U.S. collects 12 challenge class medals opening day of BMX Worlds


The United States opened the 2012 UCI BMX World Challenge & Championships in Birmingham, U.K. as the winningest nation in the young challenge class divisions once again. Seven American earned the right to call themselves the best in the world while the U.S. collected 12 total challenge class medals on Thursday.
Tyler Grigsby on his way to the world title in the 7 boys division.
Tyler Grigsby on his way to the world title in the 7 boys division.
“All of these young riders coming up race this level of competition all year long. Combine that with the caliber of riders we’ve had in this program in the past and our expectations of these kids are pretty high,” said Jeff Glynn, USA Cycling’s challenge class team manager. “A rider comes to worlds and they realize what it is really like and it quickly becomes their focus for years to come.”
 The U.S. team lit up Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena from the start going 1-2-3 in the youngest boys age division, 5-6. Dane Morales (Aliso Viejo, Calif.), 2. Linkin Garcia (La Palma, Calif.) and 3. Dominic Duran (Manteca, Calif.) were the only Americans to enter the contest, beating out more than 40 of the top youngsters from 10 other nations. Grace Stevenson (Gilbert, Ariz.) and Tyler Grigsby (Rio Linda, Calif.) kept that momentum going, earning world titles in the next two competitions, in the girls 5-7 and the boys 7 age divisions respectively.
Just as the largely British crowd began to wonder if the U.S. were going to sweep the entire day, Emilio Durini of Ecuador took the finals win in the boys 8 division. Ventura, California’s Vincent Esposito however did finish just off the podium in fourth. Leinani Peralta (Bakersfield, Calif.) quickly earned another American medal in the 10 girls division.
Julian Dittrick (Phoenix, Ariz.) added a fourth world title for the Americans in the 10 boys division. Anna Johnson (Garland, Texas) followed that up with a near-miss second-place finish in the 12 girls final and Justin Hendley (Chandler, Ariz.) earned the bronze in the 12 boys final.
The U.S. finished up nearly 11 hours of racing on the day with wins in the final three divisions. Michael Gonzales (Watsonville, Calif.) defended his rainbow stripes in the 13 boys final, and Kelsey Van Ogle (Auburn, Wash.) grabbed her third world title in the 14 girls race. In the day’s final race, 14 boys, the Americans were 1-2-3 once again before defending champ Ryan Pettigrew (Watsonville, Calif.) suffered a costly crash.
“I got an OK gate and was in third coming out of the first turn,” explained Pettigrew. “I got a little greedy going into the final turn and took too big of a risk. It would have been another all-American podium.”
Myles Wamsley (Henderson, Nev.) went on to earn the win with fellow American Justin Richmond (Rochelle, Ill.) following in silver medal position. In all, the opening day of the world championships proved a promising sign of the future of American BMX.

“It really proves that the domestic programs with USA BMX are flourishing,” explained USA Cycling BMX Programs Director Mike King. “The atmosphere in there was amazing. The patriotism we saw from all the countries was fantastic. There were so many nations represented. It is truly the world championships.”
The second day of the UCI BMX World Challenge competition will feature challenge class finals for the men 17-24, 25-29, 30 & over and women 17 and over.
The elites will begin their world title pursuit with time trial qualification at 2:30 p.m. GMT. The top 16 qualifiers will then compete for the time trial superfinal title at beginning at 9 p.m. local time. The top half of today’s time trial qualifiers will earn the right to compete in tomorrow’s main event.   
A full schedule, start lists, results and more information is also available on the event’s official webpage at http://www.bmxworldchamps.co.uk/. Fans can also follow the UCI BMX World Championships on Twitter at @BMXworlds - http://twitter.com/#!/bmxworlds and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bmxworldchamps.

Dane Morales led a U.S. sweep of the 5-6 boys division.
Dane Morales led a U.S. sweep of the 5-6 boys division.
UCI BMX World Challenge & Championships
Birmingham, U.K.
May 24 – 27, 2012
5-6 Boys
1. Dane Morales (Aliso Viejo, Calif.)
2. Linkin Garcia (La Palma, Calif.)
3. Dominic Duran (Manteca, Calif.)
5-7 Girls
1. Grace Stevenson (Gilbert, Ariz.)
2. Catilin Flavell (NZL)
3. Lissi Van Schijndel (NED)
7 Boys
1. Tyler Grigsby (Rio Linda, Calif.0
2. Jan Kraus (NED)
3. Daniel Jarrin (ECU)
8 Boys
1. Emilio Durini (ECU)
2. Lachlan Stevens-McNab (NZL)
3. Jaymio Brink (NED)
4. Vincent Esposito (Ventura, Calif.)
6. Valentino Elizondo (Bakersfield, Calif.)
10 Girls
1. Desiree Barnes (AUS)
2. Jui Yabuta (JPN)
3. Leinani Peralta (Bakersfield, Calif.)
10 Boys
1. Julian Dittrick (Phoenix, Ariz.)
2. Dayan Dubois (SUI)
3. Ryan Martin (NZL)
11 Girls
1. Sam Van Oss (NED)
2. Tessa Martinez (FRA)
3. Isa Dinther (NED
4. Jordan Scott (Henderson, Nev.)
11 Boys
1. Ross Cullen (GBR)
2. Maime Bondu (FRA)
3. Yuichi Masuda (JPN)
4. William Parker (Tallahassee, Fla.)
6. Hayden Robinson (Big Flats, N.Y.)
12 Girls
1. Maite Naves Barreto (BRA)
2. Anna Johnson (Garland, Texas)
3. Kanami Tanno (JPN)
12 Boys
1. Josue Alvarez (EDU)
2. Maxence Vanhaezebroeke (FRA)
3. Justin Hendley (Chandler, Ariz.)
5. Kendal Wong (Bradenton, Fla.)
13 Boys
1. Michael Gonzales (Watsonville, Calif.)
2. Richard Holec (CZE)
3. Dusan Hulka (CZE)
7. Kameren Larsen (Bakersfield, Calif.)
14 Girls
1. Kelsey Van Ogle (Auburn, Wash.)
2. Rebecca Petch (NZL)
3. Merel Smulders (NED)
14 Boys
1. Myles Wamsley (Henderson, Nev.)
2. Justin Richmond (Rochelle, Ill.)
3. Daichi Yamaguchi (JPN)
8. Ryan Pettigrew (Watsonville, Calif.)

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This Article Updated May 25, 2012 @ 07:27 AM For more information contact: