New Zealand will send a seven-strong elite team to contest the UCI BMX World Championships in July.
The world rankings mean New Zealand has secured three spots for elite men, two for junior men and one each for elite and junior elite women for the world championships to be staged on a new outdoor track in Belgium, 21-25 July.
Olympic silver medallist, Sarah Walker, who makes her return to racing in Canada next month, is the highest ranked rider on world rankings at 27, while Marc Willers is the top ranked male at 31.
He will be joined in the men’s team by Trent Jones and Daniel Franks, who has enjoyed his best form in the opening two UCI Supercross World Cups.
National champion Matt Cameron is the reserve.
The junior elite riders are all from the powerful Te Awamutu club – Codi Merito and Cole McOnie in the men, ranked 36th and 45th respectively, and Rebecca Petch 26th.
Papakura riders Bayleigh Rees and Zoe Fleming are the reserves.
Willers and Jones will prepare with racing on the US BMX circuit and training at the US Olympic Centre at Chula Vista, while Franks and Cameron will remain in Europe, racing on the European circuit and training at the UCI Supercross track at Aigle in Switzerland.
Walker heads to Canada next month for two UCI qualifying events including one at the Canadian national training centre at Abborsford.
All riders will meet in Belgium for their final staging camp.
The New Zealand elite team is:
Elite men: Marc Willers (Cambridge, USA), Trent Jones (North Canterbury), Daniel Franks (Christchurch). Reserve: Matt Cameron (New Plymouth). Women: Sarah Walker (Cambridge).
Junior elite men: Codi Merito (Te Awamutu), Cole McOnie (Te Awamutu). Reserve: Bayleigh Rees (Papakura). Women: Rebecca Petch (Te Awamutu). Reserve: Zoe Fleming (Papakura).
Caption: Daniel Franks in action at the recent UCI Supercross World Cup in Papendal, Netherlands. Photo credit: Craig Dutton.