The 2019 Grand Nationals housed nearly 3000 riders, and among them were Aussie shredders who were eager to get their share of glory.
One of the biggest events on the global BMX calendar took place across four days at the Tulsa River Spirit Expo Square in Oklahoma, USA (Nov 28 – Dec 1).
Riders from around the world came together for an epic event, self-proclaimed as the ‘Greatest Race on Earth’.
Among the thousands of riders were an Australian contingent who were ready to fly the Aussie flag and taste success, something they have done successfully in the past. READ HERE
Initiating the event as always was the invitational known as the Race of Champions (ROC), and there was a plethora of success stories as Australia kicked off the four-day spectacle with four first places, three seconds, a third, and a seventh.
Queensland’s Jayce Cunning was a man on a mission after coming fifth in the A Pro category last year, the rising star picked up the top spot in dazzling style. Joining Cunning was Callide Valley’s Tama Onekawa who won the 9-10 open class.
The Grands is well accustomed to seeing Pine Rivers’ Tommy Tucker and the 8x world champion lived up to his reputation picking up the 1-spot in the 13-14 open.
Rio Olympian Lauren Reynolds attempted to chase down longstanding training partner Alise Willoughby in the elite women’s but fell just short settling for second. Also grabbing silver was Sammy Ivas in the 9-10 open and Jake Sverns in the 26-30.
Australia’s 2019 national series junior elite and superclass champion, Kiana Botfield, picked up bronze in the 17-20 mixed open pro while Rockingham’s Jordan Callum recorded a seventh in the 13-14 open.
With the Aussies successful during ROC, high expectations had them ready to go for the big showdown known as the Grand Nationals.
In total, there were 16 recorded top eight placings with riders competing in the 20inch and cruiser categories.
Leading the charge once again was Cunning, who backed up his ROC performance to take out the A Pro category. Unsurprisingly, not only did Tommy Tucker pick up the 14-expert class, but the corresponding cruiser category as well.
Missing out by one spot in joining Cunning and Tucker was Pine Rivers’ Kye Affoo who grabbed silver in the 17-20 expert, while Kiana’s mother, Julia Botfield, grabbed second in the 36-40 women’s cruiser.
Sverns was another rider who found himself on the podium after his ROC success, winning bronze in the 26-30 open, while along similar lines was Callum who grabbed bronze in the 15 expert.
Callum Woodbury had a big few days, grabbing a pair of third placings in the 11-12 open and 12 expert.
On top of their success at Grand Nationals, a handful of Aussies were consistently battling the Americans in their national rounds throughout the year.
Adding to Tucker’s successful weekend, the world champion also recorded his second consecutive NAG1 plate in the 20inch as well as the cruiser category. Joining Tucker was Affoo, who finished second overall in the 17-20 standings.
While Tucker successfully defended his Grands trophies from last year, Jack Davis from Tamworth didn’t have the same Cinderella story.
After winning the 15-16 open and the 16-boy’s expert class last year, Davis was a favourite to do so again after a competitive year in Australia. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for the New South Welshman who crashed in the semi-finals and suffered another broken collarbone.
Read that story by the Northern Daily Leader – HERE
The elite men’s and women’s category at Grands always boast a star-studded gate of riders and this year was no different. The men’s top spot went to USA’s Corben Sharrah, with second going to Rio Olympic gold medallist Connor Fields, and third to France’s Romain Mayet.
USA’s Alise Willoughby won another Grands title in the elite women’s class, with fellow US riders Ashley Verhagen grabbing second and the 2019 world cup standings runner-up Felicia Stancil in third.
For a full list of results – CLICK HERE
To watch all the action from the 2019 Grand Nationals, check out the videos below as well as Australia’s finalists.
Aussie results from Grands
Race of Championships (ROC)