Last year, St. Pietermaritzberg in South Africa hosted the UCi Worlds – and now in 2011, they have played host to the first UCi Supercross event of the year. This time, the track had changed a bit, with a cool hip jump in to turn 2, for the men, and then a 90 degree pro peak coming out of turn two, that sent riders in to a very tricky and deep rhythm section. It’d be tough for the shorter riders and give the taller riders some advanatge.
Starting off on Friday, the time trails were ran under a new system – having every rider only do 1 lap for the TT. For the men, they’d take the top-64, and for womne, the top-32. Then, after those runs were made, UCi now holds a SUPER TT; which consists of the top-16 riders going for the major UCi points and top times. We’re pleased that REDLINE rider did extremely well in the Super TT:
|Results – Time Trials – Superfinal|
|2||121||VAN DER BIEZEN Raymon||NED||33.691|
|8||566||OQUENDO ZABALA Carlos||COL||34.223|
|15||77||DE WILDE Robert||NED||35.071|
With the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 11th and 15th fastest times — Redline’s Global team was off to a good start.
In the Womens field, USA’s Alise Post did not qualify in the top-16, to compete in the Super TT, but our Dutch and French gals did.
SATURDAY: RACE DAY
ELITE WOMEN: Starting off with the womens racing, ALISE POST , JOYCE SEESING , STEFANY HERNANDEZ and MAGALIE POTTIER were all looking quick in their qualifiers, and all went on to the semi’s. Unfortunately, Alise and Joyce got caught up in a Mariana Pajon crash coming out of the first turn, and it ended their quest for making the final.
Luckily – Venenzuela’s French-resident Stefany Hernandez and Magalie Pottier did make the big show – and flew in for a 4th and 7th place in the finale.
ELITE MEN: After the three rounds of 1/8’s (motos), we witnessed some incredible racing by many of the Redline Global force. Of the 14 Redline Flight bikes who’d made it to the motos, 9 of them moved on to the 1/4’s. Unfortunately, Italy’s DeVecchi, NZ’s Woodcock, Denmark’s Morten THERKILDSEN and Swiss rider Axel KELLER , along with Sander BISSELING would be watching from the sidelines the rest of the race.
Of those who were impressively moving on in the program, and up to the top of the 3-story tall starting hill, Canada’s TORY NYHAUG and Aussie SAM WILLOUGHBBY, were both looking extremely fast and were predicted to be contenders for the top rung of the podium. But as rider placement had it – a lot of Redline’s top riders were in the last rounds of 1/4’s and would be matched up with eachother in the semi if they moved on. The Redline-heavy 1/4 had Sam, Tory and Dutch Pizzy-boy Jelle vanGorkom duking it out for 3 of the top-4 positions. And up to the last turn, it looked as if Jelle might not make it out, but a cool inside swoop opened up and he took advantage of it, giving a little hockey-hip check to grab that 4th and final transfer on to the semi.
In another 1/4, it was two top Dutch veterans – Affro Bob deWilde and Euro Champ Raymon van der BIEZEN, proving they had what it takes by getting to the semi and hoping to reserve two spots for themselves in the main.
The semi’s were deifnitely going to be tough; as they always are. But in the second round of Elite Men – it was going to be even tougher for Team REDLINE. With 5 of the 8 riders on 2011 Flight bikes, it was assured that at least one RL rider wasn’t going to make the main, even before hte gate dropped. And pulling the top-4 positions to make the final was going to be virtually impossible, when you had guys like Marc Willers and Jiminez in there as well.
Atthe drop of the gate, it was all five Redline rider and Willers to the front and elbows were being thrown in turn one. From the Freecaster webcast, it’s hard to see what exactly happened, but Sam, Tory and Jelle got tangled up and in a cloud a dust, so went their chances to the make the main. But the good news was – from out of the dust cloud, appeared the modern day OM of UCi Supercross ROBERT deWILDE and RAYMON van der BIEZEN flying in the 2nd and 3rd spots, chasing down the Kiwi’lander. Thus, of the 14 RL Global riders who made it out of teh Time Trials, it was narrowed down to 2 in the final – both debut’ing the familiar oraneg Troy Lee jerseys, with a new big bucks sponsor – NEW YORK PIZZA, adorned on the chest.
It was bad luck for Sam, Tory and Jelle – who’d all three had shown signs that they could stand on top of the podium at the end of the day. But, that’s BMX for ya … nothingis ever certain, and anything can happen when these guys are hitting such mach speeds just inches away from eachother in these tight, dirt turns where a slight wobble could mean disaster.
ELITE MAIN: Our last two Redline men standing – v/d BIEZEN and deWILDE, lined up in the middle of the gate, surrounded by six other top BMX racers; all with a shot at the glory of wining a UCi SX, and all hoping to score their individual countries some points toward Olympic qualification. Along with the Dutch, there were also 2 Americans in the main.
Fromthe slam of the main gate, it was Tucson rider and PULL magazine coverboy Corben Sharrah winning it from wire to wire. Our two Orange Crush riders pushed their way in to mid-pack, with the No.1 Euro Pro v/d Biezen hangin’ closely to third place, and waiting to make his move. But by the line, he couldn’t get past the Frenchman and would have to settle for 4th place; justoff the podium.
Here’s how Elite Men: Round 1 of 2011 wound up:
|4||121||VAN DER BIEZEN Raymon||NED||6||35.156|
|5||717||JIMENEZ CAICEDO Andres Eduardo||COL||8||35.620|
|6||77||DE WILDE Robert||NED||5||36.026|
SUMMARY: Definitley most impressive was DeWilde’s performance this weekend. At the ripe old age of 34 years old, Robert set a new Age record in South Africa, as the oldest rider to make a UCi SX main. While many of his competition over the past 14 years have already turned Vet Pro or long retired, the 2008 Olympian still has the focus, the skills and the experience to attempt a 2nd bid at making the Netherland’s Olympic team for London 2012. Way to go, Affro!