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).

Name: Ceri Powell
Age: 7
Instagram: @ceripowell95
Hometown/Country: Peregrin Beach, Australia
Bike: Rival Racing expert
Classes Riding: 7 boys
School Grade: 2

 

Hi Ceri, welcome to the FXR family. You are my first BMX athlete to interview. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
I was born in Carmarthen, Wales (UK) and moved to Australia when I was 3 with my Mom, Dad and my sisters,

 

I hear your Dad was also into racing. Tell us about how your BMX racing career started.
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.

 

 

In Australia are your races mostly held near you or is your family travelling a lot?
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.

 

What sort of places has your racing taken you?
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.

 

The big news you have more recently is that you will be representing Australia at the 2017 World Championships in the USA. Where is it being held?
This years World Championship will be in Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA.

 

 

 

Do you have to qualify or is it an invitational type deal to become part of the team?
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.)

 

Do you know of some of the competition you will be racing against from other countries? Any fast kids that you are familiar with?
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.

 

When do you leave for the USA and what sort of preparation have you been doing to get ready?
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.
Here’s my schedule:
Monday Day: school / Night: at home training
Tuesday Day: School / Night: at track Practice
Wednesday Day: School / Night: Rest
Thursday Day: School / Night: at home training
Friday Day: School / Night: Club level Racing
Saturday: regional and championships racing
Sunday: Mountain biking / beach / rest day

 

 

How long is the World Championship event and tell us about your schedule while you are there?  
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.

 

Wow that’s going to be a long 6 days for you. Do you have any other plans while you are in America?
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.)

 

Is there a pro BMX rider you kind of look up to?
Joel Clark

 

How has your race season at home been going for you this year?
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.

 

Do you have any special race day food you like to eat?
Watermelon

 

What other non-BMX actives do you enjoy doing?
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.

 

What are your goals for the future?
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.

Well good luck at the Worlds Ceri and we will be eager to hear how things go for you. Do you have any sponsors you would like to thank?
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.