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Team USA
2023 World Championships

Roberts Wins Fifth World Title, Bruce Takes Bronze in 2023 BMX Freestyle World Championships

By: Angelina Palermo  August 07, 2023

The BMX Freestyle team doubles up on podiums earning gold and bronze at the World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.

GLASGOW – The Americans looked strong going into Monday’s BMX Freestyle Finals at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. With impressive qualifying scores in both the men’s and women’s events, athletes were focused and ready for this afternoon’s competition. The top qualifier on the women’s side was Olympic silver medalist Hannah Roberts  (Buchanan, Mich.; Hyper BMX). Roberts perfectly executed her first run. Between her bar spins, back flips, and 360s, she hoped that she did enough to lock in the win. After the first run, the judges scored her with a 91.04, an unbelievably hard number to beat.

Team China was not making it easily, though. The crowd watched as the Chinese riders went for their second runs, but they were unable to match Roberts’ score. Once the scores came in for Yawen Deng (CHN), the crowd went wild after realizing Roberts had just claimed her fifth World Championship Title.

“Honestly, I am feeling incredible. There has been a lot of work going into this moment. I knew that Team China was pushing strong and absolutely killing it, so I'm feeling a lot of motivation... and unfortunately, there was a string of injuries going into this, so it made it even more emotional that I put down a good run. Obviously, I have my amazing team, USA Cycling, behind me, and all my teammates, so it makes it even more special,” said Roberts after realizing she had won.

The Chinese riders have been riding exceptionally well this year and stacking the results as a team. Roberts said, “Team China is coming on strong, and they have some of the best riders in the world. They are so motivated to keep it going. They placed second through sixth, and that’s honestly incredible for their entire team. Going into this event, I knew there was some big stuff that I wanted to pull, and for the first run, I did what I could at the moment, and I still left it so that I had room for improvement. I was just hoping I didn’t have to improve, and luckily that was enough for this time, but I guarantee next time they are going to give me a run for my money.”

Roberts found motivation in the “Super Worlds” atmosphere saying, “With thirteen other cycling events happening within these two weeks, it's incredibly motivating to see athletes from all different areas of cycling. I got to meet some really cool USA riders... it’s definitely motivating.”

Elite Women’s Results

1 – Hannah Roberts (USA)

2 – Sibei Sun (CHN)

3 – Huimin Zhou (CHN)

On the men’s side, the weather caused the organizers to cancel the Semi-Finals, which forced them to send 24 men straight to the Finals on Monday. Nick Bruce  (Youngstown, Ohio; DK Bicycles), yesterday’s fourth-place qualifier, had a standout day earning bronze in the Elite Men’s category.

Bruce has been battling back from a torn rotator cuff. Monday’s Final was his first Final since coming back, “I had to repair a rotator cuff that I injured at the last Olympics, so I didn’t get to compete in this past Olympics. I had to wait and see if it was worth getting the surgery, and then I decided to get it, so I had to miss last year’s World Championship and a few World Cups. This is my year to get my feet back under me. At the first two World Cups, I didn’t make the Finals, so this is my first Final since being back... and I’m really happy that I was able to do a run that I wanted to put down,” said Bruce.

Bruce is finally back to laying down runs the way he used to a few years ago, “My run felt amazing. After falling on my first run, on a trick I do literally every day, I fell once in practice, and I did it perfectly on the second try. So, the second run, I thought this is just like practice, and I knew I had it on the second run no matter what. As soon as I landed, I was doing everything I could to focus on one ramp at a time and focus on my breathing. Thankfully I held on until the end, and they scored me high.”

Elite Men’s Results

1 – Kieran Reilly (GBR)

2 – Logan Martin (AUS)

3 – Nick Bruce (USA)

7 – Justin Dowell (USA)

8 – Daniel Sandoval (USA)

11 – Jacob Thiem (USA)

21 – Bryce Tryon (USA)