13 Mar 2011

Willers, Walker dominate Oceania Continental BMX finals

2:39 pm on 13 March 2011

New Zealand BMX stars Sarah Walker and Marc Willers made it a double-double celebration after winning the finals of the international meet at Pukekohe today.

After winning the finals of the Oceania Continental Championship yesterday, the pair completed a successful weekend in winning today's professional event involving leading riders from Australia and the USA at the Supercross track in Puni, near Pukekohe.

The 22-year-old Walker was without peer again, winning all three motos and the final in emphatic fashion to complete and unbeaten weekend in her first competitive racing for five months.

The 25-year-old Willers, rated among the top five riders in the world this year by American coach Mike King, showed his class in winning today.

After winning all three motos, Willers was drawn between leading Americans Nic Long and Dave Herman and kiwi rival Kurt Pickard, who beat the Cambridge rider at the nationals on the same track last year.

Pickard (Tauranga), making a return to the sport after being dropped from the BikeNZ High Performance squad last year, showed his undoubted potential when he out-jumped Willers out of the gate to take the lead into the first bend.

However Willers cut under Pickard on the last bend and was superb over the rhythm section to nab the win.

Pickard, who has been added to the squad to compete in South Africa, impressed in finishing second ahead of American Corben Sharrah.

Local Pukekohe rider Trent Woodcock-Takarua topped the qualifiers and took out the final in impressive fashion to win the junior men's division from yesterday's winner Daniel Franks (Christchuch) and Nic Fox (Gisborne).