Four kiwi BMX riders will be in action this weekend at the UCI Supercross World Cup in the USA and World Urban Games in Hungary.
Junior world champion Jessie Smith is joined by Te Awamutu’s Rebecca Petch in the women’s field in Rock Hill, South Carolina, while Schick National BMX Performance Hub rider Tasman Wakelin will make his debut at World Cup level in the men’s field.
Paraparaumu’s Ellie Chew will be the sole Kiwi in the BMX Freestyle in Budapest.
Eighteen year old Smith will be looking to continue her impressive season, which has seen her rise to the top of the junior ranks and foot it with some of the best female BMX riders in the world.
Since claiming the junior women’s rainbow jersey in Heusden-Zolder in July, Smith has competed in China and will be chasing a good result in the US. Petch also comes into the competition in good form having secured a podium finish at the USA BMX Nationals.
Between them, Smith and Petch will be on the hunt for important qualification points for the Olympic Games, both for themselves and New Zealand.
Cambridge youngster Tasman Wakelin rounds out the Kiwi contingent with the Schick National BMX Performance Hub rider spending some time in the US, continuing his racing development. Racing at World Cup level will be a tough ask, with open age group fields meaning he will come up against the best elite riders in the world. Wakelin is one of a group of promising young riders out of the Cambridge-based Hub programme, working towards the elite level and qualification for the next Olympic cycle.
Across the Atlantic, Chew will fly the Kiwi flag at the World Urban Games which includes competitive parkour, roller freestyle, breaking, 3x3 basketball and flying disc alongside Chew’s BMX freestyle.
She is currently ranked 13th in the world and is chasing a spot at the Tokyo Olympic where freestyle BMX will feature for the first time.
CAPTION: Tasman Wakelin competes in the junior mens grade at the 2019 BMX World Championships in Belgium. (Photo credit: Nico van Dartel).