Ipswich riders ready to tackle new Mt Panorama track
IPSWICH will field its strongest showing yet at the upcoming BMX National Championships.
More than 20 members of the Ipswich BMX Club will head to Bathurst for the Australian titles from March 1-6.
The Ipswich contingent will join more than 3000 entrants, including a number of Rio Olympics hopefuls, for the week-long competition.
Zach Weight, 19, has spent the past 12 months coaching some of the club's junior riders and is one of the competitors travelling to Mt Panorama.
Weight was confident the experience of Queensland State Development squad member Matt Krasevskis had helped prepare the regional group.
"He went to worlds last year and rides with us a fair bit," Weight said.
"He's helped push us a bit harder and just from watching him you pick up little tips here and there."
Group improvement has been a focus for the club, with riders eager to help each other improve.
"All of the older riders have been helping out with training," Weight said.
"The club is getting bigger and we are attracting higher skill level riders.
"We all want to try our best and see how we go."
This will be the first time Australia's premier BMX event will be held in Bathurst, with a new track built at the Mt Panorama site overseen by BMX Australia.
The development is part of an overall bike facility complete with change rooms, offices and a canteen.
Weight said there was a simple way of determining if the new track was up to scratch.
"It's really about whether or not it's fun to ride," he said.
"I can't wait to go and see the track. From the pictures we've seen it looks like an awesome track."
One competitor Weight knows all too well is 17-year-old brother Toby.
This will be the first time the two brothers have faced off in the 17-24 age category at the national level.
"This will be my third and Toby's second time at the nationals but the first time we will be in the same category," he said.
"It will be every man for himself."
The top 16 riders from each category will qualify for the World Championships being held in the Colombian city of Medellín from May 23 - May 29.
The championships commence on Tuesday, March 1, continuing until Sunday, March 6.