Three-time BMX world championship competitor Tasman Wakelin has another achievement to list on his growing resume.
Following a team trial in Tauranga, Nelson BMX Club member Tasman not only made the New Zealand squad but was given the honour of captaining the boys Mighty 11s team in a trans-Tasman test against Australia in June.
The NZ second ranked rider will travel with his team to Sydney where they will take on the old foe in a specialised event which is described as “just like stockcars but on bikes”. Teams have runners and blockers and they are encouraged to attempt to run the other team off the track.
The tumultuous nature of the race will mean Tasman’s leadership will be tested beyond leading the haka and making speeches. But it is something Tasman is looking forward to.
“I’ve worn the New Zealand jersey before but there is a lot on your hands being captain,” he said.
The majority of the team are at the younger end of the age spectrum, so as an experienced rider Tasman will look to lead from the front.
“Throughout they will ask me questions and I will just try and help them with that. I’ve been to events like this before so I feel like I can take them along well.”
Tasman was the top performer, winning the trial in Tauranga that came a day before the national BMX champs. The next day Tasman finished second overall in the 12 boys age group, losing only to the top-ranked rider in the world for that age group.
Tasman and the Kiwi team will spend 10 days in Australia, racing at the Macarthur BMX Club in Elderslie.
Fairfax NZ 25/4/2014