BATHURST BMX Club junior Dom Pappas will face the biggest test of his young career this weekend when he steps up to official competitive racing for the first time.
He will do it at the opening round of the 2019 BMX Australia national series in Sydney, Pappas one of 26 riders who will line up in the eight boys category.
Bathurst BMX Club spokesperson Hayley Wolfenden said it will be a challenge – his rivals including world number three Harley Bradshaw and world number eight Kade McNamara – but that it will aid in his development.
“I’m sure he will be keen, but it’s a whole different kettle of fish once they’re in normal competitive racing,” Wolfenden said.
“He is riding against some pretty good kids, there is one kid he’ll be against who is world number three and another one who is world eight.
“It will help him, at a young age the more they chase the better I think. It certainly helps them out as they get older.”
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Wolfenden will also compete at the two-day event, the first of seven national series rounds.
She won her first national series title last year on the back of podium finishes at the Launceston, Tuggeranong and Penrith rounds in her 25-29 years age group.
This year work commitments mean she won’t defend that title as she only plans to contest two rounds – three are needed to qualify.
Still, she hopes to produce strong rides this weekend as part of a nine-contender field and impress at October’s series finale in Canberra.
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“I’m only planning on doing one more round after this weekend, it’s going to be a quieter year for me,” she said.
“I’m going to be picking and choosing my state rounds, I’m still contemplating whether to try and qualify for state series.
“[But] When I do ride I am aiming for a bit more consistency I guess.”
While Wolfenden qualifies to wear the national jersey she earned for last year’s success in Sydney, she prefers to stick to her regular colours.
“It puts a target on your back. It’s always been my thing, I prefer to go with my number and my normal jersey when I race,” she said.