At the end of a season when Niek Kimmann was once again crowned UCI BMX Supercross World Cup winner, we caught up with the 23-year-old Dutchman to hear about his year…
Do you set yourself goals at the beginning of the season?
NK: Yeah I always set some goals for myself. I wanted to make the mains at the European and World Championships, after missing them last year. It was also a goal to finish on the box in the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup ranking.
What are your favourite accomplishments in 2019?
NK: National, European and UCI BMX Supercross World Cup champion, and Silver at the UCI BMX World Championships.
How was racing in China?
NK: China was fun! I went last year and had a blast, so I definitely wanted to come again this year. To finish on the podium at both races made it even better.
Do you like packing up to go explore a new country?
NK: I wouldn’t say I like the packing haha. But I do love exploring new countries. Seeing new parts of the world and riding new tracks is always something I enjoy a lot.
Do you feel you learn a lot as a person by seeing different cultures?
NK: For sure! You see different cultures and see how people can be happy with totally different lifestyles, it makes you realise you shouldn’t judge people as fast.
Do you keep track on the places you’ve been to? Where would you like to go back to when you're done with BMX?
NK: I like to collect coffee mugs at all places I go to – the collection is getting pretty big! A lot of places have been special and all have their own stories. It’s often the people that make the places special, rather than the location. I think I’d love to go back to most places to be honest.
BMX racing being so international, could you do a world tour by just visiting friends?
NK: I visited Renato Rezende in Brazil in 2017. I went to Colombia in 2018, without planning to visit anyone in particular. Then you realize BMX is one big family and there are so many people that want to make sure you have a great time, so you even make friends along the way. Japan has been on my list for a long time, so I’m excited to go there next week for the Test Event. I will stay with Yoshi Nagasako the week after that, so I’m excited to see a bit more of the country than just the hotel and the track there as well! But to come back to the question, It would feel pretty rude to ask people everywhere, but if I really wanted, I think I could get a long way!
Making videos is a great way of documenting your trips. How much time do you spend on them?
NK: I enjoy it, so I don’t really check the time. I think most of my videos are about 8 minutes long, I’d say it takes at least an hour per minute of video.
Has having a brother to race and train with helped over the years?
NK: Yes, a lot. Sometimes I figured out a technique and I would teach it to him and vice versa. So that helps a lot. Also just having a person to ride with every day helped a lot.
How jealous were you when he got to ride the Tokyo track before you did?
NK: Haha, a little bit jealous. But sometimes I got to ride places he didn’t get to ride, so I didn’t have any problems with it. When he had the opportunity to go I told him immediately he had to do it. When you can travel the world, do something you enjoy, and it gets paid for, you better do it!
How jealous is he on your results this season?
NK: I’m not sure if he’s jealous. My season this year was crazy, and every time I do well he has a smile and his face, too. I would be happy for him as well.
What happened on Saturday in Santiago del Estero? Up until that time you had only missed one main at the 2019 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup season?
NK: Not much happened. No bad luck, I just didn’t race well. We’re all human and everyone can have an off day. On day 1 in Argentina I just wasn’t really feeling it. After a long season and knowing I had already won the ranking, I think I lost a bit of motivation. I couldn’t push myself the way I normally could. I’m not proud of it, but it’s the way it was. On day 2 I just wanted to ride again like I know I can. I somehow managed to win. So things turned 180 degrees from Saturday to Sunday.
How good did it feel to wrap it up with a win on Sunday?
NK: If I raced bad again on Sunday, I would still have been happy with the title, but I would’ve left Argentina with a bit of a mixed feeling. To be able to get my first ever win in Argentina, at the last round of the year and winning the title at the same time, was pretty special.