Two from two for the Sakakibara siblings as we begin to wrap up the fourth round of the 2018 National Series.
There was no stopping the determination of brother and sister duo Kai and Saya Sakakibara on the Gold Coast today, as both raced to impressive victories in the elite classes during round four of the 2018 BMX Australia National Series at the Nerang BMX Club today.
With the mercury reaching a comfortable 16 degrees, there was just over 500 riders on track to try their hand at scoring a victory. From the five-year-old ‘sprockets’, right through to the experience of those in their forties and fifties, the national series provided a smorgasbord of racing.
Although a total of 41 winners would be crowned today, standing tallest were the Sakakibara’s after winning the big shows. For the elder of the two Kai, today’s win showed greater dominance than his only other national series victory for 2018, which was at the Penrith BMX Club in February.
“It was the first race of the year for me in Penrith and I didn’t feel quite myself after coming from behind to win it. But today was all about controlling the race throughout the motos and finals and I’m really happy I pulled it off,” Kai said.
For younger sister Saya, who holds the world number four ranking in her rookie year as an elite rider, 2018 has been a resounding success. Sixth at the world championships last month and sitting third in the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup series after six of eight rounds, today was about exemplifying why she has had such success.
“I had a lot of expectations coming into this weekend, but I love this track and every time I race here there is a really good energy. I just gave it my all, taking it race by race and I’m really happy with the win,” Saya said.
Hailing from the NSW Illawarra region, the Sakakibara’s think of the Gold Coast as a second home. While they may live south of the Sunshine State these days, the first time they came across BMX was just over 7km down the road from Nerang, as young kids at the Ashmore BMX Club.
“I love being in Queensland, this is the perfect training environment and I just love racing here,” Kai said.
The male and female junior elite finals also put on a spectacular display of racing today. Queensland’s Izaac Kennedy from the Logan City BMX Academy sliced through the competition in his class to take an emphatic win, while New Zealand’s Jesse Smith won the junior women’s event.
Following the fourth of seven rounds, the BMX Australia National Series now makes its way to Adelaide for the next instalment of action from August 18-19. Hosting that event will be the Cross Keys BMX Club, home of 2016 Olympic finalist Anthony Dean.
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