Bone-cruncher at the champs

2010-07-31 00:00

THE second day of racing in the UCI BMX World Championships at the Royal Showgrounds saw the landscape of the challenger classes reshaped by several moments of high drama.

Several medal contenders crashed out of contention in a day of thrilling racing dominated by France, Australia and the U.S. in front of packed stands and under overcast skies.

The 14 Girls main final was shaken in the first few seconds by a massive crash at the foot of the start ramp that took out the two girls who had dominated the class from the first moto, New Zealander Hannah Sarten and Australian Harriet Burbridge-Smith.

French rider Mathilde Doudoux seemed to move across the two at the base of the start ramp, and within seconds all three were felled in front of the first big double, paving the way for Aussie Harriet Birbridge-Smith to claim the gold medal.

In the next final, American whizz Felicia Stancil continued to sweep all before her, as the Illinois star romped to a lopsided win in the 15 Girls class.

It looked like being a U.S. 1-2 in the next final. However, Dani George, who led from the start, watched in shock as Dutch flyer Elis Ligtlee scorched across the final straight to snatch victory on the line.

The rider carrying the local hopes on the second day, Queensburgh stalwart Jonathan Chislett, was drawn into a thrilling dogfight to defend his 25-29 men’s number one plate.

Australian Levi Collins and Chislett provided a nail-biting spectacle as they slugged it out on the track, with the Australian toppling Chislett in the closing stages. “I’m not bummed at all,” conceded Chislett, who had beaten Collins in all of his motos. “I had to pass him on the third straight, but I could not get it together over the rhythm section, and I realised going into the turn that he had it in the bag.”

The win is doubly sweet for Levi, who has just moved into the 25-29 class. After winning his class at the Australian nationals in his home town of Shepperton, he was unable to afford the trip to South Africa for the world championships.

“My local community came to my rescue and fundraised to get me here,” said Collins. “It was so good to win this as a way of repaying my community back home. It has been 25 years since Shepperton had a world champion, so I’m proud to be taking this back home.”

Chilean rider Diego Aguirre looked to have the 14 Boys gold medal in his grasp until he succumbed to the long and demanding layout, and surrendered victory on the line to Dane Chris Christensen.

The French stranglehold started in the 15 Boys final where Amidou Mir turned the main final into a procession, showing a clean pair of wheels to two Argentine chasers left in his dust.

The 16 Boys final saw the form rider through all the motos, Kristaps Vinters, crash out of contention on the second jump of the main final, leaving the door open for livewire American star Nathan Padilla to claim the world number one.

The outcome of the 17 Boys final was also reshaped by a crash. This time British contender Billy Luckhurst fell to gasps from the big crowd assembled in front of the first berm. However, ahead of him was the awe-inspiring sight of six consecutive French riders streaming across the line, spearheaded by the 19-year- old new world champ Stephane Michalon.

The last main final of the day, the men’s masters saw three riders fall, none more dramatically than Dutchman Dorus Brink, who was challenging for the lead in the home straight and crashed out unexpectedly some distance away from any other riders, emulating the demise of Vinicius Moreira of Brazil and Swiss racer Herve Krebs.

All the attention shifts to the junior and senior superstars this morning, when the prized elite titles will be decided.




14 boys: 1. Chris Christensen DEN; 2. Deigo Aguirre CHI; 3. Kai Sakakakibara JPN

15 boys: 1. Amidou Mir FRA; 2. Nicolas Santolini ARG; 3. Herman Alejandro Santillan ARG

16 boys: 1. Nathan Padilla USA; 2. Carlos Ramirez Yepez COL; 3. Allan Victor Oliviera BRA

17-24 men: 1. Stephane Michalon FRA; 2. Olivier Begue FRA; 3. Remi Wock Tai FRA

25-29 men: 1. Levi Collins AUS; 2. Jonathan Chislett RSA; 3. Aurelien Hus FRA

30 and over men: 1. David Mohi NZL; 2. Daniel Roura ECU; 3. Nicolas Benquey FRA

14 girls: 1. Harriet Burbridge-Smith AUS; 2. Anne Sara Rojas SUI; 3. Rosario Aguilera Martinez CHI

15 girls: 1. Felicia Stancil USA; 2. Rachel Jones AUS; 3. Shayona Glynn USA

16 girls: 1. Elis Ligtlee NED; 2. Danielle George USA; 3. Nadja Pries GER

1 7 and over women: 1. Anna Mayer GER; 2. Kerstin Fritscher GER; 3. Lauren Smith GBR

Masters: 1. Marco Dell’isola GBR; 2. Julian Lim AUS; 3. Paulo Fernando Moreira BRA

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