Caluag unfazed by toughest BMX challenge
LONDON—With seven of the world’s top 10 in the start list, Daniel Caluag will set out in perhaps his most difficult race in the BMX competition at the 30th London Olympics here.
The lone Asian in the impressive cast of 32 knows he would have to surpass himself to reach the medal round.
“I am aware of the pressure and the expectations of the people back in the Philippines, and I will be giving them my best,” said Caluag, the 25-year-old second-generation son of Filipino physicians in California.
Australian daredevil Sam Willoughby, the world’s No. 1-ranked bicycle motocross rider, heads the cast in the seeding run on Wednesday at the specially constructed 400-meter track at Olympic Park here.
Also seeing action are No. 2 Connor Fieldes of the United States, No. 3 Joris Daudet of France, No. 4 Marc Willers of New Zealand, No. 5 David Herman of US, No. 6 Maris Stromberg of Latvia, and No. 7 Raymon Van der Biezen of The Netherlands.
Caluag, a nursing junior at Lindsey College in California, is a four-time No. 1 BMX pro rider in the US but now ranks No. 84 worldwide after shunning the races for several months and focusing on his studies. He expects to graduate in 2014.
The shroud of the secret, highly technical Olympic track, which the Americans are said to have surreptitiously copied in California, will be lifted finally on Monday for the riders’ first and only practice run.
In between Caluag’s arrival here and the Olympic practice run, he travels by train to Birmingham, about two hours from the Athletes Village, to practice.
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