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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

BMX News & Racing Roundup for May 16, 2007

Edited by Greg Johnson

Australian BMX world championships team announced

Jared Graves
Photo ©: Rachel Burke
(Click for larger image)

Cycling Australia and BMX Australia have announced the team that will be sent to represent the nation at the 2007 BMX World Championships. The 2007 titles will be held in Victoria, Canada from the July 26-29.

Representing the Pacific nation in the elite men's category will be newly crowned 2007 Probikx National Champion Luke Madill of Cranebrook, New South Wales. The 26 year-old will be joined by UCI BMX Supercross World Cup leader Khalen Young.

In the elite women section, Probikx National Champion Tanya Bailey will be accompanied by series runner ups Melissa Mankowski and Nicole Callisto. The latter made a comeback at this month's national titles after undergoing knee surgery for the second time.

Australian BMX World Championships team:
Elite Men: Jared Graves (Toowoomba, Qld), Billy Jolliffe (Erina, NSW), Kamakazi (Jimboomba, Qld), Luke Madill (Cranebrook, NSW), Warwick Stevenson (Minto, NSW), Khalen Young (St Helens Park, NSW)
Elite Women: Tanya Bailey (Mariginiup, WA), Nicole Callisto (Beechboro, WA), Melissa Mankowski (Moranbah, Qld)
Junior Men: Steven Janssen (Nerang, Qld), Joshua Webb (Terrigal, NSW), Christopher Westwood (Cardiff, NSW), Matthew Willoughby (Trott Park, SA)
Junior Women: Caroline Buchanan (Kambah, ACT), Ziggy Callan (Healsville, Vic)

Buchanan begins worlds preparation

Junior women Caroline Buchanan
Photo ©: Andrew Sawatske
(Click for larger image)

Canberra-based rider Caroline Buchanan is readying herself for a journey to the opposite side of the world for July's world championships in Victoria, Canada. The youngster is busily preparing at home under the guidance of coach and father Laurie Buchanan.

"I'm doing a lot of training in at the ACTAS gym out at Lyneham, making sure I'm prepared before worlds," Buchanan told The Canberra Times. "The competition over there [in Canada] will be tough but will be a good challenge."

The 16 year-old recently claimed the Junior Women National Probikx title at the final round in Newcastle, New South Wales.

Despite her two wheeled success, factors outside her control will mean the future star of Australian BMX wont get to contest the sport's Olympic debut in Beijing next season.

"You need to be 19 to race at the Olympics," she added. "I will only be 18 at the time."

Buchanan, who also holds the 4X and downhill Oceania titles in her division, will also contest this year's Mountain Bike World Championships, to be held at Fort William in Scotland.

Kronik Energy signs Bubba

Former world number one Bubba Harris has signed a long-term sponsorship deal with Kronik Energy, the rider announced at the Northern California nationals. The 2005 BMX World Champion joins a notable list of signings by the energy drink company, which includes reigning UCI Junior Cruiser World Champion Joe Sowers and the Answer Factory team.

"Bubba's record-setting resume speaks for itself," said Kronik Energy Marketing Director C.J. Mueller. "His list of accomplishments combined with a steadfast approach to racing translates into continued, positive exposure for the Kronik brand."

As part of the sponsorship agreement, the company's logo will share Harris' helmet space with VISA and Kronik Energy drinks and apparel will be distributed at all 200 days of Pro BMX Supercamp training clinics held throughout the year.

In addition to the rider's new helmet design, the Kronik brand will also appear on a fully-wrapped box truck used to transport Harris to all ABA National race weekends. Harris will defend his National Pro title at this year's ABA Grand Nationals, where he is aiming for a fourth consecutive title.

USAC updates worlds qualification standings

USA Cycling has updated the current standings in the BMX World Challenge Qualification Series (WCQS). The standings have been updated to reflect results from the five 2007 UCI BMX Continental Calendar events in the U.S. that have been contested thus far: the two NBL Lake Mead Nationals in Boulder City, the NBL Gator National in Sarasota, the NBL Easter Classic in Orlando and the NBL Freedom National in Woodbridge.

The WCQS is one of two ways for Challenge Class athletes to qualify for the UCI BMX World Challenge in Victoria, Canada to be held in July 23-29. The other way to qualify for the 2007 worlds as a USA rider is at the USA Cycling BMX National Championships on June 9-10 in Pontiac, Michigan.

To view the latest WCQS standings, click here.

Australia gets high performance restructure

BMX Australia and Cycling Australia have announced a restructure of its BMX high performance program operations, which has seen a new coach take over the program. In a joint letter released by CA CEO Graham Fredricks they announced that, "Sean Dwight has stepped aside from a full time coaching role with the program. Sean is currently negotiating a consulting service provider role with the program. Scott Sharples has been confirmed as the Program Manager & Head Coach."

Sharples is expected to meet with all of the program's athletes and organise each individual's programs in the lead up to this year's World Championships in Canada and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

The release added, "program administration will continue out of the CA/AIS high performance office in Adelaide under the direction of High Performance Manager Kevin Tabotta and supported by HP Administrator Sonya Simpson."

Brits get Relentless national series

British Cycling has announced the signing of Relentless as the title sponsor for its 2007 National BMX Series. The addition of the national series is a significant increase in the energy drink's sponsorship portfolio, which already includes street riders Shaun Eglington and Mark Webb.

"BMX racing is hardcore and gritty and the perfect arena for Relentless," said Relentless director George Roth. "This is one of the sports that inspired the brand and this is where we can add tangible value on the track with our energy offer. Through our support of the National Series we hope to reinforce our brand positioning but most importantly we aim to help support the UK scene and assist in the development of the sport in the UK going forward."

The company's signing is a significant boost to the series, which also recently signed online retailer The Source as an associate series sponsor.

Young backs up World Cup with national title

New Australian BMX Champion Khalen Young.
Photo ©: Derrick Mellish
(Click for larger image)

Khalen Young won his first Australian BMX title in Newcastle just weeks after winning the first round of the UCI Supercross World Cup in Madrid, Spain. The 23 year-old originally from Perth rode from the inside lane and edged ahead of 33 year-old Wade Bootes and Luke Madill, currently ranked fourth in the world, who finished second and third respectively.

After being away from the sport for four years, Young has only been training for the last six months and is focused on gaining selection for the sport's debut in the Olympic Games next year in Beijing. Young recently moved his base to Sydney to train with the BMX High Performance Squad and was confident heading into the weekend's national titles having taken the World Cup lead in Spain last month.

"I kind of went into the race thinking I was going to win," explained Young, who had an advantage by having first choice of lanes. "It's the kind of track where you need to get the inside lane."

To view the full results, report and photos from the 2007 Australian titles, click here.

Close action in British season opener

Laurence Mapp (160) and Warren Bancroft (4)
Photo ©: British Cycling
(Click for larger image)

Cheddar was a fitting venue to launch in to the Relentless National Series 2007. Judging from the general attitude and buzz around the pits, the 2007 season should be a good year for British BMX. Clashing with a European UCI race in the Czech Republic is never desirable, so losing riders of the calibre of Kelvin Batey, Liam and Charlie Phillips and Joey Gough could have been negative, however the other elite riders didn't see it that way. Whatever the case, the racing didn't suffer in the absence of the top riders.

Redline's Shanaze Reade, the golden girl of BMX, isn't a fan of the Czech facilities so turned up at Cheddar to lock horns with the Elite Men. Reade undoubtedly has awesome track speed and has proved that she can beat men consistently last year. The move to Elite could have proved a step too far physically for the Brit, as when there are male egos to be bruised, they won't hold back. Nonetheless, Reade came within a whisker of making the Elite Men's final on Sunday, but made amends on Monday. In the end, both days came down to two riders: Warren Bancroft (Alans BMX/Shimano DX) and Laurence Mapp (Revell Bikes).

To view the full results, report and photos from the opening British rounds, click here.

CruZer Tour kicks off tonight

Americans Dave Mirra, Mike Spinner, British riders Mark Webb, Ben Wallace, Mike Miller, Chris Mahoney and Italian rider Alessandro Barbero are amongst the riders that will hit the streets for the 2007 Braun cruZer Tour's opening leg a the Nokia FISE event in France which commences this evening. Webb has risen to become one of the world's best spine and street riders and is the reigning two time cruZer Tour champion.

He will face a strong challenge not only from American professionals Mirra and Spinnner, but also fellow Brit Wallace who was second in last year's tour.

Italian Barbero, who won the Pro Park competition at the 2006 Suzuki BMX Masters, could be a good outside bet while Khone, Miller and Mahoney will also be keen to get their hands on a share of the 5,000 EUR first round prize.

After a qualification round on Friday May 18, the stage final will take place on Saturday May 19.

The athletes pick up points at each event, which go towards an overall standing. The Braun cruZer Tour champion will pick up EUR 6,500, second place EUR 4,500 third EUR 2,500, fourth EUR 1,000 and fifth EUR 500.

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