USA Cycling BMX team sweeps Gold Medals at World Championships
Chengdu, China- Team USA walked away from the 2018 UCI Urban World Championships with four medals in BMX Freestyle.
On the women’s side, 23 year-old Perris Benegas (Reno, Nev.) took gold with Angie Marino (San Diego, Calif.) and Hannah Roberts (Buchanan, Mich.) taking silver and bronze sweeping the women’s podium. On the men’s side, Justin Dowell (Virginia Beach, Va.) took gold.
“In the women’s class, Angie and Perris had similar runs where they used a lot of the park and had great flow. While Hannah might have not had the result she was looking for, she laid down some great tricks,” said Jamie Staff, USA Cycling Performance Director for BMX Racing and Freestyle, “Justin’s run was extremely energetic, he has really learned how to use the course to its full advantage. We’re looking forward to what all of our athletes will do leading into 2020, but this has been a great building year for the BMX Freestyle program.”
Benegas, who came into the World Championships ranked 22nd in the World Cup standings, blew the competition out of the water in her final round taking advantage of every second for a complete and cohesive run showcasing her energy and technical skills.
“What an amazing overall experience the Urban World Championships were,” started Benegas, “It really came down to believing in myself and trusting in the process I started with USA Cycling. Accomplishing the goal of World Champion is something I’ve always wanted.”
Marino, who has been a fixture on the women’s BMX Freestyle scene since 2012, bested her bronze medal run in the 2017 championships with a silver medal this year.
“I’m so happy to end the year on the podium with two of my best friends and fellow USA Cycling athletes,” said Marino of her performance.
Roberts, who had her second consecutive podium finish after winning the 2017 Championship and finishing in first overall this year in the UCI Rankings said, “I was really happy with my riding today. It was an awesome feeling being a part of a Team USA podium sweep.”
After having a strong season, 18-year old Dowell came into the Championships ranked 5th in the World Cup standings. While other riders focused on big air across the boxes and half pipes, Dowell focused on using the entire park landing tricks on the hips, providing great energy during his 60-second run.
“I couldn't ask for a better week, it was amazing,” said Dowell, “I managed to come out with a win at the World Championships while surrounded by all my friends. Thank you USA Cycling for all the support.”
“It’s great to see such strong performances from our athletes as we head into Olympic qualifications,” said Scott Schnitzspahn, VP of Elite Athletics for USA Cycling, “We have some of the most talented Freestyle BMX athletes in the world and this week proved it.”
Team USA had a total of 8 riders advance to the finals, more than any other nation, with Nina Buitrago (Austin, Tex.) rounding out the women in ninth place and Daniel Sandoval (Corona, Calif.), Jeremy Mallotte (Lake Havasu City, Ariz.) and Nick Bruce (Cleveland, Ohio) finishing seventh, 10th and 11th respectively for the men.
For more about the 2018 UCI Urban Cycling Championships, please visit https://www.uci.org/bmx-freestyle/events/uci-urban-cycling-world-championships. To cheer for #TeamUSA and for more information on our athletes, follow @USACycling across all social media channels.
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