Young Hornby rider tops the nation
He may be young, but he’s the best in his grade and the one to watch when it comes to BMX.
Hornby’s Austin Stronach, 5, took home his second national title in the sport at the 2018 BMX New Zealand Nationals over Easter Weekend, taking top spot in the Sprockets 6 Boys.
After crashing in his first moto (heat), Austin came back to win his next three, allowing him pick of lane for the final.
‘‘I picked lane five, it’s the really fast lane. It’s the straightest and gets me into the corner first,’’ he said.
His father Michael said Austin had taken to riding ‘‘like a duck to water’’, his older clubmates commenting he rode at a level three or four years older than he was.
The family lived across the road from the Kyle Park BMX Track, making it ‘‘inevitable that one [of the kids] would get into it,’’ Austin’s mum Lee-Anne said.
The draw of the track had enticed both the family’s children into riding with Christchurch City BMX Club (CCBC), Austin’s sister Mykiala, 7, was the ‘‘friendly rider’’ of the pair, LeeAnne said.
Austin had started riding at three-years-old, heading across the road to ride down the Kyle Park track’s start hill.
‘‘He’s a pretty determined little fella with anything he does. It’s nice to see he’s found a sport he loves. We’re really proud of him,’’ Michael said.
Lee-Anne said the family just needed to remind Austin that he was still only five when it came to expanding his tricks from wheelies and jumps.
‘‘He can’t do the backflips yet,’’ she said.
Even with the season finished, Michael said the family would have no trouble keeping Austin keen on heading over the road to train.
Austin was also crowned num- ber one in his grade in the South Island in January. Michael said he was building his hopes Austin could ‘‘get the three-pete’’.
‘‘We’ll go up to the North Island Champs next year, see if we can take it off the Northerners,’’ Michael said.
Although he was the only CCBC rider to take home an NZ1 rating, the club had eight other riders in the top 10 of their respective grades.
For the future, Austin was interested in becoming a professional rider. His goal in the meantime?
‘‘Not crash,’’ he said.
Austin Stronach, 5, with his national trophies from the 2018 BMX New Zealand Nationals.