Just one year after becoming Junior World Champion, Niek Kimmann stunned the elite field to win the senior BMX World Championships in Belgium this weekend.
The 19-year-old Dutchman was in the outside gate but got a brilliant start and headed into the first corner in second, just behind defending champion Sam Willoughby.
But when the Australian crashed out under pressure from David Graf, Kimmann was home free and coasted over the line to take the gold medal.
Jelle van Gorkom snatched silver from Graf on the line while Carlos Mario Oouendo Zabala and Liam Phillips rounded off the top five.
And Kimmann, who won his first ever UCI BMX Supercross World Cup on home soil in Papendal earlier this year, was lost for words after claiming the rainbow jersey.
“In Papendal lane eight worked for me so I thought I could give it a shot here,” he said. “I think David Graf came on the inside and opened a spot for me and I went for it.
“From then I was like ‘no way, I’m leading a World Championships final.’ I still can’t believe it.”
Torrential rain forced organisers to move the races forward but, despite all the riders having less time to prepare, the women’s final was just as exciting, with Stefany Hernandez claiming gold for the first time in her career.
American rider Alise Post took an early lead out of the gate but crashed after a rare mistake allowed Hernandez to overtake and she clipped her rival’s back wheel.
Some way behind Hernandez, Australia’s Caroline Bucanhan took silver with Danish rider Simone Christensen finishing in third.
“I’m so happy with this victory. My gate wasn’t the best but I did a great job and I didn’t give up,” said Hernandez.