Pukekohe teenager Trent Woodcock was a blink away from a world champion’s Rainbow jersey when the elite racing got underway at the UCI BMX World Championships in Copenhagen today.
Woodcock, from the Sunset Coast club, finished runner-up in the first ever Time Trial Super Final in the junior elite class.
He was only 22/1000ths of a second away from taking the Super Final, just unable to chase down the time of 35.237 set by Australia’s Darryn Goodwin.
The top 64 (in the men) and 32 (in the women) from the time trials today go through to contest the world championship tomorrow. However the top eight junior women and top 16 in the other elite classes went through to the Super Final, for another one lap time trial.
It was the first time that the UCI have offered a world championship title on the time trial process.
Woodcock clocked 35.259 to finish second with Daniel Franks sixth in 35.785, while Willers, who is no fan of time trialling, was 12th fastest but encouraged by his speed today looking forward to racing tomorrow.
The 2009 world champion Sarah Walker, who qualified second fastest in 38.122 was fastest through the time check but made a mistake on the final bend which proved costly, finishing fourth fastest in 38.454.
Woodcock, who has been racing professional for the Redline team in USA in recent months, said while the time trial was a new event, he tried to keep things as normal as possible.
“I tried to treat it like any other lap we do back home. Part of our training is time trials but today I didn’t quite put it together,” Woodcock said.
“But it’s all good because we really come here for tomorrow’s racing.
“I am pretty happy with myself but you know you always make mistakes and I was so close to a world championship title.
“When it comes down to it you have to put it all together and tomorrow is the day.”
Australians Melinda McLeod and Darryn Goodwin took out the junior titles, while current world champion Shanaze Reade got up to take the elite women’s honours, turning up to race after a press release announced her defection due to injury earlier in the week.
The local Norwegian fans were ecstatic when local champion Andre Fossa Aguiluz upset more favoured riders to take the elite men’s title.
Other New Zealanders through to the world championship racing tomorrow include Kaiapoi’s Trent Jones and Gisborne’s Nic Fox in the junior men, Taranaki’s Victoria Hill in the elite women and Tauranga’s Kurt Pickard in the elite men.
Missing out were Kurt James (Cambridge) in the elite men and Jayden Davy (New Plymouth) and Bradley Gates (Waitakere) in the junior men.
Racing begins tomorrow with three qualifying motos before the eliminations rounds leading to the final.
Results, Super Final Time Trial:
Junior men: Darryn Goodwin (AUS) 35.237, 1; Trent Woodcock (NZL) 35.259, 2; Thomas Doucet (FRA) 35.454, 3. Also: Daniel Franks (NZL) 35.785, 6.
Junior women: Melinda McLeod (AUS) 39.801, 1; Brooke Crain (USA) 40.197, 2; Nadja Pries (GER) 40.821, 3.
Women: Shanaze Reade (GBR) 37.440, 1; Caroline Buchanan (AUS) 37.627, 2; Mariana Pajon (COL) 38.154, 3; Sarah Walker (NZL) 38.454, 4.
Men: Andre Fossa Aguiluz (NOR) 33.811, 1; Jelle
Van Gorkon (NED) 33.849, 2; Brian Kirkham (AUS) 33.858, 3. Also: Marc Willers (NZL) 34.267, 12.