World number one ranked BMX rider Sarah Walker has her first competitive hit-out of the season on home turf this weekend.
Walker, who topped last year’s World Cup Supercross rankings, will compete in the Cambridge International which is a UCI Oceania event carrying Olympic qualifying points.
Accordingly the two-day event in Walker’s home base in Cambridge has attracted riders from Australia and China as well as the best of the Kiwi competition.
The elite women’s field includes Australia’s Lauren Reynolds, a former world junior champion runner-up. The 20 year old from Western Australia was second behind Walker in last year’s Oceania Championships and was third when Walker won the Olympic test event at the London Supercross last year.
Nineteen-year-old Lu Yan is one of the rising stars of this burgeoning sport in China, after she finished second in last year’s Asian Championships.
For Walker it is a return to competition as she prepares for the start of her international campaign that includes the Supercross World Cups and world championships with all roads leading to the London Olympics.
The men’s field this weekend is headed by Tauranga’s Kurt Pickard who dominated the recent UCI Oceania event at the country’s first Supercross track near Pukekohe last month.
He will face competition from China’s Li Xiaogang – sixth in the 2011 Asian Championships - and fellow BikeNZ High Performance riders Kurt James, on his home track in Cambridge, Daniel Franks (Christchurch), Nick Fox (Gisborne) and Matt Cameron (New Plymouth).
There is also a full programme of age group events with racing starting at 1pm on Saturday and 11am on Sunday at the Cambridge MMX Track.