Tips from a world champion
Seven-time BMX and mountain-biking world champion, Caroline Buchanan emphasises that strength is among the most important elements required by athletes wanting to succeed in her two chosen cycling disciplines. The 26-year-old Aussie star—who is a two-time Olympian, having represented Australia at the London and Rio Games—was recently kind enough to share her thoughts on just what it takes to excel on the world stage. The Crankworx (mountain bike series) dominator says there’s more to BMX than just being able to pedal fast.
“The fundamentals of BMX especially would include considering your power-to-weight ratio,” Buchanan said. “You have to be strong at the start. It’s a roughly 35-second event. Speed, agility and just being able to react fast, are big components of BMX as well.
“It’s definitely a high-skill sport. There can be a little bit of contact in the corners, but it’s also strategic and mental as well. With seven other opponents on the track and with no lanes, getting out and staying out of trouble is another skill requirement of BMX.
Inside Sport also asked Buchanan to get self-analytical for a second. We wanted to know what were her personal strengths as a rider.
“Again, I’d say definitely my physical strength,” she responded. “Growing up in Canberra, I had access to the ACT Academy of Sport and then through to the AIS. My coach Julian Jones is the head coach at the AIS. Having him behind me means my strength and conditioning is a huge asset. But then there’s genetics: my dad is from velodrome track cycling. He grew up in competitive sport and so did my mum. Also, doing multiple different cycling disciplines; having that versatility certainly helps.”