alan was cleared to compete in the Grands the following day.
The Grands saw an increase in rider entries with a new record of 765 heats and some classes having more than 100 riders.
Jared made it to the quarters in 8 Cruiser and was looking good for a semi spot when the rider in front crashed and took Jared with him, ending his day’s racing.
Abi made it through to the final in 41-45 Women Cruiser and just missed out in the 41&over Women class with a fifth in the semi, happy to take home a sixth place trophy.
Kyle progressed as far as the quarters in 13 Expert after some good racing and wins in the heats.
After missing out on a place in the Cruiser final, Alan made amends by qualifying for the final in the 41-45 Expert, making one of his signature moves in the first corner to dive low and take the lead which he held to the finish, crowning him Grands Champion and collecting a 7ft tall trophy.
He was happy to beat America’s fastest and biggest names in BMX for his age group. The Hills hope to return to the USA in July 2017 (finances permitting) as Alan, Kyle and Jared have successfully qualified for the World Championships in Rock Hill, South Carolina.