Pumped up and ready to go
April 9, 2018
Youthful out-of-towners won the pump track world championship New Zealand qualifier in Miramar on Saturday, scoring themselves a free ticket to Europe in the process.
Shania Rawson, from Tauranga, and Billy Meaclem, of Christchurch, came out on top qualifying for the first pump track world championship.
A “pump track” is a short, sometimes paved, circuit used by mountain bikers and BMXers to practise. “Pumping” refers to the technique of shifting weight on a bike to create momentum, rather than pedalling.
But pump track is now set to become an established event in its own right, with the inaugural world championship scheduled for September this year. The host city is yet to be decided.
Rawson, 19, and Meaclem, 18, usually compete as downhill mountain bikers.
Women’s winner Rawson, who came second at the downhill world champs last year, said pump track was a “bit of a side thing” for her, but a welcome change.
“I love it, it’s a good opportunity. It’s the first year doing it, so it’s awesome to get all the kids to Europe for a free trip, all the winners.”
The top four in the men’s and women’s sections qualified for the world championships, but only the winners will have their travel covered.
Rawson didn’t let the strong winds and drizzle on the day faze her. “It’s been really windy, so I thought I’d just keep both wheels on the ground, as safe as possible.
“The weather was a bit of a hassle with the rain, but otherwise the track’s awesome, I love it, it flows nicely.”
The track, in Centennial Reserve, was built by the Miramar track project, a part of the Wellington Mountain Bike Club.
Event organiser Craig Pattle said despite the weather the riders performed well.
“The wind, it was a little bit hard for the riders. When they get wheels off the ground, they can get blown over and lose their balance, but they all seemed to hold it quite well.”
The next stop in the pump track qualifier series will be held in Hyderabad, India, on April 21.