Race Report - National Series Round 4

National Series Round 4 (UCI HC) / 22 July 2018 / Nerang, Queensland

Kai

Class: Elite Men

Result: 1st

Saya

Class: Elite Women

Result: 1st

Kai:

For the first time since I have been involved in BMX, the National Series round in Nerang was held in July, not January. After our week long coaching camp in Nhulunbuy NT, Saya and I flew into Gold Coast to start our own training camp and prepare for the race. It was a big event, being a National Series round and a UCI HC round with lots of points up for grabs, but it wasn’t a priority event for us. My focus is on the final rounds of the UCI World Cups in September, so there was no specific preparation for me leading into this event.

However, the training sessions prior to the event were showing some promising signs, such as setting my own new personal record down Nerang’s start hill, so I still had high expectations to perform well during race day.

Being mid winter instead of mid summer (although temperatures still exceeded 22 degrees celsius), the racing was so much more pleasant than the usual sweltering 35 degree days we normally race in at Nerang. The track was in great shape and the new start gate was super fast. We were set for some great national series racing.

This week was all about executing a solid mental routine for me. From past experience, it’s really easy to get caught up in outside expectations after a successful stint overseas. So my goal was to focus on myself, work on producing my best possible performance and shutting out the outside noise as much as possible.

I felt great on the day. I got through the motos at 1st, 1st, 1st, and a little late reaction had me finishing 2nd behind Corey Frieswyk in the semi final. I had 3rd lane choice for the final, and got lane 2.

I was just switched on for the final. My start was perfect (I later found out that it was a new PR and a new hill record), and I lead the way into the first corner. From here, I took a breath, and focused on putting down my best lap possible. There were a couple of mistakes in the second and third straights that allowed Brandon Te Hiko time to catch up to me, but I held him out to the line. I got the win!

I was very happy that I was able to keep my head together and perform to the best of my capabilities on the day. I’m looking forward to the next 8 weeks of specific preparation getting ready for the World Cup in Argentina.

Saya:

It was so exciting to be back racing in Australia again after a competing overseas for the first half of the year. Especially to an awesome race track like Nerang. This event is always fun, brings good energy and makes up a good day of racing.

There were 12 riders entered for the race initially but unfortunately there were only 8 registered, and according to the UCI rules, the results of our class was to be determined by the points from 3 qualifying motos.

For all UCI events, the lane you choose in the first qualifier determines the lanes in the next 2 races, and are in a sequence. The most popular sequences are 8-2-3 or 4-7-2 as they finish on one of the inside lanes for the last race. Usually I pick one of these but I thought I will challenge myself and pick one that I've never picked before. I chose 3-5-6, putting myself in the middle of the pack every race.

My challenge was to also jump the triple into the first corner and to beat my lap time every race.

After 2 pretty good laps, I had set a new start hill record and set a new female track record and I was determined to beat it again. However I hadn't jumped the triple yet.

Coming out of lane 6 in my last race I nailed my start and nailed my first jump, and cleared the triple!

The lap was smooth and fast but I couldn't beat my record time.

I was stocked with my last race, and the performance I put together this weekend. Such as awesome feeling to walk away with 2 personal records!

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Kai Sakakibara
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Saya Sakakibara
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