Australia has two new national champions after Brandon Loupos and Sarah Nicki won the elite men and women categories respectively at the 2022 AusCycling BMX Freestyle National Championships on the weekend.
Loupos performed strongly on his return from the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships last week, taking the win ahead of Victorian Jake Wallwork and emerging talent Josh Matthews, while Nicki’s star continues to rise, winning her first national championship from Mylee Toohey and Anais Prince.
The 15-year-old from Canberra said her result at Nationals validated all the hard work and training she had been putting in with her coach Tyson Jones-Penny.
“I’ve been working on mainly just riding with more speed, more height, getting bigger airs. It’s been a bit of a focus this last year. I was also really pleased that I got through the whole run without pulling out on a trick. So, I did all the tricks in my run, and completed the run,” Nicki said.
Nicki felt the title indicated she was pushing to take her riding to the next level, and had learnt a lot over the last two weeks where she rode in her first UCI World Cup before returning for the National Championship.
“The Worlds taught me really how different the style of competition is there, like how the pressure’s different, how you’re competing with that many girls, and that many skill levels. But the comp life is super cool, it’s awesome riding with everyone. It’s different to what I’m used to at the local, but it’s awesome.”
The Canberran also revealed the influence Natalya Deihm is having on her young career.
“Natalya’s helped heaps. She’s been helping me mentally, just helping my confidence, helping me get around, planning runs. She’s been a great help, really. Teaching me about the comp life, how it is,” said Nicki.
French rider Nico Werle claimed top spot in the masters competition, with the Australian national champion crown going to Dave McComb, who retains the title. Jak Mohr was the best performing amateur, while Philipp Frueh took out the expert category in the BMX Flatland competition.
More than 400 spectators and participants attended this year’s event, with Rampfest also hosting a meet and greet session off the park, where fans and junior riders met and mingled with elite riders, and a show and shine exhibition featuring more than 50 bikes across the history of BMX.
Nico Werle (FRA)
Roman Riches DepiazzI
Samuel da Costa
Ky De Vries
Flatland Expert Class
Flatland Open Class
Flatland Beginner Class