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Willoughby steals UCI BMX Supercross World Cup series lead

11 May 2015

BMX CYCLING: Reigning BMX world champion Sam Willoughby has claimed the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup series lead after finishing second in the second round of the season at the Olympic training facility in Papendal, Netherlands.

An enthralled and vocal crowd was treated to spectacular racing throughout the day in what where perfect conditions, as the riders hunted the world cup series and Olympic points on offer.

Willoughby was in imposing form throughout the day and qualified fastest for the final where he was attempting to defend his race win from last year. His plans were thwarted however by 18-year-old Dutch sensation and 2014 junior world champion Niek Kimman, who stormed to victory from lane eight in what is his first year of elite men’s competition. Australia’s Anthony Dean also had a successful day finishing in fourth.

In the elite women’s final, Caroline Buchanan and Lauren Reynolds were unable to do anything to counter reigning Olympic champion Mariana Pajon’s flawless weekend performance, with Buchanan forced to recover after a sluggish start to finish fourth, while Reynolds finished in fifth.

Although not the result he was after, Willoughby has now claimed the overall series lead at the expense of Britain’s Liam Phillips, as the 24-year-old turns his attention to defending his world championship crown in Belgium in July.

“The race didn’t quite go to plan, it’s always hard coming into people’s backyards and trying to beat them, but for the most part I have had a successful day after a grueling couple of weeks,” Willoughby said.

“Leading the series is awesome and I will keep pushing now to stay there until season’s end.

“I leave for Belgium tomorrow with the High Performance Unit for a World Championships camp before heading back to my base in San Diego to continue my training.”
In the overall women’s standings Buchanan and Pajon are now neck and neck, with both riders on 380 points heading into the third round to be held in Engelholm, Sweden on August 15 and 16. Reynolds is now seventh on 240 points.

Other Aussie riders in action included Corey Frieswyk (20th), Bodi Turner (24th), and Josh Callan (29th) who were all knocked out in the quarter-finals, while Kai Sakakibara just missed out on progressing out of the motos finishing 35th overall. In the elite women Kirsten Dellar also failed to progress out of the motos to finish 31st.

The elite Australian riders now set their sights on preparation ahead of the UCI BMX World Championships in Zolder, Belgium from July 21 to 25, 2015.

BMX AUSTRALIA

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