2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup overall winners celebrate in SDE. Keeping focused all year isn’t an easy task. With so many races on the calendar you would have to pick and choose to make sure you’re at your peak at the bigger races of the year. With 4 UCI BMX Racing World Cup races happening in Santiago del Estero, with plenty of UCI ranking points on the line, the A-game needed to be on point for the two weekends of racing in Argentina. With rounds 7 & 8 in the pocket, the athletes and coaches had 4 days to reflect and plan for Friday’s UCI World Cup.
Life consists of highs and lows. On Friday the 13th luck was on Cameron Woods’ side. The American had dealt with injuries and recovery during the 2023 season but in the Elite Men final the American
Mahieu and Shriever lead Elite classes after 4 UCI BMX Racing World Cup rounds. Bearman and Martinez lead U23. Rounds 3 & 4 of the UCI BMX Racing World Cup took place at the Olympic training facility of Papendal for the 11 th time. With record participation numbers it shows that the national cycling federations are serious about scoring UCI points for qualification of the Paris 2024 Olympic games. With a full race on Saturday and a full race on Sunday the UCI BMX Racing World Cups offer two opportunities to make a podium or bring home the points that are needed to move up in the UCI ranking.
As expected, the Papendal track offered great racing. The first and the second straight received some
changes which were well handled by the athletes. Under summer conditions it was key to make it as far on the race day as possible. In the Under 23 Women class on Saturday it was Latvia’s Veronika Monika Sturiska who claimed the first victory of the weekend. After the race she said; “It's just the first win of the year and this track is amazing, it’s speed and the jumps are big, it’s technical and I like that and I showed you that. I’m just focusing on myself because I know I can win, I won last year and this year it’s my first win, let’s keep going.”
In U23 Men New Zealand’s Rico Bearman claimed his 3rd UCI BMX Racing World Cup of the 2023 season but with the slightest margin as a photo finish was needed to see who had won. Rico: “I got out of the gate really good and coming down the second straight I made a few mistakes and Matéo Colsenet (FRA) had caught up right at the finish and I thought he’d got it but back to the photo finish and I got it done. It definitely wasn’t my best lap of the day but it doesn’t matter.”
With preparation not being the best, it was Saya Sakakibara (AUS) who managed to keep the Smulders sisters behind her in the Elite Women final. Laura pleased the Dutch fans with a second place while Merel grabbed a podium also with spot number 3. Saya could not believe she had just won the race: “This win means so much more than just a world cup win, I mean on Friday I had such a bad training session and I went home and cried for two hours, I don’t know why. I think this track has good memories but also a lot of bad, with concussions, and I think just dealing with all those emotions aside from the stresses of racing was just really a lot and I think I just broke down on Friday and I don’t know what I was able to do but I think I just took one race at a time literally just broke it down and trusted myself completely and honestly can’t believe it.”
What are the chances of boyfriend-girlfriend winning Elite UCI World Cups on the same day? It did happen at round 3. Romain Mahieu (FRA) shot out of the gate and used the wide open first straight to dive into turn one in first position and never gave up that spot. That red leader plate on his bike is giving the Frenchman wings it seems like at the 2023 UCI World Cup season. How special has this win been today because Saya, your girlfriend, also won the Women’s elite? Romain:“That was actually crazy. I tried to keep it together on the gate because I could see. I saw the whole thing but I’m just so proud of her because she’s been through a lot and seeing her winning today means a lot to me and as much as it means to her I think.”
Sunday’s Round 4 brought more sunshine to Papendal. With coaches, staff, media and spectators looking for shade it was up to the athletes to put on a show at Papendal’s 11th edition of the UCI BMX Racing World Cup.
The U23 classes were won by Veronika Sturiska and Rico Bearman who doubled in Papendal both grabbing the extra UCI bonus for back to back wins on the same UCI BMX Racing World Cup weekend. Elite victories went to Stephany Shriever who extended her UCI World Cup lead and keeps the red leader plate on her bike for the next rounds in Sarrians, France. In Elite Men the French domination continued at Papendal with Joris Daudet in first followed by Sylvain André. Daudet is now creeping up to UCI World Cup leader Romain Mahieu (FRA) who still has a lead of 1552 over 1437 by Daudet. After 2 Rounds in Turkey and 2 Rounds in The Netherlands it’s up to Sarrians, France to host the next two World Cup rounds. As if the French need home advantage in Elite Men….
Results Women Under 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup Papendal Round 3 1. Veronika Sturiska (LAT) 2. Tessa Martinez (FRA) 3. Megan Williams (NZL)
Results Men Under 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup Papendal Round 3 1. Rico Bearman (NZL) 2. Mateo Colsonet (FRA) 3. Diego Colsonet (COL)
Results Elite Women 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup Papendal Round 3 1. Saya Sakakibara (AUS) 2. Laura Smulders (NED) 3. Merel Smulders (NED)
Results Elite Men 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup Papendal Round 3 1. Romain Mahieu (FRA) 2. Arthur Pilard (FRA) 3. Diego Arboleda (COL)
------ Results Women Under 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup Papendal Round 4 1) Veronika Sturiska (LAT) 2) Tessa Martinez (FRA) 3) Aiko Gommers (BEL)
Results Men Under 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup Papendal Round 4 1) Rico Bearman (NZL) 2) Yuichi Masuda (JPN) 3) Casper Pipers (NED)
Results Elite Women 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup Papendal Round 4 1) Bethany Shriever (GBR) 2) Saya Sakakibara (AUS) 3) Alise Willoughby (USA)
Results Elite Men 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup Papendal Round 4 1) Joris Daudet (FRA) 2) Sylvain André (FRA) 3) Mateo Carmona Garcia (COL)
French dominance in Elite Men and 3 back to back UCI World Cup wins in Sakarya, Turkey. 250 BMX entries for the first round of the 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup season and only 4 winners each day. There’s more room for disappointment than celebrating a win but Romain Mahieu (Elite Men) and Tessa Martinez (U23 Women) from France as well as New Zealand’s Rico Bearman (U23 Men) and Bethany Shriever (Elite Women) all started the season with a victory.
At Sunday’s Round 2, French success continued in the Elite Men class with a very confident Joris Daudet getting first just in front of Saturday’s winner Romain Mahieu. The back to back weekend wins for Shriever (GBR), Bearman (NZL) and Martinez (FRA) not only shows their true form at the moment but also an extra paycheck for the double W from the UCI.
Saturday started off rainy but it cleared up for fast racing on the renovated BMX track in Sakarya. The iconic blue turns are improved and the surface is made of asphalt from start to finish. It provided a solid, clean, smooth and rather grippy riding surface, even in the rain. With important ranking points on the line the athletes arrived in Turkey ready to do business.
When the final 8 line up for the last race of the day it is impossible to get there by luck.
Results UCI BMX Racing World Cup Round 9. SDE, Argentina. Friday the 13th of October. Men Elite: 1 Cameron WOOD 22 USA 30.328 500.00 UCI Ranking Points 2 Romain MAHIEU 28 FRA 30.430 430.00 3 Bodi TURNER 29 AUS 30.891 370.00 4 Joris DAUDET 32 FRA 30.895 318.00 5 Jérémy RENCUREL 28 FRA 31.231 273.00 6 Carlos RAMIREZ 29 COL 31.344 235.00