showed that he’s back. It hasn’t been easy to beat UCI Elite Men World Champion Romain Mahieu (FRA) this year but Cam did it. Australian Bodi Turner has kept belief in good results and rewarded himself for the hard work that he had put in by getting a solid third place, something not many had expected. To avoid Romain Mahieu walking away with the UCI BMX Racing World Cup title already after Round 9, Joris Daudet (FRA) scored a 4th to keep in the title hunt. With 3043 points for Romain vs 2859 UCI ranking points for Joris with one race to go, Mahieu has a decent lead. With 500 points on the line for first place the ever-consistent veteran Daudet still had a chance.
With Bethany Shriever (GBR) scoring 174 points for 8th place in the Elite Women final after having a bad start, it was Saya Sakakibara (AUS) who profited with her second win in SDE to extend her UCI World Cup Championship lead to 433 with the final round to come. After the many laps on the SDE track Saya had to go to the bitter end to hold off Laura Smulders (NED) who got second on Friday with Felicia Stancil grabbing the final podium spot for Team USA.
The Americans had a good day as Ava Corley won the Under 23 race. With Tessa Martinez (FRA), UCI points leader in the U23 class, not making it to the final on Friday Veronika Sturiska from Latvia still has a theoretical chance on the 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup title with that very last round to go after getting 4th in the final on Friday. With the win on Friday Rico Bearman from New Zealand was crowned the U23 Men UCI World Cup champion with one race remaining. The Argentineans would have liked to see Thomas Maturano (ARG) get on the top step of the podium but he had to settle for 3rd this time right behind Tim Goossens (NED).
For the first time in UCI BMX Racing World Cup history the Elite overall titles could go to a boyfriend-girlfriend couple. At the start of the day all focus for Saya Sakakibara and Romain Mahieu were on doing their best and not making any mistakes. With the pressure on both made it to the final and then showed who was boss. Saya used lane one to grab the holeshot while competitor for the overall title Bethany Shriever did not have the best of starts. Alise Willoughby (USA) finished 3rd, right behind Merel Smulders (NED) while Saya brought it home to the finish line where the waiting would start to see boyfriend Romain race the final race of the season.
When the light turned green it was Mahieu with the holeshot. With two SDE wins and a second in the pocket already and the many laps around the track in Argentina done, the Frenchman had it dialed and won the last World Cup round as well and the overall title in the process. Olympic champion Niek Kimmann (NED) scored his first UCI World Cup podium of the season at the very last round and Englishman Quillan Isidore was thrilled to make it on the podium also with a third.
New Zealand’s Rico Bearman had already claimed the 2023 U23 UCI World Cup title and then showed exactly why. Going out with a win to prove you deservedly won the overall is what Rico did. Fierce competitor Mateo Colsenet (FRA) crossed the finish line in 2nd with Dutchman Tim Goossens in 3rd. With World Cup leader Tessa Martinez (FRA) not making it to the final all eyes were on Latvia’s Veronika Sturiska but the Latvian could not make the difference and finished 7th giving the 2023 overall to Tessa. Ava Corley (USA) would have liked the season to last a little longer as the American is on full steam and won the last round in front of an enthusiastic public.
Men Elite overall winners of the 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup:
1st - #1 (MAHIEU Romain) FRA;
2nd - #33 (DAUDET Joris) FRA;
3rd - #741 (ARBOLEDA OSPINA Diego Alejandro) COL
Men U23 overall winners of the 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup:
1st - #500 (BEARMAN Rico) NZL;
2nd - #501 (COLSENET Mateo) FRA;
3rd - #516 (MATURANO Thomas) ARG
Women U23 overall winners of the 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Cup
1st - #500 (MARTINEZ Tessa) FRA ;
2nd - #501 (STURISKA Veronika Monika) LAT;
3rd - #510 (CORLEY Ava) USA
Pic by Craig Dutton / www.craigdutton.com