Eden-based motocross star Brad Anderson powered to a third European championship — and thanked sponsors and friends for getting him to the start line for 2020.
Brad, aged 39 and from Great Salkeld, clinched his third Euro crown in four years riding for Chorley-based Verde Substance KTM, having narrowly missed out on the 2019 title by just one point.
A BMX European champion at the age of just six and progressed to motocross as an eight-year-old. He turned professional in 2004 and secured two British titles before moving to Australia to ride in 2012.
On his return to the UK he raced in two one-off European rounds in 2015, winning those and finishing third after a full season of competition the following year.
Then came European glory in 2017 and 2018, before last year’s near miss. 2020 and coronavirus presented unprecedented challenges and five rounds all held in Italy as he raced with the backing of his loyal team, friends and sponsors, which include Penrith-based John Beaty Transport and Southwaite-based C. Davidson Contractors.
“We got my friends together and just all chipped in and made it happen,” he said.
“The team gave us all the equipment to do the job and then my friends all got together and gave us a little bit of money to get the championship won again.
“With the gyms shut we’ve had to do our own in-house training and it’s been tough to get to places. We’ve had to have forms from the ACU (Auto-Cycle Union) just to get permission to travel backwards and forwards.”
Regular COVID tests and strict guidelines enabled the EMX 2T European Championship series to take place, Brad winning five of the first six races to take the opening three rounds in Faenza, Italy, and amass a 49-point series lead before sealing the title, in Trentino, with one round still to ride on his 250cc KTM two-stroke bike.
“The worst result I’ve had is second place in all the results. I’ve had a really consistent, good year,” he reflected.
“I’ve enjoyed it more this year; it’s been relaxed. It’s always nice to have another title.
“Last year I found it hard, battling for the championship. This year it seemed a lot easier. I think when I’m enjoying it a lot more it seems as though things come together and my results show.
“I’ve always been quite a fit person, doing all my BMX and motocross in my career.
“It’s just a case of training hard and pushing as hard as you can. Age is just a number to me.”
He added of his sponsors and supporters: “I couldn’t have done it without them. I really am grateful and I appreciate it that they’ve helped me to do what I dream and win the championship.
Brad, who hails from County Durham and is married to Hayley, has set his sights on a fourth title victory in 2021.
But he then plans to bow out at the age of 40 and devote time to seven-year-old son, Vinnie, who has started motocross racing this year, riding a 50cc KTM.
Hayley said: “He wants to be like his dad when he’s older.”