2018 UCI BMX World Cup: Preview
We have got a new stop on the 2018 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup calendar: Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines near Paris, France, will host the first and second round on the weekend of 31 March - 1 April.
The popularity of BMX racing in France shows in the record number of entries: 290 total (234 men, 56 women). The previous record was 240 in Fréjus (FRA) in 2010, followed by 235 entries in Heusden-Zolder (BEL) last year. This means 1/32 finals for men, and also 1/8 finals for women so lots of rounds to go for any rider to make it to the final on each day. It is hard to tell who the favourites are in 2018. The field is deep and it is easy to give 16 names who could potentially win in the Elite Men class. 2017 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup winner Sylvain André (FRA) is hungry to do well in front of his home crowd. Many of the European Elite racers have booked a training session at the track in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines before just to get ready for this race which could mean a slight advantage over racers traveling from abroad. Joris Daudet (FRA) is flying in from the USA and is always a threat as is 2017 UCI World Champion Corben Sharrah. Great Britain's Kyle Evans showed some strong racing in Verona this past weekend as did Niek Kimmann from the Netherlands.
Are we going to see the Sakakibara siblings on the podium in France? Kai as well as Saya flew in from Australia a weekend early to get used to the time change and some European BMX racing. Kai scored a 2nd place on Sunday in Italy while Saya won the Elite Women class. Saya Sakakibara (AUS) will face some strong competition from both Laura Smulders (NED) and Mariana Pajon (COL), while Axelle Etienne (FRA) and Manon Valentino (FRA) will use home advantage to get on the podium at their training ground in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. Has the winter training of Bethany Shriever (GBR) been good? Does Sarah Walker (NZL) still have it? Has Elke Vanhoof recovered from her painful 2017 season? Is Laura Reynolds (AUS) ready? Time will tell.
– What’s next? –
UCI BMX Supercross World Cup, Rounds 1 and 2, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France > 31 march - 1 April
– Focus on Trent Jones (NZL) –
Trent Jones was born in Waipu, New Zealand, on 12 August 1994 and came to BMX at an early age. In 2011 he started traveling abroad for BMX and participated at the UCI World Cup in South-Africa and also raced the Junior class at the UCI Worlds in Copenhagen, Denmark. With that experience under his belt Trent finished 5th at the Worlds in Great Britain in 2012 in Junior. Jones lives the BMX lifestyle and has traveled the globe racing UCI World Cups and UCI World Championships, and became an Olympian by representing New Zealand at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The Thrill/Box sponsored rider has scored some podiums in the USA in the pre-season and is ready for more Elite racing in 2018.