South Australian Anthony Dean was the headline act for the fifth stage of BMX Australia’s BAD BOY National Series and the Rio Olympic finalist didn’t disappoint. READ MORE…
More than 300 riders were on show at The Cove in Adelaide, ranging age from five to well over 50, and from novice level all the way up to Dean and fellow Rio Olympian Bodi Turner.
Dean was competing in the superclass event and proved both of those things – super and classy – winning all five laps he contested on the day, powering to victory in the final from the host club’s Shane Rosa and Turner.
The 28-year-old Dean, who is in the middle of a hard block of training and has also spent the past week running coaching clinics and fulfilling media commitments, said he was cramping coming into the final.
“I’ve been training hard this week and I’ve done a few coaching clinics for the kids so to come here today was a tall ask but I wanted to come out here for everyone and support the event and give it my best,” Dean said.
“I went up for the final and I was cramping and that always brings a mental side of it.”
It was a rare appearance on an Australian racetrack for Dean, who lives in San Diego, where he is coached by another South Australian, London Olympic medallist Sam Willoughby.
“It’s definitely always hard to come home and everyone just expects you to win,” Dean explained.
“It’s good pressure, good experience and I am glad to get the win.”
Willoughby, who is also back visiting family, was on hand today and reiterated the thoughts of his long time mate and now pupil.
“He went pretty well,” Willoughby said.
“It’s always tough to come back and squeeze a race in when he’s working into a world cup season at the moment but yeah, he did really well.
“It’s a little tough when you’re coaching your friends and that kind of thing but I think we separate the two pretty well and obviously Anthony knows I only want the best for him.
“There’s times when I have to crack the whip a little bit and there’s times he has to tell me to back off but it’s going pretty well and it’s been fun.”
Dean will return to the US on Monday to continue preparations for the year’s remaining UCI BMX Supercross world cup events as he pushes for qualification on a second Australian Olympic Team.
In the day’s other main event, 16-year-old NSW rising star Tahlia Marsh took out the women’s superclass final, scoring her first win in the professional class at national series level.
Marsh recently finished sixth in her age at the world championships in Belgium and is considered one of the sport’s most prodigious teenagers.
She beat home another pair of talented teens, Kiana Botfield and Paige Harding.