Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France, April 3rd, 2018 – Canada’s BMX squad began their 2018 season on March 31st and April 1st with the first two rounds of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup, which took place in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France, less than an hour outside of Paris.
Drew Mechielsen of Langley, BC, was Canada’s top rider of the weekend, making the women’s final in Round 1 on Saturday, and finishing eighth overall. On Sunday in Round 2 she was 28th after crashing out of competition in the quarterfinals.
“After a tough off season full of training it felt so awesome to have it all pay off and make it into the final,” said Mechielsen.
The men did not fare as well, with neither Tory Nyhaug (Coquitlam, BC) or James Palmer (North Vancouver, BC) making it past the quarter-finals. Nyhaug did not race on Saturday after injuring his back in training, but was however able to compete on Sunday, finishing just out qualifying for the semi-finals, and ending up 19th overall. Palmer made it to the quarter-finals on both days, finishing 23rd on Saturday and 24th on Sunday.
“It was a tough weekend, after hurting my back Friday,” admitted Nyhaug. “We did everything we could to be able to race, but after trying to practice Saturday it was a no-go. Thanks to our support team, I was able to take the start on Sunday and did my best given the situation. We’ll head home for some more treatment and be ready for Papendal [Rounds 3 and 4].”
James Palmer was pleased to see improvements after working over the winter. “After a long off season spent working on different weaknesses and preparing for the year, it was great to finally kick off our World Cup season in France this past weekend! We put a lot of emphasis this off-season on bettering my starts and acceleration down the hill, so to come out and lay down some of my fastest and most consistent starts over a World Cup weekend was extremely gratifying. The progress I’ve made these past few months with the team have us heading in a great direction.”
Adam Muys, BMX Coach at Cycling Canada, said “Over this off-season we have spent a lot of time working on our starts and it was really good to see the riders’ hard work paying off in the races. Drew [Mechielsen] was flying out of the gate and battling down the first straight with the world’s best. She earned her spot in the women’s final.”