BMX Australia is proud to announce the members of the BMX Australia High Performance National Team and Elite teams to compete at the 2013 UCI BMX World Championships being held in Auckland, New Zealand in July.
Aiming to make back-to-back World Championships, Sam Willoughby and Caroline Buchanan will spear head the Australian teams, which fill the quota assigned by the Cycliste Internationale Union (UCI) having qualified in the Top 4 of all BMX nations.
Selection for the teams commenced in September last year with athletes being assessed on their performances across the BMX Australia National Series, the 2013 Subaru BMX National Championships, Oceania Championships and UCI BMX World Cups.
BMX Australia High Performance Coach Wade Bootes said the riders who have been selected have demonstrated the ability to gain results for Australia.
“Competition within Australia is very strong at the moment,” Bootes said. “The BMX Australia National Series is a great development tool with riders coming from the junior ranks and stepping up to the seniors, they are competing well and doing all the little things that enables them to win.
“Definitely with the High Performance Program we have three great girls with Caroline Buchanan, Lauren Reynolds and Melinda McLeod all proving they can perform internationally along with the guys like Sam Willoughby and Anthony Dean who placed 4th at last years event.
“And then we have a few Junior Elite athletes within the HP program who have also performed well domestically and internationally like Rachel Jones.
“I think that a lot of young guys have stepped up this year; it’s great to see a lot of kids aiming to be the worlds best.
Two riders who have stepped up are Aaron Nottle and Corey Frieswyk. Nottle, from the Hills BMX Club in Western Australia has competed in his first year as a Junior Elite rider winning 6 of the 7 rounds in the Nationals Series including the Oceania Championships before going on to win the Junior Elite Men’s National Championship.
Corey Frieswyk took the Elite Men’s National Championship 2 weeks ago in his first year as an Elite rider beating a highly fancied field that included Sam Willoughby and Anthony Dean. Corey placed himself well out of the start gate with both Willoughby and Dean locked in a battle around the track until the final turn where Frieswyk seized the opportunity to come from underneath in the corner and race for the win.
The World Championship track will be indoor at Vector Arena in downtown Auckland where the restricted space in the arena has resulted in an innovative approach to the track design, which will see all classes – Supercross, challenge and Cruiser – using the same start ramp and the first straight. With the track being constructed solely for the championships, teams will get limited practice time as they attempt to dial in their preparation.
Despite the lack of time being able to ride the actual track in Auckland, High Performance Coach Wade Bootes didn’t see that as a problem saying they prepare the athletes to be adaptable to these situations.
“Within our training we do a lot of variations so it gives the riders that adaptability to change, at this level the guys should know how to ride their bikes, it’s just about learning the track and riding their best.
And on who will be the main rivals, Bootes said the US is always one to look out for.
“USA always have strong contenders - they are professional athletes. Holland has a great program and France so it’s not going to be an easy feat. Great Britain stepping up a bit more this year too.
“We have to focus on our individual riders and give them the best opportunity to perform at their best at the World Championships.
The High Performance National Team will come together in early July for a training camp at the Brisbane SX track ahead of the World Championships.
Elite Men Joshua Callan – Lilydale BMX Club, VIC Anthony Dean – Cross Keys BMX Club, SA Corey Frieswyk – Walkerston BMX Club, QLD Darryn Goodwin – Eastern Goldfields BMX Club, WA Matthew Juster – Westside BMX Club, WA Brian Kirkham – Cross Keys BMX Club, SA Bodi Turner – Eastfield BMX Club, VIC Sam Willoughby – Happy Valley BMX Club, SA
Elite Women Caroline Buchanan - Tuggeranong BMX Club, ACT Leanna Curtis – Southlake Illawarra BMX Club, NSW Kirsten Dellar – Westside BMX Club, WA Melinda McLeod – Walkerston BMX Club, QLD Lauren Reynolds – Bunbury BMX Club, WA Gemma Sloane – Caboolture BMX Club, QLD
Junior Men Max Cairns – Park Orchards BMX Club, VIC Kerrod Connors – Nerang BMX Club, QLD Matthew Hollibone – Logan City BMX Club, QLD Tristyn Kronk – Walkerston BMX Club, QLD Jordan Lecher – Penrith BMX Club, NSW David Lyon – Eastfield BMX Club, VIC Aaron Nottle – Hills BMX Club, WA Kai Sakakibara – Southlake Illawarra BMX Club, NSW
Junior Women Sarah Harvey – Pine Rivers BMX Club, QLD Rachel Jones – Lake Macquarie BMX Club, NSW Jade Parker – Pine Rivers BMX Club, QLD Jacinta Pink – Cairns BMX Club, QLD
For the first time ever the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup series visits Latin America.
And after just one day of practice and time trials, Santiago del Estero in Argentina is already the favorite stop on the world tour for most riders. In hot and steamy conditions, witnessed by a sell out enthusiastic crowd, Shanaze Reade (GBR) and Conner Fields (USA) won the Superfinal time trials. Bleachers jam-packed
Never before has the tour witnessed sell out crowds during Time Trials Qualification. Not only were the bleachers jam-packed but fans were also sitting on the walls around the venue trying to get a glimpse of the action. With 132 elite men and 34 elite women dropping down off the start gate for the Time Trial qualification rounds, the fans were not going to be disappointed. The top 16 women and top 16 men in the Time Trial qualification qualified for the Superfinal. Shanaze Reade wins with clinical display of power
In the elite women’s practice one of the favorites for the ladies race, Merle van Benthem of the Netherlands, took a fall and ruled herself out of contention with a broken right collarbone. Mariana Pajon (COL), Shanaze Reade (GBR), Eva Ailloud (FRA) and Laura Smulders (NED) all look smooth in practice as did the 2 American's Brook Crain and Arielle Martin. Shanaze Reade, Eva Ailloud and Olympic Champion, Mariana Pajon qualified as the fasted three for the women’s Superfinal. It was Shanaze Reade that proved the fastest in a clinical display of power and speed as she took the win and her second UCI BMX Supercross Time Trial win of the year to add to her success in Manchester. Shanaze Reade said just after winning: “The track is awesome and to finish on top makes me really happy. And the fans here are absolutely amazing.”
Conner Fields fast on every track
In the Elite Men's practice the South American countries of Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Columbia all looked very impressive competing in front of their home fans. But it was all business as usual from the Netherlands, France, Australia and the USA. Liam Philips (GBR) winner in round one in Manchester, also looked focused and in control and hungry for another win. Connor Fields (USA), Raymon van der Biezen (NED) and Jared Garcia (USA) took the top three spots qualifying for the Superfinals. Connor Fields once again proved just how fast he is on any track as he bounced out of the gate last as the fastest qualifier and never looked back taking the win in a time of 31.892 seconds ahead of 2nd placed Joris Daudet (FRA) and 3rd placed Sylvian Andre (FRA). Connor Fields said just after his win: “I am pumped, super excited. This is my second time racing in South America and this is by far my favorite place to race.” Look forward to finals on 12 May 2.30 pm GSX Events director Johan Lindstrom added: "Santiago Del Estero and the local organizing committee is doing a great job and its great to see the excitement amongst the fans. We look forward to the finals tomorrow 12 May.” Watch the Main event live on www.BMXLIVE.tv on Saturday 12 May 2.30 pm local time. Results men here Results women here
Image courtesy of USA Cycling
North Canterbury teenager Trent Jones was the best of the New Zealand riders in seventh place at the Oceania BMX Championships in Brisbane last week.
The former Northland rider, fifth in the junior elite final at last year’s world championships, impressed with a strong showing at the Sleeman Sports Complex, with the Oceania title going to 2011 world champion Sam Willoughby (AUS).
The event drew all of Australia’s leading riders as well as some of the BikeNZ High Performance team as a valuable racing opportunity in the lead-up to July’s UCI World Championships in Auckland.
London Olympian Kurt Pickard aggravated a back aliment after a crash in the time trial. He impressed with a win and two second placings in the heats but a lengthy break was less than helpful for his injured back and the Tauranga rider missed the gate to finish eighth in the semifinal.
Waikato-based Cantabrian Daniel Franks did not make the semifinals while Te Awamutu rider Cody Hobbs was fifth in the junior elite final.
“This was a good opportunity for racing experience,” said BikeNZ BMX Coach Ryan Hollows. “The riders are all in a heavy training phase so we were not expecting too much.
“Trent is an outstanding prospect who raced well but was slightly disappointed with seventh in the final although he drew a bad gate.
“Kurt had nursed his back issue throughout but the crash aggravated things and he struggled out of the gate after the break in racing.
“Daniel has been in some heavy work and his result was not unexpected and Cody showed he can foot it with this company and will be a real force at the world championships.”
Jones, 19, from Kaiapoi won his opening heat with a sixth and third placings in the other two races qualifying him for the semifinals where he finished third.
Pickard (Tauranga) grabbed a win and two second placings to top his moto while Franks drew a tough moto and could not progress with two fifths and a sixth placing.
The US-based Willoughby, one of the early favourites for the world championships in Auckland, was in a class of his own. He was fastest in the time trial qualifying, and won all three motos, his semifinal and final to set the benchmark.
Top qualifier at the London Olympics, Caroline Buchanan (AUS) took out the women’s title from former junior world champion Melinda McLeod and fellow Olympian Lauren Reynolds.
The quartet return to New Zealand tomorrow with the full squad, including Olympic silver medallist, to head for training and racing in the USA in two weeks time as they prepare for the world championships, to be held on home turn at Vector Arena on 24-28 July.
Tickets go on sale for the public later this month.
Oceania BMX Championships, elite men final: Sam Willoughby (AUS) 1, Joshua Callan (AUS) 2, Anthony Dean (AUS) 3. Also: Trent Jones (NZL) 7.
Elite women: Caroline Buchanan (AUS) 1, Melinda McLeod (AUS) 2, Lauren Reynolds (AUS) 3.
Junior men: Aaron Nottle (AUS) 1, Kerrod Connors (AUS) 2, Kai Sakakibara (AUS) 3. Also: Cody Hobbs (NZL) 5.
The 2013 Subaru BMX National Championships saw more then 1300 gates drop at the Brisbane SX track with epic battles that saw wins, losses, bloodshed and close calls.
The week kicked off with a sprocket and mini wheeler demonstration, which saw the future BMX stars on the track with their idols for an opportunity to learn more about the sport and get a feel for the track.
And after the little guys had fun the track the racing got serious, Thursday’s Oceania titles saw BMX legends Sam Willoughby and Caroline Buchanan take the win with their victories celebrated with an explosive fireworks demonstration.
The atmosphere at the Sleeman Sports Complex was outstanding to say the least, and things were just getting started.
With Saturday’s National titles up for grabs the crowd was pumped, the sun was shining and the riders were amped to get started.
Corey Frieswyk took the National Championship title for the Elite Mens in a seat gripping battle played out in front of him between Sam Willoughby and Anthony Dean which left an opening for Frieswyk to take the win.
Melinda McLeod dominated in the women’s elite races coming out with a victory in her home state and a comfortable position ahead of next weekend’s World Cup in Argentina.
With Lauren Reynolds and Caroline Buchanan crashing in earlier motos, McLeod took the lead over the other competitors placing her 2 points in front of second place winner Kirsten Dellar.
While Sunday brought cooler weather the riders were just as hot, finishing the week off with the National Cruiser Championships certainly left everyone more than satisfied with the quality of racing over the week.
BMX Australia President Mr Barry Knight said this year was a success and that they had achieved their plan to make this week feel like a carnival style event.
“What we’ve tried to create is a carnival atmosphere, with Thursday night fireworks and how everything is set out, families can come and browse the pro shops, have a cup of coffee, it’s a week’s carnival of BMX for families,” Mr Knight said.
Mr Knight also commented on the positive feedback he had received from spectators; he expressed the importance of being out in the crowd to get a response from the spectators and a feel for the event.
“I like to go out and allow people to approach me and tell me what they think about BMX Australia and how the event is going.
“You’ve got to allow that to happen, you know, to let people either vent their anger or pat you on the back and basically as the board, we’ve gone out and looked at the crowd each day and talked to people about their experience,” he said.
Looking forward, Mr Knight said he believed BMX is growing fast and will expand greatly in the next few years. With this growth however, Mr Knight stressed the importance of family, community and the grass roots of BMX as a sport.
“BMX, I believe is on the cusp of one of the biggest explosions in sport because of the attraction to this social aspect that comes with it.
“That’s what differentiates BMX as a sport the social side of it, the family involvement, the community feel and the relationships made,” he said.
“I like to look at a balance, so let’s not mess with the grass roots even though we want become a professional organization structure, we still need to be a family orientated structure and service people at that level,” he said.
Next year will see the 2014 National Championships held at the Shepparton BMX club with first class facilities and a track favourite for many riders.
Spending a day like today at a National BMX Championship, was nothing short of sensational.
The big track had everybody fired up, the crowd was huge, and with a program filled with young tear-aways ready to put reputations, lives and limbs on the line, there was a cocktail there for explosive action around every beam.
Warm, balmy weather probably gave the Queenslanders an edge, and at the end of the day, at least two two banana-benders ended up grabbing the top awards- Corey Frieswyk and Melinda McLeod, both from Walkerston, a small town about 14 kilometres south-west of Mackay.
This wasn’t the way things were supposed to be however, as Australia’s two leading BMX Internationals, Sam Willoughby and Caroline Buchanan, all but had their names etched on the 2013 National trophies, before fate played into other hands.
The BMX National Championship for elite women was decided on a points basis after three motos, with no semifinals or final, and when Buchanan and Lauren Reynolds crashed in Moto Two, the likelihood of another national title for Caroline took a nose-dive.
“I did my best all day and won that last one, but it came down to the wire after Lauren Reynolds and I crashed in the second one and both finished on high points. But that’s BMX for you. It’s unpredictable and anything can happen on the day” a cheery Buchanan told CSN after the loss.
“You know… this is BMX, and it’s not always the fastest person who wins on the day. I would have picked Sam, and I would have picked myself, but there were two other winners out there today.”
Cory Frieswyk certainly wouldn’t have picked himself as a chance in the Elite Men’s Final.
“Wow, Anything can happen in a final and this has proved it.” He told SBS television after the win.
“ I can’t believe it, I’m absolutely stoked.”
“On the final corner when they were bumping each other I thought I’m right here, this is my opportunity, and I took it as fast as I could. I can’t believe I stayed so smooth. It’s insane. This is only the second time I have won a national championship and to be in Elite in my first year and have this happen, it’s the biggest moment of my life.”
“To beat these guys like Sam and Brian is like a dream really. I’ve always been chasing, and now it’s happened. I’m just lost for words.”
Meanwhile, a disappointed Sam Willoughby acknowledged that it was a bad mistake out of the gate that cost him another Australian title.
“It’s not the end of the world. I have another race next weekend. I head back to the United States tomorrow, and I have a race in North Carolina next weekend. I just have to keep winning.”
“As far as re-focussing after today.. I just delete it. It’s no-one’s fault but my own.”
Caroline Buchanan also heads back to the United States to tackle their up-coming BMX season, and there’s also a mountain bike World Cup in Scotland on the agenda before she tackles the BMX Worlds in Auckland.
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