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.
Corey Frieswyk from Walkerston (QLD) has scored an amazing win over favourites Sam Willoughby and Anthony Dean in the Elite Men’s Final at the 2013 Subaru BMX National Championships.
Melinda McLeod also of Walkerston made it back-to-back Elite Women’s National Championships as she out rode Olympic finalist Caroline Buchanan.
For Frieswyk riding in his first Men’s Elite National Championship Final, the race opened up in front of him in turn 3 as Willoughby and Dean bumped bars. Dean took the lead down the first and second straights as the BMX World Champion, Sam Willoughby moved up on him in the third. Entering the final corner Dean and Willoughby were locked in their own battle leaving Friewsyk to pounce.
“I thought when they bumped bars in the last straight this is it, I just went under and tried to stay as smooth as possible,” Frieswyk said.
“I kind of missed the start which is hard to do with the guys around you, but down the first straight I just went for the inside and that put me in a good position in third place.
“I just stayed smooth around the track behind Dean and Willoughby which is unbelievable in itself, I was so stoked.
“I saw the opportunity and took it as fast as I could. It was an unbelievable feeling down the last straight being in first place.”
Willoughby secured 2nd place managing to keep out Anthony Dean in third despite Dean leading for all but the final corner and straight.
“I’m really happy for Corey,” Willoughby said. “He’s a good kid and that’s a great win for his first time in elites.”
“He did exactly what you need to do out there to win; he rode well.”
The win for Melinda McLeod wasn’t nearly as clear cut. The elite women rode 3 motos only with their accumulated points determining the overall winner. That meant it was an anxious wait after the finish line where she crossed in fourth place to see if her previous races were enough to secure the win.
Earlier in the motos, Caroline Buchanan and last years 2nd place Lauren Reynolds crashed, giving McLeod a small gap over the field. Entering the final 2 points clear of second place Kirsten Dellar and 4 points clear of Buchanan and Reynolds, the numbers needed to be crunched before a winner could be determined.
“I missed the start in that last race, it was a terrible way to finish the day,” McLeod said. “Bitter sweet I guess”.
“I’m stoked, national champ last year and to get it again this year is so awesome.”
Rachel Jones (NSW) and Aaron Nottle (WA) were awarded Junior Elite National Champions with convincing wins in the lead up to the Elite’s.
The 2013 Subaru BMX National Championships has awarded 21 National Champions across 2 days of racing with more to be awarded tomorrow when the cruiser class hits the track.
The future of BMX racing in Australia seems assured after the hugely impressive performances of the Sprocket riders at the 2013 Australian National BMX Championships currently being held at the Sleemans Sports Complex in Brisbane.
Defying all belief, the sprockets have handled the challenging supercross track with “ consummate ease”, powering around the beams and over the mounds like seasoned professionals.
At the conclusion of yesterday's Sprocket Participation the following riders who rode in the UCI class have qualified to ride at the World Championships in Auckland.
For more details about the World Championships, visit the BMXA Proshop or for entry forms click here.
(Image courtesy of BMX Australia)
These lists are in alpabetical order:
5-7 Girls Sprocket
Pine Rivers Bmx Club
Centenary Plains Bmx Club
Beenleigh Bmx Club
Cairns Bmx Club Inc
Suncoast Hinterland Bmx Club
Blue Mountains Bmx Club
Blue Lake Bmx Club
Townsville Bmx Club
Bayside Bmx Club
Maryborough Bmx Club
Rockhampton Bmx Club
Eastern Goldfields Bmx Club
Cross Keys Bmx Club
Jingili Bmx Club
5-6 Boys Sprocket
Terrigal Bmx Club
Wanneroo Bmx Club
Harbour City Bmx Club
Ashmore Bmx Club
Macarthur Bmx Club
Cooloola Bmx Club
Redlands Bmx Club
Nhulunbuy Bmx Club
7 Boys Sprocket
Castle Hill Bmx Club
Southlake / Illawarra Bmx Club
Ballarat-sebastopol C C Bmx Club
Logan City Bmx Academy
Hills Bmx Club
Bendigo Bmx Club
Lmx Bicycle Supercross
Cockburn Bmx Club
Happy Valley Bmx Club
Sam Willoughby and Caroline Buchanan have shown themselves to be the pinnacle of the BMX athletes in Australia with wins at the Oceania Championships under lights at the Brisbane SX Track.
Spectators packed every vantage point of the track and were rewarded with a fireworks display prior to the main event.
Under lights and the sound track pumping the short spectacle of colour built the atmosphere for the finals that would eventually see a complete Aussie whitewash keeping the visiting Kiwi’s at bay ahead of the Worlds in July.
Both Willoughby and Buchanan jetted back to Australia earlier this week to be a part of the week long 2013 Subaru BMX National Championships after races overseas. Sam had taken 3rd place at the opening World Cup in Manchester, while Buchanan has been swapping wheels between BMX and mountain bike.
“I had my gearing set a little wrong, I dropped it for the last race and noticed a massive difference. I’m feeling a lot more confident now heading into the Nationals,” Buchanan said after the race.
“Being off the bike a bit and not being on the big ramp since London and different training (was a factor), I gave it a little test and it wasn’t working, I went back to what I know and it paid off.
The conditions made it challenging, this is already a world class venue and they’ve stepped it up a lot with the changes they’ve made and having that wind factor made it challenging.
“There’s been some tough competition today, it came right down to the wire in that last race. It’s never over till its over and I came out when I needed it the most and got the win.”
Sam Willoughby lead home Josh Callan of Victoria while Anthony Dean of South Australia finished third and in doing do bumped Brian Kirkham leaving him crossing the line on the ground.
All day Willoughby had lead from the front with a clean sweep of every moto and then into the semi-finals. His dominance was plain to see and it kept racing exciting in seeing just how the competition would or could react.
In the Junior Men, Aaron Nottle continued his winning ways by crossing the line first and giving him the National Series win. Nottle had only dropped one round and that was back in Round 3 at Westside where he finished second. Riding in a similar style to Willoughby, he led most, if not all of his races with the rest of the field left to fight out the minor placings.
Sarah Harvey from the Pine Rivers BMX Club in Queensland held out Rachel Jones by winning 2 of the 3 motos with Jones finishing behind Harvey in all but the first. Jade Parker took 3rd place with 3 consecutive third placings.
Dynamite 11 Girls
Beenleigh BMX Club QLD
The Cove BMX Club SA
Western Park BMX Club VIC
Clarence Valley BMX Club NSW
Blue Lake BMX Club SA
Cairns BMX Club Inc QLD
Nhulunbuy BMX Club NT
Centenary Plains BMX Club QLD
Dynamite 11 Boys
Castle Hill BMX Club NSW
Manning Valley BMX Club NSW
Nerang BMX Club QLD
Bendigo BMX Club VIC
Woorree Park BMX Club WA
Cockburn BMX Club WA
Wyndham Warriors BMX Club VIC
Tea Tree Gully BMX Club SA
Dynamite 12 Girls
Ashmore BMX Club QLD
Southlake / Illawarra Bmx Club NSW
Tuggeranong BMX Club ACT
Pine Rivers BMX Club QLD
Jingili BMX Club NT
Dynamite 12 Boys
Cross Keys BMX Club SA
Townsville BMX Club QLD
Geelong BMX Club VIC
Rockhampton BMX Club QLD
Terrigal BMX Club NSW
Mackay Pioneer BMX Club QLD
Dynamite 13 Girls
Logan City BMX Academy QLD
Knox BMX Club VIC
Dynamite 13 Boys
South Eastern BMX Club VIC
Lake Macquarie BMX Club NSW
Redlands BMX Club QLD
Wanneroo BMX Club WA
Bunbury BMX Club WA
Champbikx 14 Girls
Caboolture Bmx Club QLD
Moranbah Bmx Club QLD
Eastern Goldfields Bmx Club WA
Bsx (bicycle Supercross) Inc. VIC
Hills Bmx Club WA
Champbikx 14 Boys
Cairns Bmx Club Inc QLD
Centenary Plains Bmx Club QLD
Redlands Bmx Club QLD
Blue Mountains Bmx Club NSW
Happy Valley Bmx Club SA
Knox Bmx Club VIC
Geelong Bmx Club VIC
Champbikx 15 Girls
Walkerston Bmx Club QLD
Rockhampton Bmx Club QLD
Hawkesbury Hornets Bmx Club NSW
Blue Lake Bmx Club SA
Lake Macquarie Bmx Club NSW
Champbikx 15 Boys
Bundaberg Bmx Club QLD
Lmx Bicycle Supercross NSW
Mansfield Mt Buller Bmx Club VIC
Frankston Bmx Club VIC
Cockburn Bmx Club WA
Champbikx 16 Girls
Bunbury Bmx Club WA
The Cove Bmx Club SA
Ipswich West Moreton Bmx Club QLD
Jingili Bmx Club NT
Proserpine Bmx Club QLD
Champbikx 16 Boys
Brandon TE HIKO
Southern Districts Bmx Club WA
Ashmore Bmx Club QLD
Pine Rivers Bmx Club QLD
Red Centre Bmx Club NT
Challenge Series 17-24 Men
Satellite City BMX Club NT
Tuggeranong Bmx Club ACT
Challenge Series 30+ Masters
Warrnambool Bmx Club VIC
Mildura Bmx Club SA
Nerang Bmx Club QLD
Probikx Women Junior
Probikx Men Junior
Hills BMX Club WA
Walkerston BMX Club QLD
Te Awamutu NZL
Penrith BMX Club NSW
Probikx Women Elite
Westside BMX Club WA
Caboolture BMX Club QLD
Probikx Men Elite
Happy Valley BMX Club SA
Lilydale BMX Club VIC
Eastern Goldfields BMX Club WA
As the week long 2013 Subaru BMX National Championships continue we reach the first real day of racing.
Pre-titles yesterday was the pre-curser to the main events that start today with practice before moving into Sprocket Participation where they get to show their skills.
Learning from the likes of Sam Willoughby, Caroline Buchanan, Lauren Reynolds, Brian Kirkham and fellow HP athletes, the sprockets received expert tuition.
With the focus on participation, these young boys and girls will be keen to “rip up” the track in front of friends and family while they dream of one day emulating what their Olympic and HP coaches taught.
The sprockets will then be awarded with their own presentation and to finish off, a party!!
Things get a little more serious then as Round 7 of the National Series wraps up. The Dynamites will join the Challenge, Champbikx and Probikx riders from 11.50am as they race to finish off their series.
For the Probikx riders, their round doubles as the Oceania Championships where a number of New Zealand riders have crossed “the ditch” to compete against Australia’s best ahead of the World Championships in July.
It will be an exciting end to the day with the finals finishing under lights where the spectators will be entertained by the high quality of racing. Presentations to the Oceania winners will be made after racing.
Image courtesy of Peter Ford (CSN)
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