Posted by Editoress on 04/3/18
Canada's BMX squad begin 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 for 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. "I was pretty happy with my performance for the weekend."
The men did not fare as well, with neither two-time Olympian Tory Nyhaug of Coquitlam, BC, or James Palmer of North Vancouver, BC, making past the quarter-finals.
Nyhaug did not race on Saturday after injuring his back in training, however, he was 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 lineup Sunday and did my best with how the situation was. Almost made it through to the Semi. 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. A couple bad line choices and a slip in the gate on day two kept me from moving on from the quarters finals, but the progress I've made these past few months with the team have us heading in a great directing, I'm truly excited for what's to come!"
Adam Muys, BMX Coach at Cycling Canada, said "Over this off-season we have spend a lot of time working on our starts, 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 best. She earned her spot in the women's final. After a set back to injury, it was really great to see Tory take the start on Sunday."
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