A score of Aussie riders have set their sights on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and their path to qualifying begins next weekend at the 2018 Qiansen Trophy in Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia, China.
COVER PIC: Aussie champion, Brandon Te Hiko racing at Nerang BMX Club for the fourth round of the 2018 National Series. (Pic courtesy of Nautical Image)
The highest-level BMX event in Asia is also offering the biggest pay-out for a single event in recent history. A grand total of US$62,000 is on offer with the winnings being equal for both men and women.
Alongside the prize money comes the lure of Olympic qualification points at the first major event since the 2020 qualification period began on September 1.
The Australian riders include the 2018 elite male national champion, Brandon Te Hiko, the 2018 elite male national series champion Bradley Game, Rachel Gaskin, Andrew Hughes, Izaac Kennedy, Adam Carey, Joshua Boyton, Jye Hombsch and Tristyn Kronk.
For Game, winning the 2018 UCI BMX Australia National Series elite title and finishing third in the national championships has made for an incredibly successful year and the Wanneroo BMX Club rider is now looking to take his domestic form overseas.
Take a look at his winning day at Nerang BMX Club in the fourth round of the national series.
“I’ve had a pretty good season,” Game said.
“Getting on the podium at nationals was great and some of the boys in that final are going over so it will be a great event. I’m really keen.”
Carey will be the oldest member of the Australian contingent heading to China and he will head into a tough competitive field knowing that he has had his best year yet competing on the world cup stage at Papendal, The Netherlands and finding podiums on Aussie soil.
“I’ve had my best ever year as BMX rider,” Carey said.
“The experience I gained riding in Papendal was insane and it’s something I’m going to remember for the rest of my life. I’ve also made a whole heap of podiums this year and it’s been a really consistent year for me.”
The Olympic dream is in every professional BMX rider, and this event is the start of a long expedition. At the end of the journey, the biggest sporting event on the international stage.
“I’m 30 now,” Carey continued.
“The Olympics is two years away and there’s a whole bunch of different other guys who can make it. A lot of other things are happening and I’m excited for the experience.”
“If I can contribute any points for the Olympics for Australia that’d be great, but I’ve got a couple more years left as an elite and starting to settle into more of a coaching role.”
The Qiansen Trophy is just one of many opportunities for Australian BMX riders to earn valuable UCI points for their country, which in turn gives them a better chance to earn an Olympic berth.
The qualifying process runs right through 2019 and will include the 2019 BMXA National Series and National Championships, as well as the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup and World Championships.
To read about the qualifying process CLICK HERE!
Action in Chifeng City will commence Saturday September 15 at 1PM (AEST) and run through to finals that are expected to begin at 2:30PM
2018 Qiansen Trophy prizemoney breakdown (in USD):