New Zealand’s leading BMX riders take their first serious jumps towards the 2016 Rio Olympics when the opening round of the UCI Supercross World Cup begins in Manchester tomorrow.
There are six Kiwi riders competing indoors in Manchester, the home of Great Britain BMX, with qualifying tomorrow and elimination rounds on Monday (NZ time).
National champion Matthew Cameron heads the group of four men from the Cycling New Zealand high performance group that comprises Canterbury’s Daniel Franks and the US-based Marc Willers (Cambridge) and Trent Jones (North Canterbury).
They are joined in the 162 men entered for Manchester by North Harbour’s Michael Bias and Australian-based Derrick Mellish with Gisborne’s Nic Fox not recovered from a crash at the recent national championships.
Willers is ranked in the top 16 male riders on world rankings who are exempt from tomorrow’s three qualifying motos where the top 48 riders on points move through to Monday’s elimination rounds.
The top 16 ranked men compete in time trial competition to determine their place in the draw for Monday’s racing which will see four riders advancing from eighth, quarter and semifinals to the grand final.
Taranaki’s Victoria Hill is the only New Zealand female entered among the 54 riders, with 24 riders to advance from tomorrow’s motos to join eight seeded riders in the elimination rounds.
Olympic silver medallist Sarah Walker, still working back to full fitness after off-season surgery, will begin her international campaign in June.