Rookie Niek Kimmann rides to first UCI BMX Supercross World Cup win from lane 8!
In front of an enthusiastic crowd of 4’500 people, UCI BMX Junior World Champion Niek Kimmann (NED) wins his first UCI BMX Supercross World Cup race from Lane 8. Mariana Pajon (COL) wins the Elite Women class with a huge lead.
Under sunny weather conditions, racing got underway at 13:05hr. With three motos each, the racers had one goal; make it to the next round. The international field of riders lined up on the Pro-Gate to see who could transfer to the 1/8th finals (Men) and 1/4 finals (Women). The wide open track in The Netherlands hosted the fifth edition of the 2015 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup and the second round of the season after the series kicked off in Manchester, England in April. The qualified riders were aiming for valuable points for their countries heading towards the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The Dutch saw countrymen Niek Kimmann and Jelle van Gorkom make it to the final eight in Elite Men, and Merle van Benthem shoot to the final in Elite Women.
The confidence of rookie Niek Kimmann was shown when he chose Lane 8 in the finals which gave him the possibility to win double the prize money in the EliteTrax Double Dice feature. With the track in Papendal having an open and wide first straight, the crowd got behind the rookie and was curious if he could pull it off. When the gate dropped, Niek shot out of the gate with incredible speed and slowly made it out front. When entering the first turn, the 18 years old rookie put his elbow in front of World Champion Sam Willoughby and claimed the lead. The crowd got on their feet when that happened and cheered the Dutch National Team member on. Sam Willoughby was following in second and he has proven to be fast on the third straight. In the meantime, Jelle van Gorkom had moved up a spot from place four to three by passing Australian Anthony Dean. On the roller section the 8-man field was still close together and things could go either way. Niek Kimmann, member of the Dutch National BMX team, wasn't giving in though and enjoyed a loud last straight on his way to his first UCI BMX Supercross World Cup win. Jelle van Gorkom was getting closer and closer to Sam Willoughby but the photo finish declared a second for Sam and a third for Jelle. With two Dutch riders on the podium the crowd simply went insane.
Mariana Pajon is a fan of the London track as she won the Olympic title there. The Papendal track is a copy of the London track so she was feeling good. Especially the awesome racing conditions contributed to the smile that she always seems to have on her face. Female riders are improving their jumping skills year after year. In the final alone we saw five girls jump the triple jump right before the first left turn. Two years ago, only Alise Post managed to jump that big triple which shot her to the win. This time Pajon arrived at the jump first and simply did the same as she took off on the second straight and left the competition behind. Alise Post and Felicia Stancil (USA) both jumped the triple and battled for second place right after that but with Lauren Reynolds (AUS) and UCI World Cycling Centre trainee Stefany Hernandez (VEN) not far behind. Jumping that triple sure had an advantage. Merle van Benthem (NED) shot off the track after turn one as she collided with Caroline Buchanan (AUS) who continued to finish fourth. Pajon did not make any mistakes and crossed the finish line in first, followed by Felicia Stancil and Stefany Hernandez who stepped on the podium also in third.
Round three of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup will be held in Engelholm 15-16 August 2015.