The USA and Italy played host to many riders from around the world including a handful of Aussies… and they were a handful!
COVER PIC: Lauren Reynolds Instagram.
An Australian contingent competed over the weekend (March 30-31) on top tier international tracks and came away with some podium places.
The Carolina Nationals were held by USABMX at the Rock Hill BMX Supercross Track and Bunbury’s Lauren Reynolds had a terrific weekend finding the podium, not once, but twice in consecutive days.
Saturday’s elite women’s race reached high drama with America’s no.1, Alise Willoughby, leading from the gate and looking to continue her USABMX winning streak that began at the 2017 Grands.
But on the final berm, Willoughby and Felicia Stancil (in second) both came off, giving Reynolds the perfect opportunity to take the win. Following close behind Reynolds across the finish line was Brooke Crain in second and Dani George in third.
WATCH THE DRAMA UNFOLD!
Another Aussie star finding the finals gate on Saturday was South Australia’s Anthony Dean. The Olympian had a good start out of the gate but came down off the first jump due to testing conditions.
American’s Corben Sharrah managed to take the chocolates with Joris Daudet in second and Alfredo Camp in third. Watch that race below.
Sunday’s results saw Reynolds on the podium again, but this time Willoughby was able to redeem her efforts from the previous day and win from Stancil and Reynolds.
Reynolds has come away from the weekend proud of her achievements and is looking forward to continuing her good run of form.
“It was tough and aggressive racing all weekend with all the American girls and some internationals giving it their all,” Reynolds said.
“I was a little off my game on day 1 and I really had to dig deep to stay up in qualifying. I put myself in the right position in the main event to avoid and capitalise on a crash. Winning day 1 was a huge confidence boost.
“Day 2 was a lot better, I stepped it up a little at every lap and in the main event I had a great start and was competitive around the entire lap.
“Both Alise and Felicia were riding really well all weekend and to finish third behind them was a great achievement. The weekend for me had great results and its really good to get that momentum before the first world cup rounds in Manchester.”
For Dean, a return to the track was off the cards on Sunday after suffering from the injuries he suffered the day before. His Instagram post is below.
While Dean didn’t get to the gate, Queensland’s Kyle Hill represented the Aussies and continues to make a name for himself. Hill managed to get to the men’s elite final on Sunday and finished in the 8-spot.
WATCH ALL THE RACING FROM DAY 2 BELOW.
Aussies were also showing their colours in Verona, Italy over the weekend in the first two rounds of the 2019 UEC European BMX Cup.
Australia’s Olympic hopefuls Kai and Saya Sakakibara were joined by South Australian Shane Rosa and the trio took it to the top European riders.
Round one on Saturday had Saya finish second behind her well-known rival, world no.1, Laura Smulders. Russia’s Yaroslava Bondarenko was third.
In the men’s event Kai bowed out in his semi (7th), while Rosa was eliminated before the 1/8 finals.
Watch the elite men’s and women’s finals from round 1 HERE.
The following day had different results with both Sakakibara’s making it to their respective finals.
For Kai, a solid fourth place against some fierce competitors has left him in good stead for the future, while Saya came down in the first berm resulting in coming eighth.
Rosa improved from his efforts the previous day with strong results getting him to the 1/8 finals, where he placed sixth.