Reynolds to miss home ride

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Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times
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Dual Olympian Lauren Reynolds will miss the chance to display her talents on her home track at next week’s BMX Australia National Championships in Bunbury.

It is the first time the event has been held at the Bunbury BMX Club, but Reynolds will stay in the United States to compete as part of her calendar given to her by Cycling Australia.

The 26-year-old shot to fame after a second place finish in the 2011 Australian Championships in Cairns.

From here Reynolds represented Australia at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games and has competed on the American professional circuit for the past few seasons.

Reynolds said it was a “huge disappointment” to not be able to compete next week.

“The criteria that has been released by Cycling Australia, who controls any of the athletes who compete at the world level, states that there is absolutely no input with the Australian series or national championships,” she said.

“My end goal is to be selected for the world championships. This is the first year I have not been selected with a scholarship from Cycling Australia.

“Their criteria states that I have to compete in the first round of the World Cup Series which is Paris in three weeks time as well as the Rockhill round of the USA BMX National Series, which is the exact same weekend as the national titles in Bunbury.

“In order to be eligible to be selected I have to compete and get two top-three positions.”

Reynolds said she thought about sacrificing the world championships to compete in the Bunbury event.

“But I am at a point in my career where I have to look at my longevity and financial support,” she said.

“The races over here in America provide a much bigger pay packet and the cost to travel home was another big factor.

“It is unfortunate that they all clash.”

Bunbury BMX Club president Lieth Spence said he was disappointed Reynolds could not attend.

“It would be great to have her talent at the event, along with a few other big names in the pro-circuit,” he said.

“I think all the kids would have loved to have seen Lauren there, but it is not to be.

“She has to do what is in her best interest ahead of the next Olympics. Good on her for doing what she needs to.”

The championships start on Monday and run through until Sunday, with WA hosting the event for the first time since 2009.

Spence said the track and facilities were in good shape after months of preparation.

“Friday will be the big day for getting the track prepared and ready to go,” he said.

“This is probably the biggest event any regional club could aspire to.”

Spence said all the junior riders were excited to compete.

“They all have their new guernseys and have been training super hard,” he said.

“I am sure a few will be nervous, but the majority will be excited.

“It is not too often you get the nationals on your home track.”

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