Walker claims BMX crown

Leila Walker (left) pictured with Brooke Penny.

Waipā riders were to the fore at last weekend’s national BMX champs in Tauranga.

Cambridge’s Leila Walker and North Harbour’s Rico Bearman claimed the overall elite honours – both also had under-23 Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) World Cup wins  in Colombia last year.

Bearman got the jump from the gate in the final to dominate from Cambridge rider Rico D’Anvers, who claimed the under-23 title, with Te Awamutu’s Cole McOnie third.

North Canterbury’s Liam Goodwin was third in the elite class and fourth overall, with Cambridge rider Bennett Greenough runner-up to D’Anvers in the under-23 class.

Walker, from the Cambridge club, was equally emphatic in winning both heats and the final.

The 18-year-old was only allowed to claim the junior women national title, but elites, juniors and under-23 riders all raced together where the Cambridge rider was the class of the field.

Rotorua’s Megan Williams finished second to Walker in both heats and the final, producing a strong display to claim the national elite honours, with Brooke Penny from Te Awamutu club third overall and runner-up in junior women.

Fellow Te Awamutu club rider Baylee Luttrell finished fourth overall after a crash in the final heat, but still claimed the under-23 national title, while Hamilton’s Caitlin Georgantas was runner-up in the elite category.

The next stop is the UCI Oceania Championships next month to be staged at the international Te Papa o Te Kauri BMX track in Rotorua.

Rico Bearman (left) and Cole McOnie on the elite men’s podium.

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