Buchanan focussed on monster BMX track
23 July 2015
BMX: The monster Rio BMX track adds a whole new dimension to Caroline Buchanan's quest for Olympic redemption.
Just over a year out from the Games, the biggest challenge for the Australian cycling star is training properly for a circuit she will not see for the first time until early October.
Buchanan posted a photo of the track construction on her Facebook page earlier this month and the dimensions have left her awestruck.
"The people standing next to it look like ants," she told AAP.
"The track is the biggest I've ever seen.
"Rio is completely, three times bigger again (compared to the London track).
"We're going to be going a lot faster and the risk is a lot greater.
"Definitely my goal now, to be able to be ready for that, is training on tracks that are going to be similar."
Buchanan said no BMX track in Australia comes close to replicating the Rio circuit.
She has spent eight weeks training on a similar course near San Diego, but even that is smaller than Rio.
Buchanan and several other top Australian riders will have their first look at the Olympics venue at a test event in October.
Olympic swimming gold medallist Petria Thomas, who is married to Buchanan's gym coach Julian Jones, put it in perspective.
"She said `that's the equivalent of me having to swim in a river and not practise my turns, not practise my dives - and then going to an Olympic Games'," Buchanan said.
"I guess there are so many unknowns."
While London was devastating for Buchanan, it proved a watershed moment in her stellar career.
She mistimed her start in the gold medal ride and finished fifth, after qualifying fastest and winning her semi-final.
Buchanan took six months to regroup, but has not missed a beat since.
In the space of two months, she won the 2013 BMX and mountain bike four-cross world titles.
Buchanan is again high among the favourites for this week's BMX worlds in Zolder, Belgium.
"In itself, that mistake I made at the Olympic Games, it has been a real positive thing for me," she said.
"What I've achieved since, it's been really satisfying."