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It’s well known that many of Australia’s road and track cycling stars have come from a BMX background before going on to reach dizzying heights all over the world. Robbie McEwan was one. Anna Meares…

It’s well known that many of Australia’s road and track cycling stars have come from a BMX background before going on to reach dizzying heights all over the world.

Robbie McEwan was one. Anna Meares another. Caroline Buchanan plies her trade on a BMX bike one week and a mountain bike the next.

Crossing over in the cycling disciplines is not easy but it’s possible with the right headspace and one rising young talent with that mindset is Cross Keys BMX club’s Cooper Tye.

Having taken to the BMX scene 11 years ago, the now 16-year-old splits his time between BMX, track and road racing and will leave Adelaide this week with his road racing teammates from the South Australian Sports Institute to compete in the Gippsland Tour.

Now a scholarship holder with the SASI cycling program, Cooper is progressing at a rate of knots both on the boards and roads.

But that’s not to say BMX – where he has won four Australian titles – isn’t going to play a big part in his future. To the contrary.

“I’ve got a big interest in the new BMXA national series set up and I plan on giving that a good hard crack this year and seeing how I go,” Tye, a year 11 student, said.

“I definitely want to do nationals over in WA (Bunbury) and really just make my BMX commitment no different to what is has been previously.”

Tye thinks the two sports compliment each other well and loves the benefits he gets from each.

“BMX is a great starting point and has taught me good bike skills and good use of power,” he said.

“Likewise, the skills transfer from the road to BMX and the endurance I have gained really helps. I feel when I go to a BMX meet I can go a whole day of racing without fatiguing anywhere near as much.

“And they are both just as much fun as each other.”

Tye has said he has dreamt of one day riding in the Tour de France but if he had to choose which of the two sports he will pursue an Olympic berth in, the answer is easy. Both.

“I’ve always had a dream of going to an Olympics for BMX and now more than ten years on, I’m not giving up that dream at all,” he said.

“If I could one day say I’d done both, if that could be possible it would be amazing.

“I’ll try and become an Olympian in BMX first and hopefully I can have a crack at cycling later. Who knows?”.

One thing we do know is Cooper Tye is not going to shy away from the challenge.