A pair of fourth place finishes at BMX World Cup 3
15 May 2017
BMX: World Cup 4, Sunday May 14
Unpredictable, brutal and unforgiving. When BMX racing bites, it bites hard and round four of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup did just that to the Aussies in Zolder, Belgium overnight.
Rio Olympian Bodi Turner highlighted the racing for Australia, collecting 10th place, while fellow Olympian Anthony Dean finished 16th courtesy of a DNF, both riders were bailed out of the competition in the semi final round.
Dean’s DNF came after he aborted his semi final following a foiled run for position up the first straight, while elsewhere it was a battering day for the Aussies.
Western Australia’s Lauren Reynolds suffered a crash in her 1/8th final, dashing her hopes of a third consecutive final after she placed fourth in round three of the world cup a day prior. Fellow rider Leanna Curtis also hit the deck as she made an audacious bid to make up positions in her quarterfinal.
However the most spectacular tumble came courtesy of Australian elite men’s champion Kai Sakakibara, who came a cropper on the first jump and went somersaulting through the air.
Fortunately Sakakibara escaped with just a handful of stitches. Fellow Australian rider Jye Hombsch also failed to finish the very same race.
Despite the results sheet looking unfavourably on the Aussies, BMX Australia Academy Coach Luke Madill said the riders should take positives away from the event.
“Our guys actually rode quite strongly, despite what the results say,” Madill said.
“The track this weekend has been tight, and a fair few riders came unstuck. Our riders reported that they were frustrated in the corners, and that they were getting a fair bit of chatter through those sections.
“There’s no denying it’s been disappointing, but we can see potential and go away knowing that for a lot of riders, it was just a place of wrong place at the wrong time for the Aussies.”
Final results saw Turner in 10th, Dean 16th, Curtis the top placed Aussie female in 20th, Reynolds finished 36th. Meanwhile Sakakibara and Hombsch scored 94th and 95th respectively.
The UCI BMX Supercross World Cup now goes on hiatus until the middle of September, when the final two rounds of the series take place in Santiago del Estero, Argentina.
The next major international event will be the UCI BMX World Cup in Rock Hill, USA from July 25-29, where more than 150 Aussies are expected to race.
World Cup 3, Saturday May 13
Olympians Anthony Dean and Lauren Reynolds have finished fourth in the respective men and women’s events in the third round of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in Zolder, Belgium on Saturday night.
The duo highlighted the day for the 12-strong Aussie team, both lining up against world-class competitors that men’s victor, and reigning Olympic champion Connor Fields, described as the “pinnacle of BMX.”
Six days after claiming a sensational third place in the second round of the world cup in Papendal, Netherlands, dual Olympian Reynolds produced another strong ride to claim fourth.
The only riders ahead of the West Australian were Olympic and World Champion Mariana Pajon of Columbia, Simone Tetsche Christensen of Denmark and former World Champion Stefany Hernandez of Venezuela.
Although her performance in the final was admirable, it was the path Reynolds had to take to qualify for the main event that showed her true mettle.
After racing the opening rounds, 1/8th finals and quarterfinals, Reynolds then found herself in a sudden death semi against Pajon, Hernandez and Dutch rider Laura Smulders – the world cup series leader. All three of Reynolds’ toughest opponents had an Olympic medal to their name.
Holding her nerve, Reynolds was fourth in the semi – just as she was in the final. Courtesy of those results, the Aussie now finds herself sitting fourth in the World Cup standings after three rounds.
"Round three in Zolder was a tough day for sure," Reynold said.
"Racing is tight, and there's no easy runs. I had a great practice run and just got myself into a little funk during the races, but I made it work. My semi final draw was pretty close to the main event, and a lot of top riders were in it, so I knew I had to put my best foot forward to dig deep.
"The main event was a good lap, I came out of lane eight so I knew I had to get out of the gate well and be aggressive to get across down the first straight. I chased hard the entire lap to get into the top three, and ended it with a close finished against Hernendez (2015 world champion Stefany Hernandez, Venezuela) for third, but wasn't able to get it. I have gave it a good crack and am happy to walk away healthy with a fourth.
"I’m ready for round four," she said.
Meanwhile in the men’s final Rio debutant Dean produced a fast start, but soon found himself in the bar to bar jostle come the first turn.
Forced to fight for his position in the top five, the South Australian powered towards the line, beating home four-time world cup round winner Corben Sharrah of the USA in the process.
Further afield Australian elite men’s champion Kai Sakakibara (19th) came within centimetres of making it through to the semi finals, losing that position in a photo finish with Niels Bensink of the Netherlands. Meanwhile Rio Olympian Bodi Turner’s day also ended in the quarterfinals.
Other Aussie men’s results saw Victorian’s Joshua McLean and Brandon Te Hiko finish 48th and 55th, while South Australia’s Shane Rosa was 63rd. NSW rider Andrew Hughes was 65th, while Queensland trio Tristyn Kronk, Jye Hombsch and Corey Frieswyk finished 81st, 96th and 116th.
Australia’s only other female competitor was former national champion Leanna Curtis, who ended the day 29th.
The UCI BMX Supercross World Cup continues tomorrow as part of the new 2017 double-header format. Riders will again tackle the tricky Zolder track, with racing to commence at 8.30pm AEST.
You can view racing from round three of the world cup HERE.