Pedaling to success

Young BMX riders have strong performances on national stage in Chilliwack

PENTICTON BMX members Demico Gonzalez

PENTICTON BMX members Demico Gonzalez

Compared to what they face at their home track with the Penticton BMX Club, the Gonzalez and McLean brothers didn’t fold under the pressure of competing in the Fraser Valley nationals in Chilliwack earlier this month.

Demico Gonzalez, 5, and Zane McLean, 4,  faced 21 riders in the five and under novice class from B.C., Alberta and the U.S. Gonzalez made it to the semifinal round on May 10, while McLean reached that round on May 9 and 10.

Meanwhile Marquez Gonzalez, seven, competed in the 7 intermediate class against 14 kids and qualified to the main races on May 9 and 10. Brody McLean, seven, competed in the 7/8 open class as well as the 7 intermediate. McLean made finals on both days for the open class and semifinals for the other.

Zane said he enjoyed winning a race and facing challenging riders. His brother Brody said it was hard facing advanced riders.

“Riders were pretty good,” he said. “Getting to race harder levels of BMX was really fun.”

Kirsten McLean, mother of Zane and Brody, said Zane did awesome.

“There are some really good riders throughout B.C. and they come as far as California,” she said. “It’s good competition.”

Marquez was happy to have earned a trophy for finishing seventh.

“I performed good on the track,” he said. “There was a huge class. We had lots of fun with it.”

It was tough for Vanessa Gonzalez to watch her kids in larger motos.

“For him to make it to his mains was awesome,” she said adding that one of the things the boys enjoyed most of being there was camping and meeting new people.

Vanessa added that the boys worked extremely hard physically and mentally to qualify. Depending on the number of riders, it may take four races to reach the main race.