Willoughby defies rain and rivals in tricky Dutch Supercross
12 May 2014
CYCLING - BMX: Sam Willoughby has continued Australia’s stunning run of success in international BMX races by claiming the men’s title at the rain-soaked UCI BMX Supercross World Cup event in Papendal, Netherlands.
The 2012 London Olympic Games silver medallist overcame rain delays and a challenging track that turned some rounds into a lottery, to claim victory in his first Supercross world cup appearance of the year.
Fellow Australian Anthony Dean finished fourth, two places back from his brilliant performance to take second in the opening round of the Supercross world cup in Manchester last month.
In the women’s event, Australia’s reigning world BMX champion Caroline Buchanan couldn’t match her round one win and finished fourth. Despite missing the podium, the 23-year-old still leads the world cup standings going into round three in Berlin in June.
Willoughby, who like Buchanan claimed the Oceania and Australian National Championships earlier this month, said the weather forced him to take on an all or nothing approach.
“It was a brutal week,” Willoughby, pictured below right, said.
“It rained all week and racing on one of the hardest tracks in the world in those conditions was both physically and mentally challenging.
“When you go through all of that it’s a must to win because losing after riding in those conditions sucks.”
Other Australians on show in Papendal included rising junior Kai Sakakibara who showed his undoubted potential to finish 21st, last year’s world number six Josh Callan (22nd) and 2014 National Series champion Bodi Turner (25th). Corey Frieswyk and Matt Juster both did not progress past the 1/8 finals after crashing out in a moto.