Strombergs and Reade reclaim their BMX world titles
Pietermaritzburg 31 July 2010 – It was a case of call back the past when Latvian Maris Strombergs and Briton Shanaze Reade reclaimed the UCI BMX World Championship men’s and women’s titles respectively in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday – but the hero for the partisan South African crowd was men’s runner up Sifiso Nhlapo.
Strombergs was without doubt the deserved winner and he was never headed in a frenetic day of racing that saw a sprinkling of thrills and spills on the purpose-built track at the Royal Showgrounds.
(picture: Maris Strombergs celebrates victory, photo credits UCI BMX / craigdutton.com)
For the local crowd the men’s final result was a bitter sweet conclusion to the day’s racing. For Sifiso Nhlapo it was simply another step on his tough journey to glory. After finishing third in the 2008 World Championships, Skizo as he is known was forced to watch the 2009 World Champs after he broke his neck in a horrific training crash. So to end second is a step forward and victory in 2011 would simply be the continuation of a progression.
Frenchman Joris Daudet claimed the bronze medal in the men’s event after pre-event favourite Sam Willoughby went down in a big crash on the first turn.
In the women’s final, talented Reade added more World Championship gold to her trophy cabinet that already includes medals from two BMX World Championships and the 2007 and 2008 World Track Championships.
Reade regained the world title when she outrode the opposition from the start ramp by taking the holeshot, although she was given a bit of help when her biggest challenger, Frenchwomen Laëtitia Le Corguillé unclipped and was left off the pace from the start.
New Zealand’s Sarah Walker claimed the silver and American Alise Post the bronze medal but neither ever came close to the fast-starting Reade.
In the junior women’s final, Netherland’s Merle van Benthem grabbed the holeshot from the start and beat off the challenge of American Brooke Crain and Australian Melinda McLeod.
The junior men’s race was loaded with drama as US favourite Connor Fields went to the front as expected and looked to be on his way to an easy win, but he took the rhythm section too fast and crashed heavily, allowing Frenchman Sylvain Andre to grab the win from Kristers Lejins (Latvia) and Twan van Gendt (Netherlands)
(picture: Reade reclaims the gold, credits UCI BMX / craigdutton.com)
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
1.Maris Strombergs (LAT) 38.391
2.Sifiso Nhlapo (RSA) +0.487 2,
3.Joris Daudet (FRA) +0.686
4.Thomas Hamon (FRA) +1.340
5.Raymon Van der Biezen (NED) +1.487
6.Marc Willers (NZL) +1:01.301
7.Sam Willoughby (AUS) +1:01.349
8.Khalen Young (AUS) +1:01.414
1.Shanaze Reade (GBR) 38.819
2.Sarah Walker (NZL) +1.096
3.Alise Post (USA) +1.624
4.Annelie Despeaux (FRA) +2.986
5.Aneta Hladikova (CZE) +3.411
6.Rachel Bracken (AUS) +4.212
7.Laetitia le Corguille (FRA) +34.963
8.Arielle Martin (USA)
1.Sylvian Andre (FRA) 38.822
2.Kristers Lejins (LAT) +1.012
3.Twan van Gendt (NED) +1.407
4.David Oquendo Zabala (COL) +1.639
5.Matthew Dunsworth (AUS) +2.033
6.Niclas Laustsen (DEN) +2.462
7.Taims Kristers (LAT) +13.667
8.Connor Fields (USA)
1.Merle Von Bentheim (NED) 40.946
2.Brook Crain (USA) +0.158
3.Melinda Mcleod (AUS) +0.658
4.Taylor Wolcott (USA) +1.394
5.Enora le Roux (FRA) +3.626
6.Bianca Quinalha (BRA) +3.811
7.Mayara Perez (BRA) +8.189
8.Kirsten Dellar (AUS) +32.572