New Zealand’s emerging young talent, Leila Walker and Rico Bearman have claimed the overall elite honours at the BMX national elite championships in Tauranga.
Both riders won under-23 UCI World Cup victories in Colombia last year, and proved the class of their respective fields.
Bearman, still eligible to race under-23, decided to enter the elite division and won both heats.
He 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, gaining the holeshot in each race and being able to control the outcome from that point.
Walker, just 18 years, 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, 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.
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