Dual Olympian Lauren Reynolds is ready to take on the world’s best for the second weekend running, and comes into rounds three and four of the UCI BMX World Cup in Zolder, Belgium buoyed by…
Dual Olympian Lauren Reynolds is ready to take on the world’s best for the second weekend running, and comes into rounds three and four of the UCI BMX World Cup in Zolder, Belgium buoyed by her podium performance last weekend in the Netherlands.
Reynolds grabbed the first Aussie podium of this year’s world cup series in Papendal last Sunday, leading the way for a team that includes fellow Olympians Anthony Dean and Bodi Turner, as well as recently crowned Australian men’s champion Kai Sakakibara.
There have been just 10 female world cup round winners since 2007, and after claiming her fifth podium since a breakthrough second place in Frejus, France in 2010, Reynolds would dearly like to become the 11th in Belgium. However the Western Australian emphasised just how tough her competition would be in Zolder.
“I always try to put my best foot forward on race day, and come in with a plan to give myself the best chance to be me and ride to my potential. If I can do that it should lead me to the success I want, if not I was just beaten on the day and I’ll keep looking forward,” Reynolds said.
“At this level of racing now, there’s never an easy race and I just try to be the best version of myself and be happy with that.
“These world cups are great preparation for the world championships in July, we ride against the same riders and the level is high. It’s a good measure and a good way to see what needs work leading into the worlds.”
While confidence is one thing, this weekend’s double-header returns to the location of the 2015 UCI BMX World Championships, where Reynolds finished 17th and was bailed out of the competition in the quarterfinals.
“I have mixed feelings about this race, going off the last world championships when a storm hit the track,” she said.
“Last time we weren’t able to race off the eight metre hill, so that will be a new experience for me this weekend. We’ve had a couple of sessions on the track and I do like it. It’s shorter, tighter and a more technical track in my eyes, so it will be key to maintain speed and stay smooth.”
Reynolds will be joined in the women’s contest by former Aussie champ Leanna Curtis, who finished as a semi finalist in the first round of the world cup last week. They will race the likes of Olympic and world champion Mariana Pajon of Columbia, and last weekend’s winner Laura Smulders of the Netherlands.
Meanwhile Turner, Sakakibara and Dean will spearhead the Aussie men this weekend, following mixed results in their last outing in Papendal. Turner and Sakakibara highlighted the weekend with fourth and fifth respectively in round one. While Dean finished 33rd in round one, and crashed out to 16th in round two. Despite the slow start, the South Australian has form in Zolder, finishing as world number eight in 2015.
Other Aussies to look out for are Brandon Te Hiko, who finished fourth in the junior men’s contest at the 2015 world champs at this track and Shane Rosa, who was the junior men’s time trial world champion that same year.
Rounding out the Australian contingent of 12 is Queensland trio Tristyn Kronk, Corey Frieswyk and Jye Hombsch, Victoria’s Joshua McLean and NSW rider Andrew Hughes.
Round three of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup begins at 9:30pm AEST on Saturday May 13, while round four takes place from 8:30pm AEST on Sunday May 14.
You can watch the events LIVE at THIS LINK: http://ow.ly/Uims30bEvR2
You can see a replay of last weekend’s double header, including individual cut’s of the finals at THIS LINK: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2ItExsJPekYALW8qxikBkCXlCpWjn6ne