Charlotte Worthington, James Jones and Alex Coleborn all reached the finals of the 2019 UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup in Montpellier this weekend, as the first Olympic cycle for BMX Freestyle continues to progress.
In the Women's Park competition, the Great Britain Cycling Team were represented by Emma Finnegan and Charlotte Worthington who were both able to progress through qualification into Friday's semi-final. Having won her previous competition in Madrid, Worthington continued her good form scoring 81.40 to qualify in third position for Saturday's final. It wasn't to be for Liverpool based BMX rider Emma Finnegan narrowly missing out on the final, placing 14th with a score of 63.00.
The Women's Park final saw the bar raised significantly. Worthington was unable to match the highs of her semi-final runs, but managed a very creditable 7th place in a strong field - the contest eventually being won US phenomenon Hannah Roberts.
In the Men's competition, the Great Britain Cycling Team were strongly represented by perennial World Cup contenders Declan Brooks, Jack Clark, Alex Coleborn, James Jones and Ben Wallace. All 5 men advanced comfortably through qualifying, with Declan Brooks producing the highest scoring run of qualification.
Saturday's semi-final was bittersweet for the team, with strong runs from James Jones and Alex Coleborn proving enough to reach the final in the top 12, however Ben Wallace, Declan Brooks and Jack Clark all narrowly missed out in 13th, 14th and 16th positions. All British non-finalists were within 3 places of a final spot, an encouraging sign for the competitiveness across the entire squad.
In Sunday's final, the pressure was evident across the field with all riders increasing the difficulty to be competitive in a world-class field. Unfortunately Alex Coleborn crashed out of both runs early in the final and ended the contest in 12th. James Jones scored 81.60 in his first run and looked to be putting an excellent second run together before crashing out on a landing. Jones finished as Britain's highest place male in 8th.
Coach Jamie Bestwick spoke to the bravery and character of the team in taking the risks that were needed in such a competitive field. He added that having all riders "knocking on the door" of finals or better is an extremely encouraging sign and a good position to be in after 18 months of the British Cycling BMX Freestyle programme.