When Sarah Nicki first started riding BMX she had one goal - to be better than her dad.
“I was six or seven years old. I just got into it cause my dad would ride. To be honest my first goal was to be better than him. I did achieve that at a pretty young age,” Nicki said.
The 2022 BMX Freestyle National Champion now has much bigger goals. She has her sights set on making it back-to-back titles at this year’s national championships on the Gold Coast from March 24-25.
And later this year, she also hopes to secure a place on the Australian team and compete at the World Championships in Glasgow.
Since winning the national title in November last year, Nicki and her family made the decision to move from Canberra to the Gold Coast so she can focus on riding.
“It’s pretty awesome up here. There are more opportunities, there are plenty of training centres and there are world class courses,” she said.
“And I definitely won’t miss the Canberra winter.”
Nicki has been training hard over the past few months in readiness for a hectic few weeks of competition, with the 2023 Oceania Championship also up for grabs on March 20, just a few days before the national titles.
“I’ve been doing gym sessions to build strength on the bike, aero awareness training on the tramp and a lot of training on the bike,” she revealed
“I’m working on jumping higher on all my tricks, getting more speed and trying harder tricks.
“I’m trying to do a 360 over jumps.”
Nicki is currently studying year 11 via home schooling, which affords her the flexibility to train during the day and study in the afternoon and evenings.
It also means she can continue to study when traveling for competitions like the 2022 UCI World Championships in Abu Dhabi, where she competed as part of the national team and gained an appreciation of what’s required to perform at the top level.
“It was completely different to anything I’ve experienced. It was a crazy level of riding. There are so many great riders. I learned how to manage your time in practice and make the most of sessions,” she said.
“And I learned I need to work harder and train harder to compete at that level.”
For now, her focus is firmly on retaining the national title and Nicki has been practicing hard on the new course layout on the Gold Coast.
“They’ve just changed the ramps, and I think it’s really good. It’s really nice to ride on and flows really smoothly.
“I’m feeling pretty confident.”
Main photo: @collectif_theagency & @fiseworld
The 2023 AusCycling BMX Freestyle National Championships
Dates: March 24-25, 2023
Venue: The AusCycling National BMX Freestyle Park, Gold Coast Sports Precinct
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram/ Tik Tok: @AusCyclingAus
More information here.