Congrats to Mongoose BMX pro Ben Wallace on winning the coveted Battle of Hastings Team Title! Ben and his teammates Kieran Reilly, Ollie Shields, and Sam Jones took the overall crown as well as Best Trick. As always, the event took place at the historic Source BMX Park in Hastings, UK, and featured a stacked class of riders that included the likes of Mongoose teammate Greg Illingworth.
We caught up with Ben this week to get his thoughts on his big win!
Congrats on the win! Have you been to any Battle of Hastings events before?
BEN WALLACE: Thank you very much! No, this is my first time to a Battle of Hastings and to be a team captain and take the win was something special. Beyond honored to have been a part of it.
How do you go about picking your team?
BEN: Well that’s easy really you just pick the best..ha ha. On a serious note, Kieran’s a good friend and I ride with him all the time, so that was a no brainier. He has wild combo tricks and is always pushing things to the next level.
Sam and Ollie are both phenomenal street riders and have deep pockets of tricks which was evident watching them ride the street plaza. Thanks to social media you get to keep up to date with riders so reached out to both of them and asked if they wanted to be on the team.
Tell us a little about the vibe of the BoH…
BEN: I can hands down say I’ve never been to an event with a vibe like that. The hype and noise from all the crowd was electric which just got all the riders so pumped. It was to the point you almost forgot you were riding a competition and just riding the adrenaline wave spurred on by the riot of the fans. Seriously goosebumps. I know there’s a lot of stereotypes about how riders of different disciplines supposedly view each other; but I can hand on heart say that room was just full of BMXers. No stigma, no salt just pure love and respect and a true representation of what this sport is about.
What was a highlight for you from the event?
BEN: Had to be the drama that went down during my finals. Literally 2 mins before I was set to drop in with my team my brake cable snapped. I was panicking trying to get it all sorted when Nyquist, Gary Young, Tom Justice and Kieran all pitched in helping me try get it up and running. In my first run I snapped my seat and again the guys stepped in, and Gary stripped his seat off and handed it over. In run two I got a blowout and busted my wheel a gooden after carrying on with some tech stuff on the rim but those guys along with Reed Stark jumped in again fixing shit and lending me parts. I know that sounds stupid but after literally the worst luck, I pretty much had a bike made up of so many friends parts and fixed by what I can only describe as the BMX version of a F1 pit stop crew, that going into best trick I had to do something big for all the guys that got me back out there. After landing that alley-oop lookback and getting bundled by all those that helped plus more; just made it for me!
What’s next for Ben Wallace?
BEN: Well, the California saga continues. Thanks to COVID the family and I are still stagnant here in the U.K. but hopefully back out stateside come May next year.Right now, though a little r&r as I’m nursing a few aches and pains from the competition so will take some time to recover and then get back to it!
Photos/video by Our BMX.