Former Australian champion Brandon Te Hiko has upstaged Rio Olympian Bodi Turner in the superclass event at the sixth stage of the 2019 BMX Australia BAD BOY National Series at Southern City BMX Club in Hobart.
Victorian Te Hiko led from start to finish in the day’s premier men’s event to beat home Shane Rosa and rising teenager Jack Davis, while the corresponding women’s race was taken out in almost identical fashion by Queenslander Kiana Botfield.
Turner, who made his Olympic debut in Rio three years ago, finished fifth.
The superclass events were two of several highlights as almost 200 riders from around the state and across the mainland descended on the Berriedale track for the first of two days of BMX action.
Te Hiko came into the final as one of the favourites alongside the in-form Rosa and Turner, who is on the comeback trail after a year out of the sport, but there was little doubt who would take the win by the time the riders hit the first berm.
The 21-year-old Te Hiko, who is trained by his father Fraser, said the entire field was nervous before the start, where the gate drop was so critical to the final result.
“The start was definitely important,” Te Hiko said.
“In the final I think the nerves got the better of every rider. I was one of them as well and we all hit the gate, then drag raced to the first jump and from there it seeded us into our positions.”
Te Hiko said while he had confidence in his own ability he also knew the final had plenty of chances.
“Coming into the racing you can’t pick a winner and I think that’s the excitement of the sport. Everyone comes in and one little slight change or error and the result could be different.
“I’m super happy, not really judging off other riders, but just judging off how I feel mentally and physically I think I am on the right track.”
In the women’s event Botfield took a step closer to winning a second national series title for the year after earlier this season winning the junior elite national series crown. The 17-year-old was too classy for Annaliese Rokov and Julie Urben Di Giaimo.
“I thought come racing I’m just going to have to make sure my mindset is clear, get the best gate I can, just pedal and pump the whole way,” Botfield said.
There was some joy for the locals too with Southern City’s Cooper Beaton showing a clean pair of heals to win the 12 years boy’s final from series leader AJ Donald. (NSW)
On Sunday the host club will feature the Clash 4 Cash that carries a whopping $10,000 prize pool.
The weekend of racing is the perfect pre-cursor to the 2020 BMX Australia National Championships that will take place from March 23-28 at Launceston BMX Club following yesterday’s announcement of $250,000 in funding from the Tasmanian Government.
That event is expected to bring up to 4000 visitors to Tasmania and include riders from every state and territory, led by all of Australia’s 2020 Tokyo Olympic aspirants.
Turner, Rio Olympic finalist Anthony Dean, former world champion Caroline Buchanan, dual Olympian Lauren Reynolds and rising stars Saya Sakakibara and Izaac Kennedy are all expected to be on show at the country’s premier annual event.
The final stage of the 2019 national series is on October 19-20 at Canberra BMX Club.