New BMX stars emerge across thrilling weekend
A RISING star confirmed his arrival on the national elite men's scene during stage three of BMX Australia's BAD BOY National Series in Ipswich.
Josh Boyton, who rides for Centenary Plains BMX Club and lives in Greenbank less than 30 kilometres from the Ipswich track, scored his first major win at the top level.
Boyton claimed the elite men's final on a thrilling day's racing that featured almost 500 entrants from around Australia and New Zealand.
Joining Boyton as winners of the championship classes, in what is round two of the year's Australian domestic UCI event series, were Leanna Curtis (elite women's), Oliver Moran (men's junior elite) and Ashlee Miller (women's junior elite).
The wins for Boyton and Curtis earnt valuable points in the complex Olympic qualifying process. As an official UCI endorsed event, the round offered riders the ability to win Olympic qualification points that in turn can earn quota spots for Australia for Tokyo 2020.
Boyton led all the way to secure the win from Rio Olympian Bodi Turner and dual national elite champion Corey Frieswyk.
"That one, I knew it was a UCI race, and that was the main one I wanted to win," Boyton said.
"I've been trying to chase my first elite final win for a while now and I felt really great taking the win today.
"I had a third yesterday (in the superclass event) as well, so I know I'm really consistent at the moment. All the hard work's paid off I guess.
"It's a really good feeling."
In the men's junior elite final, Moran put in a stunning performance for a dominant victory, bouncing back from a crash in the second moto that could have ended his day.
Moran proved too slick for standings leader Matthew Tidswell, who won all of his motos in style, and New Zealander Rico D'Anvers.
The women's elite and junior elite events were contested across three motos, with no final. That put pressure on riders to get it right every time they sat on the gate.
In the elite event, Curtis backed up her win in Saturday's superclass race by clean sweeping her laps to comfortably beat Sara Jones and Tyler-Lea Thorley - two riders returning from major shoulder injuries.
In the juniors, reigning national elite class champion Miller stormed to victory in her third moto to win on a countback from the current Australian 16 years title holder Des'Ree Barnes.
Miller recorded two seconds and a win, with the prodigious Barnes netting a pair of wins and third in the final race.