COVER PIC: Josh McLean winning the superclass at Ipswich BMX Club – Stage 3 of the 2019 BMXA BAD BOY National Series. (Pic courtesy of Get Snapt)

Rising star Josh McLean and veteran Leanna Curtis have taken out the men’s and women’s superclass finals on the opening day of stage three of BMX Australia’s BAD BOY National Series at the Ipswich West Moreton BMX Club.

Almost 500 entrants took to the track as the superclass competitors raced all the way to a pair of thrilling finals and the challenge (age) class riders powered through their first three motos.

McLean, who rides for Knox BMX Club in Victoria but lives on the Gold Coast, beat home Rio Olympian Bodi Turner and another rising youngster, Josh Boyton, to follow up his recent stellar form that has included making several main event finals on the cut-throat US BMX circuit.

Today the field were held up at the start but when the gate dropped McLean burst down the hill, led into the first turn and was never headed.

“It was a bit of a long pause on the gate and everyone was a little bit eager to go, but it was honestly one of the best laps I’ve done for a while,” McLean said.

“It was pretty clean so I’m pretty happy.”

The 21-year-old stopped short of declaring the win the biggest of his burgeoning career but said his recent racing in America had helped with his mental performance on race day.

“The racing over there helps with the mental attitude when I’m coming back,” McLean said.

“We do have good riders here, don’t get me wrong, but all the top Olympians like (dual world champion) Joris (Daudet) and (Olympic champion) Connor (Fields) and Anthony (Dean) one of our Australians.

“It just helps you a bit mentally because they are the riders you used to look up to and used to watch on TV and love.”

In the women’s race, Curtis also led from the start, proving too good for prodigious teenager Des’Ree Barnes and local Ipswich club rider Tyler-Lea Thorley who is on the comeback trail from a serious shoulder injury.

Curtis came into the race on top of the series standings but it was off the back of three second places behind Australian number one Saya Sakakibara (twice) and New Zealand’s top rider Rebecca Petch (once).

Racing continues on Sunday with the last moto and finals for the challenge classes, as well as elite racing in the season’s second UCI round where 18 men and eight women will be 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 a full list of results – CLICK HERE