On the 23rd of October, the United States’ Felicia Stancil and Switzerland’s Simon Marquart stunned the crowd at the 2021 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in Sakarya, Turkey.
While Marquart edged out Joris Daudet in a thrilling photo finish, Stancil, who placed fourth at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, won the women’s title. Stancil defeated fan favourites Mariana Pajon and the Smulders sisters.
F. Stancil Olympic Games
High-octane racing with lots of spills and shivers was delivered on the first of four final race days of the season, all of which will take place in Sakarya over this weekend and next to determine the overall champions.
With a time of 37.656 seconds, Stancil won the women’s race and 150 points, placing herself in the running if she can replicate her final performance.
Eliska Bartunkova, a Czech cyclist, came in second with a time of 38.445 seconds, good for 130 points, and Canadian phenom Molly Simpson, competing in her maiden World Cup final, came in third.
At 38.710 seconds, Simpson was a full 100 seconds faster than Laura Smulders, who placed fourth. Priscilla Carnaval of Brazil finished fifth, followed by her sister Merel of the Smulders in sixth.
A result of this, double Olympic gold medalist and silver medalist at Tokyo 2020, Mariana Pajon, could only place seventh.
Despite this setback, the Colombian superstar rider still leads the women’s rankings with 485 points, five more than Natalya Afremova, followed by American Payton Ridenour (third, 405) and Felicia Stansil (fourth, 315).
With three more days of racing to go after Sunday’s sixth round, the championship is more up for grabs than ever.
To this day, “I’m still a bit emotional,” Stancil admits. “His outlook and character are huge inspirations to me. He aided me in developing a winning frame of mind. The Olympic title will always be his to hold.”
At the tender age of six, Lake Villa, Illinois native Stancil nabbed her first national championship. She earned her degree in exercise science from Marian University in 2018. In 2015, 2016, and 2018, she swept the collegiate BMX national championships.
She has won four consecutive world junior titles and one in the 2015 Pan American Games. For the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, she qualified as a reserve.
The next day, she won her preliminary round and placed second in her semifinal. Stancil and Smulders faced off in the final once more, with the American leading throughout until being narrowly defeated by.094 seconds. This is the third consecutive victory for Smulders.
The Indianapolis resident Stancil picked up the sport from her father, who raced BMX bikes himself. She has already declared her intention to compete in the 2024 Olympics.