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The first official day of the 2017 BMX Australia National Championships saw hundreds of riders take to the track at the Sleeman Sports Centre for the chance to become national champion in cruiser and retro…

The first official day of the 2017 BMX Australia National Championships saw hundreds of riders take to the track at the Sleeman Sports Centre for the chance to become national champion in cruiser and retro events.

Four riders retained their 1A plates by again winning the title they won in 2016 – Victorians Robert Slatter (35-39yrs men’s cruiser) and Jaclyn Wilson (40-44yrs women’s cruiser), Western Australian Corey Taylor in the boy’s 15-16 cruiser and Queenslander Darren James in the men’s retro over 40’s event.

For Slatter and Wilson there was extra cause for celebration, the pair making it three straight national titles in their respective events.

Of the riders to back up their win from last season, teenager Taylor (pictured below) seemed the most surprised but was already brimming with confidence for his championship event on the weekend.

“That was good to do it for the second year in a row, it really is pretty good,” Taylor puffed.

“There’s a lot of tough riders and I really needed to put it together.

“I’ve got a bit of confidence now for Saturday and hopefully I can put it together for that race.”

In the women’s 45-49 years cruiser event, the evergreen Sandy Cameron (pictured below) overcame a horror six months of injury to win back the national title she last won in 2015.

Cameron was over the moon with her performance, revealing she came into the event underdone.

“I’m stoked, it was a tough race,” Cameron, who was second in the same event in Bathurst last year said.

The 48-year-old said she would now turn her attention to the world championships where she finished with the W7 plate in 2016.

“I can only improve, I had a few smashed bones in the last couple of months so I can only get into training and improve if I can stay upright,” she said.

“I broke my wrist in November and my two hands in January so it is a big win, especially with these young ones coming up from the previous age class. They are young and fit and they have done a heck of a lot more riding than me. I’ve only been in the sport six years.”

Perhaps Australian BMX’s most in form rider, Dirk Winter, was at it again, taking out the 25-29yrs men’s cruiser event to go with an undefeated eight-event National Series season.

On what was a stunning autumn day, the cruiser and retro classes were joined by more than a hundred sprockets competed in the 5-7 girl’s, the 5-6 boy’s and 7yrs boy’s categories. All sprockets received equal participation awards at the Sprocket presentation.

FOR ALL THE RESULTS FROM THURSDAY’S SESSION, CLICK HERE.

Action at the 2017 BMXA Nationals continues on Friday with challenge classes before the championship classes ride for gold on Saturday, including Olympians Anthony Dean, Bodi Turner, Lauren Reynolds and Caroline Buchanan.