Kai Race Report: 2019 Oceania Championships - Te Awamutu, NZ
Class: Elite Men
The Oceania Championships were held early this year. Generally they are held in April/May in conjunction with the Australian National Championships, but this time they were held in January, in Te Awamutu, New Zealand.
Although one of the biggest events for the year in
Aus/NZ, it wasn’t a high priority event for me this year. Similar to the Nerang National a couple of weekends ago, the Oceania’s fell right in the middle of my off-season training block, which is geared towards the World Cup season commencing in April.
Nevertheless, I was keen to claim back the Oceania Title that I lost last year due to being away in Europe, and racing was going to be close. The Te Awamutu track is one of the key training hubs for NZ riders, and consequently they were going very quick on their home soil. From Australia, current National Champion Brandon Te Hiko and 2018 Oceania Champion Corey Frieswyk flew over for the event as well.
It was all about executing my process, and this was my goal for the day. Executing my start and my run around the track, and making smart adjustments during racing if necessary.
I was feeling solid. Going through the motos at 2nd, 1st, 1st, coming into the final as top qualifier.
My start was solid in the final, and I took control of the race from the inside lane. I had a great lap, but Brandon really hunted me down on the last two straights. It was very close on the line, but I held onto it. I came away with the win!
The weekend was full of positives for me.
Adjusting to the slow dropping gate to deliver consistent starts - tick.
Keeping my mentality in check by focusing on my own performance, not reacting to others - tick.
Dealing rationally with issues: I managed severe cramping prior to the final to still deliver my best lap of the day - tick.
My challenge over the coming weeks is to add pressure to my training sessions to ensure that I continue to pull away when leading. It’s not the first time that Brandon has caught me around the track like this, and it’s going to become more and more critical as lap times determine lane choices at the World Cups.
Onto the next one!