18 May 2015

Walker back to lead NZ at BMX world champs

10:51 am on 18 May 2015

The Olympic silver medallist Sarah Walker will lead a seven-strong New Zealand team to contest the UCI BMX World Champs in Belgium in July.

The world rankings mean New Zealand's secured three spots for elite men, two for junior men and one each for elite and junior elite women.

Walker has recently resumed competing after recovering from a serious injuries after a crash in the final round of the UCI Supercross World Cup in California in September last year.

She had been due to compete at the national champs in April but suffered a minor injury in training leading up to the event and was ruled out

She will make a return to international racing in Canada next month at a world cup event and is the highest ranked rider on world rankings at 27, while Marc Willers is the top ranked male at 31.

He will be joined in the men's team by Trent Jones and Daniel Franks, who has enjoyed his best form in the opening two UCI Supercross World Cups.

Daniel Franks competing at the recent UCI Supercross World Cup in Papendal, Netherlands.

Daniel Franks competing at the recent UCI Supercross World Cup in Papendal, Netherlands. Photo: Craig Dutton

The junior elite riders are all from the powerful Te Awamutu club, in Codi Merito and Cole McOnie in the men, ranked 36th and 45th respectively, and Rebecca Petch 26th. Papakura riders Bayleigh Rees and Zoe Fleming are reserves.

Willers and Jones will prepare with racing on the US BMX circuit and training at the US Olympic Centre at Chula Vista while Franks and Cameron will remain in Europe, racing on the European circuit and training at the UCI Supercross track at Aigle in Switzerland.

The New Zealand elite team is:

Elite men: Marc Willers (Cambridge, USA), Trent Jones (North Canterbury), Daniel Franks (Christchurch). Reserve: Matt Cameron (New Plymouth). Women: Sarah Walker (Cambridge).

Junior elite men: Codi Merito (Te Awamutu), Cole McOnie (Te Awamutu). Reserve: Bayleigh Rees (Papakura). Women: Rebecca Petch (Te Awamutu). Reserve: Zoe Fleming (Papakura).