Fields, Buchanan win UCI Supercross
Connor Fields wins by two-thousandths of a second.
With the dust settled over in Norway, both Connor Fields (Chase BMX/USA) and Caroline Buchanan (Intense/AUS) managed to double up on their time trial wins, taking the wins in their respective finals at the UCI Supercross round two in Norway. Even early on in the day, both were riding flawlessly, and it was no surprise to see the momentum carry over into the finals.
Most of the motos could have, at any other race, been a main event, and once the men got chopped down to quarter and semifinals, every lap was solid enough to be main event worthy. A few notables getting knocked out of the action in quarter finals include Bubba Harris (whose personal bike arrived on Friday, just in time to get thrown together for the races on Saturday), Barry Nobles (who had a solid showing in motos keeping the heat turned on full), and Marc Willers (who after a brutal fall in practice, barely made it out of time trials and stilled seemed a little bit off his game.) Bubba went down solo in turn two, looking to cut from seventh to fourth, but the traction just wasn't there. Willers and Nobles also went down in turn two, Willers got bumped and washed out, throwing himself directly in the path of DK's Barry Nobles, ending the weekend for both of them.
In semis, it became even more intense. In the first semi qualifier, Team USA's Mike Day (GT/Red Bull) got stuck in traffic down the first straight, and everywhere he looked for an opening seemed to be shut down. In the second semi qualifier, it would be World Champion Joris Daudet who would get pushed out. Also in that round was David Herman, who after a solid day, couldn't get out of the traffic. He finished in fifth was out of the main. In Elite Women, Brooke Crain was riding solid all day after coming back from separating her shoulder only two weeks ago, but couldn't get through her semi as Australian Melinda McLeod held her off for a spot in the main event.
In the Elite Men's final, from the gate to the first turn, Khalen Young was sitting in a solid second behind USA's Connor Fields, and then he jumped straight into the back of the landing of the triple and bounced into the first turn sideways. From there the race was on. Fields had a sizable lead going into the second turn with British rider Liam Phillips in second and Aussie Sam Willoughby unhappily in third. Down the third straight, Willoughby decided to turn his game on, not only reeling in and passing Phillips, but blowing by him and ending up neck and neck with Fields for the last straight. At the finish, Connor Fields won by two-thousandths of a second.
"It was pretty close, I got lucky," said Fields. "If the finish line was a couple inches past it, it would have been different." Behind them, the battle for third was on full blast with Tory Nyhaug and Liam Phillips side by side out of the last turn. Phillips skipped a beat and got sideways on flat ground, bouncing on his side and back through the rhythm section, taking Nyhaug with him for the ride. Columbian rider Carlos Mario Oquendo Zabala picked up the third spot.
In Elite Women, the race for first came down to the finish. Round one winner Magalie Pottier had a commanding lead around the track, with Caroline Buchanan chasing in second for the length of the track. Suddenly, out of the last turn, Buchanan turned on her skills, gaining the speed to pass Pottier, pumping through the rhythm, but still sprinted to the finish for good measure. Unlike the photo finish in the men's final, this one was clearly defined. Taking third, for her second Supercross Main event showing since recovering from a knee injury last summer was Team USA's Alise Post (Redline), who is scraping together whatever points she can with her eyes set on the Olympics this summer.