The Aussies will take to the track at the heart of London Olympic Park looking to win Australia's first Olympic BMX medal. With Australia perched atop the world rankings, the thrills and spills of BMX don't get much more exciting! By virtue of our high national ranking, Australia secured the maximum number of quota places with three men and two women.
Men to watch:
Australian men are dominating the BMX world circuit with a handful of athletes hovering around the top of the world rankings. Led by World No.1 and 2012 World Champion Sam Willoughby, the Aussies are proven performers who continue to excel. Willoughby lives and trains in California with fellow Australian BMX professional Khalen Young, where the two clash handlebars regularly with the best riders in the world.
Fellow World Championship representative Brian Kirkham also sits in the World Top Ten, ensuring a healthy local rivalry to push the men atop the podium for the first time.
Women to watch:
In the female BMX ranks, World No.2 Caroline Buchanan is Australia’s leading lady. Also an accomplished mountain bike competitor, Buchanan is as hungry for a medal in London as they come.
Nipping at her wheel in the quest for Olympic glory is World No.5 Lauren Reynolds who edged out teammate and world No.6 Melinda McLeod for Olympic selection by just three points. Reynolds tasted success at the London course winning bronze at the Test Event last year and will look to build on that stunning form at the Games.
Riders launch from an 8m-high ramp onto a BMX track filled with jumps, bumps and banked corners.
The first round of Olympic competition is the individual time trial (seeding rounds) where eight riders compete in heats, with each race lasting around 40 seconds. The seeding makes sure that the fastest riders don’t meet before the final.
Berm – a banked corner
Bunny-hop – to lift both wheels off the ground at once
Gate – the start of the BMX Track
Holeshot – the first rider to take the lead after the start
Whoop – a small, wave-like bump in the track
AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC HISTORY
BMX made its Olympic debut at the Beijing 2008 Games and Australia went in with strong hopes for medal results. Unfortunately a series of bad luck for the nation’s talented riders meant that Australia came home without a BMX medal however the team did post some admirable results including two sixth places to Jared Graves and Nicole Callisto.
To learn more about the history of cycling and Australia at the Olympics click here>>>