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Willoughy’s big will to win

Sam Willoughby already made history last month when he became the first rider to win back-to-back Junior BMX Racing world titles.

And judging by his current form, the 18-year-old Australian is on track to upset the sport’s big guns at Round Two of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in Pietermaritzburg┬á Friday and Saturday.

Willoughby’s best result at a Supercross World Cup event was reaching the semi-final in Denmark last year. But after recording a faster time than the Elite men in the final at the recent World Championships in Adelaide Australia, and looking super-fast and smooth during practice on Thursday, the youngster could well be a podium contender in South Africa.

ÔÇ£I like the course a lot. It suits me because it’s got options of a few different lines on the second and third straight, making them more technical,ÔÇØ said Willoughby. ÔÇ£It’s different because the Supercross tracks I’ve raced on before have usually been predictable with limited options. This one gives more opportunities to pedal and that’s my thing.ÔÇØ

With qualification points on offer for the 2012 Olympic Games, most of the world’s top racers are in Pietermaritzburg where they will race qualifying rounds on Friday and the main event on Saturday on the purpose-built track at the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds.

Fifty-three men and 18 women will complete qualifying on Friday in the form of individual time trials. The top 48 men and top 16 women will move through to the racing rounds on Saturday. There were a number of crashes during practice on Thursday as riders from the 17 competing nations familiarised themselves with the super-sized track for the first time.

The medical staff on site treated a few riders with at least two riders being sent to hospital for further treatment.

Practice began at 10am on Friday with qualifying starting at noon  For more information, visit