Two-time Olympian Lauren Reynolds will race in Australia for the first time this year at next week’s national BMX championships in Brisbane.
Reynolds, the current world number 13, took time off after her Rio campaigns that ended in the semi-finals, before returning to racing in the USA earlier in 2017.
The veteran will line up in the elite women’s event against long-time rival and Australian teammate Caroline Buchanan as well as defending champion and 2017 national series champion Leanna Curtis, in what is shaping as one of the races of the week long event that will feature almost 1800 riders from 94 clubs nationwide.
Reynolds believes she is building into the season nicely but refused to nominate any one rival as the rider to beat.
“My preparation is going smoothly,” Reynolds said.
“I’ve had no injuries and have been stepping things up as the year builds.
“The nationals are the start of a three week racing stint for me that includes four world cup events over two weeks in Europe following on from nationals.”
Lauren Reynolds has had a consistent season in the USA BMX Supercross series and she is always a tough competitor on the big hill.Caroline Buchanan
Reynolds said she has had plenty of racing so far in the US so she should be in good shape coming into the national championships.
“Everyone who is on the starting gate will be tough, the competition is continually building and with a nice big fast track there should be some great racing,” she said.
“I haven't raced in Australia for some time so I'm looking forward to lining up next to my Australian teammates.”
Meanwhile Buchanan, who won two races from as many starts on the USA BMX Supercross circuit earlier this year, said she had been keeping an eye on Reynolds in the USA and on Curtis’ form from afar.
“Lauren Reynolds has had a consistent season in the USA BMX Supercross series and she is always a tough competitor on the big hill,” Buchanan said.
“However I have been watching Leanna Curtis stepping up every race. It will be some great elite women action.”
In 2013, Reynolds underwent a knee reconstruction and returned to form the following year winning both the Australian National Series and the Oceania Championships.
Last year Reynolds finished third in the Oceania Championships before securing four podium finishes in the USA BMX circuit, including her first win on tour.
Two of Australia’s Rio rookie Olympians, Anthony Dean and Bodi Turner, will line up in the men’s elite event where they will square off against Sunshine Coast based national series champion Matt Juster.
Dean hasn’t raced in Australia since he was a finalist in Rio, while Turner has been plying his trade in the USA since early in the year.
For more information about the 2017 BMX Australia national championships visit bmxaustralia.com.au.