Judy Baauw and Simon Marquart clinch victory in the BMX Supercross World Cup opener as Pajon suffers early exit in Verona

Drama at opening round of the BMX World Cup season in Verona, Italy, streamed live on Olympic Channel, with Tokyo 2020 qualification points at stake.

By Sanjeev Palar

Judy Baauw from the Netherlands and Switzerland's Simon Marquart took victory on the opening day of the 2021 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup season in Verona.

Baauw claimed the women's race win as London 2012 and Rio 2016 champion Mariana Pajon suffered a shock early exit from the event on Saturday (8th May),

Marquart's men's victory was his first at the World Cup level, on the first of four rounds of the World Cup season offering Olympic qualification points in the race for places at the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021.

Baauw claims women's title in Verona

Judy Baauw from the Netherlands emerged the winner after a dramatic women's final.

Compatriot Merel Smulders crossed the finish line second with Japan's Hatakeyama finishing third, in a race that saw highly favoured Laura Smulders taken out when Zoe Claessens from Switzerland fell at the first corner.

Women's elite results - Round 1: FINAL

  1. Judy Baauw (NED)
  2. Merel Smulders )NED)
  3. Hatakeyama Sae (JPN)
  4. Payten Ridenours (USA)
  5. Felicia Stancil (USA)
  6. Ashley Verhagen (USA)
  7. Zoe Claessens (SUI)
  8. Laura Smulders (NED)

Pajon feeling happy, strong and fast despite unexpected result.

Two-time and reigning Olympic champion Pajon could only manage a seventh place finish in the second women's elite semi-final.

The Colombian shared afterwards that she was "super happy to be here, racing again after this crazy year we had. It didn't end as I had expected but I feel strong, I feel good on the track, fast, I just have to put everything together."

The 29-year-old will be back on track on Sunday for the second round of the season, before the World Cup moves to her home track in Colombia for the third and fourth rounds.

"I'm super excited about that. It's really nice to have these events in Colombia, we really need it." Pajon shared, adding "We really need to be motivated, united. And this is what sports is about, we unite people, get people together which is something positive. I'm really happy."

"Unbelievable" win for Simon Marquart in the men's elite

Switzerland's Simon Marquart ran off with a comfortable win in the men's elite final as he raced to his maiden World Cup win in Verona.

The 24-year- old crossed the line ahead of France's Arthur Pilard with Nicolas Torres completing the podium.

When asked after the race what it felt like to win his maiden World Cup event, Marquart replied "Unbelievable, there's so much weight on our shoulders, lots of hard work and it feels absolutely amazing."

Men's elite results - Round 1: FINAL

  1. Simon Marquart (SUI)
  2. Arthur Pilard (FRA)
  3. Nicolas Torres (ARG)
  4. Kye Whyte (GBR)
  5. David Graf (SUI)
  6. Ross Cullen (GBR)
  7. Sylvian Andre (FRA)
  8. Romain Mahieu (FRA)

Watch - BMX Supercross World Cup Round 2

Be sure to watch the second round of the BMX Supercross World Cup season from Verona on Sunday, (9 May).

You can stream action from the races for free and without subscription on Olympic Channel.