After a number of days of wet and sometimes windy weather, the NZ contingency woke to a fine sunny morning for Day One of the 2011 World BMX Champs in Copenhagen.
The schedule was altered due to the large number of riders attending, so it was an early 7.30 practice time slot, with racing starting at 9.00am. Like most other countries, our pits area was barely 2m x 3m for the 21 riders and support crew. With hot conditions, it did make for trying and tiring times for the riders. Luckily, we found an area for the riders to escape briefly and relax in the less noisy and hot conditions.
Staging was rectified yet again by the Kiwis after a somewhat confusing Round one for the riders. With all riders happy with the track and form, we had some great racing. It was a very long, hot and tiring day for the riders with the finals being held ten hours after they first entered the pit area. For the very early start (even to get to the track), and the volume of people, our riders performed fantastically.
We are all very proud of the results achieved by the younger riders of our NZ contingency. It would be great to have all parents in the pits area helping their children to perform to their best, but sadly that is not possible. So a special thanks to Paul Luttrell, David Fox, Kylee Stevens, Noel Berney and Slim Pene for their contribution. The parents who supported their riders through the six foot high deer fence did remarkedly well also.
5-6 years: Wyatt Sevens-McNabb(RO) 5.
5-6 years: Caitlin Flavell (RO) 5..
7 years: Lachlan Stevens-McNabb (RO) 1; James Whyte (MR) 8.
8 years: Ngahina Pene (RO) 3
8 years: Rico Bearman (NH) 3.
9 years: Zach Paterson (RO) 6th in eigths.
10 years: Kaly Harcourt (HN) 3; Baylee Luttrell (HN) 7th in semi; Mikayla Bearman (NH) 4.
10 years: Tuhoto-Ariki Pene (RO) 7th in semi.
12 years: Zach Kershaw (PAK) 6th in eigths; Jayden Fleming (PAK) 5th in eigths.
13 years: Zoe Fleming (PAK) 5th in semifinal.
13 years: Carlos Kershaw (PAK) 7th in eights.
14 years: Tahlia Hansen (RAN) 2; Abigail Fox (GS) 4.
Day Two of racing saw the older age group of 15 and over 20" riding. The weather was mostly overcast, which was great for the riders. With only six riders in the pits areas, it was so much better for them to relax and spread out. I think we were lucky, the organisers didnt reduce our space by more!
Our riders all enjoyed the track and had some very tought competition to deal to. After having better lanes in the qualifiers, most of our riders then faced the tough lane 8. Kayla missed qualifying by one point, when she cruised a lap after her handlebars moved during a jump on the first straight. Ryan Berney showed his form with convincing wins in the qualifying rounds. Donald, Cody and Ryan Lewis all performed well with the quality of riders around them during their eighths and quarters.
15 years boys: Donald Ross (WHG) 6th in quarters; Ryan Berney (NH) 5th in quarters.
16 years girls: Monique Smith (GS) 2, Kayla Pene (RO) 5th in qualifiers
16 years boys: Cody Hobbs (TA) 5th in quartersl; Ryan Lewis (TA) 5th in quarters.
The rain returned during the Elite and Junior Womens first practice session on Thursday evening so little time was able to be spent on the gate. All our riders looked comfortable and confident during their practice sessions.
Day Three and Four are taken up by the Championship class (Elite riders). Practice and time trials on Friday and racing on Saturday. The Junior Women are cut down to 8 for the final time trials, while the Junior Men, Elite Women and Elite Men are cut to 16. The winners in each category receives the coveted new Time Trial Race Jersey and World Title.
Elite Women: Sarah Walker and Victoria Hill (field of 44)
Junior Men: Jayden Davy, Brad Gates, Trent Jones, Trent Woodcock, Nick Fox, Daniel Franks. (field of 96)
Elite Men: Marc Willers, Kurt James and Kurt Pickard (field of 138)