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The Ten Take-Aways from Qualy Day

 The Championship classes hit the track in South Carolina, their heads filled with dreams of rainbow jerseys. Returning to Rock Hill BMX seven years after the previous US-based World Championships, the cast of competitors arrived at the rain-soaked facility, eager to turn the heat up with some intense battles. 



  As the first day of the 2024 UCI BMX Racing World Championships roared into action, the Qualifying day was a rollercoaster of emotions and surprises. Here's a snapshot of what we noticed on and off the track.


Battle for two spots

Things just got hairy for Olympic points for the final two-man spot. Ross Cullen is not making it out of the LCQ, and Quillan Isadore is crashing in his eight leaves. Only Kye Whyte is in the mix for Great Britain. One nation ranking below is the Netherlands, with all three heavy hitters still in play as Tokyo Gold Medalist Neik Kimman, Jaymio Brink, and Dave Van der Berg gearing up for their second race day of the weekend. With the two nations battling it out for the final two-man team, the US dropped one of its heavy hitters in turn one as Kam Larsen ended his Wolrds with a tire spin out of turn one. Who is gonna get the last two spots? And who will be sending a lone racer to the games?


Romain is HUNGRY

The defending World Champion is wasting no time showing off why he’s the man to beat in Rock Hill. Forgoing the Tulsa World Cup had keyboard warriors revved up, but with the speed and confidence he was hitting the track, it looked like his plan was coming together to defend his rainbow stripes.


Joris is still Joris

Joris is back and still the same BMX robot. We love it. Mr. Consistecny is on US soil to take a run at the title and prove that 33-year-old speed is the fastest age in BMX.


The Beast

It’s Alise Willoughby; of course, she’s going to show off her speed in Rock Hill. Joined by US young guns Lexis Colby and Daleny Vaughn, Willoughby stretched out her lead in the first round and broke away from the back through the straightaways. Locked in as one of the three US Olympic hopefuls, the #11 bike is going for another Rainbow jersey in Rock Hill, SC.


Sean "The Dog" Day

Panic flashed through our eyes as we saw Sean Day off the back in his eighth. As the jumps to the line became fewer and fewer, the US Junior National Champion used the added adrenaline to track down the pack. While it was at the expense of his teammate, True Baily, the comeback run for a spot on day 2 brought the Rock Hill crowd to its feet.


Team Tent Tension

You might be able to spot it throughout the broadcast, but the team area is CLOSE quarters. After the Challenge Day storm came through on Wednesday, the operations team at Rock Hill converted staging into a Team shanty housing every country under the same white tent. Rolling back from an action-packed lap, racers are now more than 5 feet from racers who just knocked them out of racing, making for a thick layer of tension as you climb through the pathways. Also laundry, please wash your race kits tonight.


Third Straight Minefield

From practice to motos, Both sides of the third straight is collecting scraps of jerseys for its collection. 2023 Junior World Champion Thomas Maturano was the first of its victims this weekend as he was pulled from racing after his second crash on the straight before racing began. Once the race day began, it was a Colombian jersey she wanted a piece of next. Tomas Palmezano started the dog pile, butt-scuzzing the step-up and collecting two more racers and jersey scraps. We hear there will be a raffle for the completed jersey. We’ll keep you updated with more information.


The Aussie Favorite

On a high from his win at the Tulsa World Cup, Australia’s Jordan Callum is stretching out his lead and the impression he made on race fans. As a part-time local to Rock Hill, SC, Callum is one of the front runners in the Men’s Under 23 class.


Rufus/Corley Showdown

The Junior ladies meet again, this time on US soil with the big one on the line. Going head to head at the first two rounds of the UCI World Cup, Ava Corley and Teya Rufus lay down the first two wins for the weekend in their first rounds. Corley is returning from a leg fracture, and Rufus has recently been crowned the World Cup Champion. The two are headed for a collision course with a fan-thrilling battle at the end. We. Can’t. Wait.


Mother nature be kind...please?

We got lucky today. The suspected rain disappeared into the overcast skies and the thunderstorms that were meant to make an appearance called out sick. But, as we know, around the BMX world, if it’s race day, it will probably rain. The current forecast is similar to what was supposed to show on Day 1, so if you see a ginger man dancing in a circle in a hotel parking lot, just know, it's VERY important business.


Joking aside, we are a ball of anxious and excited energy watching the World Championship racing go down throughout Rock Hill, SC. With one more sleep until Championship Titles are awarded and Olympic dreams come to fruition, we can’t wait to experience more BMX history in Rock Hill, South Carolina.


Good luck. Go Fast.


P.s. 

Don’t forget about Alfredo Campo; the man has a Rock Hill cheat code in his pocket.

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