UCI Cycling World Championships: Elite BMX Racing titles for Shriever and Mahieu

Six UCI World Champions crowned.

Located just outside of downtown Glasgow, the BMX Centre provided memorable racing in all challenge classes last week, before the Elite took to the track from 11 to 13 August 2023.

All six finals took place today, the last day of the UCI Cycling World Championships that have taken place in Glasgow and across Scotland since 3 August. The eight finalists in each category had already made it through the day’s quarter-finals and semi-finals.

Women Elite: Shriever at home

2021 UCI World Champion and reigning Olympic Champion Bethany Shriever appeared to be on a different level at the Glasgow BMX Centre, clocking the fastest time in the quarter-finals and the semi-finals. The home favourite looked confident when she lined up for the final against big names such as former UCI World Champions Alise Willoughby (2017 and 2019) of the United States, Laura Smulders (2018) of the Netherlands and Mariana Pajón (2014 and 2016) of Colombia. Last year’s UCI World Champion, Felicia Stancil of the United States did not make it past the semi-finals.

Starting from lane one, Shriever led from start to end to claim the rainbow jersey in front of a delighted British crowd. Laura Smulders passed Willoughby on the last straight to finish second while the American grabbed bronze.

Men Elite: France, France and France

With four French riders – Joris Daudet, Arthur Pilard, Romain Mahieu and Romain Mayet – winning the four quarter-finals, it was a sign of things to come.

Come the final, French athletes accounted for five of the eight at the start. Mahieu, Pilard, Daudet and Jérémy Rencurel were joined by Great Britain’s Ross Cullen, Colombian Carlos Alberto Ramírez Yepes and Nicolás Torres, of Argentina.

But the French TGV train kept running strong upfront in the final race of the day. BMX Racing veteran Joris Daudet completed a strong racing weekend with third just behind Arthur Pilard who was just 0.142s short of the UCI Elite Men World Championship title. The win, however, went to Romain Mahieu, also from France, who has enjoyed his best Elite season in 2023.

Under-23 categories: France and Switzerland rejoice

New Zealand’s Megan Williams set the fastest time in round one of the Women U23 category and looked to be in with a chance to claim the rainbow jersey. But it wouldn’t be easy, with competition from all corners of the world: Manuela Martinez Agudelo (COL), Tessa Martinez (FRA), McKenzie Gayheart (USA), Aiko Gommers (BEL), Michelle Wissing (NED), Renske van Santvoort (NED), and home rider Emily Hutt (GBR). When the gate dropped for the final, Hutt got herself in a great position but ended up 0.117s short of gold, to take silver behind Martinez. Williams claimed third place. The winners of the four Men Under 23 quarter-finals all made it through to the finals: Filib Steiner (SUI), Mateo Colsenet (FRA), Rico Bearman (NZL) and Jesse Asmus (AUS). And it was these four athletes who claimed the top four spots in the final, with gold going to the Swiss rider Steiner, followed by Colsenet and Bearman.

Juniors: gold for Latvia and Argentina

Latvia’s VeronikaStūriška has been competing in the Women Under 23 category at the 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup but is still eligible to race the Women Junior category. Her day on Sunday started off well with wins in the quarter-finals and semi-finals. Her domination continued in the final as she grabbed the UCI World title from Sienna Pal (AUS) and Ava Corley (USA). Jason Noordam (NED) arrived as a title favourite despite reduced preparation time because of a broken collarbone. With Noordam and Thomas Maturano (ARG) both winning their semi-finals, the two had to battle it out in the final race of the day. Noordam’s chances ended in the final with a crash, leaving the top two spots to Argentina. Maturano took gold with countryman Federico Capello in second and Italy’s Tommaso Frizzarin taking bronze.