World Cup Title Upset Down to Fate

September 26, 2014 by  

Liam Phillips at the 2014 Chula Vista BMX SX

By Bryce Betts
The five-stop 2014 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup series is coming to an end, and it’s time for the red plates to be turned in for glass world cup trophies. With the World Cup title comes prize money, bonuses from sponsors, national federations, and a whole lot of bragging rights. It’s obvious that those up for the title have crunched the numbers (and maybe did some quick napkin math of how many Dollars or Pounds Sterling might be coming their way, if only…), but not much has been said for the title chase for those out of the “know.”


Caroline Buchanan at the 2014 Chula Vista BMX SX
After winning the the first stop in Manchester, Australia’s Caroline Buchanan has run the red BOX plate on her DK ride with a permanent smile. But Olympic Gold Medalist Mariana Pajon, has been the cream of the crop for the balance of the season. Having missed the first stop will cost her the title this year. Team USA’s Alise Post was a favorite going into the series, but the injury in practice at Manchester crushed her dreams before the first race gate was dropped. Filling in Alise’s shoes was Haro’s Brooke Crain, who has been consistently in mains all year. Consistent performances from both Brooke and Laura Smulders have landed them in a tie for second, 150 points behind Caroline.

In a series where 225 points is awarded to first place, 150 points does not much at all. After crunching the numbers at the BMX News command center, we discovered that for Brooke or Laura to win the title they would not only need to win the event but Caroline would need to finish 16th or worse. For a racer as consistent as Caroline, that seems unlikely, barring some crazy on-track mishap. In BMX supercross, however, nothing is guaranteed til your past that white stripe. The extra hours on the U.S. track will play into Brooke’s favor, but Alise and Mariana will definitely be looking to stop her.


Anthony Dean at the 2014 Chula Vista BMX SX
The Elite Mens title chase is eerily-similar to the Elite Women’s standings. Leading the series is 2013 world champion, Liam Phillips (top photo), who also won in Manchester and has held the red plate since. Lurking in the points-lead shadows of Liam is Chase/Stay Strong’s Anthony Dean (above), only 130 points behind. Anthony has yet to win a World Cup, but has shown that he’s more than capable of doing so throughout the season. Defending champion Connor Fields is excited to race on the track he knows best, but the Chase BMX ace finds himself too far out of the points to threaten the title chase, currently sitting in fifth.

For Anthony to pass Liam’s Yess BMX rail in the standings, he would need to win Saturday’s main event, and Liam would need to place 13th (7th in the semi) or worse. The odds are definitely in Britain’s favor for the 2014 World Cup title, but we must not forget Berlin and Worlds of this year, where he failed to qualify for the semis. If Liam doesn’t make the semi, Anthony still has to get second. Regardless of the how the points shake out, it will be exciting to watch Liam, Anthony, Sam, Connor, Joris and some of the underdogs from Friday’s qualifying rounds battle for the last world cup win of 2014.


The stage is set for another title to go into the history books. Although it would be a huge upset to Caroline and Liam if either missed the main, it would be interesting to see how Brooke, Laura, and Anthony handled the puressure of being 38.2 seconds from winning it all.

Saturday’s race starts at 1:05PM, Pacific Time. Stick with News for as-they-happen updates, via our raceday Twitter account @bmxupdates. Watch it on beginning at 3:30PM Pacific (link below).

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