Thirteen Cambridge BMX riders will contest the UCI BMX World Championships in Belgium this month.
It may be an unlucky number for some, but the club reckons it will be a lucky haul for the Cambridge crew with two world champs and two elite riders among the baker’s dozen.
Rico D’Anvers and Tasman Wakelin will be competing at the world champs for the first time as part of the New Zealand Junior Elite team.
The Cambridge BMX clubmates and national performance hub riders are currently training on the Belgian super bike track with hub coach Matt Cameron before the competition gets underway on July 23.
“It’s pretty exciting really,” said Rico, a 17-year-old St Paul’s student. “Not a huge amount of people get to wear the Silver Fern, so that’s pretty cool.”
Ranked 40th in the world, Rico won the Superclass final at the recent national championships. He will be riding in his fourth world champs event.
Tasman, a 16-year-old Cambridge High School student, is currently ranked 24th in the world and placed third for 16-year-old boys at last year’s world champs. Heading into what will be his sixth world champs, he said he was “so stoked” to be heading to the world champs, and hoped Cambridge businesses or residents might get behind their cause as sponsors.
“There’s absolutely no funding, we even pay for our own shirts. And because we find out we’re going so close to the event, the flights cost a lot more.”
Both the boys said they at least hope to make their final and better their world rankings at the event.
Cambridge BMX Club rider Tim Ferguson will be defending his Male 35-39 world title at the UCI event, and fellow club rider Leila Walker hopes to make it her seventh consecutive world title racing in the 14 year old girls division.
Third-generation BMXers Kaylah Nelson, 15, and Brock Nelson, 12, said it was a “dream come true” to follow in the footsteps of their grandfather Errol Nelson, a 1985 BMX world champion, having made the world champs after a successful round at the national champs over Easter. Their father Boyd Nelson was also a seven-time nation champion.
Also racing from Cambridge will be Nigel Coughlan, Logan Hall, Louis Hunt, Oscar Newnham and Greenough siblings Bennett, Jack and Lily. Lily just recently returned from Australia where she captained the New Zealand team to victory in the Mighty 11 Trans-Tasman trophy.