RACE REPORT & VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
After three dramatic qualifying rounds held in Dublin and Wigan the regular pro riders in the Series were seeded based on their results so far. The very best getting an all important boost, meaning they will only enter the SuperFinals at the quarter finals stage.
UNDEFEATED - COULD JESS STONE MAINTAIN HER 100% DESPITE THE NEW CHALLENGERS
The other riders, including a host of debut riders, would need to battle it out in the Eliminators for the chance to meet the top seeds. It was a simple knock out tournament with no second chances. Only riders winning their respective heats would progress.The heavy rain put pay to most rider's plans for pre-competition practice. Instead it was jump straight in with the delayed running of the qualifying time trials.
FOCUSED - DEBUT RIDER ALYSSA PODESTA ATTEMPTS TO QUALIFY
The two wildcard amateur qualifiers were Mel McDevitt and Anna Cipulo. They would line up 10th and 9th respectively.
WATCH THE FEMALE SUPERFINALS HIGHLIGHTS NOW
WATCH ALL THE ACTION FROM THE SUPERFINALS 2018 WITH ANNA GLOWINSKI
Setting the 8th fastest time of 24.75 seconds was debut rider Alyssa Podesta. Just ahead in 7th was Virginia Cancellieri (silver medallist from Dublin) and in 6th Juliet Elliot. 5th fastest with a stunning 22.02 second time was Veronika Widmann (bronze medallist in 2017).
HAPPY TO CHAT - ITALIAN VIRGINIA CHATS TO LUCY AHEAD OF HER FIRST HEAT
The top four seeds would be Jess Stone, Charlotte Green, Rowena Price and defending champion Jess Stone.
Again the faster riders in qualifying won their respective heats meaning the four riders heading to the quarter finals were, Alyssa, Juliet, Virginia and Veronika.
IN AT THE DEEP END - VLOGGER JULIET ELLIOT OVERCAME THE LACK OF PRACTICE TO WIN THROUGH TO THE QUARTER FINALS
THE QUARTER FINALS
As with the men the women's quarter finals almost ran to form with the seeded riders winning their respective heats. Unfortunately for 4th seed Jess Watts she was beaten by 5th placed qualifier Veronika.
ELIMINATED - 4TH SEED JESS WATTS WAS ELIMINATED BY VERONIKA WIDMANN
THE SEMI FINALS
Jess Stone was now facing her toughest competition of the series so far with Veronika Widmann chasing her for a place in the SuperFinal. Jess maintained her 100% record with a clean win against the Italian.
CLASS ACT - UCI BMX WORLD CHAMPION ALMOST MADE IT TO THE SUPERFINAL
In the other Semi Finals Charlotte Green had a tense face off with Rowena Price. The race would prove to be the closes female race of the Series with Rowena only marginally beating the UCI BMX World Champion. So the 2018 female SuperFinal would be a repeat of the 2017 edition with Jess versus Rowena.
THE SUPER FINAL
Rowena lined up on the red lane which, with its slight downhill start, could give her a much needed boost in lap 1. But she would have to ensure she increases her speed lap after lap to match the dominance of Jess Stone.
GIVING IT 100% - ROWENA PRICE GAVE EVERYTHING TO SECURE THE TITLE BUT IT WASN'T ENOUGH
There was a temptation to try the running start technique introduced by Jono Jones in the men's category. But with little practice the risks were too high for Rowena. Instead she opted to power her way into lap 1 and hope to build from there.
AS the riders crossed the line to start lap 2 Rowena was within a bike length of the lead. But by the bell lap the utterly mesmerising metronomic pace of the defending champion could not be beat.
RESPECT - ROWENA THE FIRST TO EMBRACE NEWLY CROWNED CHAMP JESS STONE
Jess sailed across the line about 1 second ahead of her rival. The two embraced but only after Rowena performed the 'we're not worthy' bow to Jess.
And in many ways Rowena spoke for the entire sport. Jess Stone has dominated the sport since her debut in 2014. She has never lost race, with the exception of Stockton 2015 where her bike broke sending her crashing to the ground.
LEGEND - FOUR TIMES SERIES WINNER JESS STONE
Event after event Jess has maintained her dominance and sets lap times to rival the Pro Male category. As well as dominating on track she is an excellent coach during StreetVelodrome's public access sessions. She even helps to coach the pro riders on their debut. She is a truly remarkable talent and a great ambassador for her sport.
Can she continue undefeated in 2019? The challenge is on.
WATCH THE FULL STORY OF THE SUPERFINALS IN OUR MAGAZINE SHOW ON STREETVELODROMETV