St. Albert BMX riders on top of the world
Saturday, Aug 16, 2014 06:00 am
St. Albert’s Avriana Hebert, 14, took home first place at the 2014 BMX World Championships in Rotterdam, the Netherlands last month.
She beat out 35 other competitors from 11 countries to take the trophy.
“The last world championships I was at, in Victoria, I was disqualified for falling off my bike,” said Avriana. “So to go from that to getting a trophy is a really great feeling.”
“We’ve been biking for 10 years now,” said Garrett Hebert, Avriana’s brother. “Our dad was really into the sport and he wanted us to learn it so he took us to the track one day. I was six and Avriana was four.”
Garrett Hebert, 16, and Cayleigh van Staalduinen, 15, also competed at the championships this year for Team Canada.
The three friends have been biking together for nearly a decade and are the only riders from St. Albert on the national team.
“I think a lot of the popularity has to do with attention from the Olympics,” said Garrett.
BMX (bicycle motocross) was introduced to the Summer Olympics in 2008 and is the most recent cycling addition to the Games.
The fan friendly sport pits six competitors against each other in a race through dirt-filled obstacle courses. Accidents and crashes are common.
“It’s not that much more dangerous than other sports,” said Avriana, who was quick to add that she wouldn’t be quitting anytime soon.
Avriana’s worst injury biking came when she was only seven years old. She fell off of the bike awkwardly and broke her collarbone.
“It wasn’t that bad,” she said. “I was on my bike again two weeks later. The first race back I wiped out and was disqualified.”
Luckily, that fall didn’t break any bones. The three riders said that serious injuries are rare, especially for experienced athletes.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Avriana.
Anyone interested in BMX is invited to Riel Park Aug. 23 and 24 for the BMX Canada Cup.
The Canada Cup competition runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days and pits some of the best U17 riders in the country against each other.
Anyone interested in learning more about the sport or the Canada Cup is encouraged to contact St. Albert BMX at 780-460-1269 or visit their website at www.stalbertbmx.com.