Buchanan bags second win of year
Buchanan bags second win of year, Kiwi Jones upsets Willoughby and Dean
Australia’s world number one Caroline Buchanan claimed her second victory in as many days and unheralded New Zealander Trent Jones upset a host of more fancied rivals to highlight round two of the BMX Australia National Series at Nerang on the Gold Coast today.
Whilst Buchanan (@CBuchanan68) jumped out in front to lead from start to finish in the women’s race, avoiding the carnage behind her as three elite riders hit the ground on the second berm, it was 20-year-old Jones who stole the show, capitalising on an uncharacteristic slow start by Australian world champion and Olympic silver medallist Sam Willoughby (@SW91) to score the biggest win of his career.
Jones was in the lead at the first turn and despite the pressure of leading an elite field the Kiwi held off hard finishing world number four Anthony Dean (@Adean144) and Gold Coast based Corey Frieswyk (@coreyfrieswyk).
South Australian Dean’s second place complimented his win yesterday and was enough to ensure he remains at the head of the field after the series’ opening two rounds.
After his surprise victory a beaming Jones revealed it wasn’t long ago he had a poster of Willoughby on his bedroom wall.
“To beat the world champion and some of the best riders in the world is unreal,” Jones said.
“I’ve been trying to beat those guys for two years now and it’s not that long ago I had a poster of Sam on my wall.
“He was winning big international races almost as soon as he went overseas and I looked up to him.”
It was a disappointing finish to a whistle stop visit for the San Diego based Willoughby who only flew into Australia yesterday afternoon. In the end he failed to finish the race and wound up with his ankle in ice.
For Buchanan, the reigning national series and UCI Supercross champion, today’s win, coupled with her triumph last night, helped her accomplish her early season goal of winning the event’s opening two rounds.
Buchanan beat 2013 world championship silver medallist and 2012 Olympian Lauren Reynolds (@LR21BMX) and Canberra bred youngster Harriet Burbidge-Smith (@hazza_LYD) who scored her first podium at this level.
“I have achieved my goals. I wanted to start off the year great,” Buchanan said.
“It’s a bit of déjà vu, last night for the win and again here today.
“I’m just glad to be able to start the year injury free and out in front and out of trouble.”
Buchanan admitted she tried to get away to a fast start to avoid any accidents back in the pack and the tactic proved to be emphatic as two-time Australian champion Melinda McLeod (@melindamcleod), America’s world number four Brooke Crain (@brookecrain32) and rising star Rachel Jones all came down before courageously rising to finish the race.
“We had different conditions and me and Brooke (Crain) through the first turn, it wasn’t easy and the girls managed to come together on the second turn,” Buchanan said.
“Every little centimetre down that (start) ramp really pays off. If you’re even a millimetre behind that’s all that matters so I tried to get every centimetre out of the start and with every pedal.”
Jones and Buchanan also took out the DK and Loose Kid Industries Holeshot awards for the fastest men and women out of the first turn in the elite finals.
The men’s junior elite final saw another upset with South Australian Shane Rosa upsetting Victorian Brandon Te Hiko in what was Te Hiko’s first race loss of the weekend. Another Victorian, Wade Turner, was third.
In the women’s junior elite race, New Zealand Tahlia Hansen reversed last night’s result on fellow Kiwi Zoe Fleming, with Nerang local Tyler-Lea Thorley third.
Joining Buchanan as riders to win a second successive round were New Zealander Jessie Smith (14 girl’s), Japan’s Yuichi Masuda (14 boy’s), Townsville’s Shelby Green (15 girl’s) and NSW-based Japanese citizen Saya Sakakibara (16 girl’s).
For results of all today’s racing please click here<http://www.ezeventing.com.au/live.php?key=571>.
Round three and four of the BMXA National Series will be held in Shepparton, Victoria on the weekend of February 7-8 and will be lived streamed via www.bmxaustralia.com.au<http://www.bmxaustralia.com.au>.