Annika Jephcott says her main goal at this weekend's Warrnambool BMX Classic is to beat her sister in a race.
Jephcott, 15, will compete in the superclass event for the first time, pitting her against older sister Johanna, 19. Bragging rights won't be the only thing up for grabs, with superclass riders able to qualify for a 'Dash for cash' event on Saturday, with winners taking home up to $1000 in prizemoney.
Jephcott said it was her sister who inspired her to take the step up into the elite category.
"It will be a bit exciting (to race her) for the first time," she said.
Jephcott said she had some nerves ahead of her maiden superclass appearance but believed she had what it took to compete.
"They're taller, they're older, a lot older," she said. "But I think I've just got to have confidence."
She said she was "extremely excited" to compete at her home track and utilise the Jetty Flat facility's new track, which was sealed earlier this year to make it an all-weather surface.
"It's so much faster," she said of the track. "So much speed which is awesome to have."
They're taller, they're older, a lot older... But I think I've just got to have confidence.- Annika Jephcott
The Warrnambool College student competed at the Victorian titles in Bendigo earlier this month. She walked away with a 5V result in the 16 girls' age group after an unexpected crash, along with a 5V finish in the junior superclass event.
Jephcott, who started BMX riding aged three, said she had noticed her own development in recent years, especially after returning from two broken legs sustained in a skateboard accident prior to the COVID-19 lockdowns.
"I had a break and then came back and improved so much," she said.
Jephcott said there had been "a lot to her rehab" while she often would come down to the track to watch Johanna.
"I was itching to get back on," she said.
The Warrnambool BMX Classic will run as a two-day event from Saturday, after previously running as a one-day event. Warrnambool BMX Club president Darren Mollenoyux said everyone was looking forward to competing on their home track.
"There is always a little advantage to racing at home and they're all champing at the bit to race and see if they can come away with it," he said.
More than 50 Warrnambool riders will compete across several categories, with total entries around 200.
The classic will also play host to a side-hack category, which Mollenoyux said didn't get raced as much anymore.
"It's quite unique so it will definitely be a lot of fun to watch them out and about," he said.
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