Buchanan aiming to defend BMX world title
11 July 2014
CYCLING - BMX: Two years on from her London Olympics misstep, BMX world champion Caroline Buchanan is dominating the world racing circuit.
The 23-year-old speed demon jets off to the Netherlands on Sunday to defend the UCI BMX World Championships title she won in New Zealand last year.
And this time around, Buchanan's confident she'll achieve her "ultimate dream" of winning the time trial and racing event double when the event kicks off from July 23.
The Canberra-born rider has been in scintillating form in 2014, winning two of the first three BMX Supercross World Cup races this year to hold a comfortable series lead.
Her last win was in Berlin a month ago, where she pulled off an audacious final corner move to overtake 2012 Olympic champion Mariana Pajon.
"Ever since the London Olympics, I've made sure that I didn't have the Olympic champion beat me again," Buchanan boasts.
"I was hungry in that last turn, and took a very risky move to pass her, and it paid off."
Buchanan was in tears after losing to Pajon and finishing fifth in the 2012 Olympics final.
While maturity has helped her become a stronger rider since, she also puts a lot down to the improvement in her starts.
She's been working with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in the last year to ensure her jumps from the gate put her in the best possible position each race.
"My whole strength and conditioning program has changed. Biomechanics - it's opened my mind to a whole new world of training," she said.
"After London a big goal of mine was to fix my starts. I've managed to do that. I've combined them with the strong back end of the track I have - now I'm seeing some great consistency."
So busy is Buchanan's racing schedule for the remainder of 2014 that she won't return to Australia until November.
By the time she returns, the Rio 2016 Olympics will be less than two years away.
"That's what's keeping me hungry, keeping me motivated," she said.
"The desire to win that gold medal is burning pretty strong."