Sammy bound for World Cup

Harcourt BMX rider Sammy O’Grady is pictured on his RIFT BMX with his new look club jersey and Australian Titles UCI Plate.

Harcourt teen and Bendigo BMX Club talent Sammy O’Grady has made the trek across the Tasman to Rotorua in New Zealand where he will contest the first two rounds of the 2024 UCI World Cup BMX series this weekend. 

The 17-year-old says he plans to give BMX his all in 2024 in a bid to really make his mark in the sport. 

Sammy started out in BMX when he was just three years old and has had some incredible success on a local, state and national level over the last decade. 

He has also battled his fair share of injuries during that time, but his passion for the sport and determination to succeed has seen him climb back on the bike time and again. 

In 2023 he made some solid progression and in his last big race at the Australian Titles in November he was sitting in second place in the final of the Junior Elite Under 19 Class, before his front wheel washed out on one of the corners, which sent him off the bike. 

Despite the setback, Sammy has teamed up with a new coach and is travelling to compete at the World Cup event under his own steam as an individual rider and, as there is no Under 19 division, will step up to compete in the Under 23 age group against some of the best riders from across Australia, New Zealand and beyond. 

Sammy then plans to jet back to Brisbane where he will contest the Oceania Championships – a World Championship qualifying event – on February 18 and the second two rounds of the World Cup series on February 24 and 25. 

Sammy said he was grateful to have the support of experienced World Titles campaigner and coach James Lautier, and has also recently gained a new sponsor CTD Industries/RIFT Factory Team, which has provided him with a high-performance RIFT frame and club jerseys. 

Sammy has been on a strict diet, exercise and training regime in the lead up to the World Cup and Oceania events to ensure he will be a peak fitness and hitting his ‘speed phase’ for the competitions. 

“I’ve been working out in the gym, undertaking sprints and daily track sessions,” he said. 

“James has provided a wealth of knowledge and has really encouraged me and its also amazing to have the backing from the team at CTD Industries and my family. 

“We’ve also been working hard to have my bike running smoothly and organising spare parts to plan for every possible issue we may face along the way. 

“I am really looking forward to the competition. This is my first time competing in New Zealand since I raced at the World Championships when I was seven. 

“It will be really challenging. Unlike regular competitions where you compete in numerous motos and earn points to make the finals, these competitions are really cut throat. You have to treat every race like its a final. If you don’t finish in the top four you won’t progress.” 

The talented rider hopes to achieve some great results and impress selectors to win a spot in the Australian Junior Elite Under 19 team for the World Championships in the US later this year. 

“My goal is to be able to compete in the final two rounds of the World Cup and the World Championships in the US if all goes well,” he said.