Mount Gambier will invaded by hundreds of BMX riders this weekend as the Blue Lake BMX Club hosts the crown-jewel of the 2021 calendar.
Across three days of action-packed racing, the South Australian Country Championships and round 5 of the SA BMX State Series will both take place at the well-respected track in Hastings Cummingham Reserve.
The SA Country Championships kick of proceedings from Saturday afternoon and will run into the night which is sure to be a spectacle for the 200-plus entrants.
Sunday afternoon has been reserved for any riders looking to get some practice laps into their legs before the State round on Monday.
Around 250 riders are expected to fight for state honours when the final leg of racing begins on Monday morning.
Blue Lake BMX Club president Stephen Jones said the huge weekend of action overshadows everything else this year.
“This will definitely be the biggest weekend of BMX in 2021,” he said.
“We had around 300 people attend the state titles in September last year and this weekend will be equally sized with the best in the state.
“But with a few less restrictions this will be very big with a different atmosphere.” Even more riders were supposed to grace the twisty and undulating layout with the SA v Vic title scheduled to be decided on Saturday.
However, the ongoing lockdown in Victoria forced the cancellation of the cross-border event and Jones said it has left a significant impact on the entry list.
“We were looking good to have around 500 riders in total, but lost around 200 with the border closed,” he said.
“But we were prepared to make the rescheduled weekend work after a huge amount of effort from our volunteers because Mount Gambier has a good community spirit to pull off big events like these.” But those dramas have certainly not hampered the enthu siasm of many youngsters with Jones saying participation has grown since the state titles last year.
Riders of all ages will be competing for state honours this weekend including some local youngsters who are making the step up to Superclass such as Trae Wilke and Riley Hill and Jade Jennings.
Jennings has already impressed in the senior women’s field ranking fifth in state series so far.
In the lower levels, Mount Gambier holds the state’s number one and two ranked riders respectively in Lily Kradolfer and Lilly Jones.
In the senior ranks, Tyson Jelleff is making a comeback in the Superclass after an 18-month break.
The SA Country Championships will conclude on Saturday evening while the State Series wraps up a huge weekend of racing around lunchtime.