Pretlove's masterly BMX performance

IF two out of three ain’t bad, then four out of five is even better.

Warrnambool’s Luke Pretlove collected a BMX Australia national series title after winning four of its five rounds.

Pretlove, 31, shone in the 30-plus masters section, notching four straight wins to clinch the honour after he was runner-up in round one.

The Warrnambool BMX Club president celebrated the win in Shepparton on Thursday night before switching his attention to the national championships in the following days, where he won his third straight men’s 30-34 cruiser class plate and was seventh in the men’s masters section. Pretlove said he was proud of his efforts in the national series.

He wanted to better his second-place finish of last year and did.

“I achieved the goals I wanted to achieve this year,” Pretlove said. 

“I don’t know how many kilometres I travelled around the country to do it — a trip to Perth and back and to Queensland and back.”

Pretlove said he had control of the final after picking up speed after a slow start.

“I was sluggish at the start. I was third sitting on the first straight,” he said. “Into the first turn I took the hole shot and I had a quicker lap speed and they (my opponents) couldn’t do much about it.

“The long track suited me.

“It wasn’t super technical, there was lots of top-end speed.

“It was tough on fitness and it really drained you, I suppose.

“There were a lot of cramps on Thursday night because it was late at night and they had fireworks between races to ramp it up and you had to keep warm.”

Pretlove, who was thrilled to win another cruiser class national title, said a collision hurt his chances in the men’s masters section.

“I qualified reasonably well and looked comfortable for a top-three finish there,” he said. 

“I had a really good start and it was the same deal again — I picked up momentum at the end of the first straight and slotted into second.

“I had a guy cannon into me and try and knock me off to gain a position.

“He hit me hard and I clipped out of my pedals and ended in seventh.”

Warrnambool had 19 members compete at the national championships.

Heather Stewart and Amber Dowd joined Pretlove in collecting plates.

Stewart finished seventh in the 40 and over women’s class and Dowd collected two plates — for seventh in the 10 girls’ 20-inch section and eighth in the 10 and under cruiser class.

Pretlove said Dowd was in contention for a podium finish in the cruiser class before a crash cruelled her chances.

He said Warrnambool had a number of riders perform strongly on the national stage.

“People are right there so hopefully next year they will go better and get plates,” he said.

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