Seven kiwi riders chase medals in UCI BMX Racing World Championship finals

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Seven New Zealand riders have qualified through to the quarterfinals after the first day of the UCI BMX Racing World Championships at Rock Hill, South Carolina today.

The forecast wet weather did not eventuate with riders enjoying ideal conditions for the world championships, which double as the final qualifying event for the upcoming Paris Olympic Games.

Leading the way was the remarkable Greenough family from Cambridge, with brothers Bennett and Jack both winning their respective one-eighth finals today in the under-23 men, while younger sister Lily managed fourth in her first round heat and will also chase tomorrow’s race for medals.

There is considerable interest in the elite men, where both Rico Bearman and Michael Bias are through to the quarterfinals, after the pair drew the same heat in qualifying. Bearman, the Speedco professional, won that heat with Bias, a recent winner in France, in second place to both qualify.

Bias managed second place in his one-eighth final and Bearman third in his heat in the 10th fastest time overall, with both progressing to the quarterfinals tomorrow.

Rotorua’s Megan Williams and Cambridge prospect Leila Walker are also through to quarterfinals in elite women.

Walker was fourth in her qualifying round to grab the final spot in the quarterfinals, while Williams just missed out but progressed after finishing runner-up in the Last Chance round.

Not so lucky were Tauranga’s Hannah Mason, missing by one place in the Last Chance in junior women; Te Awamutu’s Brooke Penny out in the under-23 women and Nicholas Cowie, who crashed in his junior men’s heat and was unable to start in the Last Chance.

Cambridge rider Finn Cogan had mixed fortunes, winning his qualifying heat in junior men but edged by one spot in his push for a place in the quarterfinals, as was the case for Rotorua’s Will Skipper. 

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