Former World Champions Joris Daudet and Mariana Pajon win UCI BMX Time Trials World Titles
Four BMX World titles were handed out in Zolder today. Two of them went to France, one to Colombia and one to Australia. Joris Daudet (FRA) set the fastest time in Elite Men while Mariana Pajon (COL) won the Elite Women class. Shane Rosa (AUS) made the Aussies cheer and Junior Women favourite Axelle Etienne (FRA) did not disappoint although her time was just 0.250 faster than second place.
After several days of practice, the Junior and Elite riders stepped on the technical track in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium, for their first competition of the UCI BMX World Championships. The Time Trials race, where riders complete a lap one by one in the fastest possible way, kicked off at 14:35hr with qualification laps for both Men and Women. Eight of the fastest riders in the Juniors classes and 16 fastest Elite racers met up in the Time Trials Superfinal later on in the day. With the fastest racers in the world present, making it to the next round was the first goal. Slipping a pedal or casing a jump cost valueable time which resulted in watching the final laps of the day from the sidelines.
It was Holland's veteran Raymon van der Biezen who set a fast time early on in the Elite Men class and held on to the "Hot Seat" for many laps. But many more time trials specialist still had to come. It was Edzus Treimanis (LAT) who kicked Van Der Biezen off the motorcycle hot seat first, but Edzus could not hold on to the 1st position. Joris Daudet was the only rider to clear 31 seconds with one more rider to go, last year's UCI Juniors World Champion Niek Kimmann (NED). The margin between the quick Dutchman and the rapid Frenchman was only 0.076 seconds in Joris' advantage. When asked if it was a perfect lap, Joris Daudet answered: "Not perfect, but fast enough. I made some mistakes but it was pretty good, I enjoyed it." Was he confident that he would win with the time he set with more people still to go? "No, I had no idea what the time was of the fastest lap before me, so I did not know what time I had to beat. The fastest time got bettered again and again so I just did my best and it worked. I'm looking forward to tomorrow as this time shows I'm the fastest man on the track and I just need to do the same thing in the race."
In 2013 Mariana Pajon (COL) won the UCI BMX Time Trials World Championships title. In 2014 the Colombian won the race World title in The Netherlands. 2015 started off right for the Colombian with a gold medal in the Time Trials Superfinals. "I just like this track, it suits me well. It's technical and has a lot of jumps in it. I was focused and now I'm confident going into the race tomorrow," the newly crowned World Champion said.
The Junior Time Trials World Titles went to Australian Shane Rosa and Axelle Etienne (FRA) who completed a lap slightly faster than second place finishers Brandon Te Hiko (AUS) and Ruby Huisman (NED). American Collin Hudson grabbed the bronze as did Natalia Afremova from Russia in the Junior Women class.
The UCI BMX World Championships continue tomorrow with Juniors and Elite World Titles up for grabs. Weather predictions aren't the greatest, but new World Champions will be crowned.
Racing will be streamed live on tv.uci.ch.