By Paul D. Bowker | Sept. 14, 2019, 10:03 p.m. (ET)

Alise Post competes at the 2017 UCI BMX Championships on July 29, 2017 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. 

 

The BMX battle between American Alise Willoughby and Dutch rival Laura Smulders rages on.

In July, Willoughby held off Smulders to win her second world title. This weekend, though, Smulders got the best of Willoughby on both nights of racing at the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Smulders took first place Saturday with a time of 33.275, edging Willoughby by .07. The result came one night after Smulders won while Willoughby placed third in the first world cup competition in Rock Hill.

The two will decide the world cup season championship in rounds nine and 10 in two weeks in Argentina. Smulders leads Willoughby by 60 points, 970 to 910.

Willoughby, a two-time Olympian who won her first world title in 2017 in Rock Hill, and Smulders started next to each other in Saturday’s final, and it was a race to the finish as Willoughby pushed for the win in the finishing stretch.

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Felicia Stancil of the U.S. made the women’s final for the second consecutive night, finishing sixth. She moved up to fourth place in the season standings with 695 points.

Willoughby has medaled in six of eight world cup races this season.

On the men’s side, Corben Sharrah’s good fortunes in Rock Hill took a night off. The 2016 Olympian, who also won his first world title in 2017 in Rock Hill and then won the men’s world cup race there on Friday, missed out on a second win in a row as he finished fourth on Saturday. Sharrah sits seventh in the world cup standings.

Connor Fields, the 2016 Olympic champion, also made the final for the second night in a row, finishing eighth. He was second on Friday.

The final two rounds of the world cup are Sept. 28 and 29 in Santiago del Estero, Argentina.

Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.