Shealen Reno on the podium with a silver medal. Photo by Jerry Landrum/www.bmxmania.com
Rotterdam, Netherlands (July 27, 2014) – Team USA Cycling collected three more silver medals as the 2014 UCI BMX World Championships concluded on Sunday with the Supercross finals.
Shealen Reno(Plano, Texas/Hyper Bicycles) and Sean Gaian (Santee, Calif./GT Bicycles) placed second in the junior races while Alise Post(St. Cloud, Minn./Redline) raced to silver in the elite women's contest.
After five days of competing in Rotterdam, Team USA tallied 21 medals in the challenge class, cruiser class, elite and junior competitions.
"I'm unbelievably proud of all of our athletes," said USA Cycling's National BMX Coach James Herrera. "We had a great medal tally at the world championships this year and I'm super proud to see our junior riders and challenge class riders that are coming up through the ranks. We've got an incredibly bright future."
Reno's silver medal in the Junior Women's Supercross came in addition to the bronze medal she earned in Saturday's Time Trial Superfinal.
In Sunday's main event, the lone American finished second to winner Domenica Michelle Azuero Gonzalez (ECU) who created a substantial gap on the other seven ladies right out of the gate.
Sean Gaian on the podium with a silver medal. Photo by Jerry Landrum/www.bmxmania.com
"I'm just super excited to be here in Rotterdam and am very happy with my podium in both the time trial and the race," Reno commented afterwards. "I'm really excited to turn elite next year and see what I have."
Gaian, the defending world champ in the junior men's contest, had a rough lead-up to this year's world championships as it was only four weeks ago that he suffered a broken wrist in the Berlin World Cup.
It didn't stop him from a top performance however. The California rider placed second in his semifinal to get into the main event where he powered his way to the silver medal.
"It wasn't an ideal situation," the silver medalist said of his pre-Worlds injury and surgery. "But I'm just happy to get on the podium and represent USA Cycling and have a good finish overall."
The event was won by Niek Kimmann (NED) and the bronze medal went to Romain Racine. American Walker Finch (Fort Collins, Colo./ Haro/Promax) also advanced to the main event and placed seventh.
Post, who has spent most of the last few months recovering from an early-season knee injury, announced her comeback loud and clear on Sunday as she powered to the silver medal in the elite women's main.
After winning her quarterfinal and semifinal, Post lined up next to the world's best and finished a close second behind winner Mariana Pajon (COL) while Laura Smulders (NED) took the bronze.
Alise Post on the podium with the silver medal. Photo by Jerry Landrum/www.bmxmania.com
"Today was a success and it feels almost like a win after having such a short preparation and then coming in second to a gold medalist," Post said afterwards. "I'm excited to see what a positive attitude and knowing where I stand in the class can go in the future."
Post was joined in the main event by fellow Team USA members Dani George(Palmdale, Calif.) and Brooke Crain(Visalia, Calif./Haro Bicycles) who placed sixth and seventh respectively.
American Connor Fields (Henderson, Nev./Chase/Monster) won his quarterfinal and semifinal to make it to the elite men's main.
Out of the gate in the final, he took the lead but was taken out by eventual winner Sam Willoughby (AUS) in a tight turn. The ensuing multi-rider crash mixed up the order and Tory Nyhaug (CAN) followed Willoughby over the line for second while Tre Whyte (GBR) took third.
Team USA member David Herman (Wheat Ridge, Colo./Free Agent Bicycles) placed fifth in the event while Fields crossed the line in seventh.
With the conclusion of Sunday's Supercross finals, the 2014 UCI BMX World Championships are officially in the books!
"I'm extremely happy with the performance of the team in Rotterdam. We had a pretty comprehensive team here and had a lot of riders that made it far through the competition. All the way up to the semifinals, we were well ahead of last year." commented USA Cycling Director of BMX Programs Jamie Staff. "No golds, but our medal tally was up there. It's definitely something to build on. We learned a lot of lessons this year leading up to worlds and we're looking forward to the months ahead and getting the team on form for what will be the run-up to the Olympics."