It becomes obvious that BMX is more than the race itself. The social aspect, having a goal to reach, having something to look forward to, it's all missed very much. It was time that the new starting hill and new first straight at the Papendal track were put through a serious race test. Next year the UCI BMX World Championships will take place at this very track and we have to say that the circuit was in mint condition. It handled the rain of the past week very well and was smooth, yet grippy. The concrete turns are an improvement over the asphalt turns as well so let's say; bring on 2021. Hopefully the covid situation will be behind us in August of next year so BMX can be celebrated the way it should be.
But back to today. The 15 and 16 years age classes handled the 5-meter hill with the concrete surface fine. The Junior and Elite classes used the 8.5-meter hill to clear the first double jump. The BMX talent pool in The Netherlands is deep with good programs to stay on top. Several riders live and train at Papendal so they know the track like no other. Favourite in the Elite Women class was Laura Smulders, but Judy Baauw has also won a UCI BMX SX World Cup at Papendal so it wasn't going to be an easy cruise for the former world champ. When the gate dropped it was still Laura who got out in front followed by sister Merel and Judy Baauw. When the pace is fast, when everyone knows the track well, and no mistakes are made, it is hard to make a pass. The three raced to the finish line without any errors to form the Laura (1), Merel (2), Judy (3) podium.
The Elite Men class was wide open. With Niek Kimmann opting out (not feeling 100% but then opted to do the live feed) all eyes were on current UCI World Champion Twan van Gendt who wanted this title badly. A title is a title and as the World Champ you've proven that you can beat anyone on the track. But with o.a. Jay Schippers, Justin Kimmann, Mitchel Schotman, Dave van der Burg on the gate in the final, it was easier said than done. Starting from gate 3 it was Dave van der Burg with the best snap out of the gate and a strong first straight with Mitchel and Twan in tow. Schotman made a move on the second straight but Dave held him off and with Twan casing the last set of the pro section, his chances for the Dutch title were destroyed right there. Ynze Oegema had moved into 4th place which was a great result for the youngster. Bart van Bemmelen held off Justin, Joey Nap and Jay Schippers to finish 5th.
1 VAN DER BURG Dave NED 60 points
2 SCHOTMAN Mitchel NED TEAM OEGEMA TVE 45
3 VAN GENDT Twan NED TEAM OEGEMA TVE 40
4 OEGEMA Ynze NED TEAM OEGEMA TVE 35
5 VAN BEMMELEN Bart NED 30
6 KIMMANN Justin NED 25
7 NAP Joey NED 20
8 SCHIPPERS Jay NED 15
1 SMULDERS Laura NED TEAM TVE SPORT 60 points
2 SMULDERS Merel NED TEAM TVE SPORT 45
3 BAAUW Judy NED 40
4 VAN BENTHEM Merle NED 35
5 VEENSTRA Manon NED 30
6 VRENEGOOR Danielle NED 25
7 SCHEEPERS Indy NED TEAM TVE SPORT 20