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France dominate Cup

Team France threw down the gauntlet when Joris Daudet and Manon Valentino powered their way to victory in the super final at the end of the Friday’s first day of the UCI BMX Supercross at Alexandra Park in Pietermaritzburg.

Billed as the dark horse entry going into the season-opening Supercross, the French flew under the radar up until the time trial stage.

However the notoriously strong BMX time triallist nation made sure they put their best foot forward when it really counted and demolished the strong international field in the 16-rider men’s and women’s finals.

ÔÇ£It went really well for me today and I’m really happy to have won in the time trial but the big race is tomorrow so we’ll just wait and see,ÔÇØ said Daudet, who put together a staggering second half of his super-final to rocket from fifth to take the line honours.

ÔÇ£I’m really happy with where my speed is at the moment and it’s really awesome for us (France) to have won both the men’s and women’s time trial,ÔÇØ the beaming Frenchman added. ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿ÔÇ£The track was a little bit soft yesterday but its hardened up today so tomorrow should be good,ÔÇØ he said.

ÔÇ£We’ll just chill out tonight and watch some of the footage from today and then hopefully things go well tomorrow.ÔÇØ

The 2009 Junior Women’s World Champ and Daudet’s fellow French star, Manon Valentino was also cautious not to get too far ahead of herself but was clearly satisfied with her time trial success.ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿ÔÇ£This is my best result in a time trial so far and I’m very happy to have won but tomorrow is the big one, the one that really counts, so there’s still lots more work to be done,ÔÇØ she said.

Men’s hot title favourite Sam Willoughby of Australia finished sixth, after digging deep to get himself onto the startline after being laid low by a stomach bug.

The Australian was happy with his performance on the day, particularly in a discipline that is not his fort├®. ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿ÔÇ£I wouldn’t exactly called myself a time trial specialist and some of those other guys are really going well at the moment but overall I was happy with today,ÔÇØ said Willoughby.

ÔÇ£Racing and time trails are also two very different things because if you can get in front into the first corner of the race its quite tough for the rest of the guys to get past you after that so we’ll just have to see how things go tomorrow,ÔÇØ he added.

With some of the rider’s expressing a slight concern about the bumpy nature of some of the corners Willoughby’s Australian compatriot Caroline Buchanan, who claimed fourth place in the women’s time trial, dispelled all concerns.

ÔÇ£At last year’s Worlds the corners got a bit bumpy so with it being the same clay as then these corners were probably always going to be a bit rough but I really don’t think it’ll be much of an issue tomorrow, I’m a little more worried about the weather,ÔÇØ laughed Buchanan nervously.

Gavin Lubbe topped the local challenge on a day that stated with a South African line-up depleted of riders after Donovan Minnie, Lunga Mkhize and Kane Herbert failed to make muster after being sidelined by injuries sustained on the first day.

Lubbe scraped into the second day’s heats, finishing 63rd in the time trials on a day that saw the men’s field slashed from 103 to 64.

Lubbe and Teagan O’Keeffe in the women’s event remain as the sole local challengers in the event.

After a week of being frustrated by persistent rain the weather gods co-operated to provide cool overcast, and critically rain-free conditions for the first full days racing.

Saturdays’ final day gets under way at 2pm at Alexandra Park in Pietermaritzburg

More information can be found at www.bmxworldcupsa.co.za

SUMMARY OF RESULTS

SUPERFINAL RESULTS

1 Joris Daudet FRA 33.497

2 Rymon van der Biezen NED 33 691

3 Tory Nyhaug CAN 33.805

4 Sylvain Andre FRA 33.9

5 Corben Sharrah USA 33.919

6 Sam Willoughby AUS 33.973

7Nicholas Long USA 34.181

8 Carlos Oquendo Zabala COL 34.223

9 Joshua Meyers USA 34.225

10 Brian Kirkham AUS 34.231

11 Damien Godet FRA 34.296

12  Khalen Young AUS 34. 754

13 Kurt Pickard NZL 34. 848

14 Thomas Hamon FRA 34.859

15 Robert de Wilde NED 35.071

16 Daniel Schlang GER 35.182

WOMEN

1 Manon Valentino FRA 33.541

2 Sarah Walker NZL 33.902

3 Mariana Pajon COL 33.923

4 Caroline Buchanan AUS 34.215

5 Jana Horakova CZE 34.539

6 Magalie Pottier FRA 34.615

7 Joyce Seesing NED 34.629

8 Lauren Reynolds AUS 34.667

9 Eva Ailloud FRA 34.709

10 Samantha Cools CAN 34.818

11 Melinda Mcleod AUS 34.911

12 Rachel Bracken AUS 34.971

13 Amelie Despeaux FRA 35.045

14 Anete Hladikova CZE 35.344

15 Amanda Carr USA 35.571

16 Arielle Martin USA 52.763


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