Caroline Buchanan ushers in Next Gen while Patty Mills pays tribute to Martin Luther King

By Chris Dutton
Updated April 23 2018 - 10:27am, first published January 24 2015 - 8:33am

Caroline Buchanan's No. 1 goal is Olympic Games redemption next year, but she's also on a mission to find her Australian BMX successor while she's at the peak of her powers. Buchanan has added another rising star to her Next Gen stable, securing sponsors to send the trio of juniors to the world championships this year while also planning for a fact-finding trip to Rio. "It's all focused on BMX racing this year and qualifying the Australian team for the Olympics," Buchanan said. "I won't change anything too crazy this year, things are looking positive. We're going to Rio for a test event in September ... the Olympic course is completely different to London. It's all downhill, the speeds we hit will be faster than ever before." Eight-year-old national champion Tayla Robertson is now part of Buchanan's development team, the first all-girls BMX team designed to groom Robertson, Mikayla Rose and Paige Harding as future Olympians. Rose and Harding both finished in the top 10 at the world championships last year after Buchanan helped raise $10,000 to fund their trips. Now Jayco has jumped on board as a sponsor and will help fund their careers. Buchanan is also launching a junior bike range that will be in stores worldwide next month. "Hopefully, we can bridge the gap for women in sport and create a pathway. You need experience at the highest level, I don't want Buchanan Next Gen to be a jersey on the back. I want it to be mentoring, support and competition against the best in the world to get them to be 2020 and 2024 Olympians. The process starts now."

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