Over 300 riders from around the country will make their way to the Westside BMX Club this weekend for the second stage of the 2019 BMX Australia BAD BOY National Series.
COVER PIC: Bradley Game at round two of the 2018 BMXA BAD BOY National Series in Frankston, VIC. (Pic courtesy of ProLab Projects)
Leading the charge for the host state in the two-day event is 2018’s elite men’s UCI National Series champion Bradley Game.
On Sunday in the season’s first UCI round, the Wanneroo BMX Club rider faces a strong contingent of Aussies including world no.8 Kai Sakakibara, Rio Olympian Bodi Turner and 2018 Oceania champion Corey Frieswyk, all vying for valuable points in the complex Olympic qualifying process.
As an official UCI endorsed event, the round offers riders the ability to win Olympic qualification points, that in turn can earn quota spots for Australia for Tokyo 2020.
Once the qualification process finishes in 2020, the best placed Australian riders will head to the Japanese capital for the Olympic Games themselves.
For Game, his focus will be on his own race and making sure that he has prepared as well as he can.
“I’ve been feeling pretty good,” Game said.
“I’ve had one race here in WA at Westside and I was really happy to take out the win. I’ve started off the year really well and I can’t wait for the national series this weekend.
“I had a really good 2018 taking out all the UCI rounds overall in the series. Coming into this year, I have lots of confidence and I’m looking forward to a good start to the series in my home state.”
Here’s a quick recap on his 2018 success from Nerang last year.
An underlying focus for the 23-year old will be on the Olympic points but like many riders once that gate drops, all his thoughts will be on the track.
“I’ll be focusing on a lot of the UCI races this year leading into the Olympics,” Game continued.
“The Olympics is certainly a goal as well as qualifying for the world championships. I was a bit too young to make the 2016 Olympic team, but I’m really focused. It’s certainly been a goal of mine for many years.
“At the end of the day though, I’ll be trying not to think about the other riders around me and just take it as steps at a time. Not overthinking with nice deep breaths… can’t wait.”
Joining the men are some of Australia’s top tier female competitors including 2016 elite national champion Leanna Curtis and multiple-world champion for her age class, Des’ree Barnes.
Making it difficult for the Aussie women is Kiwi star Rebecca Petch, who is also on the hunt for valuable Olympic points.
“I see there’s a lot of good riders on the gate. So, there will be some good racing against Leanna and the others,” Petch said.
“My main focus will be for Olympic points and I’m looking forward to getting another race under my belt. The best part is that I don’t have to travel to Europe yet for points. It’s a good place to be.”
Petch has experience racing in WA, having finished second to fellow Kiwi and London Olympic silver medallist Sarah Walker at last year’s Oceania BMX Championships in Bunbury.
Petch and Walker have a special relationship, and their partnership is a positive guidance for Petch as she continues her long road to Olympic qualification.
“She (Walker) knows a lot about the Olympics,” Petch continued.
“We train two times a week in NZ and its pretty good because we push each other a lot. The best thing is that we have the same goals, so we are aiming for the same thing.”
Making this weekend more appealing for the top tier riders is that it will be two rounds of pro racing. Saturday will include the round three of the superclass series while the next day will be the first UCI round of the series.
Throughout the weekend, riders aged 5 to 50+ will also be getting their piece of the action. It’s gonna be a blast!
To follow the action, make sure you regularly check BMXA’s social media platforms for all results, highlights and finals.