The 2023 BMX Challenge world championship is just days away, with excitement building as the opportunity to win a coveted ‘W’ plate nears for our amateur BMX riders.
The BMX Challenge covers every age group outside of the elite categories, from 8 year-old boys and girls through to 50+ men and women, and includes Cruiser categories. Finalists in their category are awarded a ‘W’ plate with a number corresponding to their placing in the final.
This year, 130 BMX Challenge riders representing every Australian state and territory will wear the green-and-gold, complementing the 11 Australian Elite, Junior, and Under 23 BMX Championship riders.
Australia has a proud tradition of success in the BMX Challenge. Aussie riders took home 15 ‘W’ plates in 2022 and another 19 at the previous BMX Challenge in 2019, and many riders have returned to try and earn another ‘W’ plate in Glasgow, including 2022 AusCycling Women’s Masters BMX Rider of the Year Letitia Weatherhead.
Weatherhead placed 3rd in the Cruiser 40+ Women category at last year’s BMX Challenge, and the Bayside BMX rider said she can’t wait to rekindle the BMX Challenge experience in 2023.
“I’m super excited to be heading over to Glasgow. My preparation has been as good as it can be given the challenges that I had with juggling my end of financial year work commitments,” said Weatherhead.
“I’m really looking forward to catching up with the ladies who I’ve met in previous years and I also really enjoy meeting new lady competitors from other parts of the world. Most importantly for me it’s all about the experience. If the results are good as well then that’s a bonus!”
Rising star Declan McGhee claimed two ‘W’ plates at the 2022 BMX Challenge in France, finishing 2nd in the 14 Boys and 3rd in the Cruiser 14 Boys categories.
Coached by Olympian Khalen Young, the Mandurah BMX rider is keen to go one further in 2023 at the Glasgow BMX Centre.
“I’m looking forward to riding for Australia again and having a great time over there with all my mates,” McGhee told AusCycling.
“Hopefully I can go one better than last year and put Australia on the top step. I’ve been training four or five days a week with my coach KY and feeling good.”
Other riders out to repeat their efforts from 2022 and claim another ‘W’ plate include Jamie Truran (4th in 35+ Men and Cruiser 35-39 Men), Cody Manganaro (8th in 15 Boys), and Jayden Bradbrook (7th in 10 Boys).
The youngest rider representing Australia will be Asher Wilson (Castle Hill BMX), aged 7, while the most veteran rider is 55-years-young Sandra Cameron of Penrith BMX.
Details about the BMX Challenge broadcast coverage will be shared across AusCycling social media channels as soon as it becomes available.
Photos: Nico van Dartel