Olympic Champion Mariana Pajon delighted the crowds at Aucklandâs Vector Arena when she won the time trial. She completed the 300m lap of the track in 25.153 seconds, 0.342 seconds faster than Alise Post (USA). The 2012 World Champion Caroline Buchanan (AUS) finished third.
Although winner of the 2011 BMX World Championships in Copenhagen, and London 2012 gold medallist, the major time trial title had eluded the Colombian athlete until now.
âI am so proud. I always wanted to chase this win. I wanted to win,â she beamed. âI love this track and I love this crowd.â
Her latest achievement continues her countryâs incredible rise on the international cycling scene which was emphasised at this yearâs Tour de France with Nairo Quintanaâs second place overall.
âCycling in Colombia is huge,â enthused the new World Champion. "Everybody is talking about it and all the little kids want to get on their bikes.â
Two in a row for Connor Fields
Connor Fields made it two in a row by taking his second time trial world title in Auckland in front of French athletes Joris Daudet and Sylvain AndrÃ©. Fastest in qualifying, the young American was the last of the 16 finalists to take to the track and covered the lap 0.103 seconds faster than Daudet. The two were the only riders to go under 23 seconds.
âIt is such a tight track so I really had to concentrate on being as precise as I could,â Fields commented at the end. âI canât think of a single mistake I made. It all came together and I am really excited to have a second title.â
The double World Champion added that he feels more mature than last year, when he was a first-year Elite. Although his time trial win has given him confidence, he would not be drawn into predictions for Sundayâs racing.
âIn BMX anything can happen,â he said. âThe fans are in for a great show.â
The Junior Womenâs title went to the USAâs Felicia Stancil for the second year running, with Rachel Jones (AUS) and Sarah Sailer (GER) completing the podium.
Romain Mahieu (FRA) also claimed his second consecutive world title in front of the USA's Sean Gaian and Niek Kimmann, of the Netherlands.
Sundayâs racing can be viewed live on the UCI YouTube channel from 3pm local time (5am CET).
Photo (Ross Land): Mariana Pajon on her way to victory