COVER PIC: Nerang’s Erin Lockwood competed at the 2018 UCI BMX Supercross World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Pic courtesy of Craig Dutton) Leanna Curtis from NSW and Queensland’s Erin Lockwood will set aside their state…
Leanna Curtis from NSW and Queensland’s Erin Lockwood will set aside their state of origin differences this weekend as they join nine other Australians in Papendal, Netherlands for rounds three and four of the 2019 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup.
It has been over a year since Curtis, 2016’s elite women’s national champion, has lined up on a world cup gate and it is evident the Southlake/Illawarra rider is looking forward to returning to it, after stringing together some impressive performances during the BMX Australia BAD BOY National Series.
“It was a bit of a last-minute decision to go to be honest,” Curtis explained.
“After I got some good results in stage 3 of the national series, (Ipswich, Queensland) I realised that I’ve been going faster than what I thought, and I’ve been beating personal bests.
“It’s going to be really exciting to see where I’m at. It’s a really big step up to the world cup and everybody’s really fast. It should be really good.”
The 25-year-old is no stranger to the world cup stage debuting in 2015 at the Sibirien BMX Arena in Angelholm, Sweden, before achieving her best result a year later, when she finished sixth in round four at the Rock Hill BMX Supercross in the USA.
“It’s going to be a really good test to see where I’m at mentally and if I’m strong enough,” Curtis said.
“When you’re racing in the national series, you don’t have that constant pressure that a world cup event gives you. You have to get it right every time and there is really no room for error.
“So hopefully I can remember what to do, even though I’ve been away from it for over 12 months.”
Curtis will be joining the Australian crew who have already competed in rounds one and two of the 2019 world cup series in Manchester a couple of weeks ago. The pick of the riders there was WA’s Lauren Reynolds who finished seventh in round one.
Other Australians on the gate in Manchester were Kai and Saya Sakakibara, current men’s elite national champion Brandon Te Hiko and Rio Olympian Anthony Dean.
Curtis has been impressed with how her compatriots have been performing and can’t wait to see them live in action.
“Saya has had a really good 12 months and Lauren did really well in Manchester. It will also be great to see Erin (Lockwood) competing. It’s going to be an interesting battle between the four of us,” Curtis said.
Australia’s current elite women’s national champion Erin Lockwood will have different emotions to Curtis, as she competes in her first ever world cup event this weekend.
“It’s a little bit nerve wracking and exciting,” Lockwood said.
“I don’t have any expectations and I really just want to enjoy it. Everything from the process to the atmosphere. I just want to learn from all of it.”
The 20-year-old from the Nerang BMX Club has recently competed in rounds five and six of the UEC European Cup in Norway and finished fourth and sixth on overall points.
Lockwood now heads to the home of BMX in the Netherlands, where she will line up on the gate alongside the world’s best including local star Laura Smulders, USA’s Alise Willoughby, Rio Olympic gold medallist Mariana Pajon and Russia’s Natalia Afremova.
“I have only ever been to two world championships and the level there is just crazy,” Lockwood said.
“The experience is the biggest thing I’m looking forward to and I think there will be a bit of ‘fan girling’.
“I have looked up to all those girls since I was really young, and I can’t believe I will be getting on the gate to ride with them.”
These world cups are a big turning point for Lockwood after her first months of 2019. Since winning the elite women’s national title in Bunbury last year, Lockwood has spent many days off the bike due to injuries.
“I didn’t have the greatest start to the year, and it sort of followed on from there with more crashes later on. Hopefully it will get better from this point onwards and that this weekend is a turning point,” Lockwood said.
Rounds three and four of the 2019 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in Papendal will be live streamed through the bmxlivetv channel on YouTube.
Round 3 will commence its early rounds at 10:30pm AEST on May 11 with the main event expected to begin at 12:30am on May 12.
Round 4 will commence its early rounds at 10pm AEST on May 12 with the main event expected to begin at 12:30am on May 13.
Keep an eye on BMXA’s social media platforms as we share the live streaming of the event closer the to the date.