We take a look back at what happened the last time the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup made its stop in Australia.
COVER PIC: The 15-boy’s competing at the Cross Keys BMX Club for the fifth round of the 2018 BMXA National Series. (pic courtesy of Get Snapt).
The first four rounds of the 2020 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup are destined for Australian shores, with Shepparton and Bathurst set to host the first four rounds of the series on consecutive weekends in February.
It will be the first time since April 2008, and only the second time ever that Australia has hosted the world cup series. Just over 10 years ago the Adelaide Showground in Wayville, South Australia hosted the world’s elite echelon of riders in the lead up to the Beijing Olympic Games.
Fast forward to the second coming of the series to Australia, and it will again be an Olympic year when Australia plays host. Albeit the BMX landscape has changed dramatically since then.
In 2008, BMX was preparing for its first foray into Olympic competition and so too were Australia’s first group of Games hopefuls. When the world cup stopped in Adelaide it was Kamikaze who scored the best result for the Aussies, finishing third behind America’s David Herman and at the time, soon to be inaugural Olympic champion Maris Strombergs of Latvia.
Fellow Australian riders Luke Madill and Jared Graves finished sixth and eighth in the final respectively. Kamikaze, Madill and Graves all went on to don the green and gold in Beijing that year.
In the women’s race Tanya Bailey and Nicole Callisto were the two Australian’s in the final, finishing in fourth and seventh. Like the men’s riders, both also went on to contest the Beijing Olympics.
Just ahead of Bailey and standing on the podium in Adelaide was Kiwi Sarah Walker in first, the USA’s Arielle Martin in second and Canadian Samantha Cools in third.
When the world cup lands in Shepparton and Bathurst for two rounds in each location in 2020 the names on the race entries will have changed, but the stakes will be just as high.
For riders like Olympic finalists Anthony Dean and Caroline Buchanan, dual Olympian Lauren Reynolds and 2016 Olympic debutant Bodi Turner the two Aussie world cup rounds will present another opportunity to earn UCI ranking points. The 2020 Olympic qualification period ends on June 1, 2020 and all five riders will be eager to retain their spot on the Australian team.
But clipping at their heels will be a list of riders eager to receive their first call up to the Australian team. Among them will be siblings Kai and Saya Sakakibara, the latter beginning her Olympic selection campaign in emphatic style last weekend when she won gold at the final round of the 2018 world cup series in Argentina.
Following on from the Australian world cup rounds in February 2020, the series will then travel to Manchester, Great Britain for rounds five and six. From there it will be a stop for the next two rounds in Papendal, Netherlands before the final stop for the last two of 10 rounds in Rock Hill, South Carolina in May 2020.
In what is a condensed calendar due to the Tokyo Olympics, the 2020 UCI BMX World Championships will begin in Houston, Texas just nine days after the final world cup rounds.