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The brand new permanent Supercross track (picture) is the most advanced and challenging track in the world at the moment and is home to the Dutch team, although other teams are welcome to use the facilities as well.
The design of the Papendal track is almost similar to the design concept for the 2012 Olympic Games track that currently is being constructed. Track Designer Tom Ritzenthaler will take the experience of the Dutch track forward into shaping the final track for the London Olympics.
Corben Sharrah (USA) will lead the USA men's contingent as the number-one ranked rider in the UCI's Supercross World Cup standings. The 19-year-old took the win at round one of the Supercross World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. The world of BMX is also pleased to see #365 Mike Day (USA) return to BMX Supercross racing after a 1 ½ year absence due to a back operation. Last time BMX fans saw Mike Day in splendid form was at the 2009 UCI BMX Supercross in Chula Vista. According to experts this Dutch track will certainly suit Day’s technical style.
Marc Willers (NZL) will be eager to improve his performance of Pietermaritzburg. In South Africa Willers looked set to make the final but the friendly Kiwi crashed in the semi-finals. Joris Daudet (FRA) also looked very strong on the African ochre-red clay, winning the time trials and finishing second in the main final. Khalen Young (AUS), who was very pleased with his third place podium result in Africa. Young looked strong and determined in South Africa, will he be fighting for the podium in the Netherlands again?
Current World and Olympic Champion Maris Strombergs (LAT) is unfortunately still on the injury list. Strombergs is planning to return to BMX Racing in July for the UCI BMX World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Experts also expect big things from the Dutch Army. The orange team of coach Bas de Bever will have a slight home track advantage. The experienced riders like Raymon van der Biezen #121 and Jelle van Gorkom #37, Sander Bisseling #40 are reported to be very fast on this challenging track.
Manon Valentino (FRA) certainly surprised a few with her convincing win at round one of the BMX Supercross in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Valentino will be keen to proof that her Pietermaritzburg win was well deserved by mixing it up in Papendal as well. Others to watch for are the 2009 BMX World Champion Sarah Walker (NZL), 2010 MTB 4X World Champion Caroline Buchanan (AUS) and 2009 junior BMX World Champion Mariana Pajon (COL).
Last but not least, current World Champion, Shanaze Reade (GBR) is making her return to BMX racing and will surely aim for a win, if not just to build her confidence on this Olympic replica track.
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