Sydney's Brandon Loupos has opened the 2019 UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup season with victory in round one, with many hailing his winning run as the best ever seen at a BMX Freestyle Park event.
After crashing in his first final run in Hiroshima, Loupos fired in an insane second run which included a 1080, a double backflip, a 900 and a cashroll to score 95.80 points, the highest score ever recorded at a World Cup event.
"My score feels amazing and I couldn't be more blessed to get a score like that especially after crashing on the first run and giving the second run all I had, nothing feels better," Loupos said.
"It is pretty crazy to have people come up to me and say 'it's the best run of all time' because to me it's just important to land my planned run and to inspire others. My main goal is to honor Dave Mirra, the greatest of all time, and when people say that was the best run ever, it makes me think I'm considered to be worthy of Dave Mirra."
The win matched Loupos' efforts in the same round of the 2018 World Cup last April.
"It feels unreal. I'm in the same position as last year, but this year since I've already had more experience and more times staying at number 1, I definitely plan to keep it," added Loupos, the 2018 World Championship bronze medallist. "I have the maturity and experience now to work hard at home to maintain the number 1 position throughout year."
2017 world champion Logan Martin claimed third with 91.10 points on his first run which included a 4 tail whip combo, and a 540 flair right on the buzzer.
Logan Martin's run
Australian Cycling Team athletes Logan Martin and Brandon Loupos are primed ahead of the start of the 2019 UCI World Cup season which gets underway in Japan on April 19.
An epic 2019 World Cup season includes stops in Japan, France and China, sandwiching a host of international C1 events including the lucrative X Games, before wrapping up with the World Championships in November.
Sydney's Loupos is looking to replicate his 2018 form which saw him bookend the year with career-best performances including gold in Japan's opening World Cup round before storming to bronze at the World Championships in November.
"2018 was definitely a great year for me and my best year so far in my BMX career," said Loupos who in unfortunate circumstances suffered a bike mechanical in round two and had his bike stolen just three hours before the final in round three. "But I'm looking forward to what the rest of 2019 has in store since I started the year off with three wins and keeping that momentum rolling will be key for 2019.
"My goal is obviously to win as that's what we're all there to do! It would be really cool to go back to Hiroshima, back up my win from last year and obviously start the World Cup series off strong!"
2017 world champion Martin opened 2018 with a broken collarbone which forced him to miss the opening round of the season. He recovered in time to contest the Series' second round in May where he finished second, before storming to a third-round win in July and gold in the BMX Park Final at the X-Games in the USA later that month. unfortunately, Martin broke his ankle in October, which meant he was unable to defend his world title.
"2018 was a roller coaster for sure, a few injuries throughout but also a few very high points in my career," said Gold Coast's Martin, who has no plans to play it safe in the adrenaline-filled discipline despite his run of injuries.
"My 2019 goals are to achieve more of these big wins, however with fewer injuries.
"But my goal is always to ride to the best of my ability at any event. Staying on my bike through my runs are always a large part of my focus but also not to play it too safe."
As the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games moves closer into view, Cycling Australia BMX Technical Director Wade Bootes is looking forward to another season.
"While it is still a new discipline to UCI cycling, I am amazed by the work ethic shown by our Australian Cycling Team members, not only in their own development but the progression of the sport," Bootes said. "It is a pleasure working with such talented and committed athletes with a growth mindset towards performance."
2019 BMX Freestyle Season
Three rounds will take place in April, May and October in Japan, France and China, before the 2019 Urban World Championships wrap up the season in China in November.
More at the UCI website.
The Australian Cycling BMX team is celebrating after a successful weekend at C1 events across the globe
There were dual celebrations for Brandon Loupos who claimed two C1 events in Canada.
Sydney's Loupos won the Canadian Joyride150 event in Toronto, and with an international field in below freezing conditions, was grateful that the competition was indoors on an amazing skate park. Brandon followed this with a win on the Sunday at the Toronto X jam event.
Brandon currently resides in North Carolina USA as he prepares for the 2019 World Cup season which begins in Japan on April 19.
Logan Martin continues to sweat it up in during his Australian season, taking the win at Brisbane's Village Skate Park in his first contest back from injuring his ankle prior to the 2018 World Championships in November.
Completing his rehab at his Australian base, Martin will begin a busy 2019 season in Costa Rica next weekend with for the X Knights competition / show.
Kai Sakakibara celebrated two wins on the Westside BMX track in Perth Australia at the first UCI C1 event of 2019.
As an official UCI (cycling’s international governing body) endorsed event, both races offered riders the ability to win Olympic qualification points, that in turn can earn quota spots for Australia for the Olympics in Tokyo next year.
For Sakakibara, the victory capped a perfect weekend from a results standpoint with the 22-year-old winning all eight races he contested on Saturday and Sunday, but the notoriously hard marker was still looking for improvement.
“It was really fast paced racing all the way through and obviously a little bit more on the line for me and a few of the other guys in particular, especially when we are aiming for Olympic points and our overall UCI ranking as well,” Sakakibara said.
Kai will being his European tour at the end of the month and will base himself Europe from March through until June as he prepares for the World Championships in Belgium.
With the Olympic debut of BMX Freestyle Park now less than 18 months away, Australia’s Logan Martin and Brandon Loupos have ramped up their preparations with a visit to the Australian Cycling Team Headquarters in Adelaide.
Having delivered the BMX High-Performance Program within Australia over the last twelve years as recognised by the Australian Olympic Committee and the UCI, Cycling Australia recently introduced a number of changes within its 2020-24 High-Performance Strategy.
In addition to solidifying the BMX Supercross program, a select number of BMX Freestyle Park athletes were identified as medal potentials and subsequently are now supported by individual scholarships.
BMX Freestyle Park, which makes its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, is an adrenaline-fuelled mix of tricks and jumps taking place over a series of ramps and large obstacles within a 30mx50m park. Athletes complete two one-minute runs each, with judges scoring on difficulty, originality, style, flow, risk, height and execution of tricks.
Australia’s athletes have excelled in the format in recent years with Logan Martin, claiming the inaugural World Championships in 2017, while Brandon Loupos won World Championships bronze in 2018. The pair has medalled at numerous World Cup events over the past few seasons, while also standout performers on the lucrative X-Games circuit.
Along with Australian Cycling Team BMX Technical Director Wade Bootes, Martin and Loupos visited the Australian Cycling Team training base in Adelaide to meet performance coaching, support and operational staff.
The visit included one on one meetings with Strength And Power Coach Scott Baker, Nutritionist Jill Leckey, and Team Doctor Mark Fisher. Martin and Loupos also swapped their BMX bikes for Argon track bikes for a track session with sprint world champion Matthew Glaetzer, while also working out in the gym with the men’s track endurance squad.
For Martin, the visit was a realisation of the high-quality resources and support network available to all Australian Cycling Team athletes.
“It is super cool to catch up on knowledge and experience this place has to offer, we've certainly got all the resources we need to be at the top of our games,” said Martin.
“We have an exciting journey ahead over the next 16 months, and we will be keeping in contact to ensure I can stay at my peak performance.”
Loupos was equally taken back by the welcome into the program and the wider cycling Australian Cycling Team family.
“This place speaks for itself, the gym and athletes are great, a great positive vibe,” echoed Loupos. “I was welcomed by all the great staff, meeting all the track guys was a cool experience.
“As we move towards Tokyo, it is only going to get better and more positive and breed success.”
Australian Cycling Team BMX Technical Director Wade Bootes is excited about the difference the support network will have on the athletes as they fine-tune their Olympic preparations.
“It is a great opportunity to have the freestyle guys here at the Australian Cycling Team training facility in Adelaide, to see the support network and different aspects that will make a difference to them in competition,” Bootes said.
“We look forward to exploring different things, going deeper and focussing what each athlete needs going into Tokyo.”