BMX: Caroline Buchanan wins opening World Cup meet in Argentina

An Olympic gold medal is Caroline Buchanan's "fire and fuel, life and dream" and the Canberra BMX queen is full of confidence after winning the first World Cup of the year in Argentina on Sunday.

It's the third successive year Buchanan has won the opening event and she puts it down to thriving in Canberra during the off-season.

Canberra BMX queen Caroline Buchanan wins the World Cup in Argentina.
Canberra BMX queen Caroline Buchanan wins the World Cup in Argentina. Photo: Craig Dutton

The 25-year-old got off to a good start and was never headed, although she was pushed by Colombia's Mariana Pajon, who won gold at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, with Holland's Laura Smulders third in Santiago del Estero.

Buchanan has spent the four years since London refining what works for her and while missing out on a medal "seems like not too long ago", she feels much has changed since then.

She's no longer being pushed along by what happened at the last Olympics, rather pulled along by what might happen at the next one.

"[The Olympics are] my No.1 priority. I really want to win a medal and would want to win gold. It's my fire and fuel, life and dream, everything," Buchanan said.


"Ever since I was a little girl I've always watched the Olympics and watched gymnastics, watched [Romanian gymnast] Nadia Comaneci's documentary when I was nine.

"I think it's in my blood ... for me it's everything."

There is just 19 weeks until Rio, and Buchanan will spend it away from home.

The next World Cup is in Manchester, England, in two weeks and the third is in Holland a month later.

She'll also race at the world championships in Colombia at the end of May before she switches her focus to the Rio Olympics.

Manchester will have the feeling of home, with her father - who was a track cyclist - joining her there, along with her Welsh grandmother.

She'll look to take her winning form from Argentina to Manchester.

"It's a crucial point right now for Olympic qualifying. I've got two World Cups to go and the world championships so some more opportunities to maintain my position for qualifying and help Australia qualify the maximum number of spots," Buchanan said.

"I've definitely got my confidence. I worked really hard this off-season - 2015 was a pretty solid year for me, but I knew that I had more in the bag this year."