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New Zealand’s BMX riders are returning from the world championships in England fired up about hosting the 2013 event for the first time.
The BikeNZ team finished with six medals from Birmingham, all in the Challenge classes and led by the third world champion’s rainbow jersey for Auckland’s Rico Bearman, this time in the nine years category. New Zealand finished second in the national teams in the challenge class behind the USA.
In elite racing, while the kiwis enjoyed four medals last year, the Birmingham track was not as profitable with Marc Willers crashing when in a medal position and Sarah Walker was recovering from injury, while Trent Woodcock, who won two silver medals in the junior elite class last year, is coming back from shoulder surgery.
Auckland will host the 2013 UCI BMX World Championships indoors at Vector Arena on 25-28 July.
Organiser Jane Patterson, who led a small team who were marketing the event at Birmingham, said there was real interest in the 2013 event.
“It was fantastic for New Zealand to have a presence at the World Championships,” Patterson said. “Our position as a Southern Hemisphere venue created interest given the European dominance as hosts for the championships in recent years.
“We received a tremendous response in particular from France, Colombia and USA while of course our Australians neighbours are planning to come in force.
“The feedback is that there is a degree of mystique about New Zealand as a must-do destination and therefore a number of families have indicated they will come not only to race but to holiday in the country.”
From a racing perspective, Ms Patterson said it was an excellent opportunity to look at the infrastructure of an indoor venue, and she believes the Vector Arena will provide a superb scene both for those competing and for spectators.
There were no more medals to add to the New Zealand haul on the final day of cruiser racing today with five kiwis making championship finals.
Results, Cruiser Class finals:
Boys 13-14: Justin Richmond (USA) 1, Thomas Jouve (FRA) 2, Nicolas Deters (USA) 3. Also: Joshua Smith (Te Awamutu) 8.
Boys, 15-16: Cole Tesar (USA) 1, Kristens Krigers (LAT) 2, Diego Peyrin (FRA) 3. Also: Donald Ross (Whangarei) 6.
Girls 16 and under: Kelsey Van Ogle (USA) 1, Margot Hetmanczyk (FRA) 2, Jamie Windholz (USA) 3. Also: Rebecca Petch (NZL, Te Awamutu) 5, Abigail Fox (NZL, Gisborne) 6.
Women 17-29: Tessa Meerholz (NED) 1, Megham Matthew (USA) 2, Ellen Jacobs (NED) 3. Also: Nicole Sarten (NZL, New Plymouth) 5.