CyclingNZ Home
17 Feb, 2008 - Ian Hepenstall

New Zealand’s world No 1 Sarah Walker dominated the first round of the UCI BMX Oceania ranking series at North Harbour today.


The 20-year-old from Kawerau easily won the final today, and victory in tomorrow’s second round will assure her of the Oceania title and a spot in the Beijing Olympics.


Compatriot Marc Willers had a tougher time, finishing sixth in a physical final won by Australian Jared Graves although he still leads the Oceania series.


Walker won her opening two motos to top qualifiers for the straight final with six Australians and New Zealand junior Victoria Hill (New Plymouth).


The cruiser world champion was best out of the gate in the final and in front by the first corner, before clearing out for the win ahead of Australians Melissa Mankowski and Krystal Cranfield, currently third in the Oceania rankings.


“That was really good. I was quite nervous for the final,” Walker said. “It’s always adds some pressure racing in front of a home crowd but it’s good to have the support too.


“I’ve picked up a cold this week but I was quite pleased with my racing today. The track at North Harbour is more steep off the start and so it is less of a strength track. That means the racing is always much closer. I got a good start in the final and just had to keep the speed up. I’ve got six wins and a second in the series so if I can pick up a win tomorrow that will mean I have the perfect record and will wrap up the Oceania title.”


Willers, who finished second in the SuperCross in Spain last weekend, also won two of his motos and was impressive in winning his semifinal ahead of Australian Jared Graves.


The other semifinal saw Australian Brian Kirkham, who won all three qualifying motos, continue his hot form to claim the win  ahead of world No 6 Luke Madill, who only qualified ninth.  High profile Australian Kamakazi, who had won two qualifying motos, lost out down the final straight to miss out on a place in the final.


Willers, who drew the unfavoured outside gate, was slow out of the start and was pushed wide on the first corner. Graves shot to the lead from Madill and Kirkham as Willers made ground. With Graves clear in the lead, Willers pushed up to Kirkham and Madill but was forced wide, losing grip on his bars and eventually settling for sixth.


“That was not good,” a disappointed Willers said. “I made a mistake at the start. I just missed it. I knew that first had pretty much gone but I did manage to get back despite being hung out on the first corner.


“I was chasing down Luke and pushed hard but got cut off and just managed to stay on. I am going to be pretty focused tomorrow to make amends. I’m going to be a pretty angry rider tomorrow.”


Australian champion Sam Willougby took out the junior men’s final ahead of Tauranga’s Kurt Pickard and Australian Steven Janssen.


Tomorrow’s round starts at 9.30am.





Qualifying, elite men: Brian Kirkham  (AUS) 3 points, 1; Jared Graves (AUS) 7, 2; Steven Wong (HGK) 7, 3; Kama Kazi (AUS) 7, 4; Marc Willers (NZL) 7, 5; Jamie Gray (AUS) 8, 6; Glenn Codega (AUS) 9, 7; Alex Cameron (AUS) 9, 8.


Elite women: Sarah Walker (NZL) 4 points, 1; Krystal Cranfield (AUS) 6, 2; Ziggy Callan (AUS) 6, 3; Nicole Callisto (AUS) 7, 4; Melissa Mankowski (AUS) 7, 5; Tanya Bailey (NZL) 10, 6; Tania Carson 10, 7; Victoria Hill (NZL) 10, 8.


Junior men: Sam Willoughby (AUS) 3 points, 1; Kurt Pickard (NZL) 4, 2; Steven Janssen (AUS) 6, 3; Anthony Dean (AUS) 8, 4; Joshua Callan (AUS) 8, 5; Luke Londema (AUS) 9, 6; Andrew McKenzie (NZL) 13, 7;  Michael Chasteauneuf (AUS) 13, 8.




Elite men, semi 1: Willers 1, Graves 2, Cameron 3, Gray 4. Semi 2: Brian Kirkham (AUS) 1, Madill 2, Billy Jolliffe (AUS) 3, Tony Wilcock (Hamilton) 4.




Elite men: Graves 1, Madill 2, Kirkham 3, Jolliffe 4, Cameron 5, Willers 6, Wilcock 7, Gray 8.


Elite Women: Walker 1, Mankowski 2, Cranfield 3, Bailey 4, Callan 5, Hill 6, Callisto 7, Carson 8.


Junior men: Willoughby 1, Pickard 2, Janssen 3, Callan 4, Londema 5, Chasteauneuf 6, Dean 7, McKenzie 8.





For further information contact:

Ian Hepenstall, Sports Media NZ Ltd, Tel 0275 613181


Click to enlarge...

Latest News
Last month’s ferocious weather that wreaked havoc on the West Coast has seen many hours of effort to ensure this weekend’s double header rounds of the Calder Stewart Cycling Series in Hokitika can go ahead. “The weather gods poured more bad news on the proposed round three course in >>
As the season fast approaches, take a minute to learn about which world class athletes will be using Crankbrothers products in 2019 and beyond! New for this season, we are excited to welcome the Trek cross country superstar duo of Emily Batty and Yolanda Neff along with the rest of the Trek >>
Team Jumbo â€" Visma’s Primoz Roglic has won the 54th edition of Tirreno-Adriatico in style, with a final stage Individual Time Trial performance to remember. His near-perfect technique on the San Benedetto del Tronto 10km out-and-back course saw him overturn a 25-second deficit to his closest >>
Latest Articles
What is the first e-road by LOOK? This is a bike that is the result of our mastery of carbon, which allows us to offer a frame that is both lightweight and durable, manufactured in our own production facilities. This is also a bike that has just continued a story that has been written at the >>
French rider Alexis Vuillermox of AG2R claimed the first team victory of the season in Livron-sur-DrĂ´me riding 2INpower Road and ROTOR chainrings. At the Cyprus Sunshine Cup, MTB rider Yana Belomoina of CST Sannd American Eagle was 1st place riding KAPIC while Githa Michiels of >>
The 2018 Downhill and Cross Country World Cups came to a climax this weekend with the final round of racing in France. We saw great season-ending placings for Fizik saddle riders: Loris Vergier took 4th and Luca Shaw 8th in the Downhill, while Lars Forster 4th, Stephane Tempier 6th and Titouan >>
LOOK 2018
Morgan Blue Cleaning
ISM Saddles
 Photo Gallery
Tour de Femme Tour de Femme
Waterfront Auckland TT 2-10-10 Tour de Vineyard Jersey Wearers 2011
Home Kiwi Riders Sports Science Beginners Articles Riders Reports Tech Corner Contact
© 2020 | Login | Design by OnfireDesign