The BMX Australia National Series arrives in Cairns this weekend for round three and four, bringing with it Olympic hopefuls, future stars of world BMX and competitive locals eyeing standout performances in front of a hometown crowd.
Hoping for strong performances across the weekend will be Cairns BMX Club riders Jake Bowe in the men’s junior elite class, siblings Ronan and Aislynn Weber as well as 15-years rider Wade Mundie and 17-29 years competitor Josh Nash.
For Bowe, consistency will be the key for this weekend after missing the final in round one earlier this month. Irrespective of that result, he returned with an impressive second place in the men’s junior elite class the following day in round two, and now sits fourth in his class standings prior to the commencement of racing this week.
Meanwhile both Ronan and Aislynn Weber are in a strong position in their respective class’s for their home event, Ronan running second in the 16-years boy’s class to reigning 15-years world champion Nathaniel Rodway, while Aislynn is also second in her class, the 17+ women, which is led by Nerang BMX Club rider Lacey Oliver.
Similarly Mundie will enjoy hometown support at a round where he hopes to move into the top two of the 15-years boy’s class where he currently trails Victorian Cooper Tye by 10 points, with New Zealand’s Cailen Calkin a further 90 points ahead. Meanwhile Nash is currently equal second with Victoria’s Jacob Sverns in the men’s 17-29 class, which is a tight points race with just 20 points covering the top four riders in the series standings.
With one eye on Olympic qualification, world number 11 Bodi Turner will return to the track in Cairns in the hope of asserting his dominance in the men’s elite class following a disrupted start to the series in Nerang, a crash in the final of round one seeing him finish in seventh place.
Despite Turner recovering to win round two the following day, it was up-and comers Brandon Te Hiko and Kai Sakakibara who had tongues wagging, the former claiming victory in round one and a second place in round two, the latter cleaning up two podium places with a second and third. The young duo will begin Cairns as joint series leaders, with Turner sitting in third.
In contrast to Turner, fellow Rio hopeful Melinda McLeod produced a pair of classy performances as she claimed victory in round one and two, and will hope to continue her good form this weekend. Similarly, Sakakibara’s younger sibling Saya was too good for her competition in the women’s junior elite class, walking away with a pair of wins, a performance she will attempt to mirror in the next two rounds.
Round three of the BMXA National Series will be held on Saturday January 23 (racing starts at 1200), while round four will follow the next day on Sunday January 24 (racing from 10am). Both events will be live streamed via BMXA TV.