Caroline Buchanan tests new World Cycling Centre BMX Supercross track

Posted: May 28, 2014 by kirisyko in Bike, Bmx
Tags: ,

Caroline Buchanan is a woman on a mission. In fact, several missions: to win back the World Cup title; to get back the BMX time trial world title and to defend her BMX rainbow jersey. And if that is not enough for one year, she has launched the “Team Buchanan Next Gen” back home in Australia to help promising young female talents.

That’s a lot on the plate of someone who is just 23 years of age, but as the seasoned athlete points out: “I’m the old one on the (Australian) team now. And anyway, I like pressure. I like having that target on my back.”

And there is no doubt that this year she is the one to beat. BMX Time Trial World Champion in 2012, BMX World Champion in 2013 and currently leading the 2014 World Cup, Buchanan wants all three titles this year. Since the second World Cup round in Papendal (NED) two weeks ago, she has remained in Europe with four other riders from the Australian BMX team. They are competing in some rounds of the European Championships and generally getting used to the more technical Supercross tracks in Europe.

Australian and Russian Federations training at WCC

The Australians are among the first Federations, along with the Russians, to book training time on the newly-constructed Supercross track that opened at the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland, just two weeks ago.

“It’s gorgeous,” says Buchanan. “We are making the most of being here before going to Berlin early to get used to their track.”

At the German round of the World Cup on June 13 and 14, Caroline will be racing with the leader’s jersey, which she has every intention of hanging on to. After winning the World Cup in 2012, she opted out of the series last year to concentrate on preparation for the Mountain Bike World Championships, where she claimed her third four-cross world title (after 2009 and 2010) and finished fifth in the downhill.

“Last year I just watched the BMX World Cup on video. It felt strange not doing the season but I learnt a lot sitting back and watching rather than being caught up in the action. I went into the World Championships relaxed but fit from my mountain bike training.”

New team for young female riders

Fifth in the London 2012 Olympic Games, Buchanan has her sights set on Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. By then, she will be 29, and dreams of being joined by the two foundation members of the new Team Buchanan Next Gen.

At the beginning of the year, the current World Champion chose two promising young Australian BMX riders, Paige Harding (10) and Mikayla Rose (13) to become the first members of her new team. The youngsters are among the best in their age group and are getting a much-needed boost from their role model. Thanks to a fundraising campaign led by the World Champion, they will compete in the challenge classes of the UCI World BMX Championships in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) in July.

“I want to give something back to the sport, to give these girls the opportunity to compete on the world stage and to gain the experience necessary to be champions of the future. It’s a question of opening up some doors for them, mentoring and getting sponsors behind them.

“I wanted girls with a lot of fight. For the moment there are two but I want to grow the team, and next year hope to add two more,” said the champion, a BMX rider since the tender age of five.

Photo: Caroline Buchanan was crowned World Champion in Auckland last year

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