Kai Sakakibara Race Report - USA BMX Mile High Nationals

After the World Championships in Rock Hill, Saya and I flew to San Diego, California to spend a few days at the house I had been living in for the last 3 months. It was a great few days, visiting the Red Bull HQ in Santa Monica, the Oakley HQ in Foothill Ranch, and chilling out under the California sun before flying out again, this time to Grand Junction, Colorado for the USA BMX Mile High National. This was to be the last leg of our USA trip before heading back home to Australia.

It was a very rough start to our trip. There were three cancelled flights the morning we were flying out of San Diego, and the airport was in chaos at 5.00am when we arrived. By the time Saya and I had gotten to the front of the queue to check in, they had closed baggage check in and would not give us any leniency even though we had been at the airport for an 1 hour. We missed our flight to Phoenix, which meant we missed our transfer to Grand Junction, with the next flight out of Phoenix not being until 6.00pm.

This flight out of Phoenix was delayed by 3 hours again because of extreme weather, and we didn’t end up arriving to Grand Junction until 12.00am on race day. A planned 6 hour journey ended up taking 18 hours, and they still managed to not get our suitcases on board, although thankfully our bikes made it safe.

I’m usually terrible at dealing with situations like this. I stress, and get upset by things that are far beyond my control. So I set my goal for this weekend to not let my OCD take over, and deal with each situation positively.

It was a tough race for me mentally. Being the week after the Worlds, I found it quite tough to switch on, even though the competition level was equal to that of the Worlds. I ended up finishing 7th in Day 1, and a 6th in the Semi in Day 2 after getting caught up on the first jump with Netherland’s Jelle van Gorkom.

Overall, I was happy with the way that I was riding. The one task for me is to work out how I can ensure that I’m switched on and in the zone at every event I attend, even when backed up after big events like the World Championships.

Regardless of this, I was stoked with my ability disregard the annoying travel difficulties, and deal with the weekend positively. This was a huge take away for me.

I flew back into Sydney on Wednesday morning (24 hours late due to plane delays again…. Haha). I’m looking forward to a short break before planning out my next few months of racing.

Thank you for your continued support!