Australia’s Kai Sakakibara and New Zealand’s Rebecca Petch produce clean laps to win day one at the Westside BMX Club.
COVER PIC: Kai Sakakibara producing heat through the superclass final. (Pic courtesy of Get Snapt)
Tokyo 2020 Olympic hopeful Kai Sakakibara has powered to victory in the men’s superclass final during stage 2 of the BMX Australia BAD BOY National Series at Westside BMX Club in Balcatta.
The 22-year-old world number eight from Southlake / Illawarra BMX Club near Wollongong in NSW, beat home Victorian Hayden Fletcher and Queenslander Joshua Boyton.
Western Australians Caleb Datson from Cockburn BMX Club and Kyle Green from the host club finished in sixth and seventh respectively.
Sakakibara, who finished fourth in a round of the UCI Supercross World Cup last season and kicked 2019 off in style by winning the Oceania title in New Zealand in January, said the win was another great step along the pathway he hopes will lead to Olympic glory next year.
“I’m a very competitive person so whenever I step out on the track I’m out there to win but with the Olympics in mind for a year and a bits time, every race counts,” Sakakibara said.
“Every time I can go out there and can stamp my authority on the rest of the field, that’s what I’m aiming to do every time.”
Sakakibara, whose 19-year-old sister Saya is currently ranked second in the world, dominated throughout the day’s racing, win all three of his motos on the way to victories in his semi final and the decider.
The win helped him bounce back from a disappointing weekend in the series’ first stage last month.
“I’m really happy. Stage one of the national series didn’t go quite as well as I’d hoped. I crashed on the first day and then the second day had some problems with cramping and I still came away with a second.
“Obviously I was going for the win there so to come away with the win today, I am stoked.”
The women’s superclass event was taken out by New Zealander Rebecca Petch, with NSW’s former elite national champion Leanna Curtis second and Queensland prodigy Des’Ree Barnes third.
More than 300 riders will return to the track on Sunday morning from 945am with the action set to include races for sprockets as young as five, up to the 50+ age category, with the highlight being the UCI elite men’s and women’s races.
As an official UCI (cycling’s international governing body) endorsed event, the races offer riders the ability to win Olympic qualification points, that in turn can earn quota spots for Australia for Tokyo 2020.
Stay tuned to our media platforms as we wrap up the day’s action brought to us by the challenge competitors.