This past weekend saw qualifiers for the Red Bull Pump Track World Championship take place in both Wellington, New Zealand and Manila, The Philippines. With 3 stops now complete, the world final is already shaping up to be an epic showdown as grass roots talent take on the best from the world.
The Velosolutions track in Wellington played host to the New Zealand qualifier and as the clouds rolled in later in the day it lived up to its nickname “Windy Wellington”. Riders were not put off by the weather and laid it all on the line for their chance to secure a spot at the world final.
Seeding runs gave the riders the chance to assess the competition before the rain came in. The track soon dried and riders were able to commit to hitting turns as fast as possible knowing they had all the grip they needed on the asphalt surface. The knock out heats pushed the rider’s stamina and whilst Connor Mahuika posted the fastest time on the day, Billy Meaclem proved he had the race craft to take the overall win and claim his ticket to the final.
In the women’s category a late in influx of registered riders on the day would make this a battle to the finish line. Rising star and Junior World Number 2, Shania Rawson was unstoppable on the day and took the win ahead of Caitlin Georgantas.
As the sun set in on the North Island of New Zealand, racing kicked in to action at the Bike Playground in Manila, The Philippines with the unique indoor track giving riders a welcomed break from the 30-degree heat.
Downhill, BMX, Enduro and XC riders from The Philippines, Japan and Malaysia gathered to battle it out against the clock and each other.
The timed runs were won by Jericho Farr and Lea Denise Belgica both members of the national DH Team but in a twist Lea Denise opted to take on the track with a BMX as her weapon of choice.
With 3 full laps on the technical pump track, it was more than just about the athlete’s skills, but their fitness, as the intense racing and the track length added to the excitement. In the end, the battle for the flight ticket in the men’s category would be between 2 generations. Crowd favourite, 40-year-old Parabanne Mendoza looked like he was going for the win, but some small mistakes on his 3rd lap killed his momentum, which gave 21-year-old Jericho Farr the chance to secure his 1st place.
With a race time of just under 1 minute un the women's category, it looked like XC rider Ariana would have the endurance advantage, but national DH team rider, Lea Denise manualled and jumped her way to the win and a ticket to the world final.
The Red Bull Pump Track World Championship Qualifiers continue around the world with the Wallride Bike Park in India hosting stop number 4 on the 21st of April. For the latest news, results and your chance to register to race visit https://redbullpumptrackworldchampionship.com