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NZ BMX racing's future looking good

More top results for Cambridge riders at the BMX Racing World Cup in Tulsa
Bennett Greenough (505) and brother Jack (511) in action at the UCI BMX Racing World Cup in Rotorua in February PHOTO: AARON GILLONS

The future of BMX Racing for New Zealand looks strong with young Cambridge riders Bennett Greenough and Leila Walker impressing in the final round in Tulsa.

Greenough, who enjoyed a win in the opening stop in Rotorua, finished second overall behind Australian Oliver Moran on the season standings in the UCI BMX Racing under-23 men’s World Cup.

Cambridge teenager, Walker made her first elite women’s final after jumping directly from the junior ranks this year. She placed third in her qualifying heat, and fought hard to grab the fourth and final qualifying spot in both her quarterfinal and semifinal.


She made ground from the rear in the final, slicing through to fourth before she was edged back to fifth in the sprint finish, to mark significant progress for the teenager.

Greenough was pipped for a medal in a sprint finish of the final in Oklahoma after placing second in qualifying, in the eighth round, quarterfinal and semifinal. He was pushed back to third at the first turn in the final but was edged on the line for the podium.

His younger brother Jack finished eighth in the final after another strong display after finishing second in his quarterfinal and third in the semifinal.

The 2023 under-23 world cup winner Rico Bearman, who has moved to the elite ranks this year, impressed with heat wins in qualifying, eighth round and quarterfinal in elite racing. He made a solid start in his semifinal but was blocked out on the second turn which cost him a top-four placing and a spot in his first elite final.

Earlier fellow elite Michael Bias made it to the quarterfinals before he was eliminated.

There was no fairytale return today for Tasman Wakelin after finishing on the podium on the first day.

The Australian-based rider was again outstanding in the early rounds, and made a superb snap out of the gate in his semifinal. However his rear wheel slid out from under him, and he fell while leading, to end his competition.

Wakelin, who has been out of the sport for nearly four years, finished on the podium on the first day in his return to top level BMX Racing, and has shown he will be a real factor at the world championships.

Earlier Finn Cogan (East City) made it to the quarterfinals in the men’s under-23 racing; while Te Awamutu’s Brooke Penny (under-23) and Rotorua’s Megan Williams (elite) went out in the last chance rounds.

Focus now goes on the UCI BMX Racing World Championships at Rock Hill, South Carolina in two weeks, which holds the additional status as the final qualifying event for selection to the Paris Olympic Games.


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