The 2017 UCI BMX World Championships are only a short two weeks away and the full list of Australian riders attending has been finalised!
Fielding a huge team consisting of 272 riders, Australia will be one of the best represented nations at this year’s world championships. With seven states and 74 clubs represented, from Bunbury to Batemans Bay and everywhere in between competitors will travel to Rock Hill.
With a staggering 119 registrations, Queensland represents the largest number of riders competing this year. Ashmore BMX Club and Pine Rivers BMX Club both have 14 riders travelling to worlds, the equal highest from any club nationwide.
Queensland locals Des’ree Barnes (Beenleigh BMX Club) and Shannon Petre (Cairns BMX Club) were the lucky recipients of the Buchanan Next Generation Scholarship in 2017. Both girls enjoyed a strong domestic season, and will be looking to take out their respective fields in the 14 and 15 Girls with the support of Next Gen mentor Caroline Buchanan.
Izaac Kennedy from Logan BMX Club has been busy preparing over the past few weeks in the USA alongside current Olympic Champion, Connor Fields. Kennedy will be looking to capitalize on his extensive preparation and coming out all guns blazing in the junior elite men’s class.
After a heartbreaking crash at the final corner of the 10-year-girl’s race at the 2017 Australian National Championships, Portia Eden will be looking for redemption and another #W1 plate! A world champion in Medellín, Colombia last year, Eden will be ready to take on her rivals on the world stage once more.
The 2017 Australian National Championships also saw a nail biting race in the 15 Year Boys between BMX Australia Development Academy rider Oliver Moran and Wooree Park BMX Club rider Corey Taylor. Corey Taylor might have missed the Australian title by a devastatingly close 0.024 seconds, but he did trump Moran for the National Series crown, and two strong riders in this class can only be a good thing for Australia!
New South Wales will also be strongly represented with a commendable 64 riders from across 15 clubs.
The Sakakibarra siblings, Kai and Saya from Southlake Illawarra BMX club will be watched with much anticipation by Australian BMX fans, as they attempt to pave the way for the next generation of elite riders. Saya will be looking to rectify the ills of 2016, when she crashed out of the junior elite event before racing commenced, thanks to practice crashes on successive days. A world cup podium a few short months later instilled confidence, and the younger Sakakibara will again come into the competition as a favoured rider.
Joining Sakakibara in the junior elite women’s class are Sarah Jones, Eden Whitlock and Erin Lockwood.
Meanwhile Kai Sakakibara will be competing in the elite men’s competition for the first time, and will hope that his breakout season – which included winning the Oceania Championship and a dramatic Australian title – continues.
Joining Kai on the elite men’s pro straight are 2016 Olympians Anthony Dean and Bodi Turner as well as Josh McClean and 2017 National Series winner Matthew Juster. Juster will be looking to deliver on the promise he’s shown during the Aussie season, but will need to up his game to be equally dominant on the world stage.
Leading our Australian Elite Women is 2016 elite women’s time trial world champion, Caroline Buchanan. She will be joined by fellow two-time Olympian Lauren Reynolds, former Aussie champ Leanna Curtis, as well as (state’s) Sarah Harvey.
A special mention goes out to the sprocket rockets heading to this year’s world championships; it’s never too early to start building your Olympic career kids!
Likewise, it’s never too late to compete on the national stage! Look out for Sandy Cameron, Narelle Falkenhagen and Irene Markee, among a whole host of more experienced riders repping the green and gold Aussie colours!
You can see the full riders list by clicking HERE
Photo Credit: _mike_king12