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Strombergs Repeats as Men’s BMX Gold Winner

By Chris Jasurek
Epoch Times Staff
Created: August 10, 2012 Last Updated: August 13, 2012
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Maris Strombergs (L) of Latvia leads the field around the berm in the Men's BMX Cycling Final on Day 14 of the London 2012 Olympic Games. (Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Maris Strombergs (L) of Latvia leads the field around the berm in the Men's BMX Cycling Final on Day 14 of the London 2012 Olympic Games. (Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Defending Olympic champion Maris “The Machine” Strombergs of Latvia repeated in the Men’s BMX cycling Final Friday, beating out Australia’s Sam Willoughby and Colombia’s Carlos Mario Oquendo.

Stromberg, who had not ridden well in the seed heats, semi- or quarter finals, came through when it counted, grabbing the lead off the start ramp, edging out Great Britain’s Liam Phillips into the first turn, and winning the race by .353 seconds.

The 25-year-old Latvia adds his second Olympic gold to a list of achievements including two UCI world championships and four BMX Supercross World Cup titles

Maris Strombergs leads out of the first turn as Sam Willoughby (yellow) pushes past Liam Phillips to take second. (Leon Neal/AFP/GettyImages)

Maris Strombergs leads out of the first turn as Sam Willoughby (yellow) pushes past Liam Phillips to take second. (Leon Neal/AFP/GettyImages)

The starting lineup showed some interesting strategic decisions. Stromberg in the center risked getting swamped; top qualifier Raymon van der Biezen of Netherlands opted for Lane Eight, the far outside, hoping to avoid that same traffic and the possible first-corner pileup. This gave the usually preferred inside lane to USA’s Connor Fields, with Netherlands’ Twan van Gendt to his right.

Stromberg nailed the start; van Gendt also got a good start and immediately squeezed out the quicker qualifier Connor Fields. Sam Willoughby pumped hard through the first set of rollers and got the inside line on Liam Phillips into the first corner. Phillips, trying to twist into a tighter line, unclipped from one of his pedals, which ruined his chances in the race.

Oquendo, last out of the first turn, somehow passed half the field by the fourth turn while van der Biezen, swamped at the start despite his tactical relocation, followed in fourth.

Connor Field collided with Colombia’s Andres Eduardo Jiminez in Turn Four as the pair fought for fifth; they finished sixth and seventh. Liam Phillips also crashed, unable to maneuver with one unclipped foot and unwilling to slow down to clip back in. Phillips finished last by 90 seconds after competing for a podium position at the start of the race.

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(L-R) Liam Phillips leads Maris Strombergs by a few inches over the first jump of the Men's BMX Cycling Final. Willoughby, in yellow, took silver; Qouendo, far right, came back to take Bronze. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

(L-R) Liam Phillips leads Maris Strombergs by a few inches over the first jump of the Men's BMX Cycling Final. Willoughby, in yellow, took silver; Qouendo, far right, came back to take Bronze. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

 

London 2012 Men’s BMX Final

 

#

rider

time

time

1

81

Latvia STROMBERGS Maris

37.576

-

2

1

Australia WILLOUGHBY Sam

37.929

+0.353

3

566

Colombia OQUENDO ZABALA Carlos Mario

38.251

+0.675

4

121

Netherlands van der BIEZEN Raymon

38.492

+0.916

5

148

Netherlands van GENDT Twan

44.744

+7.168

6

717

Colombia JIMENEZ CAICEDO Andres Eduardo

53.377

+15.801

7

11

United States of America FIELDS Connor

1:03.033

+25.457

8

65

Great Britain PHILLIPS Liam

2:11.918

+1:34.342

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