The 2019 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup season has opened in Manchester England with mixed results for the Australian Cycling Team.
Saya Sakakibara, who finished second overall on the 2018 international rankings, unfortunately, crashed out of Saturday's opening round in the semi-final stage and was forced to miss Sunday's second round.
In a semifinal littered with some of the sport's biggest names including Olympic gold medallist Mariana Pajon, reigning world champion Laura Smulders and former world champion Alise Willoughby, Sakakibara crashed in the front straight on the first jump.
The Wollongong cyclist was knocked unconscious and was taken to hospital for tests but was later cleared of major injury. She ultimately finished 16th in the round and sat out Sunday's second round.
"In the semi, it was quite a stacked race, I lined up next to Mariana and Alise so it was quite the mental challenge at the start," Sakakibara, who is hoping to be ready for the next leg of the World Cup season in the Netherlands on May 11-12. "But I was able to do a good gate but got squeezed on the first jump and unfortunately went down, hitting my head, and blacked out a bit.
"Just looking to rest up and hoping to be fine for Papendal in two weeks."
In the men's competition, Adelaide's Anthony Dean and Wollongong's Kai Sakakibara progressed to the semifinals in both rounds.
Dean narrowly missed a final in round one after finishing fifth in his semifinal, before his second round campaign was cut short by after a mechanical.
"First World Cup of the season, I was having a great opening day, won some laps and rode my way into the semifinal," said Dean. "I had a great start, executed everything I needed to and went into the first turn in second but was ridden high and ended up being pushed into fourth and then got past right on the last straight for fifth.
"Then in round two, qualifying through the rounds ended up in the semifinal, I had a great gate state but had a mechanical error when my foot came out of the pedal, which disappointingly ended my day."