UCI BMX Racing World Cup: Brisbane rounds shake up the hierarchy

Round 4 finals: Claessens confirms

Saya Sakakibara (AUS) and Joris Daudet (FRA) were top of the Elite rankings coming into the Australian weekend of the UCI BMX Racing World Cup. But victory escaped them – in very different ways – in Brisbane.

Round 3 finals: Sakakibara’s winning streak comes to an end

Sakakibara, home favourite in the Women Elite category after victories in the first two rounds in Rotorua, New Zealand, finished 2nd behind an unleashed Zoe Claessens (SUI), who is back training at the UCI World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland, this year. The Netherlands’ Manon Veenstra picked up her second 3rd place after Round 2 in Rotorua.

In Saturday’s Men Elite final, Daudet crashed out while leading, breaking a collarbone. It was 23-year-old Queenslander Izaac Kennedy who took his first win – with friends and family watching from the grandstands. The surprise podium also featured Ross Cullen (GBR) in 2nd and Jeremy Smith (USA) 3rd.

Round 3’s Women Under 23 victory went to another home rider, Teya Rufus, ahead of fellow Australian Isabell May and Belgium’s Aiko Gommers. Two Australians also dominated the U23 Men class with Jesse Asmus’ and Oliver Moran’s 1-2 delighting the home crowd.

Round 4 finals: Claessens confirms

In Round 4’s Women Elite final Claessens once again came out of the tight first corner in the best position and made her lead stick. A charging Sakakibara took second and Alise Willoughby (USA) third.

In the Men Elite, Kye Whyte showed that he can still win! It had been a long while since the British rider was on a UCI World Cup podium, but the Tokyo 2020 silver medalist demonstrated that he will be a contender at this summer’s Paris Olympic Games. The consistent Cédric Butti (SUI) came in 2nd and ‘The Magician’ Carlos Ramírez (COL) secured third.

Australia’s Oliver Moran rode the smartest to claim the Men Under 23 win, with Marcus Leth (DEN) second and Bennett Greenough (NZL) third.

The top two Women Under 23 from the previous day repeated their performances on Sunday: Teya Rufus in first and Isabell May in second. Great Britain’s Emily Hutt took third place behind the two Australians.

Standings & final rounds

A consistent weekend for Sakakibara with two second places means she now has 1860 points after four rounds, leading the Women Elite class from Claessens (1273), whose domination in Brisbane followed a disappointing start to the season in Rotorua.

Daudet drops to second in the Men Elite rankings with 1104 points, relinquishing the red leader plate to Butti (1245 points).

But with 1000 points still up for grabs at the last two rounds of the season on 27-28 April in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, anything can still happen.