Men Elite: André’sconsistency paid off
The key to success in the Men Elite class for the overall win this year was consistency. With seven athletes with at least one win, there was not a clear dominating rider. French Sylvain André collected the best score over the eight rounds with 2,537 points, which gave him the 2022 UCI BMX Racing World Cup title in the Elite category.
Sylvain André’s road to become the 2022 UCI BMX Racing World Cup champion was not so straightforward coming into round eight. The gap between the red plate holder and second placed Cameron Wood (USA) was however substantial and André needed to make it to the quarter-finals in round eight to claim the 2022 title. We caught up with him right before the quarter-finals:
“I had to score 50 points [to claim the title] and now I get 52 points if I finish last, so it’s done!” The relieved champion continued: “With how the points work, I never really paid attention, and I just realised last night that the gap from podium to the rest is completely ridiculous, so now I understood why with the 2-2-1, a semi, 3, 4 I was that much ahead. Today’s eight-final was the most stressful I’ve ever raced, I had the margin coming from the outside but it’s easier said than done. From here on forward I focus on getting on the box in round eight.”
Sylvain André made it to the eight-finals but had a crash on the first jump. Despite the pain, he still managed to win the overall 2022 ranking. Joris Daudet (FRA) was the only rider in the Men Elite class to win two rounds of the UCI BMX Racing World Cup in 2022.
Women Elite: Smulders dominated
With an amazing 27 UCI BMX Racing World Cup wins in her career, Dutch Laura Smulders is dominating the Women Elite category and her lead in the overall standings was confirmed even before the last round.
Laura Smulders managed a fourth place in the last race of the season and was content with Mariana Pajón (COL) winning in front of her home crowd and sister Merel Smulders finishing second.
Men Under 23: Garoyan confirming his overall victory
Like Smulders, Léo Garoyan had confirmed the 2022 overall title in the Men Under 23 category before the final round of the series. Winner of round seven on the Saturday, the young French could enjoy the races on the Sunday without needing to chase points for the overall standings.
Léo Garoyan did not go through to the final of the eight round, which was won by New Zealand’s Rico Bearman.
Women Under 23: Sturiska a rising star
With Swiss Thalya Burford moving up to the Elite class in mid-season, it left the door open for Latvian revelation Veronika Sturiska. The 17-year-old recorded a faster time in the final of round seven than the riders in the Women Elite class, showing that she has the potential to challenge Smulders and the others in the near future.
When asked about Veronika Sturiska, Laura Smulders said: “The women’s field is getting stronger and stronger and wrapping up the 2022 title with only first and second place results this year is unheard of. I set the goal for the UCI World Cup title at the beginning of the year because I believe it’s a prestigious title. With riders like Veronika entering the circuit it will become even harder to win more in the future. She has amazing track speed and set some fast times here in Bogotá.”
After winning the last three UCI BMX Racing World Cup rounds, Veronika Sturiska had to settle for second place at the final round, behind a thrilled Leila Walker who added a second victory for New Zealand in Colombia.
The road to Paris 2024 has started off in a strong way. The pressure is definitely on but there is a long way to go still.
Final overall standings for the 2022 UCI BMX Racing World Cup