NSW pair Leanna Curtis and Oliver Moran are set to begin their superclass title defences in their home state – and they can’t wait.
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This weekend, the Sydney BMX Club will play host to over 500 riders from around the country and featuring in the action are the 2018 national series superclass champions, Southlake/Illawarra’s Leanna Curtis and Manning Valley’s Oliver Moran.
The duo competed in three out of the four superclass rounds in the 2018 BMXA BAD BOY National Series and are looking forward to getting amongst it again as they clash against some of Australia’s top tier riders in the Sydney Olympic Park precinct this weekend.
For Curtis, last year was a chance to rebuild and return to the track after suffering a painful back injury in 2017. The 2016 national champion battled with her physical performance alongside the accompanying mental challenges but rose magnificently to stand tall atop a competitive podium.
“I was really happy to get the overall superclass title. Even though there weren’t many elite women racing in those rounds, it was still mentally tough as I wasn’t as strong as I used to be and I was trying to get through the rounds without too much expectation,” Curtis said.
Off the back of her success in 2018, Curtis made her way to New Zealand earlier in the year to compete in the 2019 Oceania BMX Championships alongside fellow Australian riders and Kiwi competitors.
“I finished fourth at the Oceania’s and I was happy with that because that’s where I thought I would be,” Curtis continued.
“I’m still training pretty hard in the gym and I definitely feel like I’m getting more of my strength back. At the moment, my first half of the year won’t be entirely focused on results, more so on continuing to get my physical condition back to its former glory.”
Joining Curtis on the top of the superclass podium was state teammate Oliver Moran. The 17-year old took on some of the best riders in the country and may not have finished first in any of the races… but consistently made it to the finals to give himself the best possible chance of getting high scoring results.
“It’s kind of weird to be honest,” Moran confessed.
“There weren’t many riders who participated, and I had an injury at the start of the year. I guess my highlight would be that I finished really strong with a win in the 16-boy’s class, the superclass was just an added bonus.”
Like Curtis, Moran competed at the Oceania’s and enjoyed going up against some of the top riders in the two countries. This year holds much more on the cards for the year 11 student as he now has the chance of competing in the UCI BMX World Championships in the junior elite category.
“Racing was really good in New Zealand. It’s great to get back into racing as I haven’t raced since the NSW state titles in October,” Moran said.
“I had a bit of bad luck in NZ hitting a gate in the final. But each race I compete in I’m doing better and hopefully I will be all good for Sydney. My big goal is to qualify for worlds in the junior elite, that’s what I’ve always wanted, and I am really excited to compete in my first UCI event in Perth.”
The national series has some minor adjustments this year and one of them is the added bonus of two rounds of pro racing across the weekend.
With round one on Saturday followed by round two on Sunday, pro riders will get the chance to gain more points, more competition and more prize money.
The defending superclass champions are excited for the challenge and can’t wait to get around the new format to the series.
“I think it’s great,” Moran said.
“There are lots of good riders and this will only encourage us to go to more events.”
Curtis is on a similar page.
“I like having finals on both days. It will make the weekend a bit more worthwhile and the competition will only continue to improve.”
When the question rose about whether they will defend their superclass title, there were some mixed results. For Curtis, her road to recovery is her main priority and if she happens to cross the finish line first on the weekend, that’s an added bonus.
“We will see how we go. I haven’t planned that much yet for this year, but I always end up going to events at the last minute,” Curtis laughed.
“This weekend has a lot of good riders competing and if I can make it into the finals, I’d be stoked,” Moran said.
“It will be great to get around the national series atmosphere again.”
Excitement is at an all-time high as we kick off the 2019 BMXA BAD BOY National Series in style. Make sure to keep up to date with all the important news, videos and announcements from Stage 1 via BMX Australia’s social media platforms.