It was a week of high emotions for Team Australia as 274 of our country’s best riders travelled to the Novant Health BMX Supercross track in Rock Hill, South Carolina to compete at the 2017 UCI BMX World Championships. As a nation, Australia went home with three gold, six silvers and two bronze medals.
The week began with Thomas Tucker from Pine Rivers BMX club putting on a show in the 12 and under boy’s cruiser category. Dominating the rest of the field throughout the moto’s and finals, Tucker never looked like securing anything less than the #W1 spot. His inevitable first place finish raised his overall world titles tally to five.
Dirk Winter came home for second place in the 25-29yrs men’s cruiser. The cruiser categories saw a sizeable number of our riders reaching the finals in their respective classes including; Callum Howarth, Amanda Morgan, Sandy Cameron, Fiona Langfeldt and Letitia Weatherhead.
Day two of the championships saw Team Australia’s youngest riders compete in what was another hugely successful day of racing.
Reigning national champion Sophia Preston nabbed second place in the 8yrs girl’s, she was joined by Bailey Mills who raced in the 9yrs boy’s to a #W2 plate. Sacha Mills also competed in the finals and just missed out on the podium, finishing in fourth place.
Rounding up the Australian podium spots for the day included Cameron Gatt in the 9yrs boy’s and Portia Eden in the 10yrs girl’s – both with third placings.
Thomas Tucker was back for day three of the action to compete in his most successful event, the 12yrs boy’s. Tucker once again conquered the rest of his competition, taking out #W1 for his fifth consecutive world 20” title.
Shepperaton BMX club rider Gian Renato locked up first place for his maiden world championship title in the 13yrs boy’s. Meanwhile, Kira Hill managed an impressive day of racing to come home with #W2 in the 13yrs girl’s.
Perhaps the biggest upset for Team Australia in Rock Hill, reigning world and national champion Des’ree Barnes had an early incident in the 15yrs girl’s final which saw her struggle to get back in the race and inevitably finish in eighth position.
Additional finalists for the day comprised of Jordan Sharpe, Shannon Petre, Jack David, Corey Taylor, Matthew Tidswell and Lorsyn Affoo.
Australia was treated to a special experience with Sam Willoughby on the Thursday night of world championships. Listening to Willoughby speak about his career, accident and future as well as having the opportunity to ask the Australian Olympian questions. It was a heart-warming experience for all involved and definitely a highlight of the event for all.
On the fourth and final day of the challenger classes, Team Australia did not take home any medals but highlight performances came from Beau Pratt and Dirk Winter who both made the finals in their classes, picking up #W4 and #W5 respectively.
Yesterday saw our elite and junior elite riders compete in what was a spectacular finale to the week. Team Australia’s high-performance squad managed to secure two #W2 plates through the likes of Caroline Buchannan in the women’s elite championships and Saya Sakakibara in the junior women’s elite championships.
2016 Olympians Bodi Turner and Lauren Reynolds also made it through to the finals, finishing up for #W6 and #W8. Narrowly missing out on a finals spot was Leanna Curtis, Matt Kraveskis and Izaac Kennedy who all bowed out in the semi-finals.
Giano Renato – #W1, 13yrs Boy’s, Shepparton BMX Club
Thomas Tucker – #W1, 12yrs Boy’s, Pine Rivers BMX Club
Thomas Tucker – #W1, 12 and Under Boy’s Cruiser, Pine Rivers BMX Club
Bailey Mills – #W2, 9yrs Boy’s, Bayside BMX Club
Caroline Buchanan – #W2, Women’s Elite Championships
Dirk Winter – #W2, 25-29yrs Men’s Cruiser, Suncoast Hinterland BMX Club
Kira Hill – #W2, 13yrs Girl’s, Nerang BMX Club
Saya Sakakibara – #W2, Women’s Junior Elite Championships
Sophia Preston – #W2, 8yrs Girl’s,Ipswich West Moreton BMX Club
Cameron Gatt – #W3, 9yrs Boy’s, Geelong BMX Club
Portia Eden – #W3, 10yrs Girl’s, Cairns BMX Club
You can view the full results from the 2017 UCI BMX World Championships by clicking Riders List BMX Worlds 2017