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Christensen races to victory in BMX final

BMX
Simone Christensen of Denmark leads the Women's Cycling BMX Final. Michael Steele/Getty Images
Win comes less than a month after Danish world no.9 claimed to be best in Europe

Denmark's Simone Christensesn was the second-highest ranked rider at the Baku 2015 Games behind the Netherlands' Laura Smulders, but as the London 2012 bronze medallist floundered, the world no.9 raced to gold in a time of 37.074 seconds.

France's Magalie Pottier took silver and Czech Aneta Hladikova the bronze.

"I never thought I was already the best in Europe, I just knew that I had beaten everyone in this final before," said Christensen, who had boldly proclaimed to be "the best European" after a strong showing in the UEC BMX European Cup in Denmark in early June.

"I knew it was going to be a tough final and I knew I had to have a really good gate (start) to be part of the medals here so going home with gold is just unbelievable. I'm so happy."

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The final was effectively reduced to a race of four after Smulders suffered a terrible start and found herself cut adrift before three riders were involved in a crash on the second straight.

"We were riding three girls next to each other and the Belgian girl (Elke Vanhoof) came from the left and took my handlebars so there was no chance to ride," explained Romana Labounkova, who finished last. "Anything can happen in the final."

The BMX competition enjoyed calm conditions on Sunday after strong winds earlier in the week had prompted a schedule change, with Saturday's motos rolled back to Friday.


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    Christensen races to victory in BMX final

    Win comes less than a month after Danish world no.9 claimed to be best in Europe
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    Smulders' strategy pays dividends

    Saved her strength in qualification for the motos heats
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