Walker claims BMX world championship double
- by Christopher Jones
- Published: 27 July 2009
New Zealand rider Sarah Walker collected her second rainbow jersey after winning the cruiser class title at the UCI BMX World Championships in Adelaide tonight.
Walker (Kawerau) added the cruiser title to the BMX elite world championship she won last night at the Adelaide Showgrounds.
She is believed to be the first elite woman to win the double of the BMX and Cruiser class world titles, the latter raced on bikes with larger 24 inch diameter wheels.
It is her second Cruiser world championship, winning for the title in Canada two years ago and she placed third last year.
Walker, who was on cloud nine after her world championship double, said it had been difficult to focus today after her brilliant victory last night.
“I did manage to get plenty of sleep because I really wanted to give it my best shot today,” Walker said. “But I had the attitude today that I was so pleased with my performance whatever happened. So I pretty much muddled through the motos.”
She did more than that, winning all three impressively in the three fastest times in all the qualifying heats.
“Then I just talked myself into focussing. I played some music and got myself into the zone. I knew I could do the double and really concentrated on putting down a smooth lap.”
Walker nailed the final, bursting first out of the start and winning by more than a second in 32.218, the fastest time of the day. She finished ahead of yesterday’s silver medallist, Manon Vanetino from France with Lithuania’s Vilma Rimsaite third.
“This hasn’t sunk in yet. This morning I really didn’t have the time to think that I had become a world champion because I had to prepare for today.
“This is a huge confidence boost for me. I came to these championships with confidence in my own ability because I knew I had done the training and the hard work. Now I know I can be the best and I can foot it with the best.
“I’ll take some time now to re-evaluate things and plan ahead. There’s a lot to do and still a lot of improvement in me. We have the Olympic qualification starting this year and I have more world championships to come.
“But the big goal is obviously the London Olympics. That is the ultimate dream. “
Fellow Rotorua club rider Tania Carson also qualified for the final, finishing sixth after finishing seventh, fifth and fourth in the three qualifying motos.
Canterbury’s Elyse Imber finished sixth in the final of the junior women, after qualifying strongly with two seconds and a third in the motos.
Elite Results, UCI MBX Cruise World Championships:
Elite women final: Sarah Walker (NZL) 32.218, 1; Manon Valentino (FRA) 33.479, 2; Vilma Rimsaite (LTU) 34.143, 3. Also Tania Carson (NZL) 36.754, 6.
Junior women: Mariana Pajon (COL) 32.964, 1; Maartje Hereijgers (NED) 33.471, 2; Ashley Verhagan (USA) 35.354, 3.
Elite men: Ivo van der Putten (NED) 29.220, 1; Sander Bisserling (NED) 29.928, 2; Vincent Pelluard (FRA) 30.199, 3.
Junior men: Joris Daudet (FRA) 29.028, 1; David Zabala (COL) 29.430, 2; Renato Rezendo (BRA) 29.723, 3.