Hannah Roberts Wins Inaugural BMX Freestyle Park World Championships
“I was a bit nervous and stressed about these first championships,” said Roberts. “I’m happy it went well. This world championship title means a lot to me.”
The sixteen-year-old lived up to her status as a pre-event favorite in the women’s competition. The 2017 UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup winner secured the first rainbow jersey averaging 90.10 points over her two runs. Roberts pulled a flair in the quarter on her first run to score 94 points and take control of the competition. Opting to play it safe on her second outing, she produced a flow run to score 86.20 points and win the title from Germany’s Lara Marie Lessmann (88.35) and the USA’s Angie Marino (86.38).
Beyond the medals, Team USA had some other strong performances.
Nick Bruce (Hubbard, Ohio) was one of the favorites coming into the World Championships - having won the FISE World Cup the week before at a different venue in Chengdu, China - but a heavy landing after one of his jumps flatted his rear tire. Bruce went on to score the highest score of the competition in his second semifinal run, but was left with too much of a deficit after his first run to get enough points to make the final.
Pat Casey (Riverside, Calif.) crashed in both of his first runs which made it impossible to make it past the first round of qualifying.
Justin Dowell (Raleigh, N.C.) impressed everyone making it to the finals where he crashed on the last jump.
Wesley Hark (Stallion Springs, Calif.) put two clean runs together but did not score enough points to advance.
Jake Leiva (Tehachapi, Calif.) slid out twice in his first run which made it impossible to gain enough points to qualify to the semi-finals.
BMX legend Ryan Nyquist (Wilmingtonn, N.C.) put together two great runs, but made a few small mistakes and did not make it past the first round.
Daniel Sandoval (Mira Loma, Calif.) rode extremely well all weekend. He scored high in his first final run, but was scored lower on his second run leaving him very close to the podium with a fourth place finish.
Bryce Tryon (Lodi, Calif.) did not advance out of the first round.
Freestyle pioneer Nina Buitrago (Austin, Texas) competed with a broken wrist, but still managed to make the finals and followed teammates Roberts and Marino in tenth.
The event was part of the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships, which also included Trials and Mountain Bike Eliminator. In June, the International Olympic Committee announced the addition of BMX Freestyle Park to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.