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Rio Olympic BMX finalist Anthony Dean and former world champion Caroline Buchanan headline the Australian team announced today for the UCI BMX World Championships to be held in Rock Hill, USA in July. Dean and…

Rio Olympic BMX finalist Anthony Dean and former world champion Caroline Buchanan headline the Australian team announced today for the UCI BMX World Championships to be held in Rock Hill, USA in July.

Dean and Buchanan are part of a 19-rider team selected by BMX Australia and Cycling Australia High Performance selectors for the elite men’s and women’s and junior elite men’s and women’s events that will take place at the championships from July 28-29.

Joining Dean in the elite men’s team is fellow Rio Olympic debutant Bodi Turner, newly crowned national champion Kai Sakakibara, national series winner Matt Juster and rising star Josh McLean.

South Australia’s Dean is currently Australia’s highest ranked rider in the UCI men’s rankings at 12. Sakakibara at 21 and Turner at 22 sit a little further back although Turner is sixth in this year’s UCI BMX Supercross World Cup standings.

In the elite women’s events Australia will be represented by dual Olympians Buchanan and Lauren Reynolds, Oceania champion Leanna Curtis and Queenslander Sarah Harvey.

Buchanan has raced sparingly on a BMX bike in 2017 but convincingly claimed the Australian title in Brisbane in April, while Reynolds was third at round two of the world cup.

Joining their senior teammates and competing in the junior elite competitions will be Josh Boyton, Matt Krasevskis, Izaac Kennedy, Kyle Green and Kyle Hill (men), along with Saya Sakakibara, Sara Jones, Jenna Williams, Erin Lockwood and Edan Whitlock (women).

Australian High Performance coach Wade Bootes believes the squad has the potential to impress at this year’s biggest BMX event, having honed their skills at home in the first half of 2017.

“I’m excited to see this Australian team compete against the rest of the world on US soil,” Bootes said.

“I have been very impressed with the domestic season that BMX Australia ran because it highlighted the depth and strength we have across the board.

“Both our elites and juniors have been great and I think the sort of performances they have been showing domestically can be competitive on the world stage.”                                             Bootes looked towards the experienced trio of Dean, Buchanan and Reynolds to lead the team in the elite events.

“Definitely for Anthony the world championships is his main goal for the year and after he had a slight injury at the start of the year he is now going gung-ho to show the world who Anthony Dean is,” Bootes said.

“I’m expecting him to step up as a leader of this Australian team.

“It is also great to see Caroline back on BMX after riding a lot of mountain bike but the progression she has made this year will shine at world championships.

“The fact we have Caroline and Lauren, who is our highest ranked podium placegetter at world cups this year, shows our depth and the possibility we have of having riders on the podium or as world champions.”

The Australian athletes to compete in the challenge and cruiser classes (July 25-27) will be finalised shortly, with an overall Aussie contingent of more than 350 riders set to join in excess of 3,300 competitors from 40 countries for the global BMX showcase.

Australian Team for 2017 UCI BMX World Championships

Elite men

Anthony Dean (SA), Bodi Turner (VIC), Kai Sakakibara (NSW), Matt Juster (NT), Josh McLean (VIC)

Elite women

Caroline Buchanan (ACT), Lauren Reynolds (WA), Leanna Curtis (NSW), Sarah Harvey (QLD)

Junior elite men

Josh Boyton (QLD), Matt Krasevskis (QLD), Izaac Kennedy (QLD), Kyle Green (WA), Kyle Hill (QLD)

Junior elite women

Saya Sakakibara (NSW), Sara Jones (QLD), Jenna Williams (QLD), Erin Lockwood (QLD), Edan Whitlock (QLD)