February 13, 2024
2024 UCI BMX Racing World Cup: the French and Aussies impress

Elite Men: French duel

The first two rounds of the UCI BMX Racing World Cup in Rotorua, New Zealand (10 and 11 February) saw the French pair of Romain Mahieu and Joris Daudet take the Men Elite wins. Australian Saya Sakakibara dominated the Women Elite racing with two victories.


Round 1: Romain Mahieu (FRA) had been looking fast all day and when the gate dropped in the main final he put the power on to get the holeshot from the middle of the field – proving that you don’t need lane 1 to get out of the first turn in the lead. His countryman Joris Daudet was looking for an opening to pass, but it simply wasn’t there. Switzerland’s Cedric Butti and Simon Marquart battled it out for the bronze with Marquart grabbing 3rd place.

Round 2The following day, Romain Mahieu’s consistency had disappeared and he was eliminated in the quarter final. On the other hand Niek Kimmann (NED), who had gone out in the quarters on Saturday (“I rode like a tourist”), made the podium the next day, finishing 3rd.

It’s true that riders make fewer mistakes when they’re in great form, so we need to be ready for Cedric Butti (SUI) and Joris Daudet in 2024. Butti backed up his 4th place on Saturday with 2nd on Sunday, while Daudet improved from 2nd on Saturday to take the win on Sunday. Both are showing strong form early in the Olympic year.


Round 1The finalists in Round 1 had shone through heavy rain in the semi-finals to make it to the last eight. And it was Saya Sakakibara who continued where she left off in 2023 to grab the win in a time of 36.758, leaving the track with a red leader plate, like her partner Mahieu.

Of the four Dutch Women Elite finalists only Laura Smulders made it on the podium with 2nd place, coming up less than 0.1 second short of a 28th UCI World Cup victory and holding off Bethany Shriever (GBR) who took third.

Round 2: Saya Sakakibara once again made it to the finish line first but this time could barely hold off 2023 UCI BMX Racing World Champion Bethany Shriever. Manon Veenstra (NED) was delighted with a 3rd place finish. Laura Smulders suffered a broken collarbone when she went down in her quarter final

“It’s hard to put into words,” said Saya Sakakibara afterwards. “I knew that coming into this season it was going to be hard. I didn’t do a very good start, I hit the gate, but I knew I had a very good first straight so I was able to get that lead. I could feel Bethany coming and I had no legs on the last straight but I was able to hold it off just that little bit more and that’s all you need.”


Round 1: New Zealand brothers Jack and Bennett Greenough gave the crowd lots to cheer about on Saturday, finishing first and second respectively and beating four Australians in the main final. Noah Elton was the fastest Aussie, taking 3rd.

Round 2: The following day, it was Bennett Greenough who took the honours in a final he shared with his brother (4th), four Australians, and two athletes from Argentina and Denmark. Aussies Oliver Moran (2nd) and Joshua Jolly (3rd) completed the podium.


Round 1: Up front in Saturday’s final, four riders from four different continents got away from the rest of the field and were racing for three podium places. Australia’s Teya Rufus held the others off to claim her first UCI World Cup win of the year, followed by Ava Corley (USA) and Japan’s Jui Yabuta. Emily Hutt (GBR) just missed out on the podium, while Latvian Veronika Sturiska, usually a strong podium contender, had to be satisfied with eighth place after going down.

Round 2: The following day, Veronika Sturiska performed better than she had in Round 1, clearing the first jump with no problems to finish 4th. Ava Corley moved up a step from the previous day, to take the win from Australian Isabell May. Saturday’s winner Teya Rufus grabbed another podium (3rd).

Rounds 3 and 4 follow in two weeks’ time in Brisbane, Australia. Rounds 5 and 6 will be held in Tulsa, USA, in April to complete the 2024 UCI BMX Racing World Cup season.

Courtessy : UCI Official Website