Kai tackles the best in the USA.
USABMX Fall National Kai Sakakibara Race Report Lake Perris, California
Class: Elite Men Result: Day 1 – Semi Final. Day 2 – 6th
Following the conclusion of the World Cup in Sarasota 2 weeks ago, I flew with my good friend from Australia Brandon Te Hiko to stay in San Diego,
California to continue our training. I had a few days off the bike, and pushed out a few training sessions in preparation for the Fall National held at Lake
Perris, CA. This was to be my first ever USABMX National. These events are known for the stiff competition, as the best riders from all over the world travel
To compete, and this round was no different.
It was awesome to finally experience the USABMX racing – the atmosphere, riders and pit set ups… It was all completely different to Australian and World
Cup races. One of the biggest surprises was the fact that despite the number of riders at the event, they didn’t run the racing in block format, meaning that we had huge breaks between our races. Sometimes we had almost 2 hours, which was enough time to cool down, get undressed, and grab something to eat, go around and talk to the other riders, and siting down again before having to get ready for the next race. Completely different to the 20-25minute rests I’m used to getting.
The racing went very well for me. My gate starts were on point, and I was mixing it up with the best on both days. In Day 1, after qualifying 3rd, 3rd, 3rd in the moto’s, I had my best start in the semi-final. But I was too eager to come across on Tanner Sebesta who was on the inside of me, and we banged bars which sent me off balance and to the back of the pack. I was unable to recover into the top 4 from here.
Day 2 was much better, with a strong run through both my moto’s and semi-final, qualifying myself into the final. My semi was particularly strong, nailing the first straight and holding 3rd for the majority of the race with 3 of the finalists from Day 1 on my tail.
I got shut down out of the gate in the final so it was a race from behind the pack for me, but I was able to cross the line with a solid 6th behind four Olympians and a
strong USABMX contender.
This was an awesome result for me in a stacked field, and I was very
happy with my performance. My strength still needs developing to
beat these guys down the front straight, but everything else that I
need is already there.
Back to work now for another month to get ready for the USABMX