2019 has been an exciting year of competition in its own right, but there’s no disguising the fact that every major event has also been looking forward in the lead-up to the 2020 Olympic Games. Both BMX Racing and BMX Freestyle Park are shaping up for the big event in Tokyo with the main Olympic points-scoring events of 2019 being the UCI BMX World Cups and UCI BMX World Championships.
UCI BMX World Championships & UCI BMX Supercross World Cup
The UCI BMX World Championships returned to Heusden-Zolder, Belgium, where it was Laura Smulders’ race to lose. The defending Elite Women UCI World Champion from the Netherlands had just won round four of the UCI World Cup at home in Papendal and then round five in Saint Quentin-en-Yvelines, France – and was getting stronger and stronger. But in Belgium it was the USA’s Alise Post who deservedly took the title away from her. The American had shown speed throughout the Championships and made it stick when it counted to win the rainbow jersey for another year. With six out of ten World Cup wins, Laura Smulders took the 2019 UCI World Cup overall title and plenty of Olympic qualifying points.
In the Elite Men class racing is really unpredictable; any riders who make the semi-finals could go on to win. For 2019 UCI World Champion Twan van Gendt, racing is all or nothing. With this attitude, and after a disastrous start to the season, the Dutchman arrived in Heusden-Zolder with one goal: to be #1. Four weeks before the race, few fancied van Gendt as the 2019 UCI World Champion, but his determination paid off and everything fell into place.
With a total of 11 UCI BMX SX World Cup wins Niek Kimmann (NED) is the new leader when it comes to the total number of UCI World Cup wins. In 2019 he won six. The statistics show that he has passed BMX greats Maris Strombergs of Latvia (eight UCI World Cup wins), as well as Connor Fields (USA), Liam Phillips (GBR), Corben Sharrah (USA) and Sam Willoughby (AUS) who each have six victories.
Alfredo Campo (ECU) had a stellar World Cup season finishing second overall just 70 points ahead of Switzerland’s David Graf.