With four rounds of the 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup hosted in Santiago del Estero, the title contenders needed to be in top form for the two consecutive weekends of competition in Argentina. After rounds 7 and 8 having been completed on 7 and 8 October, the riders went into the final two rounds on 13 and 14 October.
French battle for the overall ranking in the Men Elite
Cameron Woods got lucky on Friday 13. Faced with physical problems during the season, the American showed that he was back. It was not easy to beat UCI World Champion Romain Mahieu (FRA) but Woods managed to outmaneuver him for second place. Australian Bodi Turner kept believing in the podium, an achievement that few expected.
Romain Mahieu was unable to capitalise on his consistency to win the overall UCI BMX Racing World Cup title after round 9. His countryman Joris Daudet secured a fourth place, keeping himself in the race for the title. With 3,043 points compared to 2,859 with one race remaining, Mahieu had a decent lead, but the 500 points awarded to the winner the following day meant that steady Daudet still had a chance.
When the lights turned green for the final round of the season, Mahieu got off to the best possible start. With two wins and a second place in Santiago del Estero already in the pocket, the Frenchman played it right and won both the final UCI World Cup round of the year and the overall classification. Olympic champion Niek Kimmann (NED) scored his first UCI World Cup podium of the season, while Great Britain’s Quillan Isidore was thrilled to take third.
Final overall ranking of the 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup - Men Elite
Romain Mahieu (FRA), 3,543
Joris Daudet (FRA), 3,094
Diego Alejandro Arboleda Ospina (COL), 2,159
Women Elite: Sakakibara extends lead to win UCI World Cup
With Bethany Shriever (GBR) scoring 174 points for an 8th place in the Women Elite final after a bad start, Saya Sakakibara (AUS) took the lead in the overall UCI World Cup standings: 433 points ahead after her second victory in Santiago del Estero with just one round remaining. Sakakibara had to go to the bitter end to hold off Laura Smulders (NED) who finished second on the Friday. American Felicia Stancil grabbed the final podium spot.
The following day, Saya Sakakibara used lane one to grab the holeshot while Bethany Shriever had a bad start. Alise Willoughby (USA) finished third, just behind Merel Smulders (NED) while Sakakibara won and secured her victory in the overall standings, exactly like Romain Mahieu.
Final overall ranking of the 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup - Women Elite
Saya Sakakibara (AUS), 3,775
Bethany Shriever (GBR), 3,044
Laura Smulders (NED), 2,680
Men and Women U23: Bearman and Martinez take home series titles
Through his victory on the Friday, New Zealand’s Rico Bearman was assured of winning the 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup for Men U23 even before the final race. The Argentineans would have liked to see Thomas Maturano on the top of the podium, but he had to settle for third, behind Tim Goossens (NED). Bearman did it again the following day, reaffirming his dominance with a final win. His rival Mateo Colsenet (FRA) crossed the line in second place, with Dutchman Tim Goossens finishing third. The New Zealander wins the UCI World Cup with a significant margin over runner-up Colsenet.
Final overall ranking of the 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup – Men U23
Rico Berman (NZL), 1,288
Mateo Colsenet (FRA), 956
Thomas Maturano (ARG), 599
The Americans had a good day on the Friday as Ava Corley won the Women U23 final. With overall leader Tessa Martinez (FRA) not making it to the final, Latvia’s Veronika Sturiska who finished fourth in the final, still had a chance of winning the 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup title going into the last round. With Tessa Martinez also missing the final on the Saturday, all eyes were on Veronika Sturiska. But the Latvian finished 7th, which meant Martinez claimed the overall. Ava Corley would have liked the season to last a little longer, ending in full steam and winning the last round in front of an enthusiastic crowd.
Final overall ranking of the 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup – Women U23
Tessa Martinez (FRA), 976
Veronika Monika Sturiska (LAT), 862
Ava Corley (USA), 787