Australia's Caroline Buchanan has shaken off the rust from a year-long absence from the BMX World Cup circuit with victory in the season opener in Manchester.
The Canberran overcame a couple of challenging races in the preliminary rounds to stamp her dominance in the final on Sunday.
Buchanan took the victory ahead of American Brooke Crain, with Stefany Hernandez from Venezeula third.
''For the first two motos I was just my own worst enemy making a few mistakes,'' Buchanan said.
''I took a moment outside and then once I had gained that composure I was back on track
''In the semis I wanted to get a good lap time so I could set myself up on the inside [lane]. I was confident on the gate.''
The 23-year-old is the reigning world champion and will be looking to make it back-to-back World Cup victories in the next round in Holland in three weeks.
But before then, Buchanan will return to Australia to compete in the national championships in Shepparton from April 29 to May 4.
“My training has been a solid pre-season at home in Canberra with the support of the AIS, the BMX Australia high performance program and Luke Madill targeting BMX specifics,'' Buchanan said.
''Winning the national title and being able to run the Australian flag sleeve is a huge goal of mine this year.''
Buchanan struggled in her first two qualifying races before taking out the third.
She carried that momemtum into the semi-finals to storm into the final as the fastest rider.
With her preferred choice of lane, Buchanan took the lead early, but had to hold off a late charge from Crain to secure the victory.
The story Caroline Buchanan wins opening round of the BMX World Cup circuit first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.