The world's top BMX racers are back in action as the 2022 UCI BMX Racing World Cup (previously known as the BMX Supercross World Cup) season gets underway in Glasgow, Scotland, this weekend (28–29 May).
After last season's tension-filled early World Cup events, which had Olympic qualification on the line, this year's circuit is purely for the World Cup overall title and nothing more, placing slightly less pressure on the riders.
Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Colombia will be the three host nations for the eight stops of the competition, as Mariana Pajón and Simon Marquart set out in defence of their titles won in Sakarya, Turkey, back in October.
Read on for a preview of the season ahead and how to watch the action on Olympic Channel via Olympics.com in many parts of the world.
Women's elite: Mariana Pajón still top of the field
The double Olympic champion Pajón from Colombia remains the rider to watch in the women's elite category.
Despite only winning silver at Tokyo 2020 in 2021, she put any doubts about her ability to continue competing at the top beyond reach by winning a third overall World Cup title of her career.
The six-time world champion was pushed to the last race of the season, however, by Netherlands' Laura Smulders and American Felicia Stancil.
Smulders enters the season on a three-win streak from the end of last season, has 23 career World Cup race wins to her name, and should be one to watch.
Others, if they choose to compete in every round – some did not last season – who could feature near the top include Olympic and world champion Bethany Shriever of Great Britain.
Men's elite: Marquart, Daudet, or someone else?
Switzerland's Simon Marquart is the defending World Cup champion in the men's elite category, although his training mate Niek Kimmann – the reigning Olympic and world champ – might have something to say about that this season.
Kimmann chose to focus on the Olympic Games and World Championships last season, sitting out the last four rounds of the World Cup season to rest after suffering an injury in Tokyo when he crashed into a track official in practice.
That meant the door was open for Marquart, Colombia's Carlos Ramírez, and France's Joris Daudet to battle it out for the World Cup.
This year, with Kimmann likely back, that ought to change. Watch out, too, for Ramírez's Colombian teammate Vincent Pelluard, Pajón's husband. Great Britain will also have Olympic silver medallist Kye Whyte to count on.
BMX Racing World Cup 2022 format
The season will use a points format across four categories: men's elite, women's elite, men's under-23, and women's under-23. Athletes in each category can only score points for that category (i.e., an under-23 athlete does not score points for the elite category unless he or she competes as an elite athlete).
At each of the eight events, motos (heats) will take place for each of the four categories before elimination races take place up to the final, usually featuring eight athletes.
The winner of each final scores 150 points, with riders from second to eighth getting 130, 115, 100, 90, 80, 75 and 70 points respectively. Any riders eliminated prior to the final then receive points corresponding to the round they were eliminated in and their position in those races.
After the eight World Cup rounds are over, the top athlete is crowned World Cup champion.
2022 BMX Racing World Cup season calendar
There are eight rounds on this year's UCI BMX Racing World Cup, the same number as in the 2021 season. Once again, the season has been split into two distinct periods, with the first four rounds in Europe across three weeks, and the last four rounds all taking place in Bogotá, Colombia, over two weekends at the end of the season.
28 May: Round 1 in Glasgow (GBR)
29 May: Round 2 in Glasgow (GBR)
11 June: Round 3 in Papendal (NED)
12 June: Round 4 in Papendal (NED)
24 September: Round 5 in Bogotá (COL)
25 September: Round 6 in Bogotá (COL)
1 October: Round 7 in Bogotá (COL)
2 October: Round 8 in Bogotá (COL)
Important non-World Cup events this year include the UCI BMX Racing World Championships in Nantes, France, from 26–31 July 2022, as well as the continental championships for Europe in July, Asia in August, and the Americas in September.
How to watch BMX Racing World Cup 2022 season opening events live
All events in the 2022 BMX Racing World Cup season will be filmed, with live action and highlights available to viewers around the world via the UCI's Tv broadcast and online digital streaming partners.
For most of the world this is on Olympic Channel, via the Olympics.com website and apps for mobile and smart connected tv devices. Watch the action right here (territorial restrictions apply) and on the @Olympics YouTube platform.