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Jack Davis: From the Sidelines to the Winner's Circle

Our main man, Speedo. The #85 bike of Jack Davis exploded into the limelight this year as he charged into the season USA BMX season opener in Houston. Since then, it's been a roller coaster of a year with injuries, training sessions, and his first win at this latest stop of the USA BMX Pro Series. Meet the Aussie that’s ready for the next level, and don’t forget to read his answers in your best Australian accent.

A passion will take you a long way, but for the Davis family, the leap of faith to move countries and make BMX his career brought Jack to the Florida shores to transition into a US local.

JD85: “So I came over as a first-year Elite. I was 18 at the time, and my first race was actually in Nashville. So that was my pro debut, and I ended up doing pretty good there, I actually made both my Mains. I got a fifth and a seventh, I think, that weekend. And then that was kind of the highlight for the year. I kinda went downhill from there. But obviously, I've been back and forth coming over to the US since seven years old. I specifically remember mentioning it to my parents, like, I wanna go over there and live. I think Sam really set the example. He came over here and, obviously, started killing it. So that was always the goal, and for us, you know, it’s the US dream. And so to get over here and back in 2021 when I was, yeah, 18, 19, we sort of decided we're gonna send me over here for a few months at a time and really get on the race scene.”

“And yeah, just sort of tested the waters out, and that was the year that I decided that I wanted to move to Florida. I came over here for my worlds prep and spent time staying with Joey Leto and and Evan Schaeffer and doing my Worlds Prep over here. And I really liked it. So that was when we decided we wanted to make the move here, and so we made that happen last year, and it's been exactly one year that I've been in my place. It's been quite an adjustment, but I think I'm settled now, and yeah, I mean obviously really enjoying it.”

From training with the ever-growing crew in Florida to travel to the races repping the Answer SSquared brand. 2023 has thrown everything at Davis’ game plan.

JD85: “So after Grands, I took some time off, didn't really touch my bike for a while, and then started the pre-season training with Sam Willoughby and just got a really good block in. I had Curtis Craig staying with me at the time, so he and I were going hard into the season opener in Houston. And obviously, what I was doing worked, I was at Houston running really well and I think I, you know, kind of introduced myself to the game a little more at Houston. I think people realized who I was, and I had some great momentum going, and then that all came to a halt when I had a huge crash the week before Oldsmar, which pushed my momentum back off the bike. And I think that had a pretty big effect on me, mentally and obviously physically.”

“But back to the game plan, it was really just to hit all the US races, I haven't done a full year over here before, so I wanted to hit all the races and try to get on the World Cup scene as well and just do as best I can at those races and start earning some UCI points because next year's Olympics is a huge goal of mine. I need to be earning UCI points and doing well at the World Cups to make that happen. So just, yeah, working hard to, you know, try and do the best I can everywhere that I go, really.”

Leading up to his now home track national, Davis looked to keep his pre-season training rolling, but the BMX Gods had other plans. No matter the injury, the bounce back can go a number of ways, and Davis found the path to return to racing.

JD85:“I've had injuries before. If I averaged it out, it's probably one a season, which aren’t great numbers, but I mean, it's an occupational hazard, unfortunately. So yeah, like, I've done collarbones, and I've actually done internal stuff before. So my injury in February was a stage three laceration on my liver and kidney, which is pretty nasty. And so, yeah, it was tough. I was obviously very upset, but also I was really proud of myself for how I handled it. I just sort of took the attitude of, you know, the bullets out of the barrel, so to speak. The shot's been fired, you can't get it back, Just look at what's in front of me. And actually, a lot of the stars aligned with that sort of thing.”

“I was able to go up to New York City with my cousin and have a look around there. I had never been there before, and I ended up going up to Canada, getting my athlete visa finalized coming back in. So, a lot of those things actually worked out well.”

“ I hadn't had an injury that big and, you know, probably out of everything that takes the cake. So yeah, it was tough. It was just a lot of time off the bike. I was just really keen to get back into it, and I was eager to get back into training, but it was just a lot of time of sitting around doing nothing cuz you can't rehab your internal organs.”

“I think I handled it well. It was tough, and it was just a bummer cuz I had momentum going, and I was so excited to train and race, really trying and do well there and set myself up well in the points. But looking back at it, I only missed two races, Oldsmar and Rock Hill, so looking at it like that, it doesn't sound too bad. So I'm grateful that that was all I missed, and now that I'm back, you know, my mojo's back, I got my swagger back. So, it all worked out, but it was tough. I've had to deal with mid-season injuries before, but nothing that big.”

From the sidelines to the winner’s circle, Reno, NV, brought his speed to a small track indoor build for the first time since he jumped to Pro.

JD85: “So I've done Vegas back in 2017 when I was an Amateur, and that was when Jack Kelly and I were battling that weekend, he won two days, and I won one day, and that was right before the worlds in Rock Hill. But I think, if I really go back, it's 2015, the Bluegrass in Louisville, that indoor that was my first ever US race. So I've done that one, I've done Vegas and now I've done Reno and then obviously Grands. But I don't mind the indoors. Like I've done pretty well at them so I don't mind 'em at all. Those laps are pretty short. That's why I was so shocked that I was, you know, so gassed after them. But I realized we were at a high elevation, so that's my excuse. We were pretty high, I was tired after those laps. I'm like, why do I feel like this?”

As the season continues and Davis looks into the future of 2023, the end of the year is packed with racing both internationally and domestically. However, some of those races won’t see the #85 bike in the start list.

JD85: “Yeah, the season’s gone by quick, But I, unfortunately, didn't get picked for the Australian team for Worlds. I didn't meet the criteria, just mainly because of my injury. It kind of stopped my momentum, and I wasn't able to meet the criteria so I, I wasn't picked on the team. So I’ll be staying here and, and getting some good training in, which sucks. Like obviously I wanna be at the World Championships, but, you know, I think that was a nice, fire. I was told pretty much just before Reno, so I was able to come out and win it. So that was pretty cool. But I mean, it's no one else's fault of my own. I didn't get the results. So Worlds is a no for me this year, but my next one will be Louisville and continue through the rest of the season.”

“I intend to do most of the races, so Louisville, and then I think over in LA for the City of Industry. I think that one's on the cards as well. And then, unfortunately, I think Rock Hill clashes with my National Championships back home in Australia, which I'm gonna go home and do, so I'll miss that one. Then Grands. I've just recently booked my tickets to Argentina, so that World Cup is a go-ahead as well, which I'm excited for because that's a new country, new experiences, new place, and there are four rounds down there. So I like my chances of going down there and doing well and getting some good points for Australia and myself.”

While we may see the Pros mainly on track or through their social media, the unique side of each Pro holds different nuggets of fun information. Hidden talents, superstitions, or the rare music ability. So whats a fun fact about Jack Davis?

JD85: “Fun fact? As soon as someone says that, I always say I can solve a ruby cube. There's a weird one I can do. I think it's a good distraction from, all the race day noise going on in your head when you race. It's like something you can just kind of focus on and do something a little different. But they are popping up. I think I'm gonna, I'm gonna claim that I started it, although I don't bring 'em to the races. I like to just listen to my music and, and chop it up with some mates and stuff. But when I was a bit younger, I used to bring him to the races, but not anymore.”

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