You won't believe how hot it is in Australia at the moment and tomorrow the UCI BMX SX World Cup starts in Shepparton. 43 degrees Celsius at the minute. Not pleasant to be in the stands, let alone putting maximum effort in to get to the finish line in the fastest way possible. But it is what it is and who knows if that predicted storm arrives this weekend and throws things upside down. With the weather you never know, but what we do know is that some big names are not on the list for this weekend's race. Twan van Gendt (NED) is out with a hand injury, Joris Daudet was on the track earlier this week but isn't 100% ready just yet. Amidou Mir (FRA) is back on the circuit but had a nasty crash in practice but will most likely be back on the 8 meter hill tomorrow. Sae Hatakeyama (JPN) beat herself up in a crash and is sitting out the first rounds. Merel Smulders (NED) looped out and knocked herself silly in preparation of the first World Cup of the year but possibly might start. It's never a good time to be injured but points are starting to matter leading up to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
If practice start times at the bottom of the hill are an indication for this weekend's racing, Ellie Featherstone (GBR) is one to watch. She set the fastest time of all in today's training session with a 2.724 at the bottom of the hill. Russia's Yaroslava Bondarenko set a time of 2.798 for 2nd and Alise Willoughby (USA) isn't messing around with a 2.799. Don't ready any further and mention the names of the three fastest Elite Men now. Who do you have?