The First round of the SX season kicked off in Madrid, Spain this past weekend. It was the biggest showing of women the SX circuit has ever seen, and quite a large number of men as well. 39 women and 140 men competing for 16 Main Event slots. The American women had the largest number of girls start, 8 of us, with France coming in with 7. The American girls definitely looked better on the track than they hav in the past, and personally i felt like I did pretty well. In practice, I was the first and only girl to do the triple into the first turn which was very exciting. Arielle martin was the only other girl to do the triple all weekend, and she did so in her time trial. The training center is obviously helping the American Women. 

Personally, I have very mixed emotions about the trip. I rode pretty well in practice, did not have good time trials laps, got stuck in a hard quarter but managed to be in the top 2 positions in all three of my qualifying rounds (the first round i was leading before taken out by a french rider). Four of us americans went on to the semis and myself and Brooke Crain drew a pretty hard moto that included Shanze Reade, Latetia Le Corguielle, Merle Van Benthem, Mariana Pajon, Caroline Buchanan, and Corteauu(another talented french rider)?? We had outisde lanes, and my decent first straight was almost a disadvantage going into turn one as I got pushed up high while Brooke Crain held back and dove low behind everyone that was pushing me up high. There wasn’t enough track for everyone and I ended up not getting a run at the second straight that I needed, and ended up placing 5th..just missing out on the final. Myself and Mariana were both struggling to fight through the crowd on the second straight and it didn’t pay off for either of us. There were definitely 8 girls "main-worthy" girls in that semi, but only 4 spots to qualify out, and a lot of good riders were left out of the final. It was kind of funny that the top four out of our semi were the top four in the main…just an interesting observation.

In the other semi, top rider Arielle Martin got tangled with Rachel Bracken of Australia and crashed down the first straight, followed by Eva Ailloud’s crash in the first turn, leaving Amanda Geving, Nicole Callisto, and 2 other riders to qualify on to the main. 

Congrats to both American girls that made the final, it’s a bummer we didn’t have 4 in the final because we were all definitely riding well enough to do so. It was an interesting race, a lot of ups and downs, and I am definitely looking forward to a solid month of training leading into the next round.

As for the men, Sam Willoughby did it again. Congrats to Connor Fields on his second podium as well.

check out all the sweet bmx sites for more updates, pictures, and video of the weekend. But I will also have some photos posted from our trip!