NZ BMX team readies for UCI World Champs in Baku
Nearly 50 BMX riders from New Zealand will line-up at the UCI BMX World Championships in Azerbaijan starting tonight.
The Championships will be held for the first time in Baku at a stunning facility built for the 2015 European Games.
Competition begins this evening (NZ time) with the first three days for Challenge (age group) racing beginning with the Cruiser class (for bikes with larger 61cm diameter wheel). Racing for 12 years and under is on Wednesday with 13 years and over plus Masters on Thursday.
The elites have official practice on Thursday and Friday ahead of the initial qualifying motos for all four grades on Saturday (NZ Time). The elimination rounds through to the grand final is on Sunday.
London Olympic silver medallist Sarah Walker head a 10-strong New Zealand elite team. She is joined by 2016 junior world champion Maynard Peel and current national champion Cody Hobbs in the elite men while national champion Rebecca Petch and Zoe Fleming round out the elite females.
There is a strong contingent of young age group riders led by the exciting Cambridge rider Leila Walker who competes in the 13 years category, chasing her sixth straight world championship title.
The FIRST Windows & Doors New Zealand Championship team is (with club in brackets):
Female: Zoe Fleming (East City), Rebecca Petch (Te Awamutu), Sarah Walker (Rotorua).
Male: Cody Hobbs (Te Awamutu), Maynard Peel (Sunset Coast).
Junior Female: Jessie Smith (Hamilton), Baylee Luttrell (Hamilton).
Junior Male: Cailen Calkin (Hamilton), Ryan Jordan (Hamilton), Luey Cotton (Kapiti).
Male, 9 years: Kobi Russell (Cambridge); 10 yrs: Luke Brooke-Smith (Whangarei), Max Richardson (North Harbour); 11 yrs: Finn Cogan (East City), Cooper Richardson (North Harbour); 13 years: Jake Earnest (Mountain Raiders), Jack Greenough (Cambridge), Luke Hanna (Hamilton) , Louis Hunt (Cambridge); 14 yrs: Keegan Calkin (Hamilton), Nathan Jordan (Hamilton), James Speedy (North Harbour); 15 yrs: Rico Bearman (North Harbour), Bennett Greenough (Cambridge), Cooper Merito (Te Awamutu); 16yrs: Zach Paterson (Rotorua), Tasman Wakelin (Cambridge); 25-29 yrs: Ben Walter (Cambridge); 30-34 yrs: Jeffrey Bell (Byford, WA); 35 yrs plus: Tim Ferguson (Cambridge); Masters 30 yrs Plus: Jason Kelly (Hamilton).
Female, 8 years: Meg Cannon (East City); 10 years: Hayley Hanna (Rotorua); 11 yrs: Lily Greenough (Cambridge); 12 yrs: Sacha Earnest (Mountain Raiders); 13 yrs: Caitlin Flavell) Rotorua), Leila Walker (Cambridge); 15 yrs: Abbie Osborn (Cambridge); 16 yrs: Charlie Lester-Rosson (Cambridge); 17-24 yrs: Caitlin Georgantas (Hutt Valley); Toni James (Waitakere), Holly Woodcock-Takurua (Sunset Coast).
Male, 12 and under: Max Richardson (North Harbour), Cooper Richardson (North Harbour); 13-14 years: James Speedy (North Harbour), Louis Hunt (Cambridge); 15-16: Rico Bearman (North Harbour); 25-29 years: Ben Walter (Cambridge); 40-44 years: Steven Schimanski (Hawera); 45-49 years: Dion Newth (Rotorua); 50 plus: Paul Luttrell (Hamilton)
Female: 17-29 years: Caitlin Georgantas (Hutt Valley); Toni James Waitakere), Holly Woodcock-Takurua (Sunset Coast).
Photo National elite champion Rebecca Petch in action at the recent UCI BMX World Cup in Belgium.
Credit: Nico van Dartel