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London 2012 Olympic Games BMX Day 2 Men’s Quarterfinal Report and Photos

by Laura Robinson
August 10, 2012 (London, UK) – Tory Nyhaug had a spectacular final heat as he charged out of the start-gate, knowing the only way he could continue on to the semi-finals was to win Heat #5 in the men’s quarterfinal and have Latvia’s Rihards Veide and Colombia’s Andres Eduardo Caicedo Jemenez come at the back of the eight-member pack. The Canadian had the fastest time in 38.808 and took the win.

But with Veide in second place and Caicedo Jemenez finishing fifth in the heat, Nyhaug was squeezed out by a mere point, placing 5th overall after the final points of the heats were tallied, as only the top four qualify.

Countries that dominated all heats were the Netherlands, Latvia, Australia, USA, France, Australia, and Colombia – qualifying at least two riders each. New Zealand’s Marc Willers won his round of heats without contesting the last two as he had a nasty fall in the second last heat and was helped off the course. It is not known yet if he can race on Friday yet.

“I’m really proud of myself. I fought the whole day,” said an exhausted Nyhaug, who contested the course five times with the eight other riders in his heat shoulder to shoulder. “The racing was crazy – everyone’s so fast. It’s lots of fun but I am disappointed not to go through.

“I knew I had to beat some guys by two spots – but they deserve to go through. Congratulations to them. I’ll never forget this experience – it’s a whole day of great riding,” he added. The morning was committed to warm ups which everyone did as the sun beat down on a very exposed and hot course.

Nyhaug is truly thankful to even to be racing at the Olympics, given the operation he had earlier this year to remove his spleen after a horrendous crash. “Everything else is extra,” he said about being able to recover from such a traumatic event including yesterday’s crash, this time during heat #2 when Dutch rider Jeile van Gorkom and Nyhaug touched wheels.

The Coquitlam, B.C. rider was scraped up a bit, but overall is fine. “You’ve got to be aware of what’s going on every second,” he said about the crash and about his two other heats when he found himself tightly sandwiched between another riders and the outer wall of the banking.

Nyhaug, like the rest of the cycling team, paid tribute to Cycling Canada, the rest of the Canadian Olympic team and his family, who made the trip to London, along with his girlfriend. “They’re like a big family,” he said of the Canadian team. “I’ve met so many people. I’m just so glad to have a great team. I know what I’m capable of,” he added, saying he intends to contest the next Olympic Games in 2016 in Rio.

Full results HERE.

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