CCM return to motocross

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CCM will be back in big-time motocross next year and they’ve signed Oliver Sandiford-Smith to ride for them in the British championship.

Following the recent launch of their exciting new CMX450 motocross project, the British company have announced that 19-year-old Oliver Sandiford-Smith from Bolton – already  a regular contender in the Maxxis British Motocross championship – has agreed terms to ride the revolutionary ‘crosser at national level in 2008 for the British based motorcycle manufacturer.

Despite Oliver Sandiford-Smith’s young age, he has already enjoyed an extensive and successful racing career that started back in 1996, when he was crowned British Auto Pilot Champion.

Over the next two seasons Sandiford-Smith begun to venture overseas and made his mark on the highly competitive Dutch youth series as well as maintaining his presence on the British scene.

1999 saw Oliver Sandiford-Smith claim his second domestic schoolboy title, when he was declared British 80cc Supernational champion. This continued form meant that his speed and skill did not go unnoticed, with Oliver Sandiford- Smith being selected to represent Great Britain the following season.

This recognition was not without merit, with Oliver Sandiford-Smith becoming the youngest ever British 85cc crown wearer in 2001, followed by wins in the British Masters series and the British 125cc Masters championships over the next two years.

At the tender age of 15 years old Oliver Sandiford-Smith moved to the adult ranks where he took his place on the line in the British championship proper.

A series of injuries over the last three seasons have prevented Oliver Sandiford-Smith showing his full potential at this new level, but having now recovered fully the teenager is ready to make his mark. Oliver Sandiford-Smith is one of a very limited number of selected riders who will attend Dave Thorpe’s ‘boot camp’ this coming winter.

He said. “This is a very exciting opportunity for me. The last few years have been difficult for me, but now I am really focused on the task ahead.

“From what I have seen to date the new CCM CMX450 has all the right ingredients to be very competitive. I can’t wait to get the chance to throw my leg over one and see just how good it feels out on the track.”

With the CMX450 due to emerge from the drawing board to reality over the next couple of months, CCM’s Managing Director Gary Harthern confirmed everything is on schedule ready for a full assault in 2008.

He said: “We are delighted to have recruited Oliver. He is a young British rider who has great potential, and is a rider who we are sure will do the new CMX450 real justice.”

Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin