Alise Willoughby (center) celebrates winning gold at the UCI BMX World Championships on July 27, 2019 in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium.
Alise Willoughby was not going to be stopped in her pursuit of a second BMX world title in three years on Saturday.
She flew out of the gate, charged to the inside and took off, building up a nice separation between herself and the other seven finalists on the course at the UCI BMX World Championships in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium. The 28-year-old, two-time Olympian from St. Cloud, Minnesota, almost made it look easy, crossing the finish line in 34.701 seconds for the win. Laura Smulders of the Netherlands, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist and defending world champion, finished in second with a time of 35.146, and France’s Axelle Etienne was third in 35.165 seconds.
Fellow American Felicia Stancil also made the final and finished sixth.
The world title adds to Willoughby's already impressive legacy in the sport.
Willoughby won her first world title in 2017 in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and was a silver medalist at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, competing then under her maiden name of Alice Post. She came into this weekend’s world championships having won medals in her last four world cup races and ranked second in the world behind Smulders.
Last year she finished sixth in the world cup points standings and was the highest-ranking American.
None of the U.S. men made it through to the final.