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COVER PIC: Courtesy of Leo Zhukov The Australian Cycling Team is ready ahead of the 2019 UCI World Cup season which gets underway in Manchester on April 26. Five countries will each host two rounds…

COVER PIC: Courtesy of Leo Zhukov

The Australian Cycling Team is ready ahead of the 2019 UCI World Cup season which gets underway in Manchester on April 26.

Five countries will each host two rounds of the Series in 2019 the beginning in Manchester in April, before taking in stops in the Netherlands, France, USA and Argentina.

The 2019 World Championships will slot in between the French and USA rounds in July, with the 2019 season to offer all-important qualification points for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Saya Sakakibara shone while on her debut in the elite ranks in 2018, finishing second overall on the year-end international rankings claiming one World Cup win and four podium appearances, in addition to claiming sixth in her first elite career World Championship final.

“2018 was such a crazy season for me, I didn’t expect any of the results,” said Wollongong’s Sakakibara, 19.

“It has shown me it is possible to do it, now I understood where I am at against the rest of the field.

“Coming into 2019, obviously there is confidence I can take into the season, But it is a brand new year, there is probably another new group coming through, it is a pre-Olympic year so everyone is trying to get those Olympic points.

It is going to be really competitive, even more than last year.”But like last year, I will be taking it race by race, coming into it with no expectations. I plan to build on 2018, learn from mistakes that I make along the way, and continue to grow as an athlete.”

 

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From Verona to Manchester🇬🇧 A cool change in weather ❄️ but weather doesn’t matter when you have an insane indoor facility like this 😱 It’s a simple track but it has its challenging aspects and it’s going to be exciting when it holds the first stop of @ucibmxsx World Cup at the end of the month. 🚲💨 I guess this time I can’t blame it on the wind when I get sketchy 😂 ヴェローナと比べると、マンチェスターは寒いし雨が多いけど、綺麗な屋内の施設があるから問題なし! このコースはシンプルだけど、色々な難しい要素がある。今月末ワールドカップ初戦がここで行われるので、そのための練習が今週中にできて嬉しい🤩 Followed by @sakakibarakai #indoor #POV #track #follow

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With a valuable year of experience under her belt, Saya dedicated her Australian based summer offseason to strength and power program.

“At only 19, I am not as strong as the older girls in the elite class, so being in the gym three times a week was a priority over summer, working on my strength and power,” said Sakakibara, who turns 20 in August. “Now it will be all about trying to convert that strength base into power and then on the bike.

Sakakibara opened 2019 with victory in the Oceania Championships and will be chasing the podium in Manchester.

“Always chasing the podium, Manchester is a tight track, it will be a new experience, tight racing, everyone is eager to put down good results to start the reason, going to be very competitive.”

 

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Manchester, UK 🇬🇧 . It’s been a great week here getting to know the new track! Yes, it’s tamer than before, but there is still the psychological challenge of trusting yourself to go at it in a race situation around this tight track, as well as having to be extra smooth and tactically smart being very few passing opportunities. Taking away the learnings from this week to come back ready for the World Cup at the end of the month! Final session on the track tomorrow. 月末に行われるワールドカップ開幕戦の事前合宿のために、イギリス・マンチェスターに来ています!コースは屋内なので、天候の心配がないことは最高ですが、やはり普段の屋外のコースと比べてスケールが小さいので、タイトなレースになりそうです。火曜日にオランダの宿泊先に移動します!#sakakibarabmx

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Kai Sakakibara celebrated his start to 2019 with victory in January’s Oceania Championships and like sibling Saya, spent much of his summer deep in an offseason strength program.

“We have seen great improvements from October 2018 vs February 2019, my sprint times have improved, as well as my start Hill times at Brisbane SX track as well,” said Kai. “Another focus for me was on marginal gains – this was in sleep, nutrition, recovery, as well as doing what I already do in training a little bit better.

“I think all of this combined has shown a huge bump in my performance compared to last year.”

Adelaide’s Anthony Dean will also line up in Manchester’s opening round following a consistent 2018 where he grabbed a podium at the Belgium World Cup round, in addition to two top-five placings, and top ten at the World Championships.

“Heading into the 2019 season with high confidence and hopes,” said Dean. “After finishing the final World Cup of 2018 in third, I have been setting my sights on the top step of the podium.

“I am coming into the 2019 season in my best shape and looking forward to racing in the venue I got my first World Cup podium in 2014.”

As the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games moves closer into view, Cycling Australia BMX Technical Director Wade Bootes is looking forward to another season.

The Australian Cycling Team have clear individual performance plans for all riders as we embrace diversity to enhance the individual athlete by targeting key areas of support required by the support network we align within Australia and around the world.

“Simplifying the process and focusing on tasks and activities that will make an impact on performance.”

 

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Which color outfit for the World Cup next week? 🤔 1 or 2? 🔴⚫️ @auscyclingbmx #TeamAustralia 👉🏾👉🏾

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2019 BMX Supercross Schedule – Riders contesting Round

  • 27/28 April: Round 1&2 – Manchester, United Kingdom – Anthony, Kai & Saya
  • 11/12 May: Round 3&4 – Papendal, Netherlands – Kai & Saya
  • 8/9 June: Round 5&6 – Paris, France – Anthony, Kai & Saya
  • 23-27 July: 2019 World Championships – Heusden-Zolder, Belgium
  • 14/15 September: Round 7&8 – Rock Hill, USA
  • 28/29 September: Round 9&10 – Santiago Del Estero, Argentina

More details at the UCI website:  https://www.uci.org/bmx-racing/events/uci-bmx-supercross-world-cup

Content courtesy of Cycling Australia.