France - 31.03/01.04.2018Website
Round 3 of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup delivered the perfect scenario for the organisation in Papendal, the Netherlands: bright sunshine, excellent spectator numbers (6000) and above all victories for Dutch athletes in both the women’s and men’s racing. Laura Smulders kept her winning streak, crossing the finish line in first for the 3rd time this World Cup season. Moments later it was Niek Kimmann doing the same from lane 8 in the Elite Men final.
Round 4 on Sunday saw exciting racing from the start. Qualifying through each round is a tough task given the level of the riders. UCI World Cup contenders Niek Kimmann (NED), and Frenchmen Joris Daudet and Sylvain André raced to the final. Missing in this list was Romain Mahieu (FRA) whose Sunday ended in the 1/4 final. To everyone's surprise Dutchman Joris Harmsen grabbed the holeshot from lane 7 in the final and led the race until the last turn where he washed out and crashed on his own. Daudet ran into him to finish last, while Kimmann did not manage to escape clean either, placing 6th in the final. Up front Sylvain André took the win for maximum World Cup points followed by Dutchmen Twan van Gendt and Dave van der Burg. Smulders saw her winning streak go up in smoke after a sloppy lap in the finals where she took 4th behind Alise Willoughby (USA), Judy Baauw (NED), and Saya Sakakibara (AUS) 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively. Smulders and Kimmann will bring the red leader plates to Heusden-Zolder for rounds 5 & 6.
UCI BMX Supercross World Cup, Rounds 5 and 6, Heusden-Zolder, Belgium > 12 & 13 May
With a two-year UCI World Cup hiatus, Alise Post returned to the series as Alise Willoughby after marrying 4-time UCI World Champion Sam Willoughby. Sam is also Alise's trainer nowadays and he watched her win her third UCI World Cup on Sunday May 6th at Papendal. Alise's main focus this year are the UCI BMX World Championships in Baku next month, and coming to Papendal was a way to see where she's currently at compared to her competition. The 2017 UCI World Champion wants to keep her rainbow jersey for another year. Born in St. Claud, MN in 1991, Alise Willoughby started racing at the young age of six. At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil she claimed the silver medal. A third Olympic participation is a strong possibility and by the way she's currently riding shooting for that gold medal must be a goal.