BikeNZ’s BMX team make their first competitive steps towards July’s World Championships, this weekend in the United States.
The elite team will compete in the USA BMX Nationals in Nashville, after their first week of a five-week stint of training and racing in America.
The team will compete in the USA BMX National rounds in Nashville (Tennessee), South Jordan (Utah), Rockford (Illinois) and Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) before returning to New Zealand in Mid-July. They will then head to Brisbane for an eight-day final staging camp before the world championships in Auckland on 24-28 July at Vector Arena.
Many of the world’s best riders including the Americans are competing in the USA series and will therefore present stern competition for the New Zealanders.
“Obviously with winter in New Zealand we had to head overseas to prepare,” said BikeNZ BMX Coach Ryan Hollows. “There were two Supercross events in Europe but they were too far spread out to suit our plans.
“We will get great weather and training conditions and world class competition.
“The US is the strongest domestic competition in the world and is bolstered by so many other international riders coming here to prepare for the world championships.”
There is three days of racing from Saturday (NZ time).
It will be the first significant competition for Olympic medallist Sarah Walker after her return from shoulder surgery, while US-based Marc Willers is also back in action after a lower back complaint.
Others members of the High Performance squad racing include Trent Jones (Kaiapoi) and Daniel Franks (Christchurch), while Gisborne’s Nick Fox is also competing. London Olympian Kurt Pickard (Tauranga) and Matt Cameron (New Plymouth) will miss this weekend’s racing as they recover from minor injuries.