Pajón wins in her backyard at the BMX Worlds

Colombian Mariana Pajón claims ninth title at home as Joris Daudet seals victory in the men’s race.
Local hero Mariana Pajon celebrates victory at the BMX World Championships 2016 in Medellin, Colombia on May 29, 2016
Pajón stops to take it all in © Camilo Rozo/Red Bull Content Pool
By Ric McLaughlin

It's not every day that you get to race in your home city on a BMX track named after you, but if it did bring any pressure with it then Colombian Mariana Pajón wasn't showing any evidence of it at the 2016 BMX World Championships in Medellin, where she won a ninth world title on home soil.

The BMX World Championships are a huge event, which sees the fastest racers from all over the globe congregate for one long, gruelling shoot-out to find who's the very best and worthy of the rainbow stripes.

Mariana Pajon leading in Women's quarter finals at the BMX World Championship 2016 in front of a home crowd in Medellin, Colombia on May 29, 2016
Pajón leading in the quarters © Camilo Rozo/Red Bull Content Pool

Pajón didn't have it all her own way at the Pista de Bicicross Mariana Pajón named in her honour, having to settle for a third place finish in the Time Trial event on Saturday. That, you would have been forgiven for thinking, would ratchet up the pressure even more, but the diminutive local racer kept her cool.

Watch below for Mariana Pajón's POV of a run of the Medellin track.

American Alise Post pressed Mariana hard in the finals before making a mistake on the final part of the track, which in turn allowed the Australian Caroline Buchanan to grab silver.

The partisan crowd duly went mad and Pajón, sat on her bike beside the track, slumped over her bars struggling to take it all in. To not have won here would have been a disaster, which made collecting her ninth world title all the sweeter.

In the Elite Men's final, it was left to the veteran Frenchman Joris Daudet to power home to the title. He dropped Dutchman, Niek Kimmann, the 2015 title holder, from the start, but it was American Nick Long who perhaps had the ride of the night, coming from last at turn one to third place by the finish.

BMX Racers Joris Daudet and Twan Van Gendt leading in the finals of the UCI BMX World Championships 2016 in Medellin, Colombia on May 29, 2016
Daudet and Van Gendt lead in the finals © Camilo Rozo/Red Bull Content Pool

World Champion 🙌🏻🏅🇫🇷

A photo posted by jorisdaudet (@jorisdaudet) on

This is the second time Daudet has won the World Championship title having been champion back in 2011 in Copenhagen.

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