New National BMX Champions were crowned today in action packed finals in Brigadoon in Perth. Canberra’s Caroline Buchanan claimed her first elite national BMX Championship win in a spectacular race. Buchanan started strongly however a passing move by Sunbury’s Lauren Reynolds changed the lead mid-race. Reynolds came unstuck and crashed allowing Buchanan to take the title. Second was defending champion, Melissa Mankowski from Queensland while Ziggy Callan from Victoria placed third. Young Perth rider, Kirsten Dellar placed fourth and was the first junior woman while fellow WA rider and BMX Olympian, Nicole Callisto, finished seventh. A disappointed Reynolds walked her bike across the finish line with the disappointment showing on her face.
The elite men’s race had some action but the lead was secure for Newcastle’s Billy Jolliffe as he lead from start to finish. Just behind him was a tussle for podium spots between BMX Olympian, Luke Madill and Adelaide’s Matthew Willoughby. Madill made the move on Willoughby in the final straight to claim second, relegating Willoughby to third. For Willoughby it was a satisfactory result after missing out on the making the elite final on Thursday night in the national series round.
For Matthew’s younger brother and World Junior Champion, Sam Willoughby, it was a different story. Willoughby’s string of bad luck over the championships continued in the Junior Men’s final when he crashed over the top of the first berg landing off the course. Willoughby finished in eighth place and the win was taken by Michael Chasteauneuf from Melbourne.
Tomorrow is the National Championships for Cruiser class riders which conclude the championships.
This Championship acts as a qualifying event for riders to make the Australian team to ride at the 2009 BMX World Championships in Adelaide this July.