After 2 days at home, I again boarded a plane. This time heading a little closer to home – Brisbane, Australia for the Australian National Championships.
This year the Nationals wold be held on the Sleeman BMX SX Track for the 2nd year, previously in 2013. With crucial points up for grabs in both the Nationals and the National series/ Oceania Rd, this week was a pretty important.
Arriving the Sunday before race weekend I had a bit of time to not only adjust to the Australian Time zone after Manchester, but get some practice in on the technical Supercross track. With some mixed forecasts for the event, we were preparing for any conditions to happen, and happen they did. Thursday afternoon we were to compete in the final rounds of The Australian National series and Oceania, With 2 gates of Elite Women, including 2 Olympians racing was going to be tough,Just to make it a little more difficult the Brisbane weather turned for the worse!
With sheets of rain and high winds we still couldn’t afford to back out, and went for it down the 8m, forgetting about the conditions. I would put this race up as one of the scariest and raddest! races of my life. After the 2nd race the competition was pulled and our placing was put back on our times from the 2nd moto, unfortunately my 2nd moto wasn’t enough and I finished up 8th, with a 8th in the series overall, with missing the Cairns rounds 7 and 8.
After a wet and unpredictable thursday, I was glad to have friday off to reset for the main event on Saturday. I arrived to the track early Saturday morning and set up my bike and gear at the Cyclecraft tent before my morning coffee, I always feel better when i’m running with time to spare.
Weather seemed to follow suite with the famous Gold Coast sun finally coming out for us. After a successful practice, I began my usual pre race routine. The first race rolled around and I came out with a clean 3rd place, feeling relaxed. i guess that just shows you always have to be on your toes in BMX. Getting a flat tire just minutes before my next race , and myself with a rookie mistake forgetting to bring my spares, it was a race to the gate for me!
That wasn’t what i had planned, and I was pretty annoyed with myself that I let myself get into that position, I am usually organised when it comes to my racing- so I guess thats one lesson learned from that day.
Despite that, I made another two 3rd place finishes to qualify into the final. With gate 5 in the final i knew i had to back myself out of the gate, it was that or get cut of before the first jump. With a solid start I had enough room to move and came into the first turn in around 5th position. Unfortunately with a crash up the front from Lauren Reynolds I had to take the turn wide, effectively letting everyone under me – I caught up by the last corner and made an attempt at a pass, but with the previously rain drenched berm I slid out. I ended up with a 7th in my first Elite National final.
I am happy to say i looked back on that final with lots of positives! Coming out of Manchester it was my goal to be stronger and more aggressive out of the gate and Supercross ramp, which I successfully applied to my racing that week!
Results as follows! Congrats to Caroline Buchanan for taking her second consecutive win at the Nationals.
Thank you to all my amazing friends and fans who cheered my on! Most importantly my family. My sponsor Cyclecraft Australia, G-FORM, Rocktape, Michram, Lift Watches, and everyone else in my support network including ACTAS, AIS, BMXA, Luke Madill, Sharon Willoughby, Cam Small, Gerard Tiffen (@ Tiffen&Co) and everyone that supported my through Dreamfunda and at my fundraiser night.
Next stop Papendal, Holland!