BMX racing athletes Caroline Buchanan, Lauren Reynolds, Leanna Curtis and Kai Sakakibara have all been nominated for Cycling Australia awards to be held in Melbourne this coming Friday.
The women’s award has the three shortlisted racing athletes, while Australian elite men’s champion and Oceania champ Sakakibara will face off against BMX Freestyle stars Logan Martin and Brandon Loupos on cycling’s night of nights.
Throughout the evening all cycling disciplines will be recognised, however the jewel in the crown of the evening is the awarding of the Sir Hubert “Oppy” Opperman Medal and Trophy. This year Tour de France green jersey winner Michael Matthews is favoured for the gong.
Not bad for a rider who started out as a BMX-mad kid before he donned the lycra and rode a bike with more gears than a BMX track has jumps.
The men’s BMX category is nothing short of tantalising. In the racing corner is Sakakibara who has had a breakout year, where he clinched an elite Aussie title. He also put on a cracking show with Matt Juster in the fight for the national series, claimed the Oceania title and recorded a best UCI BMX Supercross World Cup finish of fifth.
The young man, who first picked up a bike at Ashmore BMX Club, has made good.
Opposing him are Martin and Loupos. The pair are currently in Chengdu, China for the Freestyle Park event at the 2017 UCI Urban World Championships. Freestyle’s first inclusion.
Both are considered serious medal contenders for the Tokyo Olympics and both have won a round of the International Festival of Extreme Sports (FISE) this year. Strong resumes, and Sakakibara has his work cut out for him if he is to get the nod.
In the women’s awards Buchanan is nominated for both the women’s BMX rider of the year and women’s mountain biker of the year awards. Another 4X world title and a silver at the UCI BMX World Championships in Rock Hill, South Carolina the highlights that have put her in the frame for each respective category.
Meanwhile Reynolds enjoyed success in the early part of the world cup season, standing third on the podium in Papendal, Netherlands in round two of this year’s contest. Meanwhile Curtis recovered from injury setbacks to claim the elite women’s national series title.
The awards will be held at the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins between 12 noon and 2.30pm next Friday, 17 November.