WITH three podium placings and another two riders who qualified for finals, the Bathurst BMX Club made its presence felt at Sunday’s Sydney Open.
The event, which also doubled as the sixth round of the state series, drew 468 riders from across New South Wales and the ACT.
But while competing against talented rivals, Bathurst rider Hayley Wolfenden took out the 17-24 years women’s category and siblings Liam (16 boys) and Chelsie Westman (13 girls) placed third in their respective classes.
“Bathurst is one of the smallest clubs. It’s been around a very long time, but it’s name is starting come out more in the event side of things now the club has got the bigger track,” Wolfenden said. “It makes everyone else’s track seem not so intimidating, that’s for sure.”
Wolfenden herself is proof of how the new Bathurst track is helping riders develop, Sunday’s result adding to a string of strong performances this year.
She was top-two in each of her three motos at the Sydney Open and the fastest qualifier for the final.
While not making the best start in that decider, she went on to win in a time of 42.423 seconds ahead of Australian under 16 representative Felicia Thomas (43.289).
“I was pretty happy considering I missed my gate,” she said.
“It’s just one of those things that happens, sometimes you don’t get a good start. I was not very far behind, it was just a matter of muscling my arms back to the front and then go from there.
“It wasn’t a dramatic miss the gate, but I’m one of the faster gaters, so when I missed the gate it was like ‘Oh crap, what do I do?’.”
Cheslie Westman placed third in all of her motos and in the decider again finished in position three behind Penrith’s Nicola Fleming and Macarthur’s Destiny Brien.
Liam Westman clocked 41.229 in his final, with only Brendan Quirk (37.878) and Cooper Morgan (38.730) faster.
While Bathurst’s Joel Goulding was the fastest qualifier for the 17-24 men’s final and had won two of his three motos, the decider did not play out as he had hoped.
Pushing hard for the lead in the first bend, Goulding cut underneath Terrigal’s Jayden Smith. However, the angle was too tight and he crashed out of contention.
Jett Robertson placed sixth in the boys 11-12 cruiser division final, while Wyatt Robertson did well in his eight years boys motos.