At six-foot five and 103 kilograms, Matthew Juster is an intimidating rider. Once at speed he’s hard to stop, or bump him out of the way. While he’s always been fast, it hasn’t been until…
At six-foot five and 103 kilograms, Matthew Juster is an intimidating rider. Once at speed he’s hard to stop, or bump him out of the way. While he’s always been fast, it hasn’t been until this year that the now 26-year-old has really got his career up to speed, and put measures in place to prevent it from being bumped off track.
Once inconsistent and known to enjoy a post race celebration more than a race, Juster has turned a leaf in 2017 to be training smarter, indulging in a well balanced diet, and has surrounded himself with the right crowd. And the on-track results are showing.
In January of this year Juster made a statement to his rivals by winning the first round of the Probikx UCI series in dominant fashion. He even beat 2016 Olympian Bodi Turner across the line. But less than 24 hours later an eighth place in the Grands Assault National Series, and a measly 20 race points looked to be a return to the Juster of old. Lightning fast one day, part of the crowd the next.
But the tall man, originally from the Northern Territory, had other ideas and started proving his doubters wrong.
At the next round of the National Series in Shepparton, the elite men’s event was again the Turner vs. Juster show. While Turner won both the UCI event and Grands Assault, Juster began selling his consistency with a pair of second place finishes.
Come Bathurst, Juster tamed the daunting supercross track to win both the UCI and Grands Assault round, and placed second in the Oceania Championships for good measure.
With the National Series nearing its final stages for 2017, Juster is looking to be in the box seat to win both the UCI series and Grands Assault. But that isn’t all that the hulking rider is after.
“I’ve always wanted to win a national title. I was third last year, so that would be good to achieve,” Juster says without hesitation.
“Doing well at the BMX world championships would also be good, and if I am still riding well around the selections for the Tokyo Olympics I would like to give that a crack.
“I’m 26 now, and by 2020 I will be 29. Maris Strombergs [Latvia’s dual Olympic gold medallist] was 29 when he competed at the 2016 Olympics. So if he can do it, why not me?
“That will all hinge on me being injury free and consistent. That second point is key. Whatever level I race at, I want to do well. Whether it is a club event or worlds, I want to do well.”
They’re fierce ambitions for a guy who wasn’t sure if he would ride the first round of the 2017 National Series, let alone the whole season.
However, changes off track have seemingly been the catalyst for change on the track as well…YOU CAN READ THE FULL INTERVIEW IN THE LATEST EDITION OF THE DIRT CLICK HERE.