Australia’s successful 2019 UCI BMX World Championships campaign has continued with another batch of awesome results added to an already impressive list.
On a day where racing was delayed several times for medical and heat related issues, Pine Rivers’ prolific world champion Thomas Tucker has led the way for Australia by storming to a seventh consecutive 20inch gold medal, bringing his personal world title tally to nine.
Joining Tucker as finalists on a day three that will be forever remembered as ‘the heat day’ were four other Australians, with Abbey Richards (Southside) claiming a silver and Terrigal’s Noah Elton a bronze.
While the day’s first long delay was attributed to a lack of ambulances following a spate of crashes, temperatures climbed into the high 30’s forcing event organisers to take several more long breaks – at the direction of the Belgian Health Authority – until the climate had cooled.
But even after the temperatures had dropped, the racing on track had a fierce fire which was fuelled by the 12-16yr old male riders, and the 14-16, 17-24 and 25 & over female competitors.
The highlight of the day for the 38-rider TeamAUSBMX contingent was world no.1 Tucker, who became a seven-time 20inch world champion. Since claiming his first in Auckland in 2013, the 14-year old has been the rider to beat and it’s no surprise he was thrilled with his performance.
“It feels awesome to win and it just gets better and better every time,” Tucker explained.
“The final was a bit of struggle. I just got in front on that first corner and have never ridden so hard in my life.
“I got beaten in the semi and had to put some extra gas in the final. The gap in the racing today was challenging, but I just had to take it as it comes and dealt with it as I went.”
Tucker will leave Zolder with not only the 20inch title next to his name, but also the 13-14 cruiser crown.
Thomas Tucker claims SEVENTH CONSECUTIVE WORLD TITLE!!!
#TeamAUSBMX #HeusdenZolder2019 BMX Zolder UCI BMX Supercross UCI
Posted by BMX Australia on Thursday, July 25, 2019
The 14-girl’s final was a big one for Australia as Richards, a winner of Caroline Buchanan’s NextGen scholarship, and fellow Aussie Isabella Schramm banged bars against New Zealand’s world no.1 Leila Walker.
Richards, racing at her first world championships, found her place on the second straight and didn’t let anyone pass her from then on.
“It feels really good crossing the line, coming in second was amazing,” Richards said.
“I started the final in lane seven and got a pretty good gate, I went over a little bit and had the chance come in on the first and picked up second.
Ashmore’s Schramm had a fantastic final as well, and while she narrowly missed out on claiming a bronze, the Queenslander was happy with her fourth-place result.
“The racing was so much fun, it was really good,” Schramm said.
“It’s so sick that I have come fourth, I’m really glad!”
Elton from NSW was seen jumping for joy after crossing the 13-boy’s finish line, as the Terrigal rider finished with a bronze medal, three places higher than his result last year at the worlds in Baku.
Last but not least of the Aussie finalists was the NT’s Ian Orr from Jingili. Lining up on the 14-boy’s gate alongside Tucker, Orr gave it his all and finished with a world no.5 plate.
Like yesterday, there were a handful of Aussies who arrived in Belgium as a world champion or world plate holder. Unfortunately, some didn’t get the results they wanted.
Defending world no.1 Kira Hill was among those who missed out on making the final and the chance to find the top spot on the podium again. The Nerang rider was pushed to the limits on a tough day and in the final straight of the semi-final, finished fifth.
After grabbing the 13-16 girl’s cruiser bronze on day one, Clarence Valley’s world no.6, Tahlia Marsh, missed out on the 20inch final, just falling short in the semis.
It was a similar story for Nerang’s Callum Howarth who, after taking bronze in the 13-14 boy’s cruiser, was unable to back it up in the 20inch, with the 14-year old falling short in the 1/16 finals.
For a full list of Aussie results – CLICK HERE
To relive the action from day 3, check back on the live stream link – HERE
Another day of world championship racing is on offer tomorrow as the men’s men compete in the 17/24, 25-29, 30-34, 35 & over and masters 30 & over.
Action recommences tomorrow from 4:30pm AEST – Good luck riders!