24 Jun 2014

Strong BMX team named for world champs

9:53 am on 24 June 2014

World championship medallist Marc Willers and Olympic medallist Sarah Walker head the New Zealand BMX team to contest next month's UCI World Championship in the Netherlands.

Nine riders only will compete in the four elite classes at the championships to be staged indoors in Rotterdam.

New Zealand gained additional entries as hosts in last year's world championships, but this year the new qualification system resulted in only three spots for elite men, one each for elite and junior women with four for junior men.

The major competition came in selection for the elite men with five riders from BikeNZ's high performance squad all producing excellent form this year. All qualified for elimination rounds at the recent Supercross World Cup in Berlin.

The Selectors have opted for North Canterbury's Trent Jones, the top ranked rider in 10th on current Supercross World Cup standings, US-based Willers and Tauranga's Kurt Pickard.

Cambridge-based Walker is already up to 15th in rankings after only two world cup starts in her comeback from an injury-riddled 2013, while former Taranaki rider Hannah Sarten, who qualified for elimination rounds in her first Supercross world cup in Berlin, is currently ranked fourth in the world for junior women.

The junior men include two riders from Te Awamutu - Todd Barry and Codi Merito , Liam Perry from Kapiti and Caleb Martin from Christchurch.