Hannah Roberts competes at the Pan American Games Lima 2019 on Aug. 11, 2019 in Lima, Peru.
Decorated BMX freestyle rider Hannah Roberts has a considerable bag of tricks, and one by one she put them on display on Sunday.
Competing at the final UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup competition of the season in Chengdu, China, the 18-year-old took first place in the last event before the world championships. Her aggressive yet well-controlled first run of the final had her getting terrific height as she launched through the air, flipping end over end with the bike on one pass, spinning and letting go of the handlebars on the next, each time confidently landing and charging to the next feature on the course.
She scored 93.80 points to put her ahead of U.S. teammate Perris Benegas, who made it a 1-2 sweep by the Americans with a score of 90.20. It was the third straight victory on the world cup circuit for Roberts, who also claimed the overall gold medal for the season for the third time in a row after also taking first place in world cup stops in April and May.
Benegas, the 2018 world champion, and Roberts, the 2017 world champion, will now remain in Chengdu for the 2019 edition of the world championships next week to see who will take the title of world’s best into Tokyo when BMX freestyle makes its Olympic debut in 2020.
Roberts and Benegas weren’t the only U.S. riders to medal in the world cup finale, although the men’s competition finished under slightly different circumstances. The men’s final was canceled due to rain, which meant that the results from the semifinal stood for medals. Nick Bruce, who’s ranked 10th in the world, came away with the bronze. Justin Dowell, the 19-year-old reigning world champion on the men’s side, finished fifth.