New Zealand riders grabbed four victories in the Cruiser class on the second night of the UCI BMX World Championships in Vector Arena, Auckland tonight.
It moved the New Zealand total to 12 world championship titles from the Challenge (age group) class racing, to set the scene for the elite riders to come on the weekend.
Leading the way is 36 year old Vanessa Quin from Tauranga, who returned full circle to BMX after she became the first New Zealander to win a World Elite Championship in downhill mountain bike in 2004 before also dabbling with track cycling.
“I talked to Tony Wilcox beforehand. I knew I wasn’t going to get first gate pick so I was trying to work it out and how to stay out of trouble and he gave me some good advice and it worked,” Quin said.
“It’s been lovely. It’s great to be here, I’m stoked to see lots and lots of old friends and I have made some new ones tonight so that is nice.”
It was doubly special with son Jay celebrating his fifth birthday today, checking out Kelly Tarlton’s during the day. But which was more fun – his treat or his mother winning a world title?
“Both are really good,” he said.
The other kiwi wins went to outstanding North Canterbury rider Tahlia Hansen, after coming second in the 20 inch final yesterday.
Popular Rotorua rider Dave Mohi grabbed his second world championship in the 40-44 years while Hawera’s Steve Schimanski took out the 35-39 years honours.
“I have trained really hard. I am generally not very good at gates so I have been smashing them in training,” Mohi said. “It was mean to race at home because the crowd was just nuts.”
Others to impress in the cruiser class finals tonight including American Michael Gonzales who took out the 13-14 years honours after winning in the 20 inch class yesterday, a feat also enjoyed by Robin van der Kolk (Netherlands) in the 17-24 years class, one of three Dutch victories tonight.
New Zealand now has 12 world titles in two days, ahead of USA and Australia who have six each.
Tomorrow (Friday) the track will be converted to the eight metres high start gate and bigger jumps for the elite competition which begins with the time trials on Saturday and elite racing on Sunday.