Cairns and Sakakibara dominate Superclass finals on the road to national championships


Australia’s Superclass BMX champions for 2022 have been crowned on the final day of the AusCycling BMX Racing National Championships in Launceston.

Saya Sakakibara has wrapped up an undefeated week at the Championships, with an unbeaten run of motos on the final day followed by a flawless run in the final on her way to back-to-back Superclass Women titles.

The Tokyo Olympian set a blistering pace in the final, leading Des’ree Barnes and Bella May to the finish, although her cause was helped when another rival Teya Rufus appeared to slip her pedals at the start.

Sakakibara reflected on what it meant to win in front of Australian fans after spending much of the year away competing overseas and recovering from concussion.

“This national championship is really special to me. I love representing Australia, and when I do go overseas, it’s always nice to like come back and reconnect with all the Australian fans. Making kids smile and taking photos and all that stuff is really, really something that fulfills me,” Sakakibara said.

“To be able to have the opportunity to come back, race in front of such an awesome crowd in a place like Tasmania, and Launceston did an amazing job to put such an awesome track and event together, it was like everything came together for such a good week, and it's just really fulfilling.”

The 23-year-old also revealed the role fans played in driving her performance at home and abroad.

“Even though I’m away and chasing my dream at World Cups and World Championships, they’re all still supportive and comment on my Instagram stories and on my posts, and just giving me so much energy from across the world.

“So, I want to give back. I want to say thank you for all that support, and making kids smile, making the parents smile is I think my way of giving back.”

In the men’s competition, Max Cairns was rarely challenged in the final by laying down what he described as his best lap of the weekend.

Second-placed Bodi Turner was unable to repeat his comeback heroics of Thursday, with Cairns extending his gap at each turn after taking the lead in the first straight, posting a sub-30 second lap ahead of Turner and Jesse Asmus.

Speaking to AusCycling after the race, Cairns revealed what the race meant to him.

“This is right up there. I’ve had a few injuries, and I’m finally coming back from all that. And I really want to win the races that I should win. I raced a couple of state titles and did well at them, and then I came here and finally executed on day three,” Cairns said.

“We’ve had three days of awesome racing on this track, and it all just came together today for me. I felt pretty good, and led every lap all day, so to execute in the main one when I really needed to was awesome.”

Cairns, originally from Victoria, also revealed the extent he had gone to, to prepare for this event.

“I moved up to Sydney and lived with my coach Sean [Dwight] and a mate Andy [Hughes]. We all live about ten minutes from each other, and there’s an awesome new facility out there at Macarthur that we’ve been training at, and just getting ready for this event, really just locking in.”

In Junior Superclass women, Charli Guy took home the gold ahead of Kameli Jones and Abi Asmus, and in the Junior Superclass men, Josh Jolly continued his dominance with his third national title for the week. Preston Murray took silver with AJ Donald rounding out the podium.

AusCycling also crowned the first-ever Para BMX National Champions on Saturday, with local rider Chelsea Tuck and Jardyn O’Neill winning their respective categories.

Attention now turns to the 2023 season, with Westside BMX in Perth hosting the opening two rounds of the BMX Racing National Series in late April.

The 2023 AusCycling BMX National Championship in Shepparton, Victoria from 31 October-5 November concludes the season.

AusCycling BMX Racing National Championship

  • Location: Launceston, Tasmania
  • Dates: Monday, 21 November - Sunday, 27 November 2022
  • Host Club: Launceston BMX

Watch the replay here.

More information can be found here: 2022 AusCycling BMX Racing National Championships

The 2022 AusCycling BMX Racing National Championships is proudly supported by Events Tasmania and the City of Launceston.

Photos: Get Snapt

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