In a few short hours, we are boarding a plane to Vancouver, B.C., Canada to check out the action at the 2012 UCI BMX Supercross Finals. Throughout the past year, the series has been overlooked because riders were more worried about landing a spot on their nation's Olympic team than they were the overall SX Title Race (although the two went seamlessly hand in hand.) Since the race in Chula Vista, Calif. that kicked off the series this past April until now, not much has changed aside from a few world rankings, and that other thing, the Olympics.
With one day until the race, 2012 Olympic Champion's Maris Strombergs and Mariana Pajon, are two of the many Elite Riders who are not on the start list for the final race of the Supercross series. Many riders are suffering from what has been called an "Olympic Hangover." Racing the local USA BMX races and fighting for the USA BMX title, but not making the effort to venture to the Supercross races (which are held on tougher tracks and often pay out less than a solid USA BMX weekend.) Also notably not on the starting roster is New Zealander Marc Willers, as well as the entire French team.
As far as the Men's title goes, Connor Fields is still at the top of the standings, riding the wave of winning the first two races of the season and making the final, but not quite a podium spot at the third stop. Trailing him, and close enough to take his second title of the year, is World Champion Sam Willoughby. Willoughby managed to get second at all three Supercross stops, showing that consistency does pay off. In third, and a long way from catching up to second place, is America's Hero David Herman. David has left his cats to fend for themselves this weekend and has already been in Vancouver for a day checking out the sights.
The Elite Women action is going to be even more scarce than the Men. World Champion Caroline Buchanan has a 100 point lead over Magalie Pottier, who is sitting in third. Redline's Alise Post, currently sitting in second, is skipping the finals, because of a hand injury suffered at the Olympics.
It may be worth noting that only 14 Men have managed to make it to the finals at any given UCI Supercross race this year, and of those 14, only five have managed to get themselves on to a UCI Supercross Podium this year: Connor Fields (two first place finishes), Sam Willoughby (three second place finishes), David Herman (two third place finishes), Maris Strombergs (one first place finish) and Carlos Oquendo Zabala (one third place finish). Considering that the pack is 100+ riders deep at most events, it goes to show you how few riders really have these courses dialed.
At this point, there are only 17 Women and 45 Men registered to race, so we may have a very, very quick weekend at the track and a bit more time hanging out in Vancouver.