Dual Olympian Caroline has claimed the elite title on a thrilling afternoon of finals at the 2017 BMX Australia National Championships at the Sleeman Sports Centre in Brisbane.
Buchanan had the lead from start to finish on her Maxxis Torch tyres in the women’s race and win from fellow two-time Olympian Lauren Reynolds and defending Australian champion Leanna Curtis. The women’s race did not provide as much drama as the men’s event but the performance of Buchanan was just as strong.
Maxxis rider Buchanan missed last year’s national championships as she prepared for the Rio Olympic Games and came to Brisbane this week nervous to race in front of a home crowd, feeling the pressure to perform at the domestic level after missing a year.
“That’s pretty special because I couldn’t be here last year,
” Buchanan said “Myself and Lauren Reynolds were speaking before the final about how much more nerve wracking it is coming back and racing in Australia because we know everybody and we are racing in front of so many familiar faces.
“To have all those faces staring back at you, there’s fear and I kept telling myself to channel the fear.
“It puts a little more added pressure on but makes it all a bit more special when we can win in front of a home crowd. It almost feels like a little bit of an Olympic build up for a national title because we don’t get to do that many.
“To come home and actually perform in front of a home crowd I rate this as definitely quite high.”
Buchanan will return to her training base in the USA this week whilst Sakakibara headlines the Australian contingent travelling to the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup rounds in Papendal and Zolder in the next few weeks.