Daniel Franks, New Zealand’s latest junior BMX and downhill talent, has signed for Yeti’s New Zealand factory program. The team is guided by Olympian Kashi Leuchs, who now heads the distribution of Yeti in New Zealand.
“The Olympics is the pinnacle of any athlete’s career and it’s super to see a young athlete like Daniel setting his goals so highly,” said Leuchs, who has ridden in three Olympic cross country races. “I am stoked to be in a position to help him in any way I can.”
Franks is only 16 years old, and he’s got his sights set on the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“It’s my life’s dream and ambition to represent New Zealand at the highest level,” Franks said. “It’s amazing to now have support from someone who has been there and done that to help me along the way.”
Franks is among a group of athletes recently selected for a two-week BMX training camp in Europe, which will take in European rounds and the second Super Cross race of the year in Copenhagen.
Alongside his BMX racing, Franks has earned a reputation as one of the most promising junior downhill racers in the country.
“My goal is to compete at world cup level,” he said. “That is the pinnacle of downhill racing and New Zealanders like Sam Blenkinsop prove that Kiwis can make it to the top of the sport. I plan to follow his lead.”
For now, Franks hopes to compete for a podium spot in each sport’s junior world championships. The 2010 BMX world championships will be held at the end of July in South Africa and the mountain bike world championships are set for the end of August in Canada.