Pajon reigns supreme in Colombia
Reigning Olympic champion, Mariana Pajon put on a stellar performance to win round three of the BMX Supercross World Cup in Bogota. Returning to home soil following the first two rounds in Verona (8-9 May), Pajon led from the start, opening up a wide gap between herself and the chasing pack before triumphing in a time of 36.474 seconds. The 'Queen of BMX' was followed home by compatriot Gabriela Bolle with the ROC's Natalia Afremova completing the podium.
Speaking to the Olympic Channel after the race, an elated Pajon said: "I've been through so much. It's been amazing, when you see everything comes together, you know it's worth it.
"Everything you've been through, winning at home is so special. I knew I had to and I needed to. So I'm super happy."
Pajon's performance was even more impressive given the wet track conditions the riders were faced with on a rainy weekend in Bogota.
"It's actually out of my comfort zone," said Pajon. "So I'm more than happy about it. I feel pressure and responsibility, of course, because I train here, it's my track and you want to do good where you train, but that's when I ride much better... when I'm under pressure."
The Colombian now has the chance to secure an unprecedented three-peat as she looks to defend her title at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in 2021.
Joris Daudet on top as Europeans sweep the podium
Joris Daudet staked his claim for a place on the French Olympic team with a convincing victory in the round three men's final. The 30-year-old rider from Saintes was the first of a European top three to pass the finish line, with Switzerland's Cedric Butti in second and Latvia's Helvijs Brabis in third. Colombia's French-born rider and husband of Mariana Pajon, Vincent Pelluard finished in fifth place in the medal race.
"It was a very good day for me, back after a few years on the World Cup circuit," said Daudet. "It feels good to be back here on top of the box, for sure."
Second place Cedric Butti, who was attempting to win a third World Cup final for his country after Simon Marquart and David Graf triumphed in rounds one and two, said: "I had a pretty good start. Once in second, I had a little bit of pressure because I didn't want to lose the spot but I pulled it together and took it to the finish line. It feels unbelievable."
Attention now turns to today's (30 May) round four action where riders will have one final opportunity to earn Olympic ranking points.