So as most of you will have seen on the live feed this weekend the action over in Norway was HOT at the second round of the 2012 UCI World Cup. The brand new arena in Randaberg proved to be a perfect location for the event with the crew definately delivering the goods “Euro” style. The block paved turns which had been a talking point before the event were liked by most of the riders in attendance.
A couple of guys took some heavy spills and felt the impact of the bricks. Marc Willers went down really hard in practice crashing over the triple with 3 other riders. He suffered some stiched above his black eye and a swollen face. Willers is tough though, he walked away, rode his time trial cautiously only being able to see out his left eye and still made the cut. Come race time he looked as good as always but crashed out with DK team mate Barry Nobles and didn’t make it to the big show. Willers will put this bad weekend behind him and be back on it for Papendaal no doubt.
Unfortunately Dan Mc Bride also crashed over the triple on day 1 of practice was knocjed out and didn’t remember the crash which left him with a broken collarbone. Luckily no operation was needed and we hope to see him back out on the track as soon as possible.
The second straight had a short second double which was catching the rider out with the steep landing. Quite a few guys over shot the landing but non as bad a Josh Meyers who landed on the roller which followed the double. This was Josh’s first run thrpough the section in practice. He blew up in fashion snapping his stem bolts clean off was a blessing as he walked away, badly bruised but with no internal injuries. He sat the weekend out and hobbled around in pain but it could have been a lot worse for him!
“Afro Bob” De Wilde had his wild locks shaved off at the hospital. Bob didn’t crash on the track but was taken out by a car whilst out doing sprints in the street. He was lucky to escape with some cuts and bruises and afew stiches in his head. He’ll definately make sure he’s got his helmet on next time. Note (wearing helmet and pads is advisable while doing sprints, hitting the concrete at mach one speed can cause serious injury even death!)
Abbie Taylor rode really well in time trial making the super final and looking good on the track. In the main race she was squeezed a couple of times before the first jump and just missed out on qualifying throught to the semi’s.
Stay Strong / Bensink’s Kyle Evans was another UK rider getting noticed by his peers in Norway. A lot of positive comments on the stylish “English Kid” being fast. Well 25th fastest to be exact, marginally pushed out of the superfinal but showing he’s made some big gains this last few months. A bad 3rd moto put him out of what seemed like almost guaranteed qualification following a very convincing first moto 3rd place finish. Lot’s of positive’s for Kyle to take away from the weekend and build on going into Papendaal and the Worlds.
The ladies final set the tone for the men’s event. Magalie Pottier from France was nearly on course for a second win this season before Australian Caroline Buchannan came with a late surge to steal it on the line, backing up her time trial victory from Friday, to say she looked happy was an understatement. The top end of ladies Elite racing keeps on getting better and better and even with Marianna Pajon and Shanaze Readed missing the class put on a good show.
Liam Phillips has definately put his name in the mix for big medals in 2012 after a really impressive weekend for him. Everyone seems to be talking about Liam in the pits, comments on how fast he’s gotten since coming back to BMX. He’s been in the cave a long time, putting in work that’s gone un-noticed as the comp havn’t really seen much of him until the start of the this year. Two very impressive time trial runs and some strong clean wins in the rounds until the final keeping the all important inside lane. Come final time Liam was in lane 2 and Connor and Sam just managed to edge him out of the holeshot… Liam’s track craft got him back into second for a while before Willougby went on a charge pedaling through the air wherever he could. His second half of the track was un real to make up ground on Connor who seemed to have the race won by the second turn. Willouhby peddaled through the last jump and a photo finish almost see him pip Connor on the line. Mean while behind them Liam and Tory Nyhaug had blown up wooing the crowd in an exciting finish. Colombian Oquendo rode through the carnage to take the last podium spot.
This was without a doubt one of the best SX finals to date with so much going on in 30 seconds, a pto finish with a difference of 0.02 of a second… A good track, great arena and decent crowd. The Norwegians put on a great event, the UK Team showed some great signs and even the talent riders who didn’t make the cut have all stepped up and continue to improve. There time will come… On the whole the UK fans have a lot to be optimistic about for Birmingham next month.
Make sure you don’t miss the big show at the NIA next month. “Prince” Liam and Shanaze Reade need the UK fans behind them! : www.bmxworlds.co.uk