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BMX aces gear up for their big weekend

South Africa’s BMX racing community are finalising their preparations for next weekend’s Grand Nationals (Leg Five) and SA National Championship races that will be taking place at the Alrode BMX track in Alberton, Johannesburg.

Saturday’s race events will discover who the new Grand National Series champions are following a season that began at the end of March. On Sunday, the once-off National Championship races will crown the SA National BMX Champion in the respective classes.

After an explosive season (he has won every race that he has competed in at home) Elite racer Kyle Dodd is looking at adding the most prestigious local title to his list of accolades ÔÇô the Elite National title. If he achieves his goal, it will be Dodd’s first time since racing as an Elite.

Dodd is, however, defending his SA Grand Nationals title that he won last year, which is the culmination of the five rounds that are raced during the course of the year.

ÔÇ£My training programme has become a lot harder in the past two weeks,ÔÇØ said Dodd. ÔÇ£The training is hard, but I am feeling much faster at the moment and I am confident or the races next weekend.ÔÇØ

Dodd enjoys his home track at Alrode, and helped build it with his dad and some friends. ÔÇ£The track is for everyone, not just Elites. It is really a fun track and I love it.ÔÇØ

For Tyrone Johns, who competes in the Cruiser and 20ÔÇØ categories, a win in both classes at the SA BMX Champs is his ultimate goal. Johns successfully defended his World Number Two at the UCI BMX World Champs in the 20ÔÇØ class in July, plus he claimed World Number Two in the Cruiser class.

ÔÇ£This year I have had more time to train,ÔÇØ says Johns. ÔÇ£It meant that I could train better, not harder, than previous years, and I had more time on the bike which helped with the sprints. With Saturday’s races being part of the Grand National Series, I could possible take the Cruiser title, but winning the 20ÔÇØ title is now out of my hands.ÔÇØ

Sunday’s once-off National Championship races present a different story, and Johns will be defending his national title in the 20ÔÇØ class and will be aiming for the Cruiser title this year after placing second in this division last year.

ÔÇ£I love riding at Alrode as there is lots of space and the track is very open. The jumps are nice and big and spaced out, so you can really open up on the sprint.ÔÇØ