Amateur Spotlight | Ceri Powell
May 29, 2017
by Dawn McClintock
A couple of weeks ago we caught wind that one of our BMX athletes in Australia was headed for the BMX World Championship in the United States. We check in with young Ceri Powell as he prepares himself for the world stage (with dad, Ben filling in a few of the gaps for us).
I was born in Carmarthen, Wales (UK) and moved to Australia when I was 3 with my Mom, Dad and my sisters,
Dad had done a bit on bikes starting off doing motocross, then flat track and then spent 10 years in the UK racing as a pro in speedway around Europe. He retired before I was born so I don’t really remember it but he has lots of trophies. I started BMX when I was 4 because my sister Cerys wanted to try racing BMX so mom and dad got us both a bike and we started going to our local track on weekends to practice. At first I wasn’t really too interested in it but kept going because Cerys wanted to. After a few months Cerys lost interest and I started to get into it so she stopped and I started. We went from one day on the weekend to one night in the week to now we are at a track 4 or 5 times a week with practice, coaching and racing.
There are races all over Australia but where we are located we are lucky to have so many good tracks within a few hours drive. There are still a few races that we have to travel to. This years Queensland State championships will be 14 hours away.
BMX has taken me to so many towns in Queensland that I probably wouldn’t ever go to without racing there. Traveling is one of the best bits of racing. This year we are off to America and next year I’m hoping to get a ride in Wales.
This years World Championship will be in Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA.
To qualify I raced in this years Australian Championships which was held in April. It was my first Australian Championship so I expected to be at the back of the field made up of 67 riders but I did a bit better than that. I got 4th, 4th, 2nd and 3rd which was enough to put me in the top 5 that were selected to represent Australia (Australia runs a program for all sports in OZ that everyone under 8 is a winner so we don’t know exactly what position I placed.)
None at all I have no idea what to expect from the other countries. One of my best friends from Australia will be there, Guy Hocking. He’s pretty quick. It’s my first ever world championship and it might be my last who knows so we will be going and concentrating more on having fun and enjoying the big event.
I fly out with dad on the 23rd of July. A few days before we start to adjust to the new time zones. As for preparation, luckily BMX in Australia is a 12 month a year sport so we are sticking to my normal prep apart from more focus on 5 meter start gates as this is what Rock Hill’s track uses.
Tuesday Day: School / Night: at track Practice
The championship will run for 6 days with just over 3,000 riders. First of all I will walk the track with dad and discuss racing lines, bike set up and get as many practice laps as I can in. (Which I all ready know won’t be many due to how many people are there.) After that, the schedule will be decided based on how well I can race and my results to win. I need to get through my moto’s then 1/8, 1/4, semi and then finals.
Unfortunately not. I have to get back to school. I’ve just had a week off for the Aussie Champs and now 2 weeks off for the worlds, then I need another week off for State Championships (Dad also need to get back to work to pay for my racing.)
It’s been a hard start to the season and my results have been good but I’ve been to a lot of tracks this year that I had never seen before so I’ve learnt a lot. My lap times at the tracks we go to regularly and the ones we have been to in the past have all come down a lot since jumping on a Rival Racing frame.
I love going to the beach (lucky enough that’s only 5 minutes on the mountain bike away) We do a lot of mountain biking.
My goal at the start of the year was to improve my state ranking and go the Australian Championships. Now I’m on team Australia and going to Worlds, so who knows what the future holds at the moment. The future goal is to be the best I can be.
I would like to say thank you to RideTribe (my Australian FXR racing importer), Rival Racing, NorthWave Shoes and Mac Components and thank you to you Dawn for the interview.