Olympic hopeful Bodi Turner completes ‘perfect’ BMX race in Cairns
24 January 2016
BMX: Bodi Turner and Leanna Curtis claimed raced victories on the second day of the BMX Australia National Series in Cairns.
Bodi Turner has ridden the ‘perfect’ lap to take out the elite men’s final and the series lead in the fourth round of the BMX Australia National Series in Cairns.
Turner, Australia’s third ranked male competitor is in position to win a spot on Australia’s Olympic team for this year’s Rio Games, and looked all class as he stormed to victory ahead of rising star Kai Sakakibara and veteran Josh Callan.
In the elite women’s final Leanna Curtis broke through for the biggest win of her career, leading from start to finish as the previously unbeaten series leader Melinda McLeod crashed out of contention in the final.
Turner had finished second behind reigning Australian champion Corey Frieswyk in Saturday’s third round and was determined to lead from start to finish today.
“Yesterday I didn’t get the best of first straights,” Turner said.
“I mean, it was still good and I was in the lead, but I didn’t give myself enough lead to get through that first turn where it’s pretty tight.”
“Today my goal was to get a good gate start, to get over the first jump a bit better and it gave me that gap to get through that first turn clear and I knew all I had to do from there was just hold on. It was a pretty good lap.”
Turner and Curtis will both now turn their attention to the Oceania Continental Championships in Auckland on January 31, where valuable UCI ranking points will be up for grabs as athletes try to amass a total that will qualify them for the Olympics in August.
Australia’s top three riders are London Olympic silver medallist Sam Willoughby, fellow world championship finalist Anthony Dean and world number 11 Turner, whilst in the women’s McLeod, who was a reserve for the Australian team at the 2012 London Olympic Games, is vying with former world champion Caroline Buchanan and Lauren Reynolds for Australia’s two women’s spots for Rio.
The national series continues with rounds 5 and 6 in Shepparton on February 6 and 7 before the final round in conjunction with the national championships in Bathurst in March.
Mackay’s Rio Olympic BMX hopefuls Corey Frieswyk and Melinda McLeod have stormed to victory in the elite finals at the third round of the BMX Australia National Series in Cairns.
Frieswyk used all the tactical nous that have carried him to a pair of national elite championships in the last three years to come from back in the field at the first turn before powering away down the second straight and streeting away to beat fellow Olympic team candidates Bodi Turner and Josh Callan.
It was a brilliantly calculated plan that the 21-year-old, who will celebrate his birthday on Australia Day, executed to perfection.
“It was very much a tactical victory today,” Frieswyk said.
“I knew I wasn’t going to be able get those guys inside me like Bodi from gate six, so I planned to come into the first turn clear of trouble and keep my speed coming out of the turn and it worked.”
Frieswyk admits he is an outside chance of gaining one of Australia’s three available men’s Olympic positions but said a repeat of performances like today’s will go a long way towards solid results at the UCI BMX Supercross events that carry valuable qualifying points for Rio selection.
“If I keep riding like I did today and like I know I can, I have a chance,” Frieswyk said.
“I have to carry this form over to when I ride the Supercross series and maybe I can push Bodi or one of the other Australian guys out.”
Australia’s top three riders are London Olympic silver medallist Sam Willoughby, fellow world championship finalist Anthony Dean and world number 11 Turner.
McLeod, who was a reserve for the Australian team at the 2012 London Olympic Games, made it three wins from as many national series rounds by comfortably beating Rachelle Smith and Leanna Curtis.
The national series continues with round four on Sunday from 10am (local time) before rounds 5 and 6 in Shepparton on February 6 and 7 and the final round in conjunction with the national championships in Bathurst in March.
Apart from tomorrow’s racing Frieswyk and McLeod’s immediate focus is on the Oceania Continental Championships in Auckland on January 31, where more valuable UCI ranking points will be up for grabs as athletes try to amass a total that will qualify them for the Olympics in August.