Langley BMX champion Violet Cejalvo is going to Eurpoe and the Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championship in Switzerland.
“I’m really excited,” Cejalvo told the Langley Advance Times.
“This is really cool for me.”
As a timed event where each rider is alone on the track, pump biking, where the cycles have no pedals, is a different kind of competition than BMX, where as many as eight riders race against each other.
In pump track racing, riders use the momentum of their bikes and the force of their body to propel themselves over bumps in the track called rollers and rounding corners high onto berms.
“There’s no pedaling,” Cejalvo explained.
“It’s all using your momentum.”
A BMX champion with a string of high-profile wins, the 17-year-old Cejalvo is a fairly recent competitor in pump bike racing.
“I’ve always kind of done it on the side,” she observed.
In May, her very first pump bike competition, in Leavenworth, Washington, she took third.
Cejalvo admitted to some nerves before she took to the track.
“It was kind of out of my comfort zone,” she recalled.
Then came the Red Bull Pump Track World Championship Canadian qualifying event in Nanaimo on August 24.
Cejalvo finished first in the women’s division, beating Karsen Tielen of Maple Ridge, the runner-up, and Alaina Henderson of Encinitas, Calif., who took third .
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Her victory won Cejalvo a trip to Switzerland and the world championships which get under way Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Swiss Bike Park in Köniz-Oberried near Bern, Switzerland.
It is the second year of the world championships, which draw competitors from Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Oceania and Africa.
In an interview before she departed for Switzerland, Cejalvo expressed her thanks to her supporters, especially her parents.
While her experiment with a different type of bike racing has gone well, she said her first love remains BMX, which she said will remain her “main focus.”
A week after winning in Nanaimo, Cejalvo won her class at the provincial BMX finals n Langley.
Cejalvo hopes to turn pro one day in the sport.
She spends as much as 24 and 30 hours per week racing, practicing or exercising.
Her trip to Switzerland is her second trip to Europe for a major international competition.
Cejalvo was one of nine riders selected to represent Canada at the BMX World Championships in Zolder, Belgium, in July along with another Langley rider, Drew Mechielsen.
Mechielsen raced in the elite women category while Cejalvo competed in junior women.