11 Aug 2018

Britain's Evans and Whyte stun field in men's BMX, while Smulders (NED) dominates women's event

With a surprising one-two, British BMXers Kyle Evans and Kye Whyte respectively won men's gold and silver at a sold-out Glasgow BMX Centre in Knightswood Park.

To the joy of a raucous home crowd, Evans managed to lead the final top to bottom to take his first European title, while his younger team-mate crowned with silver a successful comeback over world champion Sylvain Andre (FRA) as freshman Whyte pipped the finals' main favourite at the photo finish.

"First year elite, I didn't expect the final and then to come second behind my team-mate that is just unbelievable," Whyte said. "I had to work ridiculously hard. You've got Sylvain (Andre), who's world number one, and there's loads of other world plates in that final."

In the men's finals there were 11 French and eight Dutch riders, with the two BMX powerhouses expected to sweep the podium at the start of the day. The brand new European champion agreed with his team-mate about the world-class field of the race.

"We've got so many good riders here," Evans said. "The top six in the world are all from Europe, so it's never going to be easy."

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World champion Andre had a major crash in training on Thursday, and he admitted he was not at his best.

"I am lucky with what I did today," the French rider said. "In view of the big crash I had two days ago, I was happy to race at least. I did everything I could to get to the main event, and I'm happy that I got third.

"When you are on the gate, there is no way you can be on 99 per cent. You've got to be 100 per cent every single time. If you are not, you're either going to lose or crash, so you've got to be on it, always."

The major upset of the day came from 2015 world champion Niek Kimman (NED) who did not advance from the semi-finals, as the 2018 World Cup leader with four wins this season ended up in lowly 16th after struggling on the challenging track in Glasgow.

"Today I was feeling a little bit bad on the track again," the world number two from the Netherlands said. "I didn't feel the dominance as I have earlier this season on the other tracks."

There were no surprises in the women's event, as Laura Smulders (NED) dominated to secure back-to-back European titles, two months after winning gold at the World Championships.

"I wanted to win it really bad, because as the world champion you don't want to lose," Smulders said. "I felt the pressure and I was a bit nervous today, but in the end it didn't put me down."

The London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist relegated Simone Tetsche Christensen from Denmark to second place, while Russia's Yaroslava Bondarenko took bronze.