"IT'S like make up your mind weather."
It was not the way Connor Fields had hoped to win his second UCI BMX Supercross World Cup gold medal of 2020, but when windy conditions forced officials to cancel racing in the third round at Bathurst on Saturday, it was the American's name on top of the time sheet.
With heavy rain predicted, officials had already taken the measure of altering the Saturday schedule late on Friday evening to try and ensure the competitors representing 27 different countries would get the chance to race.
But after the 18 men's heats were conducted on Saturday, wind gusts of up to 37km/hr saw racing come to a halt.
"I've seen racing cancelled once before, but it was rain, it wasn't wind, that was in the US," Fields said.
"I've noticed that about Australia, one day it will be 40 [degreees], the next day it's 20 then it's back up to 40 the day after that - it's like make up your mind weather.
"They did everything they could, but at the end of the day, you can't control the weather. There comes a time when the risk outweighs the reward, it's not safe and you're just going to get more people injured. We don't want to see that.
"I feel for any of the riders who went down in the conditions and got injured. Kai - he had a pretty bad get-off so thoughts are with him at the moment."
As fields indicated, one of the riders who was injured during the heats was Australian Olympic hopeful Kai Sakakibara.
The 23-year-old fell on the second corner of the track. He was assessed and treated onsite for head injuries by paramedics and a doctor from 1300MEDICS, before he was taken to Canberra Hospital by a NSW Ambulance helicopter in a critical, but stable condition.
A week earlier in Shepparton, Fields began his 2020 World Cup campaign in solid fashion with a fourth placing and a gold medal.
The gold medallist from the 2016 Rio OIympics arrived at Bathurst keen to build on that and when he lined up at the gate on Saturday morning, he knew that the weather could impact what unfolded.
It meant he rode hard in his heat, clocking a 34.222 seconds run. It was the quickest time in the first round, just ahead of Great Britain's Kye Whyte (34.321) and fellow American Corben Sharrah (34.3760). Josh McLean (34.754) was the best of the Australians in seventh.
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"The way the rules are, whatever round they complete, whether it's first round, quarter-finals, semi-final, whatever it is, if they have to call the race early they'll go off lap times to the point they've completed," Fields said.
"So I knew that coming in, I think most people were aware of that coming in, so I just focused on trying to run the fastest laps I could all day. That was the plan.
"They ended up calling it after round one and yeah, the score was on the board, it's a win. It's definitely a bit of a weird feeling, hard to be excited as I know the city and the council put a lot into this and they didn't get to run the race they wanted, so I feel for them.
"I won last week so that makes me feel a bit better, it shows it's not a fluke because I won six days ago. But yes, it's an interesting feeling, what can you do?"
Fields revealed that it was time spent training at the Bathurst track in the build up to the World Cup which aided his cause on Saturday.
It meant he had more experience that some of his rivals in the 134-strong field.
"I came early I did some time on it, did some training and I was really keen to do some proper racing on it," he said.
"It gave me a little more confidence and made it easier to feel a little more comfortable, just because I'd been around. I rode in the wind when I was here last time, so I had that little bit of experience.
"It's really different, a lot of the tracks we race at around the world are really similar, but this one is really unique and fun. So I was really excited to race on it and I hope we have a proper race tomorrow."
The elite women did not get on track on Saturday.
Officials are hoping racing in round four of the World Cup goes ahead on Sunday.