Josh McLean and Lauren Reynolds both sit third in the USA BMX pro circuit and will race in their first UCI BMX Racing World Cup since 2020 this weekend in Papendal for rounds three and four of the World Cup circuit.
Eleven other Aussies will join the two American based riders for this weekend’s World Cup rounds at the home of Dutch BMX and the location of the 2021 UCI BMX Racing World Championships, which saw Reynolds take fifth and Izaac Kennedy take seventh.
The opening rounds in Glasgow saw ten Australians race, with Kennedy and Saya Sakakibara taking part in some of the craziest World Cup finals to date. The two national champions both finished third in the second round and now sit fifth and third overall in the World Cup standings.
McLean last donned the green and gold in 2020 for the opening rounds of the World Cup in Australia and since then has made a name for himself in America, narrowly missing out on the USA BMX men’s pro title last year.
“I’m feeling great and looking forward to being back on the World Cup circuit again,” the 24-year-old said.
“I’m nervous but I think that’s more out of excitement than anything else, I’m excited to represent my country again.”
McLean has started the year in fine fashion, with three wins already this year, including a win last week at the Music City Nationals in Nashville, Tennessee.
“It’s been an amazing start to the year, winning the opening round of the USA BMX series was a shock to me,” McLean said.
“This time last year, I only just got my first ever win and now I’m on my third win of the year so I’m already exceeding compared to last year.”
Reynolds has a fantastic relationship with the Papendal track after placing fifth in last year’s World Championships and fourth at the last World Cup round in the Netherlands.
The three-time Olympian considers the track a favourite of hers and is hoping to translate her domestic form onto the world stage.
“Papendal is one of my favourite events,” Reynolds said.
“Last year it was the world championships where I finished fifth and I’m hoping to be right in the mix again and compete for a top spot.”
2021 was a busy year for Reynolds, with the Olympic Games and World Championships all a few weeks apart, plus a fourth-place finish in the USA BMX pro circuit. The Bunbury BMX rider is taking a more selective approach to her 2022 season, focusing on life outside BMX.
“This year, I’ve taken a slightly relaxed approach after such a big last two years. I didn’t want to stress too much on hitting every race and making my day to day so heavily race focused,” Reynolds said.
“This year, I wanted to embrace my wedding preparations, pick and choose the races I'd like to attend and just enjoy the races with less pressure.
“So far, it has treated me well, and I am excited to represent my country again and race a big international event.”
This weekend, Reynolds and Sakakibara will lead Australia in the women’s elite class at Papendal.
Joining McLean in the 83-strong men’s elite field is national champion Izaac Kennedy, Oceania champion Bodi Turner, Aston Wypych-Coles, Brad Game, Wade Turner and Max Cairns.
In the men under 23 field, Oceania champion Jack Davis, Kyle Hill, Oli Moran and Finn Carpenter will race in the 130-strong class.
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