HAYLEY Wolfenden has been crowned a 2019 Macarthur BMX Open champion after she narrowly held on in a nail-biting 17-24 women's final on Sunday.
The Bathurst BMX Club rider made a brilliant start from gate four to take the lead in the final, but in the closing metres Macarthur's Cara Wilde came at her.
At one stage Wilde drew alongside Wolfenden, but the Lithgow native did enough to take the win. She stopped the clock at 41.471 seconds, getting the job done by 0.026 seconds.
Wolfenden realised her rival was closing the gap, saying: “If you listen to the commentators you get a fair idea of where people are, not everyone does that, but I do”, yet she did not have the energy to muster a final burst of speed.
“I had a little bit of a gap, but then I ran out of fitness and she caught up to me. It was close, like I wasn't 100 percent sure if I had the win," she said.
“I was at my limit, I was starting to cramp.
“I got to the end and we did the whole shaking hands thing, but then I was like ‘I've got to warm down’ because my quads had enough."
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In the build up to the event, which was also the second round of the BMX New South Wales State Series, Wolfenden did not log as many training hours as usual.
Across her three qualifying motos she still managed two firsts and a second, but the Bathurst rider was unsure how her legs would hold up in the decider.
“I wasn’t 100 percent sure that I’d take the win," she said. “So it was satisfying, definitely … I nailed my gate."
Wolfenden was one of five Bathurst riders who competed at Macarthur.
Greg Westman (masters) qualified for his final and placed seventh, while Liam Westman won two of his 17-24 men's motos before placing fifth in the semi-final.
Bradley Martin (12 boys) and Dom Pappas (eight boys) also gained good experience.
“Greg made his final and Liam dominated his motos, but just had a bad semi – but that’s the joys of our sport," Wolfenden said. “It was a pretty good showing for Bathurst considering the number of active members we’ve got at the moment. It was a pretty good percentage."