Olympic Champion Charlotte Worthington took fifth place, while European silver medallist Kieran Reilly finished 10th overall in the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships in Abu Dhabi.
Having taken the bronze medal in 2021, Charlotte Worthington went straight to the elite women’s finals in second place, behind reigning world champion Hannah Roberts of the USA, with a score of 82.60 from two runs.
Worthington delivered a comfortable first run score of 77.56, faltering slightly with a slipped foot mid-trick, but generally displaying style and clean tricks and executing an impressive 720-degree spin. However, that same trick evaded her on the second run and an off-centre landing saw her crash out, ultimately ending her podium chances. Worthington finished in fifth place overall in the elite women’s category with a score of 77.56.
Reflecting on her performance, Charlotte said, “I’ve been having a really great week, even today practice went pretty much perfect for me. We had all the pieces there, it’s just a case of putting the jigsaw together. My first run I slipped a foot, so a minor mistake, then I wanted to preserve energy for my second run. Come the second run, unfortunately I made a miscalculation on some relatively new tricks and we crashed out, so we ended up fifth.
“It was really nice to come off the course and have all the British Cycling team there smiling and ready for hugs. Whatever the outcome I know that everyone back home and here is super proud of me and we all know that I’ve got it in the bag and it’s coming.”
Also representing Great Britain in the elite women’s category was Sasha Pardoe, who finished second behind Worthington at the recent national championships. In her debut world championships, the 16-year-old delivered a strong run, earning her a score of 50.55 and 18th place in qualifiers, which wasn’t quite enough to take her through to the finals.
In the elite men’s freestyle park category, Kieran Reilly delivered the best British result with a 10th place finish. After a strong season, taking silver at both the European and National Championships, Reilly delivered a consistent start, with 5th place finishes in the qualifiers and semi-finals. The rider took a conservative approach to his first run, with more to give in his second run. However, a failed double flair left him with a score of 55.60 on the first run, adding additional pressure to deliver on run two. A well-delivered second run scored Reilly 80.10 but a podium was out of sight and he took 10th place overall.
On his performance, Reilly commented, “The whole weekend of riding here has been insane, that’s probably the highest level of finals I’ve ever seen. I knew I had to push myself outside of my comfort zone which I was ready to do and to not be able to do that is a bummer feeling but it just gives me more drive for the next world championships.”
Experienced rider Shaun Gornall qualified 15th with 78.51, a score he marginally improved on in his semi-finals second run, leaving the competition in 16th place with 78.70.
New additions to the GBCT BMX Freestyle senior academy Dylan Hessey and Ash Finlay gave strong performances representing Great Britain internally for the first time, but a mixture of high temperatures and mechanical issues cut both of their contests short. Hessey finished 26th in qualification with 72.66, missing out on semi-finals by two spaces, while Finlay made it to semi-finals stage, finishing 18th with a score of 75.40.
Unfortunately James Jones pulled out of the competition ahead of qualifiers due to injury.
Elsewhere in the competition, there was British success in the trials men’s elite 26” event as Jack Carthy became world champion with an impressive total score of 260.