The second edition of the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships gets under way in Chengdu, China, this week (November 7-11).
Look out for the Aussies in action - Brandon Loupos, Jake Wallwork, Caroline Buchanan and Kyle Baldock!
Sydney's Loupos celebrated victory in the opening round of the UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup, while Melbourne's Wallwork claimed the win in the Series' final round last weekend.
Gold Coast’s Baldock took silver last month at the Sydney X-Games, while Australia’s Queen of BMX Buchanan was been selected following her ninth place at the Freestyle World Cup in China on the weekend.
The Gold Coast’s reigning world champion Logan Martin, who claimed the first-ever rainbow jersey on offer in the discipline in 2017, was forced to withdraw after injuring his ankle during training in October.
Catch Sunday's Finals live via the UCI BMX Freestyle Facebook page or via UCI Youtube channel.
Visit the official 2018 Urban Worlds website at www.urbanworlds.cn
Australia’s Queen of BMX - Caroline Buchanan - has been selected to represent Australia at the 2018 UCI Freestyle Park World Championships following her 9th place at the Freestyle World Cup in China on the weekend.
It was an outstanding freestyle debut for Buchanan, who is better known as a world-class BMX racer, as she dips her toe into the freestyle world after suffering life-threatening injuries following an off-road vehicle accident outside of Canberra last December.
“It’s an absolute honour to qualify for my first Freestyle BMX World Championships’’, said Caroline Buchanan.
“Like any great flight you have to buckle down for the turbulence on the way up and I had some crashes over the course of the practice sessions as I was learning my lines and tricks.
‘’Importantly to me, this makes it my fourth cycling discipline world championship I have competed in over the past ten years having already competed at 4cross and downhill mountain biking, and BMX racing.”
About the UCI Urban World Championships
The UCI Urban Cycling World Championships will be held from 5-11 November 2018. The event is the world championship events for freestyle park BMX, cross-country eliminator, and trials. In 2018 the event will be held in Chengdu, China and is organised by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the governing body of world cycling.
Dual Olympian, Caroline Buchanan will try her hand at a new discipline of cycling when she competes in the final round of the 2018 UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup in China from 2-4 November.
Last December, Buchanan suffered life-threatening injuries including a broken nose, sternum, two collapsed lungs and bleeding around her heart following an off-road vehicle accident outside of Canberra. The accident forced her off the bike until July where she claimed the win in just her second race back at the Rockshox Pump Track Challenge in Canada.
"It has been quite a challenging year for me, most of my years have been an athlete focus," said the 28-year-old, who married her longtime partner Barry Noble in the USA last month. "2018 has been a human focus; life and health have taken priority."
"I have never had six months off the bike before, so the challenge for me this year was all about being patient, sit through injuries and recover."
In true Buchanan style, when faced with one challenge, the best response is to take on another. The Canberran has taken up Freestyle BMX, an exciting new discipline of the sport which sees cyclists perform a series of tricks and jumps across a ramp-filled course.
"I love a challenge, I have pelted in a straight line for 22 years of my life, so for me to step away from being a racer into freestyle, to have to learn aerial awareness, to taking my hand off my handlebar for the first time in twenty years, to learning the tricks and the backflips," Buchanan explained.
"It has been quite a rewarding journey, it has taken me back to that five-year-old girl when I started riding my bike, every day was a win.
"I have small wins each day to take away, not only in my comeback, to continue to build where I need to be, back in the racing world."
The change of disciplines isn't new for Buchanan whose eight world titles are comprised of mountain biking and BMX. However, she believes it was her car accident in December that has given her the resolve to take on the new challenge.
"Any time I have stepped off the racing path I have always been on two wheels, but I have always been on dirt," she explained. "This is still two wheels, but a very different environment, learning metal coping, concrete, being on wood.
"I am going from a sport where you might crash one or two times a year, to one where you may crash 10-20 times a session when you're learning, it has built resilience, and I smile through the journey and continue the personal progression.
"I wouldnât have been able to do this before the accident, but coming back from my injury, it has pushed me. It has strengthened me to know what my body can sustain. I know I am never going to get that injury on a bike, so that has given me the confidence to step into this new world."
Buchanan's progression has been rapid, with her competition debut set for November 2 at the 2018 UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup.
"I was nervous to sign up," Buchanan revealed. "I am completely stepping out of my comfort zone. I think it has been rewarding as an eight-time world champion in different disciplines of cycling, but to put the 'L' plates on again, to learn, to come in as an underdog, it is exhilarating."
While Buchanan is dipping her toe into the discipline which is set to make its Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, there is no denying the dual Olympian's goal for the Games.
"I went to London, I went to Rio, and my goal is to go to Tokyo for racing," Buchanan asserted. âRacing is my bread and butter. I'm competitive, I love racing, for me that is first and foremost.
"I have always treated mountain biking as a bonus, it has always been my refresh button, it has kept longevity for me in the sport. So I see BMX Freestyle as that, a refresh and for diversity."
Regardless of which form she chooses, Buchanan is excited about what lies ahead for her in her newly elected discipline.
"What you can see you can't be," she added. "The scene is evolving for women and girls now. We have seen the expansion of all action sports into the Olympics, we have the first nationals coming up soon and would hope that is the first opportunity for women.
"I have taken a passion and would love to see more girls get involved."
Photos - Con Chronis
It has been an emotional, but successful comeback for Caroline Buchanan after the dual Olympian claimed the win in her first race back following her life-threatening crash in seven months ago.
Buchanan claimed the win at the Rockshox Pump Track Challenge at Whistler in Canada, her first race since she suffered a broken nose, sternum, two collapsed lungs and bleeding around her heart following an off road vehicle accident outside of Canberra last December.
"Last time I won was here, first time in 2018 I have won a major event, " said an emotional Buchanan after the win. "In one of my worst years, thanks to everyone who stuck behind me.
"This win meant a lot to me tonight."
WATCH the final
Michael Matthews (ACT) is celebrating an Oppy ‘triple crown’ after claiming three of the major honours at the 2017 Cycling Australia Awards in Melbourne on Friday.
Matthews, 27, was awarded the Sir Hubert 'Oppy' Opperman Medal & Trophy after being named the 2017 Australian Cyclist of the Year in front of 300 of Australian cycling’s elite.
In addition to the Road Cyclist of the Year award, the popular Canberran was also voted the 2017 JLT People’s Choice Award winner by thousands of Australian cycling fans.
“It is a huge honour in Australia to win the Oppy, it is something I have been dreaming about since I became a cyclist,” Matthews told Cycling Australia from his home in Monaco. “It is an unreal feeling (to win all three), I didn’t think it would happen so soon, but it is a reminder for me that it was a big year for me and Australian cycling.
“It means a lot that I can be among other excellent Australian cyclists who have won this award.”
In 2017, Matthews became just the third Australian to win the Tour de France green jersey, scorching to the sprinting honour with two stages wins.
At the Road World Championships, Matthews claimed the team time trial world title for Team Sunweb before winning road race bronze a few days later in the green and gold for the Australian Cycling Team.
“I started the season with mixed feelings as I went into a new team and you never know how fast will you adapt,” said Matthews of his debut in the black and white of the German professional team which saw him finish ninth on the UCI end of year rankings. “But I feel so comfortable in my team which reflects on my results too.
“Unfortunately, the rainbow jersey didn't work out for me but I will keep fighting for it.”
It is the first Oppy Medal for Matthews who began cycling as a teenager with the Tuggeranong Vikings Cycling Club after his cycling talents were recognised at school.
“Thank you to Cycling Australia and the whole cycling community in Australia to making sure our sport is well promoted and supporting young talents as I was, as without their support I would never be professional cyclist,” said Matthews, who was quick to thank the support of his family and friends.
“To my coach Brian Stephens, my team and my wife. They put great amounts of efforts into fulfilling my dreams and I am so thankful for that.
“And to all my fans which stay with me no matter if they are good or bad results, they are always there to support me.
“It’s not the easiest sport, and it sometimes has more downs than ups, but its something I love doing and seeing appreciation from Australia makes it so worth it.”
Katrin Garfoot (Gold Coast CC/QLD) won her third straight female Road Cyclist of the Year award after becoming just the second Australian female cyclist to win World Championships medals in the time trial and road race in the same year. The Gold Coast Cycling Club member, riding for Orica-Scott, also claimed both the road and time trial national crowns.
The Track Cyclists of the Year awards went to Cameron Meyer (Midland CC/WA) and Stephanie Morton (South Coast CC/SA).
Meyer took his career world title tally to eight after winning the team pursuit and points race crowns at the World Championships, in addition to the Madison silver. Meyer also added three national titles and World Cup gold and silver to secure a fourth career award.
It was a breakthrough international season for Morton who claimed her maiden World Championship medals in 2017 with silver in both the sprint and team sprint. Morton also won two national titles (sprint and team sprint) and set the fastest flying 200m time ever seen in Australia.
It was a glittering year from para-cyclist David Nicholas C3 (Mackay CC/QLD) who won the individual pursuit world title and a swag of medals including World Championship silver and bronze, Road World Cup gold and four national titles.
Nicholas was named the male Para-cyclist of the Year for a second time, while Carol Cooke T2 (St Kilda CC) rode to a third women’s award after claiming the time trial and road race world titles, three World Cup gold and two national titles on the road.
Caroline Buchanan (ACT) is celebrating a sixth straight BMX award after collecting World Championship silver, the national title and a win at the USA BMX Gator Nationals in 2017.
In the men’s BMX category, Australia welcomed a new BMX cyclist of the Year in Logan Martin (QLD) who was crowned the inaugural world champion in BMX Freestyle with a blazing run at the inaugural World Championships in China.
Queensland’s first siblings of mountain biking celebrated their first win in the category, with Michael Hannah grabbing World Championships silver, while sister Tracey Hannah claimed her first World Cup victory in five years and found the podium with bronze at the World Championships.
Carol Cooke T2 (St Kilda CC) and David Nicholas C3 (Mackay CC/QLD) have been crowned 2017 Australian Para-cyclists of the Year.
It was a glittering year from para-cyclist Nicholas C3 who won the individual pursuit world title and a swag of medals including World Championship silver and bronze, Road World Cup gold and four national titles on the track and road.
Cooke riding to a third women’s award after claiming the time trial and road race World Championships, three World Cup gold and two national titles on the road.
The Gary West Coach of the Year went to Nicholas Flyger (SA) who, during an emotional season which saw him take over the reigns from the late West, was instrumental in guiding Morton to her first World Championship sprint medal (silver) and the women's team sprint duo (Morton & McCulloch) to silver.
The Norm Gailey Trophy for Champion State went to New South Wales, while the Gold Coast Cycling Club won its maiden Australian Club Premiership.