Three days of epic racing down, one to go…and it’s the fastest athletes who are ready to electrify the Bunbury BMX Club, and the youngsters eager to watch their idols race.
Two elite Australian BMX champions will be crowned in the regional centre of Bunbury, Western Australia today, when the fastest Aussies in the country take to the tight and technical Bunbury track for the 2018 BMX Australia National Championships.
The 2018 Championships is proudly sponsored through the McGowan Government’s Tourism WA Regional Events Program. Well in excess of 1000 riders have hit the track throughout the week, endorsing the state government’s decision to bring the event to WA.
Tough racing, winners and sportsmanship have been the order of the week at the Australian titles, as riders aged from five-years-old through to 50+ age groupers have battled handlebar to handlebar for first place.
Earlier in the week the UCI Oceania Continental BMX Championships kicked off the on-track action, with Queensland’s Corey Frieswyk winning the elite men’s title.
His triumph didn’t come easy, the two-time Australian champion sat second behind plucky Victorian Brandon Te Hiko for the majority of the 35-second lap, making his move for P1 in the final corner.
The two speedsters hit the line almost in sync and the keen eyes of officials were called upon to review a photo of the finish, before Frieswyk’s winning result was confirmed. With an Australian title on the line today, expect Frieswyk to be back in fine form as he aims to collect the title he last won in Brisbane three years ago.
In his shadows will be Te Hiko and a host of other contenders chasing their first gong. However all riders in the elite ranks should be wary of 30-year-old veteran Alex Cameron, who unexpectedly nabbed the Australian title in 2016, and could do so again on a track that suits his aggressive style and technical ability.
In the women’s race for an elite title there is just one rider entered who has claimed the top step before, Wollongong’s Leanna Curtis. However this event looks to be a tough one for the 2016 winner, injury in the months leading up to the event hampering her preparation.
Despite the less than ideal lead in, on her day Curtis will be among those dicing for the final.
Additionally in the hunt for the women’s crown will be first-year elite rider Sara Jones from Queensland. Earlier in the week Jones stood third on the podium during the Oceania championships, only beaten by New Zealand riders Sarah Walker (the Olympic silver medallist from the London Games) and Kiwi national champion Rebecca Petch.
Today’s events will also see the future stars of the sport hit the track in the junior elite (17-19yrs) men and women’s classes, as well as a handful of age group classes.
Racing commences at 10am AWST, and will conclude at 2pm AWST.
(ALL PICS: Energy Images Australia)