BATHURST BMX Club talent Hayley Wolfenden finished her 2018 season in style on Saturday as she was crowned a national series champion for the first time in her racing career.
She sealed her 25-29 years success at the finale of the seven-round BMX Australia series in Launceston by placing second in the final of combined class she raced in.
It was the third round she completed – the number required to be a classified finisher – and added to her second at Penrith and third at Tuggeranong.
“First national series win, so yeah, I’m pretty happy with that,” Wolfenden said.
“It was sort of a goal, but wasn’t a set goal. I thought it would be nice to do, and as I went on I was like ‘Oh, I could do that’.”
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Wolfenden had never previously ridden at the Launceston track, but felt it suited her style of racing even after rain earlier in the day made for less than ideal conditions.
“I reckon I did better than I’ve been doing lately and that track suited me better too. It was more of an old school type track, a sort of a rolling track,” she said.
“The track was heavy and wet so I had to work hard. It rained beforehand just it made the track very soft and mushy, it was slippery in practice and while it tacked up for race time, it was still really slow.”
As expected talented junior Clare McNamara, who also raced in women’s Superclass, was placed in the six-rider combined field Wolfenden was in.
McNamara was the rider to beat, but Wolfenden did get the better of her in one of her three motos, albeit when her rival took it easy.
The Bathurst competitor, who placed second in her first moto, then adopted similar tactics and eased off in her final qualifier. She crossed the line in fifth.
“She [McNamara] was racing two classes and I went full pelt in that second moto and she took it easy in that one, but yeah it was still nice to beat her,” Wolfenden said.
“I completely turned off in my last moto, I just did what I had to in that one to make it to the finish line and save myself for the final.
“I could feel myself starting to blow out, so I decided to save some [energy] for the final.
“It was a fast turnaround for the day in races too.”
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In the final McNamara reacted quickest from the gates and went on to take the win in 39.244 seconds.
Wolfenden was a clear second, clocking her fastest run of the day – a 40.383.
“I was happy with that. The first half of the race I was close, but then after that I seemed to drop back a bit compared to her,” Wolfenden said. “Second, I can’t complain about that.”
Wolfenden thanked her sponsors Michram Industries and East Coast. The first round of the 2019 series will be held at the Sydney BMX Club from February 16-17.