The Australian BMX Cyclones have wrapped up their preparations today at the Sleeman BMX Supercross Track in Brisbane ahead of their departure to the 2011 UCI BMX World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Queensland Minister for Sport, Phil Reeves and State member for Chatsworth, Steve Kilburn were on hand to wish the riders good luck.
“This is Australia’s only Supercross track and hopefully their recent training camp and access to this brand new facility, will give them the edge when they line up against the world’s best," said Mr Reeves “Australian sports people always punch above their weight on the international stage and I’m sure our team for the world’s will be no different."
Australia will travel to the World Championships as the number one nation in the latest (12 July) UCI world rankings in women's elite competition and only 75 points off top ranked France in the elite men's division. Eleven riders will line up for the Cyclones team spearheaded by six riders ranked in the world's top ten across elite and junior men's and women's competition.
National BMX Head Coach Wade Bootes said the team has had a solid preparation and is in top form.
"The expectations for the program are high, (because) we've set a high standard this year," said Bootes. "We have four people in the world's top four and a lot of guys on the podium this year so, everything going well on the day, we should have a few on the podium in the finals and in the time trials."
The BMX Cyclones will be one of the strongest teams on the starting ramp and South Australian Brian Kirkham says that spurs them on.
"I don't think it's pressure," said Kirkham. "People expect us to perform because we're good riders so if we just ride to our potential we're going to get results basically.
"I'd love to get a podium, a top three finish but there are a lot of good riders out there," he said. "I'll be aiming for the skies but we'll see what happens."
Canberra's Caroline Buchanan is ranked number three in the world and last month scored a podium finish at the Dutch round of the Supercross Series in Papendal.
"I knew I always had the potential but needed that extra little confidence boost that I am up there with the best girls in the world," said Buchanan who is the reigning Australian Champion. "I want to be world champion and I'm going there to win gold for Australia but I'll be happy to get on the podium.
"I'm excited to race," said Buchanan. "In the past few years I've had some injuries and missed a few (worlds) and last year was really bad with my pants getting caught on my brake lever so this year I'm ready to go there and race and I'm feeling prepared and confident."
The Australian team has been to Denmark for track reconnaissance which Buchanan believes will give them an edge.
"We did the recce a few weeks ago and that I think will be a huge advantage for us as we have all our lines dialled and we know what to expect."
The team will fly to Denmark on Sunday.
Editors please note photos from today's training session for editorial use are available on request.
The BMX High Performance team Cyclones for the World Championships is below for reference:
(please note Willoughby, Young and Goodwin are already overseas and will join their team mates in Denmark).
BMX 20" - Elite Men
BMX 20" - Elite Women
BMX 20" - U19 Men
- Darryn GOODWIN (Swan View, WA, 02.08.1993 | UCI Jnr Rank #1)
- Bodi TURNER (Bayswater North, VIC, 18.09.1994 | UCI Jnr Rank #18)
BMX 20" - U19 Women