Tokyo Olympic hopeful Saya Sakakibara and teenagers Ollie Moran and Des’Ree Barnes have won gongs at the annual Cycling Australia awards.
Sakakibara took out the female elite BMX title at the star-studded awards celebration held in Brisbane.
It was the second year in a row she has claimed the award, while Moran and Barnes picked up the respective male and female junior BMX trophies.
Moran finished second in the junior elite category at this year’s world championships in Zolder. Barnes won her ninth straight Australian title and made it through to the semi finals at the world championships.
Freestyle BMX rider Brandon Loupos took out the elite male prize.
Sakakibara said that despite the award, her year was a tough one that ended on a positive note.
“It was a challenging but fulfilling season,” Sakakibara said.
“Compared to last year I didn’t produce the results. I had a lot of mental challenges and having six crashes in four months it was definitely really tough to line up on the gate with other riders.
“But with the worlds I thought my performance was really good, I didn’t get the results I wanted but it adds fuel to the fire and makes me a lot hungrier.
“I finished off the season with a win at the Olympic test event and is such a great confidence booster.”
The focus for Sakakibara, Moran and Barnes now turns to the first four rounds of the 2020 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup rounds in Shepparton (February 1&2) and Bathurst (February 8&9). Tickets for those events can be found here.
Image courtesy John Veage/Cycling Australia