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Wakelin medals in BMX World Cup return

Tasman Wakelin gets on the podium at the UCI BMX Racing  World Cup in Tulsa
Waikato's Tasman Wakelin (left) on the podium at BMX World Cup in Tulsa, Oklahoma. PHOTO: UCIit: UCI)

Cambridge BMX rider Tasman Wakelin made a successful return to the sharp end of the sport with a podium finish at the UCI BMX Racing World Cup in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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After nearly four years out of the sport, Wakelin made his return in spectacular fashion, grabbing second place in the men’s under-23 final at the penultimate round of the UCI BMX Racing World Cup in USA.


Now based in Australia where he trains with leading Australian Isaac Kennedy, Wakelin led the way for the nine-strong New Zealand riders, qualifying third fastest and then winning his eighth round, quarterfinal and semifinal races.


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He grabbed the holeshot with an excellent gate in the final, but was forced wide at the turn by eventual winner Jordan Callum (Australia) but he fought on strongly for second on the podium to mark an excellent return to the sport.


Bennett Greenough remains second overall in the under-23 men despite both he and his younger brother Jack being taken out in separate incidents in their semifinal.

Rico Bearman and Leila Walker had strong performances, just missing out on places in the grand final.


Bearman, the Speedco professional, was confident after his first USPro podium last weekend, winning his quarterfinal impressively but was cut off on the first and second turns to thwart his chances of a place in the final.


Walker, in her first season in elite ranks, made it through to the semifinal in the elite women after impressive racing, but was edged out in the sprint finish and had to settle for fifth, with the top four progressing to the final.


Fellow elite Michael Bias, still recovering from his French Cup victory and travel across the Atlantic, went out in the eighth round, as did Rotorua’s Megan Williams in elite women, missing by one spot in the last chance round.


Brooke Penny (Te Awamutu) and Finn Cogan (East City) also missed out in qualifying.

The UCI BMX Racing World Cup concludes with the final round at the same roofed facility in Tulsa, with most riders remaining in USA for the world championships in two weeks in South Carolina.


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