I went into the 2016 USA BMX Grands, feeling like I had done everything physically possibly to be ready for the race.
The track looked awesome in my first look at it, and if there was a track designed for me, it was this one. I was pumped. This was to be my first race in 12 months, with the 2015 Grands being my previous race.
For the first time in a long time, there were no nerves leading into the race, I was genuinely excited to race and I honestly did not care where I placed. I wanted to get back on the gate and bang elbows with some off the best in the world, and fun doing that I love doing the most - racing.
The schedule for the race went Friday Race of Champions (ROC) then Saturday was the big Grand Nationals.
The first moto on the Saturday I finished 7th. The next two motos I had were 8 man motos and I had already set myself up with a high amount of point one race in. I went back to the pits and knew what I had to do, I was not going to get moto'd here. My next lap, I came out and led from start to finish in a full 8 man moto, something I had never done before and I was stoked.
In the semi, I didn't have the best of gates, and unlike the previous day I backed of a little down the first straight to set up a corner move, meanwhile in the corner there was an explosion and 4 guys went down, and I secured myself a spot in the main event!
I honestly couldn't really believe it and definitely struggled to keep the smile of my face the entire night. I was able to do my first major pro roll out, and embraced the moment as much as I could.
A massive Thanks to my parents for sticking with me after what seemed like no way to come back from this one, my girlfriend for putting up with me through all of this, my Auckland family the De Vries for helping me out big time by letting me stay with them and save up money so I can focus on training, East City BMX for hiring me as the Club Coach and being a massive support for me, Jude Eades and Elette Flemming for helping me secure funding for the flights, Yess BMX, Jill and Lance McGuire for letting me stay in Denver with them! Also a massive thanks to James Sheely, Kenny G, Gator, Cru Jones, Boo Huff, Kyle Bastin and Tent for the support this year, which in all reality should of been a bad one, but really was f**ing awesome.
23rd December 2016.