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After a rejuvenating short few months back home in Australia, Kai Sakakibara is gearing up for one more international BMX foray, this time in Santiago del Estero, Argentina to compete in rounds five and six of the 2017 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup.

After a rejuvenating short few months back home in Australia, Kai Sakakibara is gearing up for one more international BMX foray, this time in Santiago del Estero, Argentina to compete in rounds five and six of the 2017 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup.

In what has been the breakout year of his BMX career, Sakakibara has already locked up both the Australian men’s national title and Oceania crown with two outstanding performances on the track.

But for all the highs, there are inevitable lows in the ruthless sport that is BMX, and the Southlake Illawarra BMX Club member has taken the bad with the considerable good. Round four of the world cup series in Zolder, Belgium, in May, saw Sakakibara taken down in a nasty crash. July’s world championships in Rock Hill, USA also went by the wayside as the hard charging Aussie was bailed out in the quarterfinals.

Never one to complain, Sakakibara has taken it all in his stride as prepares for the final two rounds of the Supercross World Cup.

“The biggest thing I learnt at Rock Hill, and the past four world cup rounds is that I am capable,” said Sakakibara.

“As long as I can bring the same mentality and attitude to the world cup racing as I do to the national series at home, I’ve got a great chance of producing good results. So, I will be approaching the next two rounds of the world cup as I would approach any race in Australia.”

As the old adage goes, hard work pays off and even with setbacks that is the story of Sakakibara’s 2017. The young Aussie has rocketed up the UCI world rankings and currently sits 13th, and is the highest ranked Australian, leading the likes of Olympians Bodi Turner and Anthony Dean who both made their debut in Rio last year.

A process driven and single-minded type of rider, Sakakibara continued that his goal was to remain among the top echelon of male riders.

“Basically put, I want to finish as high as possible. My goal for the year would be to finish within the top 16, but I won’t be settling for just anything at these next races. I’m looking to better my personal best World Cup result of 5th.”

He will be joined in Argentina by BMX Australia Development Academy coach and inaugural Australian BMX Olympian, Luke Madill. Also making the trip to South America is Sakakibara’s personal coach Troy Fisher, as well as strength and conditioning coach Jamie Tennent.

“Troy and Jamie guide and ensure that I’m in the best possible condition physically and mentally, and Luke helps me implement this at the events.  I’m stoked to have Luke at the race with me as he has helped me for a very long time and is very good at picking up on little things to make my riding significantly better,” he said.

Post event, there is no time to rest says Sakakibara, a rider who is at his best when he is constantly on the move.

“I will be competing in the NSW State Championships, which will be held two weeks after the World Cup,” smiled Sakakibara.

“After that it will be straight into 2018 prep to make next year even better than this year! It’s been a very busy international season this year, so I’m really looking forward to some time away from racing to just prepare and focusing on making improvements in the gym and on the track.

The 2017 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup final two rounds will take place in Santiago del Estero, Argentina. Round five will commence Saturday, 16 September at 1.20pm with round six taking place a day later at on Sunday, 17 September at 1.00pm.

Australian fans can view all the action at the following links;

Round 5: Sunday 17 September at 2.20am AEST – CLICK HERE

Round 6: Monday, 18 September at 2.00am AEST – CLICK HERE