Buchanan teen is top ranked female BMX rider in world
SOUTH BEND —
Hannah Roberts is part of the next generation of girl riders pushing BMX riding to its limits. With her cousin being Brett Banasiewicz and The Kitchen being her home park, riding is in her blood and it shows.
BMX Freestyle takes place on ramps with big transitions and large obstacles. Competitors are judged on tricks performed throughout the course, with points awarded based on difficulty, originality, style and execution. Famous riders include Logan Martin (Australia), Daniel Dhers (Venezuela), Alex Coleborn (Great Britain) for men, Nikita Ducarroz (Switzerland), Macarena Perez (Chile) and UCI World Cup title holder, and Michiana's own 15-year-old Hannah Roberts (USA) for women.
The Buchanan, MI native is currently the No. 1 female BMX rider on the planet. She has become a familiar face on top of BMX podiums around the world as the reigning FEEC champion in France, Denver, Canada, and Chengdu.
And now that Roberts has reached the top, she has some even bigger dreams for both herself and the sport as a whole.
"My goal for BMX would probably be to get it as big as possible. I want to see both sides of the sport grow, more young girls will be like, 'oh well it's not just a guy sport so we can all participate'. And I feel like that's what BMX needs, and to be a part of that is just amazing," said Roberts.
And that dream could come true sooner than she thought. At the beginning of June, in line with the UCI’s strategy to promote women’s cycling and the IOC’s Agenda 2020, it was agreed that for Mountain Bike and BMX Racing, several quotas previously allocated to men athletes would be transferred to women, achieving full gender equity. Meaning it could then be added as an event for the 2020 Olympic games.
Roberts said, "I really want to get in there and rep the U.S., I really hope to get in there in 2020 and show off my sport for everybody to see."
Roberts has a dream of becoming a professional BMX rider, and her first step is performing in the X-Games in Minneapolis, Minnesota from July 13-16. She is one of several female riders that were asked to perform in a demonstration to petition that a female competition be added to the extreme sports event.