Willoughby and Buchanan set to take on world's best
17 April 2015
CYCLING: The international BMX circuit is set to commence this weekend, as the best riders on the planet descend on the National Cycling Centre in Manchester for the first round of the 2015 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup series.
Headlining the 15 strong Australian contingent is defending World Cup series champion Caroline Buchanan, and reigning world champion and Olympic silver medallist Sam Willoughby.
Known around the world as a Mecca for indoor BMX, Manchester’s newly primed track will see athletes from over 30 countries fly down the eight-metre start hill for their shot at glory.
Buchanan is no stranger to the indoor track having won the event last year, and relishes the atmosphere and energy the track creates, whilst also feeling particularly at home in the UK.
“Manchester is the only indoor UCI World Cup track on the calendar this year, it's a tech tight track and rock hard fast,” Buchanan said.
“Racing indoors always excites me, it brings the fans closer to the action and the energy and atmosphere is wound right up high.
“I love to perform and Manchester feels like a second home with my dads family from the UK, my Nannie will be watching me race again and no doubt going to be my biggest and cutest fan there.”
Whilst treating her preparation the same, Buchanan acknowledged that there was added pressure knowing the Olympics are just around the corner.
“Every UCI race this close to the Olympics has an element of pressure,” Buchanan said.
“However for me whether it’s a BMXA National Series, National Championship, World Cup or World Championships, I treat my preparation and desire to win all the same.
“Being a reigning World Cup series leader for me adds no pressure. It's a new year, I have new goals, it’s a new competition and in the now I am focused, excited and ready.”
The elite men’s field reads like who’s who of world BMX as our very own Willoughby and Anthony Dean take on defending series champion Liam Phillips on his home track, and two-time Olympic gold medalist Maris Strombergs.
Dean finished the 2014 series as runner up behind Phillips, and having also finished second to Phillips in Manchester last year, will be hoping he can get the better of his rival this time around.
Other Aussie riders set to compete in the elite men’s division will be Bodi Turner, Corey Frieswyk, Josh Callan, Tristyn Kronk and Luke Hombsch.
While joining Buchanan in the elite women will be Lauren Reynolds, Melinda McLeod, Rachel Jones, Kirsten Dellar and Harriet Burbidge-Smith.
Flying the Aussie flag in the junior elite men will be Jye Hombsch and Jayce Cunning.
You can live stream the action via on at bmxlive.tv
Qualification will begin on Sunday April 19 at 2am EST, the Time Trial Superfinal will begin at 5am EST, and main event racing gets underway on Sunday April 19 at 11.05pm EST.
BMX AUSTRALIA (modified)