Pajon and Phillips claim UCI World Cup titles in rainy Rock Hill, USA
The 2015 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup season is over. The last race of the year was held at the world's most incredible BMX facility at Rock Hill. Despite the rain all weekend, the track provided excellent racing in both the Men and Women classes. Maris Strombergs (LAT) showed he can still win after a rather disappointing first part of the season. The 2015 UCI BMX SX overall World Cup title was for England's Liam Phillips. Mariana Pajon (COL) raced to a win in South Carolina thus claiming the 2015 UCI BMX SX World Cup title in the women division.
The Women's race in Rock Hill was thrilling. So many scenario's were open for the overall UCI BMX SX World Cup #1 title and all three candidates were in the final race of the season. Alise Post (USA) got the people in the stands on their feet when she had an incredible start and took the lead. But drama occurred once again for Post in an important race. This time she tangled with Mariana Pajon who had found an opening on the inside after post slightly lost control on the last landing going into the first turn and moved to the outside a little bit. Pajon didn't think twice and took the opportunity but Post wasn't having it and kept pushing. This resulted in Alise Post going down and one title contender less on the track. Stefany Hernandez (VEN) did not hesitate and shot to the front to take over the lead. With Stefany finishing in first and Mariana in third, the overall World Cup title would have gone to Hernandez. Pajon was racing for the win however and did not give up. The sprint on the last straight was epic. Hernandez saw Pajon coming on her left and slowly started moving over. With the finish line just a few feet ahead of them, the Colombian passed the women from Venezuela and pushed her front wheel over the line in first. Holland's Laura Smulders rode a smart race finishing third. Because of Pajon's win, the year end title went to the Colombian, with Hernandez in second and the disappointed Post in third. Last year's UCI BMX SX World Cup winner Caroline Buchanan ended up in 4th place overall.
Britain's Liam Phillips made it to the final race of the evening in Rock Hill ready to claim the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup Title in style. However when he unclipped his pedal on the first straight, the other finalists did not wait for him. Maris Strombergs (LAT), arrived at the first turn in first place with American Connor Fields, who started from lane 8, on the outside and Frenchman Amidou Mir ready to dive in on his inside. Strombergs held on to the lead on the second straight with 5 riders right on his tail. Position changes happened from then on till the finish line. Joris Daudet (FRA) moved forward until he tangled with fellow countryman Mir who was in second position. Daudet was sent off the track and crashed while his fellow countryman lost his momentum. Connor Fields (USA) and Tory Nyhaug (CAN) used the situation to catch up going into the last turn. That's where both riders passed the rider from France. By that time Strombergs was celebrating as he'd crossed the finish line with a big lead. Nyhaug crossed the line in second with Fields in third.
The final results still gave Liam Phillips the overall win for the year. Dutchman Niek Kimmann was in a safe second place and Amidou Mir grabbed the final podium spot which was wide open before the race happened. With Sam Willoughby (AUS) and David Graf (SUI) not making the final, two of the competitors for the third place overall position were eliminated before the final gate dropped. Mir's 4th place in Rock Hill was just enough to stay ahead of Connor Fields (4th) and Anthony Dean (AUS) who finished off the 2015 UCI SX World Cup on fifth place overall.
After stops in England, The Netherlands, Sweden, Argentina and the USA, the 2015 UCI BMX SX World Cup season came to an end with Liam Phillips and Mariana Pajon winning the overall titles.
Race Results Rock Hill, SC:
Women: Pajon M (COL) 35.683 1, Hernandez S (VEN) +0.088 2, Smulders L (NED) +0.250 3, Christensen S (DEN) +0.863 4, Crain B (USA) +0.974 5, Buchanan C (AUS) +1.619 6, George D (USA) +5.806 7, Post A (USA) +53.858 8,
Men: Strombergs M (LAT) 34.016 1, Nyhaug T (CAN) +0.730 2, Fields C (USA) +0.801 3, Mir A (FRA) +1.101 4, Dean A (AUS) +1.188 5, Phillips L (GBR) +1.814 6, Kimmann N (NED) +9.268 7, Daudet J (FRA) +34.111
SX Worldcup - final standing:
WOMEN: Pajon M (COL) 1 965, Hernandez S (VEN) 2 875, Post A (USA) 3 825, Buchanan C (AUS) 4 760, Stancil F (USA) 5 670, Reynolds L (AUS) 6 585, George D (USA) 7 585, Crain B (USA) 8 575,
MEN: Phillips L (GBR) 1 865, Kimmann N (NED) 2 735, Mir A (FRA) 3 610, Fields C (USA) 4 600, Dean A (AUS) 5 595, Willoughby S (AUS) 6 575, Oquendo Zabala CM (COL) 7 530, van Gorkom J (NED) 8 490