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European riders share half of challenge titles at BMX worlds
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European riders won five of the nine champions of challenge classes at the age of 15 years old and above at the BMX World Championships in Taiyuan, north China's Shanxi Province on Friday.

Sylvain Andre and Jean Ren Ducos de Lahitte from France were the champions in the group of 16-year-old boys and men of 30 years old and above respectively, while two Dutch riders, Angelique Van Gemert and Merle Van Benthem won those of women of age 17 and over and girls of age 16, as well as British Dale Holmes in the masters group.

The United States, Canada, Australia and South Africa held the four remaining crowns each.

Holmes, 37, told Xinhua: "Nice track, nice people here. I'm happy to be here and happy to win."

The champion of the 17-24 men's group went to American rider Weston Pope.

"I feel great. Everything here is pretty good and I hope everybody enjoy the game," said Pope.

A total of 875 riders from 33 countries and regions are competing in challenge and elite tournaments of the world championships.

This is the first time for China to hold a BMX World Championships, a country which didn't begin the sport until 2004.

The elite class of the event will be held on Saturday.

(Xinhua News Agency May 31, 2008)

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