(Reuters) – American Hannah Roberts underlined her status as a favorite for gold when BMX freestyle made its Olympic debut by winning the world title in Montpellier on Monday. The 19-year-old from Michigan, competing in her first event in 19 months due to the pandemic, took gold for the third time.
“I wanted to come out and put down a solid run, and I’m glad that I did that,” Roberts said in a video posted to the UCI BMX Freestyle Twitter. “I’m glad it got me the rainbow jersey back. “I’m definitely excited heading into this year as the world champion. Hopefully, there are more events, and I’m super stoked.”
BMX freestyle sees riders pedal around a course full of ramps, performing a range of spectacular spins and jumps. Roberts beat Swiss Nikita Ducarroz to first place, with Britain’s Charlotte Worthington in third place, the same place she finished in 2019. Nine men and nine women will compete in the inaugural Olympic BMX freestyle contest. (Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Hugh Lawson)