The fast-paced, tightly confined nature of BMX racing means the sport is not for the faint hearted. It is those with no fear and can keep their cool who excel, David Beck caught up with one of Rotorua's best.
The performance levels of most athletes decline as they get older but Rotorua's Dion Newth is an exception - he just keeps getting better.
The Rotorua BMX rider started racing when he was 9 but from 1995 he spent 10 years away from the sport. In 2015 he got back into it, and with a renewed maturity and love for racing he is quickly filling his trophy cabinet.
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Last month in Tauranga, Newth won the North Island title in the 45-49 cruiser category for the third consecutive year. It added to what has been an impressive year in which he claimed first place at nationals and finished seventh at the BMX World Championships in Belgium.
"The North Island Titles is our first title race for the season, BMX being a summer sport, so it's the first big race and it's nice to get that title under my belt," Newth says.
"At worlds this year, there were 80 in my class and I made the final, which is top eight. I tried to make a move which probably would've put me in a podium spot but unfortunately me and another rider collected. I ended up with a world ranking of seven.
"Last year I was world four but I was pretty stoked because just making the final is an achievement in itself. If anything, it just fuels my fire to keep training for next year."
This year was his sixth World Championship performance and fourth remains his best finish. Determined to make it to the podium, Newth said he trained about two hours a day - a mixture of gym work and getting out on the track.
"The sport can be a little bit fickle - you can be the best rider on the day but have a bad run or you can have a crash which can put you out but as a rider we're used to that kind of stuff."
Newth said since getting back into BMX in 2015 he had found his age and maturity to be a great strength.
"I've always had a passion for the sport, I took it back up for some fitness and something to do. I think I've come back with more maturity so I take my training a lot more seriously.
"Just over the years, learning about nutrition and different types of training, I've put it all together so I've come back a lot older but as a more focused rider and my results are showing that."
He has loved the sport since his parents first took him to race in Cambridge as a young boy.
"I just fell in love with it, I used to love building ramps at the back of my house, doing jumps and all that kind of stuff. It's almost part of who I am now. I can turn up at a track just by myself and have so much fun, then other people come along. It's just one of those things, it's a passion.
"When it comes to race day, for me, it's all about trying to keep calm, not getting too nervous. I find when you get a bit nervous you make mistakes so if you can go into races with coolness and calmness, you tend to come out with better results."
Newth was one of 22 Rotorua riders who competed at the North Island Titles in Tauranga.
They had 10 finalists, five podium finishes, four of which were title winners, and also had Kate Hastings' racing in the Mighty 11 New Zealand girls' team who beat their Australian counterparts.
Rotorua BMX Club president Aimee McGregor said the club was happy to send a good number of athletes to compete and for the younger ones it provided some great racing experience.
"Megan Williams won the 15-year-old girls, she's NZ1 and third in the world and she didn't drop a single race, she was on brilliant form all weekend.
"Kate was the third of three Hastings children to make the Mighty 11s test team. Jenna, Ryan and Kate have all gone through and done it now. For that girls team they also do who had the best results from the eight girls throughout the weekend and Kate got third in that.
"From the other riders we had a lot of personal bests and improvements - it was a great weekend."
She said the North Island Titles was a good way for the riders to get excited for the rest of the season.
"We were really happy. There were quite a few South Island riders who came up as well and there was some really good racing but not a lot of crashes which is great.
"Sometimes at the bigger meets you can end up with quite a lot of crashes because everyone's giving it heaps. The Mighty 11 test racing was really exciting, quite physical and some team tactics which is quite cool to watch."
Rotorua's North Island BMX Title winners
Reid Moulin (Sprockets 5-and-under), Nealson Uerata (6yr Boys), Megan Williams (15yr Girls), Dion Newth (45-49 Male).