Southern Trust North Island BMX Championships Day 2
New Zealanders Marc Willers, Sarah Walker and Kurt Pickard won in convincing fashion in the third round of the UCI BMX Pacific-Oceania Ranking Series today in Hamilton despite strong winds making it a difficult day out on the bike.
The Elite Men's race saw Australia's Luke Madill get a good start but Willers (Cambridge) was too strong and led from almost start to finish in the final having qualified easily through his moto's. Yesterday's winner Jared Graves finished in fifth.
"The wind was just so strong, on the second and third straight I felt like I was standing still and everyone was going to pass me – but everyone had the same issue." Willers said after his race. Willers has had a whirlwind homecoming since his win in France for the final round of the Supercross.
"It's good to be home and have the local support after the craziness of last weekend. This was my second win in a UCI round, good to get it under my belt against the strong opposition from the Aussies".
A crash on the first corner in the Elite Women's race saw Walker, Australian Nicole Callisto and Tauranga's Vanessa Quin come through unscathed to take the podium places. Former World Downhill Champion Quin hadn't expected to place in the final in her first BMX race for over a year.
"I had some quick training on the track and then had my first race – I wondered if I had entered myself in the wrong category!" Quin said following her race. "But I just love it here at BMX, it's just such a massive atmosphere and you get a real kick out of riding in front of the crowds".
In the Junior Men Pickard reversed his results from yesterday to lead from the beginning with Australia's Steven Janssen and Sam Willoughby coming in close behind.
Australia's Lauren Reynolds completed a successful weekend in New Zealand with first placing in the Junior Women just ahead of New Plymouth's Victoria Hill.
The UCI Ranking rounds are being held in conjunction with the Southern Trust North Island BMX Championships and have seen 680 riders from all ages compete over the weekend.
The Mighty Test 11s and Senior Test teams is a prestigous representative competition between New Zealand and Australia which started 19 years ago. This competition has seen many of New Zealand's and Australia's current international rep riders compete for their country as a Mighty 11, including today's UCI round winner Marc Willers.
Despite some extremely competitive racing, particularly from current world champion Hannah Sarten and Luke Ruguski, the Aussies took almost a clean sweep with the Kiwi Senior Girls winning on the final race with the final placings narrowly putting them in front over the weekend's racing.
Although this weekend was the North Island titles, New Zealands best riders from around the country made the trip to Hamilton to compete in the first major meet of the summer.
Download amateur racing results here
Download results from the UCI Ranking Round here.
For more information, please contact Karyn McQueen, 0272 04 1606