Wednesday, 01 June 2011 00:00
Well I finally managed to get the win! I wouldn’t say I put together a clean lap, but I got the win!
This past weekend in Papendal, the Netherlands, was the Supercross World Cup Number 2. The track was rumored to be similar to the London Olympic track, so everybody was keen to have a crack at it. The track itself looked like a lot of fun, but more so for training and solo runs rather than racing eight deep.
The track had everything an Olympic medal should be decided on: a MASSIVE first straight, BIG second straight pro doubles, which went into a questionable hip/S-bend/into-box-jump/into-weird-drop-off. Then there was a grueling dig for speed to get down the extremely technical third straight rhythm section and then onto the deep last straight. Not to forget the track is 75 meters longer than the 35 years of BMX rules have allowed them to be. Needless to say, it was a burn.
If the sheer size of the track wasn’t daunting enough, Mother Nature decided to do her best to kill off any skeptics, and that she did. The wind was horrific all week and every time we started a lap it would be blowing a different way. With the elevation changes of the track, one minute it was dead calm when you were down below the face of a jump, and then the second you took off, you could be blown in any direction.Racing was crazy. I’ll be the first to admit I was scared and after the second round of motos I was having doubts and thinking of pulling the pin. I managed to clear my head and put together a solid third lap with a win. The quarterfinal went smoothly and I got another win. By now the body was really starting to feel the hurt. I hadn’t managed to put a clean lap together yet, which meant I was only making it harder for myself, as keeping your flow on a track like this is essential.
Not having been beaten down the first straight all week, I felt I could get the job done from a slightly outside lane when I couldn’t get my favorite Lane 1. Leading into the first turn in the Semi, Holland’s Jelle Van Gorkom took a sharp inside line and pulled off a nice move to take over the lead. With such a tight line,though, he struggled for speed over the first pro double and came up short. I went to the right in case it got nasty, but USA’s Corben Sharrah poked his wheel up the inside over the second jump. I saw him coming and with the S-bend heading his direction it was about to get tight. I had a slight lead as we jumped and, sadly, he fell victim to the poorly designed hip jump and went over the back of me. If it weren’t for that part of the track, it would have been a much better race. When good side-by-side racing ends up like that and ruins the day for one of the best riders in the world, then something ain’t right.
The main event couldn’t have come any sooner as the clouds opened literally as soon as the start call began. We all got out of the gate evenly so it was time to do work. Getting a slight lead over the first jump I managed to increase it by a bike length or so into the first corner. Australia’s Sam Willoughby went for an inside line, but lost his grip. I had an immediate flash back to the World Championships main last year. From then on, I put together my best lap of the day and crossed the line for my first World Cup win in nearly four years.
I want to give a massive thanks to all my sponsors and supporters Speed Bicycles, THE, Sinz Elite, ITS, Swatch Watches, Shimano, Bikenz and SPARC.
Images: Jerry Landrum www.bmxmania.com