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Olympian Bodi Turner returns to the Gold Coast for BMX season opener Australian BMX star Bodi Turner says he is a changed rider after contesting his first Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro last August,…

Olympian Bodi Turner returns to the Gold Coast for BMX season opener

Australian BMX star Bodi Turner says he is a changed rider after contesting his first Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro last August, and this week returns to the Gold Coast to race in the BMX Australia Chambikx/Probikx UCI Series opener.

Beginning on Friday at the Nerang BMX track, the 2017 Australian series will see a handful of promising riders challenge the newly minted Olympian for victory. That list of riders includes Turner’s younger brother Wade, who holds ambitions to follow in his brother’s footsteps come Tokyo 2020.

While a Turner double act on the world’s biggest sporting stage is something both young men dream about, they’re keeping expectations in check for the immediate future. For Bodi the 2016 Nerang BMX opener signified the start of his push to make the Australian Olympic team. Now 12 months on, he knows his competition will have upped their game.

“I am always home at this time of year and the event at Nerang is one of the best races on the calendar,” Turner said.

“Compared to last year I won’t be in as fine form as I was, I am racing in the middle of a heavy training load. But hopefully I come good and enjoy racing all the other guys who are very quick.”

Now with the weight of qualifying for Rio 2016 behind him, Turner continued that the past 12 months have been some of the best and challenging, adding that he is a better rider following his first Olympic experience.

“Last year was very up and down for me. I always expected the best, and took a few hits along the way including having a broken collarbone early in the year,” he said.

“But I bounced back and had a great year. Rio really changed me; mentally it taught me a lot and gave me another perspective on the elite level of sport and what is expected.“For now, the immediate focus is on building myself a professional career, and enjoying being on my bike. I can worry about a second Olympics after that.”

In contrast to Bodi, Wade Turner’s 2016 couldn’t have been more different.

The second year apprentice electrician dabbled in a few rounds of the National Series, often battling to make it into the semi finals. However that changed at the National Championships in Bathurst when he stormed to second place, finishing less than a tenth of a second behind winner Alex Cameron. 

“Nationals was an eye-opener for me, and it gave me a lot more drive to succeed as an athlete,” said the younger Turner.

“It was a really good result, and so now I want to focus on this year and banking some strong results. I am not holding expectations too high. The first goal is to make the final here in Nerang.

“In the future I know the Tokyo Games is something I would like to ride at. There is a bit of time until then, but it would be very cool to go with Bodi.”

Despite Wade’s cool approach to this season’s prospects, Bodi was quick to sing the praises of his younger brother’s ability on two wheels, noting his excitement at their joint attendance at Nerang this year.

“I wasn’t at the National Championships last year, but live streamed the whole event and I was ecstatic when he crossed second,” Turner beamed.

“Wade is a very skilful rider, and just needs a bit more power in his legs to push forward. Last year we didn’t have that many opportunities to race together at this level, so I am very keen to line up on the gates with him at Nerang on Friday.”

Racing at the first round of the BMX Australia Chambikx/Probikx UCI Series begins on Friday January 6, commencing at 5:00pm AEST. Saturday January 7 will see the inaugural round of the BMX Australia Grands Assault National Series take place at the same venue, with racing commencing at 9.45am AEST.