With a bronze medal finish at this weekend’s World Championships in Colombia, Alise Post earned her second consecutive Olympic berth, but it wasn’t an easy ride. Set in the mountainous Antioquia province, the capital city of Medellín provided a beautiful backdrop for one of the most challenging tracks in the world. After numerous rain delays and changing track conditions, the World Championships got underway with Friday’s practice and provided lap after lap of thrills, spills, and exciting battles for the near-capacity crowd.
The competition kicked off with Saturday night’s time trial event, with the top sixteen riders moving into the Super Final to crown a Time Trial World Champion. Both Sam and Alise made their way into the finals and spent some time on the “hot seat.” Unfortunately, neither would hold on to the top spot. It’s all about the perfect lap when the riders line up alone for the Time Trials. Alise had some bobbles during her run and ended the night in fourth, just one spot off of the podium. Sam put in a smooth lap and looked to be a favorite after last year’s Time Trial champion, Joris Daudet, crashed during his run. With only two competitors left, reigning World Champion, Neik Kimmann, put in a blistering run, leaving Sam to settle for the silver medal.
After more rain delays, head-to-head racing took place on Sunday. Alise looked strong through qualifying and destroyed the field in her semi-final, leaving the Colombian crowd wondering if she could be the one to take down their national hero and Olympic Gold Medalist, Mariana Pajon. Having the fastest semi-final time gave Alise first gate pick and an inside line for the final. When the gate dropped, it was Mariana who overcame the intense pressure and throttled to the front of the pack. Alise rode a strong lap in second place, until a bobble in the last straight slowed her down just enough for Time Trial winner, Caroline Buchanan, to make a pass, leaving Alise with a third place overall. Alise’s disappointment was quickly overshadowed by the fact that, with her strong finish, she had earned her second consecutive Olympic berth! Congratulations Alise!
With multiple World Champions under his belt, Sam Willoughby knows what it takes to earn the coveted rainbow jersey: pace-setting speed and mistake-free laps. Sam delivered, winning lap after lap through the qualifying motos, as well as the 1/8th and quarter finals. It is in the semi where things unraveled for the Australian. Sandwiched on the gate between last year’s champion, Neik Kimmann, and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Maris Strombergs, Sam proved to have plenty in the tank and edged out both riders going toward the triple-step into turn one. Unfortunately, Sam missed most of the steep backside of the jump and shot up the turn, allowing three other riders to sneak underneath. Still on the bubble, Sam pinned it down the second straight but got too close on the inside of turn two and buzzed the back wheel of the third place rider. This cost him some valuable track speed and he was passed down the third straight to end his day with the dreaded 5th place position in the semi. At the highest level of BMX, there is very little margin for error. It’s a lesson that all of the riders have learned, and no one wants a reminder, especially at the World Championships!
We are extremely proud of the team’s performance in Colombia and beyond excited to have Alise Post representing both Redline and the USA at this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio! The Australians have not named their Olympic team yet, but we have no doubt that Sam will be making the trip as well! Next up, the team will be at the Great Salt Lake Nationals in Utah (June 17-19) to get back to business on the USABMX tour.
Thanks to our fine sponsors for helping keep the dream alive: IRC Tire, Troy Lee Designs, Box, KMC, Promax, Alienation, and Kool Stop. See you in Utah!