2022 BMX Worlds Day 1
Team USA

12 Riders Transfer to BMX Racing Worlds Quarterfinals

By: Angelina Palermo  July 30, 2022

18 athletes transferred out of first rounds with 12 making it into the quarterfinals when racing resumes on Sunday.

Today marked the first day of the 2022 UCI BMX Racing World Championships in Nantes, France. Nantes built a temporary world-class racing facility specifically for this event. The event started on the 8-meter hill with first rounds, last chance qualifiers, and eighth finals. The women did not race eighths and would go straight to the quarterfinals.

Junior Men

The Juniors started the day off strong with everyone making it out of the first round. Brody Cole (Spring, Tex.; 110% Nutrition), PJ O’Brien (Punta Gorda, Fla.; Albe’s Bike Shop), Ethan Popovich (Valparaiso, Ind.; DK Bicycles), and Cutter Williams (Potomac Falls, Va.; Tangent/ Rift/ Rockstar Racing Team) were top four in their heats directly transferring to the eighth finals. Nolan Cardwell (Belmont, N.C.; Tangent/ Rift/ Rockstar Racing Team) got tangled up in the first turn with a mechanical in his first round, but went on to win his Last Chance Qualifier out of the gate.

In the first heat of eighths, Cardwell and Williams rode to third and fourth making it into tomorrow’s race. Unfortunately, that would leave Cole out. Popovich came out of gate one fighting for the final transfer spot. Sitting in fourth, he made the pass for third on the third straight to secure his spot in the quarters.

Under 23 Men

This year marked the first ever U23 category at the UCI World Championships. Spencer Cole (Palm Harbor, Fla.; DK Bicycles), Drew Polk (Avon, Ind.; Factory LSG), and National Champion Jesse Welch (Riverside, Calif.; Box Components) were strong in their first rounds, but just missed out on transferring. The three went into their LCQ heats with Cole in second and Polk taking the win from the gate. Welch struggled out of the gate and unfortunately could not make a move into the top two ending his World Championship run.

On to the round of eight and Spencer Cole had one of the most impressive rides of the day. He would be the only U23 rider to make it into Sunday’s racing with Polk not making the final transfer spot.

Under 23 Women

McKenzie Gayheart (Fort White, Fla.; Factory Full Tilt/ Radio) was the lone U23 woman for the USA and did not disappoint. She played it safe finishing third and transferring directly to tomorrow’s quarterfinals.

Elite Men

Corben Sharrah (Tucson, Ariz.; Daylight Cycle Co.), Cameron Wood (Phoenix Ariz.; Mongoose/USA BMX Foundation), and Anthony Bucardo (San Martin, Calif.; Haro Bikes) transferred out of their first rounds placing second, third, and fourth in their respective heats. Kamren Larsen (Bakersfield, Calif.; Haro Bikes) won his LCQ heat with Jeremy Smith (Seminole, Fla.; DK Bicycles) grabbing a close second. With all of the U.S. elite men into the round of eight it was sure to be exciting.

Wood kicked off the next round with a crash coming close to taking him out, but he held on to third. Smith had a great start and was riding in the top four, but got caught up in the third straight. He and Bucardo both would get knocked out.

Sharrah was the only American in his heat and came out in the back of the group out of the gate. Going into the second straight, he was in fifth and was not able to make it into the qualifying position. Unfortunately, that would be the end of the weekend for the former World Champion.

After being in the LCQ, Larsen had his work cut out for him getting the last gate pick, but it did not affect him. He finished fourth transferring to the quarterfinals.

Elite Women

Alise Willoughby (Saint Cloud, Minn.; Team Toyota/ GW Bicycles) and Felicia Stancil (Lake Villa, Ill.; Factory SSquared/Answer) both had strong laps getting second in each of their heats. Payton Ridenour (Pottstown; Penn.; Mongoose Bicycles), Daleny Vaughn (Tucson, Ariz.; DK Bicycles), and Lexis Colby (Surprise, Ariz.; Gordy’s Bicycles) all just missed out on their first rounds and went to the LCQ’s. After reviewing their laps, they came out of the gate strong solidifying their spot in the quarterfinals.

Tomorrow, new World Champions will be crowned! The race will start with quarterfinals, then semifinals, and on to the main events - watch it live.