2024 UCI BMX Racing World Cup - Brisbane: Inside race week with Lauren Reynolds

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The Brisbane rounds of the 2024 UCI BMX Racing World Cup are almost here, but before we dive into the biggest BMX Racing event in the history of Queensland, we caught up with triple Olympian and West Australian Lauren Reynolds to get a glimpse of what race weekend looks like from the inside.

Lauren, it's been a big few weeks, two rounds in New Zealand and now here. How are your energy levels?

Energy's good. I want to say it's better right now than it was before New Zealand, even though, it's been a bit of a delay. I think I’ve had time to settle in here. My bikes got lost with the airline in New Zealand, so it was a bit frantic. But I mean, how can you not have energy at a home World Cup? It's going to be good. My parents get in tonight. I haven't seen them in months or even years. The track's great. I know it's going to be packed. I'm excited for sure. I think I have a good feeling about it.

Take us through what your schedule looks like between now and the race days?

I try to be busy. It's hard when I'm away from home. When I'm at home and I'm racing, I have a lot that I do aside from racing and there's purpose behind that. Obviously, I've been doing it for so long, so I do try to stay busy, but right now, obviously I've still got to conserve energy and things like that. So, we'll have a little hit out this afternoon on the track. I feel pretty comfortable out here, but I just sort of keep things moving, keep my body awake, probably keep it short. Tomorrow will be the last rest day, which will be pretty low key, and things start to build at that point, because you've got hot feet, you're ready to go. And once it starts on Friday with the official practice, the weekend is so compact it goes quick. It's a rollercoaster of emotions, and it's over really quickly and it's just a lot. So I sort of prepare for that, analyse as much as we can with my coach. He’s back in America, so video review and just like final things like that. It’s just to stay out of the sun, stay recovered, eat well, and build the good energy and get ready.

Anyone who follows you on Instagram knows that you've got a lovely puppy dog. What are some of those things that can you share with us that you do away from the track?

My wife and my dog are everything to me. We're a really close little family and I spend a lot of time with them. My wife is a firefighter-paramedic, so she's got a pretty intense job as well. We both go through a lot, and we really value and cherish our time together, especially with our schedules and traveling so much. Our little puppy, our Winston, he's our boy. I mean, our world revolves around him, put it that way [laughs]. But I like to get my hands dirty. I kind of get involved in some construction of real estate and just other things. I don't like to go into it too much, I keep my stuff close to me, but I stay busy where I can and set myself up for post-racing. I've learnt through my career that networking and meeting people and meeting the right people and having valuable, loyal connections is super important. So I’m slowly expanding that outside of BMX.

What’s it like racing in your home country compared to, a World Cup in Papendal for example?

It's a very different vibe. Very, very different. Those races are not bad and I'm very much a vibe person of like a track. When I gel with a track, I will excel and my confidence will grow. But there is something about Australia. Every time we come here, it’s summer, it's hot, the fans are so pumped. We have a pretty strong BMX community in Australia that just keeps on growing, and I think for them to see such spectacular racing at a world class facility, it's exciting. It's almost like the nerves go away and it's more exciting than nervous, and it's just a sense of, you're at home, you’ve got this bit of security. But yeah, my last experience of this in Shepparton was a real success. I was in both main events. I raced really well. I think I just missed the podium with a fourth. I think I was second or third fastest qualifier of the weekend, and I put a lot of it down to big crowds cheering my name for once. I've had two weeks on this track – and it's the most I've had, ever. I usually show up and get a day, [then] race. So, that’s cool.

Have you allowed yourself to start thinking about the Olympics and focusing on that, or are you still living in the moment? What's the field of view for you with the Olympics on the horizon?

Yeah, I mean it's there. You can't not. It's impossible because everyone asks you about it, but I definitely am a day-to-day person. So, one race weekend at a time. I guess my perspective of where I am now is more about – as much as I want to go and win, and I really want to be on the podium this weekend – I'm going to line up knowing what the big picture is and knowing when to take the risks and when not to. I feel secure enough in my riding and in Saya’s riding and our team, where we're at, that there'll be no problems about making it. It's just about getting there. Like, literally getting there. You hate to say it, but obviously in racing, things can happen – so that's kind of where I'm at. I feel like I just wait for my moment to fire, and I will. And if it's this weekend, I will. And if it's not, it's not. But I think that's what you’ll need to do when you're getting older and more experienced. Because before, you have kind of had nothing to lose, you just send it at all costs. I've done that before too.

If you could say something to Lauren Reynolds 15 years ago, what would your message to her be? Would it be time to send it all the time?

Yeah, it would be. It would definitely be to send it all the time. I think it’s a hard one to answer. I wouldn't necessarily change anything. I guess there's just a sense of frustration that where I am now in the last probably five years, I feel like have been the best five years of my career, and I wish I had that when I was younger. I wish I had the young mentality with the knowledge, education, and the correct guidance that I have now. I wish I had that earlier, but that's hard to necessarily tell people to do.

The 2024 UCI BMX Racing World Cup is supported by Brisbane City Council, through Brisbane Economic Development Agency and the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland.


2024 BMX Racing World Cup, Brisbane website

UCI Race Hub


Photo credit: Craig Dutton/AusCycling

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