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Van de Ven Ties for World Championship Gold as Papenmeier Collects the Bronze Medal

Van de Ven Ties for World Championship Gold as Papenmeier Collects the Bronze Medal

The 2020 WMX World Championship went right down to the wire. Ghidinelli Yamaha Racing’s Nancy van de Ven secured the silver medal with an emphatic race win in the final race of the season. The young Dutch rider finished on the same points as the eventual World Champion, but when two riders are tied on points, the overall is determined by race wins. Van de Ven won three races this season, while the gold medalist, Courtney Duncan, won five. Yamaha Germany’s Larissa Papenmeier claimed the bronze medal with a third overall finish at the WMX round of Trentino.

Two action-packed races were guaranteed with only 10-points separating the top-four riders. Van de Ven had the initial advantage as the Championship Leader going into the fifth and final round of the series and as the morning mist lifted over the stunning Ciclamino Circuit in Pietramurata, Italy, excitement quickly started to mound. Van de Ven carried a 4-point advantage over Duncan before Race 1 with Papenmeier a further 2-points back, in third.


A dramatic opening race saw three of the four title contenders crash within the first three turns. Duncan fell going into turn-one, van de Ven fell at turn-two and Kiara Fontanesi fell at turn-three. Papenmeier powered her YZ250F to the front of the field and used the mistakes of her rivals to her advantage.


As Van de Ven bounced back and carved her way through the field, Papenmeier impressively stretched out a 20-second lead. With 2-laps to go, the German crashed out of first position on the final turn, allowing Duncan to win. 


Papenmeier finished second while van de Ven put in an incredible charge from last to finish fifth. 


Fired up by the result of the first race, no-one could catch van de Ven in Race 2. The ‘85’ was flawless. She led every lap from start to finish to end her season in the best possible way – with a race victory.


Papenmeier finished fourth after starting outside of the top five.


Van de Ven and Papenmeier both finished second and third overall to claim the silver and bronze WMX World Championship medals – in that order, in 2020.

Nancy van de Ven

2nd WMX World Championship Overall

“The crash in the first race and some mistakes at the beginning of the year made it hard for me, I can’t tell you if there is anything worse than getting second in the championship while finishing on the same points.”

Larissa Papenmeier

3rd WMX World Championship Overall

“It was really close this last round. Any one of us four could have been World Champion, so you had to fight to the very last minute. I had a good first heat but unfortunately, I tipped over, but it was my mistake and I finished second. The second heat wasn’t that good, the others were better, and Courtney definitely deserved to be World Champion, I think if she stays on the bike she is the fastest on the track so congratulations to her. Third overall in the World Championship is not bad, of course I am fighting for first, but I will never give up.”