Bicycle motocross racer Donny Robinson of Napa finished sixth in the elite men’s division at the 2012 UCI BMX World Championships on Saturday, just behind fellow American David Herman of Wheat Ridge, Colo., who was fifth.
Robinson (Hyper Bikes) joined Herman in the eight-man final. The pair finished just off the pace of the elite men’s winner, Australian Sam Willoughby, who took home his first world title.
The Americans put on a dominating performance early, with seven elite men — nearly half of the remaining 16-man field — advancing to the semifinals. Only Herman and Robinson, however, were able to make it past the one-shot semis and into the finals, by finishing among the top four of their respective eight-man-heats.
Based on its performance in Birmingham, the U.S. is expected to retain its top three ranking in both the elite men’s and women’s BMX when the UCI releases its official standings next week. This would keep the U.S. on track to send the maximum of three men and two women to London for this summer’s Olympic Games.
Per USA Cycling’s Athlete Selection Procedures for the 2012 Olympic Games, Herman and elite women’s fourth-placer Arielle Martin of Spanaway, Wash., will be automatically nominated to represent the United States in BMX cycling in London as the top-ranked athletes in the USA Cycling BMX Power Rankings at the conclusion of the world championships.
A wrap-up of the event will be aired on the Universal Sports Network on June 18, at 2 p.m. Pacific time.
The U.S. men’s next major competition will be the U.S. Olympic Team Trials on June 16 in Chula Vista, Calif., where the winner will earn an automatic nomination to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team.