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Papendal World Cup

Maris “The Machine” Strombergs is back on the top step of the box after a big win this weekend in Papendal. His first big win since his injury at the ABA Grands and he’s feeling good at the right time. With two weeks to go until the World Championship’s Maris said this was just preparation for the big show. Since Connor Field’s recent run of good form a few people may have been overlooking Maris… But one thing you have to remember is Maris is a caluculated tactition, he trust’s his training and has the mentals and experience to pull off the big wins when it counts. I’d say he’s still the favourite for London on a big wide open track with a long first straight. A convincing win with serious oull from lane 8, Maris is officially back. Whilst Connor took a shock exit in the quarter’s this weekend after winning the timetrial superfinals on Saturday. No-one can doubt Connor’s trackspeed especially against the clock having won all the timetrial superfinals on the tour…

You can never count out Mr Consistency Sam Willoughby who is becoming the bridesmaid of the World Cup tour in 2012.. Another 2nd place for “Sam I am”. And another close finish, Sam always comes back strong on the seconde half of the track. Maybe he’s saving the big win for one of the two races on UK soil? David Herman took another podium for the Freeagent / Rockstar crew. Herman is looking good this season and will be one of the riders putting it all on the line in the US Olympic trials in June.

Carlos Ramirez had a fantastic day finishing up with an impressive fourth place. Carlos is still Junior and has his sight’s set on a World title in Birmingham. Junior Men will be a great class to watch as Carlos goes up against Amidou Mir from France, the current Junior European Champion. Carlos’s 4th place also helps close the gap on the Dutch Army who currently hold 3 Olympic spots and with Colombia now close behind looking to add another rider to their Olympic campaign. The points will all be decided after the World Championships, the most important race since the Worlds in 2008 as for many riders and countries this is the last chance ticket to London.

Laura Smulders from Holland secured herself a spot in the Olympics despite finishing 8th in the final. Still only 18 she quoted “she’s the happiest girl in Holland right now”.

< Caroline Buccanan was the winner of the time trial event but was edged out in the main event by Alise Post who took the big win for Redline. Whilst Letitia Le Courguille rounded out the podium for France. These three ladies are definately in form going into Birmingham, Shanaze Reade, Mariana Pajon and Sarah Walker were all missing from the event this weekend, so when you add this weight to the class we'll be looking at the strongest ladies field of the last few years. Women's Elite racing has really stepped up over the last few years and the Worlds and Olympics are wide open this time round. We're hoping to see a fully fit Shanaze Reade on track at the NIA going for gold. < So with Papendal out of the way and just over a week until the practice starts at the World Championships a lot of foreign Pro's will be based in the UK so don't be suprised to see a lot of them out at Midlands tracks over the next 10 days. Birmingham BMX Club will no doubt be the bussiest of spots and a good chance for the kids to meet and mingle with some of the World's top riders. Here's what Maris had to say:

Results Men:
1) Strombergs M (LAT) 38.627
2) Willoughby S (AUS) +0.016
3) Herman D (USA) +0.998
4) Ramirez Yepez CA (COL) +1.880
5) Willers M (NZL) +14.269
6) Van Gendt T (NED) +1:09.274
7) Caleyron Q (FRA) +2:09.999
8) Nyhaug T (CAN) DNF

Results Women
1) Post A (USA) 38.670
2) Buchanan C (AUS) +0.264
3) le Corguille L (FRA) +0.705
4) Geving A (USA) +1.294
5) Pottier M (FRA) +1.864
6) Crain B (USA) +3.059
7) Hladikova A (CZE) +3.534
8) Smulders L (NED) +3.798 8

Don’t miss the big show at the NIA. The World Cha,pionships start in just over a weeks time! www.bmxworlds.co.uk

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