Te Awamutu rider Rebecca Petch swapped bikes and breeds to add another Oceania jersey to her collection after dominating the elite women’s racing in BMX competition at the Sleeman Track at Chandler in Brisbane.
After winning an Oceania jersey with victory in the team sprint on the track, Petch, 23, returned to her roots to dominate the elite BMX competition, unbeaten in the competition to claim the elite women’s title for the first time.
“It’s nice to get some racing with the girls. They were really pushing me,” said Petch. “With the time difference, I haven’t really adapted since I have been here but I need to be able to adapt.
“It is a good stepping from nationals, to Oceanias and on to world cups. It is good to get this under the belt and hopefully on to some international racing soon.”
Petch, who will race in the Superclass BMX competition on Saturday, said she is starting to feel the effects of two hard days of track cycling and now BMX.
“I’ve been riding a bike for 20 years. I guess my foundations were built over that time. Getting used to the track has been really cool learning for me because I am seeing such big improvements and I am enjoying doing both at present.”
The women’s competition was combined with elites, under-23 and juniors.
Talented juniors Leila Walker and Megan Williams actually finished second and third overall but first and second in the junior grade.
Walker (Cambridge) enjoyed a second and two first placings in her three motos while Williams (Rotorua) had a win, second and third.
“The final was an awesome race and good to mix with the other classes. It was definitely crazy but good. I had a good first straight and it went so quickly. I just had to hang on and get to the line,” said the 17-year-old.
Following the competition, Walker will return to Cambridge to prepare for the world championships in France in July.
“If I kill it, then I might look at Colombia and back-to-back weekends of World Cup competition.”
Fellow Waikato rider, Baylee Luttrell (Hamilton) finished runner-up in the under-23 class behind Australian Desree Barnes, while Bennett Greenough (Cambridge) placed third in the under 23 men’s competition.
“I was stoked with how I rode today. It is a step in the right direction and I’m happy with third. I am stoked to get some international racing again,” said Greenough who is planning a racing season ahead in Europe including a taste of the European and World Cups.
Younger brother Jack Greenough also finished on the podium as runner-up in the junior men.
“I had strong first and second straights. I was able to avoid some crashes behind but on the third straight I had a few mistakes and allowed a rider through and I had to settle for second.”
The combined Oceania Championships, featuring all major cycling disciplines, are completed over the weekend with the road time trial on Saturday and road race and BMX Freestyle on Sunday.