BMX cycling will make its debut in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and there is an excellent chance that Glen Ellen resident Nikita Ducarroz, 20, will be competing as she is currently the No. 2 woman in the world in the sport.
At the most recent Women’s UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup in Budapest, Hungary, Ducarroz took the podium in second place.
Ducarroz has been riding BMX for six years, pushing the limits of women’s freestyle riding. She was born in France but has lived in California most of her life. A dual U.S.-Swiss citizen, she competes for Switzerland and trains in San Diego.
She keeps busy all year riding BMX, traveling to contests, doing college online and working out.
BMX freestyle park, which is what Ducarroz specializes in, is a fast-paced event that sees riders performing a series of aerial tricks and jumps over ramps, with obstacles such as curbs, rails and walls. Each rider has two one-minute runs in front of judges, who award a score of between 0 and 100 points based on a number of factors, including difficulty, originality, style and execution.
Ducarroz fell into BMX and at the time, she says that no one she knew was doing it. But she immediately loved the challenge. She and her father helped her good friend Jeremy Kemp build a box jump and ramp in her Glen Ellen backyard and she couldn’t get enough of it.
Ducarroz leaves this week for the third stop of the BMX freestyle World Cup, which is being held in Edmundton, Canada. In November, she leaves for China for the final World Cup event and for the World Championship.
Her current sponsors, which include Mongoose bikes, G-Form pads, Joby camera accessories and Clif bars, will be watching and posting her progress on social media.
While the stakes are high, Ducarroz says that she loves the riders she competes against.
“One of my favorite things about BMX is getting to travel the world and meet people from all over,” she said. “It’s a really supportive community.”
Watch Ducarroz ride in this video:
Email Lorna at firstname.lastname@example.org.