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|Elite Men hit the track at the OTC in Chula Vista, Calif. Launch Gallery »|
The UCI Supercross Finals landed in sunny Chula Vista, Calif. this weekend. Front runner Marc Willers was seen hanging out in the VIP section during the races after a fall in practice on Thursday. Willers got off lucky with no major injuries, but decided not to race this weekend, saving himself for the ABA Grands. Willers and Sam Willoughby are eight points apart in the standings. Also on the sidelines was Redline's Alise Post, who blew her knee out just prior to the World Championships this past July. Leading points for the UCI Supercross series is French rider Joris Daudet (GT), who still has a solid lead in points that might not be able to be broken.
With time trials in the books, all is looking good for Team USA -- Connor Fields and Brooke Crain both locked in a pair of first place finishes. Crain managed to hold off World Champ Mariana Pajon for the win. Meanwhile, on the men's side of things, Connor Fields and his best friend went One and Two.
All three of the 2008 Team USA Olympians were looking strong but ended up down at one point or another ruining their day. Kyle Bennett (Free Agent) went down first round, knocking his shoulder out and forced to the sidelines for the rest of the day. Donny Robinson(Hyper) west down on the first jump in the third round after solid first and second rounds, took a 'nap' on the first straight and still transferred to quarters but his day ended with his KO. Mike Day (GT) made a solid comeback in the third round that let him out into the quarters, and in the quarters he had his Mike Day steez on, pushing his way into the semi. In the semi, French rider Joris Daudet went for a wild dive bomb move in the last turn, taking out half of the riders. Daudet's move was a last desperation to get into the final, and surprisingly, did not end in him getting disqualified after he sent both Sam Willoughby (Australia/Redline) and Khalen Young (Australia/Haro) down on the pavement.
|A group of Elite Men riding the first straight in practice. Launch Gallery »|
Connor Fields had this race in his pocket. From first round through the main event, it was weird to see him not in the lead. In the main event Haro's Nic Long had a solid holeshot, looking like he was going to double down and win the Chula Vista race two years in a row. However, in the first turn, Netherlands rider Jelle van Gorkom went for a pass, one that was made all day, and ended up taking out Long as well as five of the eight riders in the race. Fields had a lucky high line through the turn and managed to avoid all the carnage, leading the rest of the lap with Raymon van der Biezen (Nehterlands/Redline) in for second and USA's David Herman (Intense) snatching up third. It was an emotional day with all of the riders who were up for the title out before the final. But even with that, Joris Daudet won the overall title, with Marc Willers still in second. The two just rode too well and consistently all year for anyone to catch them.
The American riders were looking awesome all day. With New Zealand's Sarah Walker going down in warmups just before race time, she was a bit too shaken up to take on the American contingent of riders. Haro's Brooke Crain battled it out with Amanda Carr, splitting the first spot in various laps all over the track, until Carr unfortunately went down in the semi-final. When it came main event time, America's Arielle Martin had a solid lap, leading start to finish, with the young Brooke Crain chasing her down. Martin made it clear during the super finals that she was here to do serious business, blasting the triple into turn one. Following up team USA for third was World Champion Mariana Pajon (Red Bull).