One of the most technical tracks on the world cup tour, Papendal marked the last major event before the UCI BMX World Championships, which will be held at the end of this month.
The world titles also double as the Rio selection event for riders eyeing a position on the Australian Olympic Team.
London Olympian Buchanan entered the third round of the world cup unbeaten following victories at the Argentina and Manchester world cup events, and looked to be in control during the main event in the Netherlands too. However Smulders had other ideas and threw her bike at the line in the dying moments of the race to claim a tight win, 0.040 of a second ahead of the Aussie.
Although victory escaped Buchanan in today’s race, her series lead stays intact. Post race the Rio hopeful expressed pleasure with her form three weeks out from the all-important world championships.
“A win in the time trial [yesterday] and a second place with a photo finish at the line today, I am pleased and walk away injury free. I’m coming into the world championships in 21 days confident,” Buchanan said.
“For the past five years I have come to this track and struggled with the triple jump into the first corner, but this year I managed to have some big wins mentally to jump it in the final and also cope with changeable weather conditions.
“Laura Smulders had home track knowledge and rode that last straight well to get me on the line, but overall I’m happy with my consistency and form.”
Attention now turns to the BMX World Championships that will be held from May 25-29 in Medellin, Colombia.
LOU Designs & Photography