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Likeable Rotorua rider Dave Mohi has added to the rainbow jersey haul for the New Zealanders when he won the men’s 30 years and over final at the BMX World Championships in South Africa.
The unassuming Mohi produced a superb effort to dominate the grand final, winning emphatically on the second day of the Challenge class age group classes at Pietermaritzburg.
This followed the three world championship wins on the opening day to Tahlia Hansen (Rangiora), Rico Bearman (North harbour) and Lachlan Stevens-McNabb (Rotorua).
Mohi was the sole New Zealander on the podium on the second day of challenge class racing, while BikeNZ elite riders Trent Woodcock (Pukekohe), Nic Fox (Gisborne) and Daniel Franks (Christchurch) all qualified in the Elite Junior time trials.
World champion Sarah Walker and team-mates Victoria Hill, Marc Willers and Kurt James had their first taste in practice over the big jumps on the elite’s supercross track ahead of their time trials and competition tomorrow.
Mohi, third at the world championships in Adelaide last year, is definitely not the atypical BMX competitor clad in bright race suits and technical racing gear. He instead opts for his trademark denims and sneakers.
He dominated his qualifying motos comfortably and then took a low key approach to the semifinal, easing through in fourth place. Mohi burst out of gate six in the final, was threatened by Equador’s Daniel Roura and France’s Nicolas Benquey on the second corner before shaking them clear and winning with bike lengths to spare.
“It was a fantastic performance from Dave and well earned,” said BMX New Zealand’s Bruce Northwood. “The next memorable part of this was an impromptu haka from the team after Dave’s podium presentation.
“It was the highlight of another top day for New Zealand BMX with 12 of our 14 riders qualifying from the motos and half of those making finals.
“And with an ounce more luck we would have likely had a couple more on the podiums.
“The best we have achieved is four world titles from Adelaide and we are sitting on that now with the Elite competition tomorrow and Cruise World Championships on Sunday.”
Others to make finals included Nicole Sarten (New Plymouth) who was edged into fourth place in the 17 years and over final, while her young sister Hannah, second in last year’s worlds, was brought down in a crash and had to settle for seventh.
Monique Smith (Gisborne) was fifth in the final of the 15 years, while Nicole Wright (Papakura) was fifth and Holly woodcock (Sunset Coast) eighth in the 16 years final.
In the boys competition Trent Jones (Whangarei), a member of the BikeNZ High Performance development programme, was fifth in the 16 years final while Donald Ross (Whangarei) and Carl Goodwin (Kaiapoi) were seventh and eighth respectively in the 14 years final.
There was also some ill-luck with Ryan Berney (North Harbour) out in the second round of the boys’ 14 years competition after a wrist injury in a crash, while Ryan Lewis (Te Awamutu) saw his promising run ended by a crash in his quarterfinal.
Woodcock was the most impressive of the elite junior competitors who took to the supercross course for time trials in the afternoon.
The Pukekohe teenager, who will compete for New Zealand in next month’s first Youth Olympics in Singapore, qualified fifth fastest with a superb 40.513 run.
Team-mates Fox and Franks were forced through the second run but safely emerged with the fourth and 11th fastest time respectively to also qualify for tonight’s qualifying motos.
All three riders, in their first year of junior qualification, produced outstanding results.
All attention turns to the elite world championships tomorrow with qualifying time trials, qualifying motos, quarterfinals, semifinals and finals, with Walker defending her world title.
Day 2 Challenge class grand finals:
14 years: Chris Christensen (DEN), Deigo Aguirre (CHI) 2, Kai Sakakakibara (JPN) 3. Also: Donald Ross (Whangarei) 7, Carl Goodwin (Kaiapoi) 8.
15 years: Amidou Mir (FRA) 1, Nicolas Santolini (ARG) 2, Herman Alejandro Santillan (ARG) 3.
16 years: Nathan Padilla (USA) 1, Carlos Ramirez Yepez (COL) 2, Allan Victor Oliviera (BRA) 3. Also: Trent Jones (Whangarei) 5.
30 plus: David Mohi (NZL) 1, Daniel Roura (ECU) 2, Nicolas Benquey (FRA) 3.
Girls, 14 years: Harriet Burbridge-Smith (AUS) 1, Anne Sara Rojas (SUI) 2, Rosario Aguilera Martinez (CHI) 3. Also: Hannah Sarten (New Plymouth) 7.
15 years: Felicia Stancil (USA) 1, Rachel Jones (AUS) 2, Shayona Glynn (USA) 3. Also Monique Smith (Gisborne) 5.
16 years: Elis Ligtlee (NED) 1, Danielle George (USA) 2, Nadja Pries (GER) 3. Also: Nicole Wright (Papakura) 5, Holly Woodcock (Sunset Coast) 8.
17 plus: Anna Mayer (GER) 1, Kerstin Fritscher (GER) 2, Lauren Smith (GBR) 3. Also: Nicole Sarten (New Plymouth) 4.