Biography: Walk at one – Talk at 2 – BMX at 3
Raymon’s first contact with BMX was really early. He was just 3 years old when he watched his cousin race some local races in Holland. When Ray became 4 years old he got his first BMX bike, a “Vitus”. This bike belonged to his cousin and was way too big, but that didn’t matter at all…
Raymon rode his new bike all day long and he build some small jumps at home. But that wasn’t enough. He wanted to ride a real BMX-track… His dad took him a local track. Ray liked every second of riding that track. When he became 5 years old, Ray got his first BMX license and a new bike, a “Vitus” again, because he broke his first bike several times…
After riding a few local races in different federations, Raymon gets even more excited than before. He started to ride his bike and spend every minute on it after that. After a few years he start winning races and it became more serious. He switched to KNWU, the biggest Dutch cycling federation. He adapted really quick and won his first 3 Dutch National titles in a row. At this time he started to race the international scene as well, with some good finishes. As a 10 year old expert he finished 8th in his first European main event. A year later Raymon finished 2nd.
Raymon always have been a really technical rider but when he became 12 years old he had some problems with his body, when all his competitors start growing Raymon stayed small and had less strength. That had some influence on his results for several years and doctors told him to stop BMX, because it slows down his growing process! Raymon never thought about quitting BMX and fortunately he stayed up when he turned Junior. That winter Raymon was asked for the Dutch National Team under supervision of Bas de Bever, and things started to change in a positive way for him. After quitting with school Raymon started to get some living out of BMX. With some good finishes, he made it to the podium twice as a first year’s junior. In his second year as a junior he made mains consistently and finished 5th overall in this hard class.
In 2006 Raymon turned Elite and the transition from Junior to Elite is always hard, riding against the big names you’ve always looked up to, and now you’re on the gate next to them. This year turned out to be a year full of new experiences and it was really valuable for his future.
2007 the whole Dutch National Team started with a fulltime program working to that big goal “The Olympics Games”. Raymon started good this season and was really confident until he broke his radius during a European race down in Switzerland. After 3 races watching from de sidelines he got back on his bike but didn’t feel comfortable yet. That year the UCI Worlds where held in Victoria “Canada”. Raymon wasn’t satisfied about his result on his 20inch but on his 24inch he finished 5th in the main which is a really good result. After that there was a UCI World Cup which was at the same venue as the Olympics in Beijing “China”, and again Raymon did great and finished 4th in the main and it kept going on from then. A few weeks later he finished 5th in Salt Lake City. Cause of these results (the Dutch Olympic Federation) NOC*NSF supported him by giving Raymon a High Potential Status so that he could turn fulltime professional. He also nominated himself for the Olympic Games that year and took 8th place in the overall UCI World Cup ranking.
After a short break the Dutch National Team picked up their training program again, cause 8 months later the most important race would start “The Olympic Games”.
Again Raymon starts of good this season only a big injury took him out for almost 2 months. This time he broke his jaw during a European indoor race in France. Raymon thought this would be the end of his Olympic dream, but he fought back with a good result at the UCI Worlds in Taiyuan “China”. After that it was sure, Raymon had one of the 3 spots for The Olympics. 3 months of preparation started, living at the Dutch Olympic Training Centre was planned for the Olympic hopefuls to get the best preparation in. After spending a few weeks in Chula Vista at the Olympic replica track he was ready for the biggest event. Things were packed and before he knew it, he was in the plane to Beijing China. Raymon can write a whole book about his Olympic experiences, but that’s not going to happen… He had the best time of his life during those 2 weeks in Beijing and Raymon never rode his bike as fast he did at the Olympic Games. On his first race day he sets a nice 5th time during time trials. After making it out of the quarter finals it was time for semi’s the next day. Maybe this was one of the most important day out of his life, 3 laps of semi’s would bring him to the main, in the first round he finished 5th in the second round he crashed which put him in a difficult spot to qualify. But even then Raymon didn’t gave up, he still tried to get in that main event cause he managed to win the 3th and last semi. Raymon came up short by 1 point. Not making The Olympic final wasn’t what he had hoped for but he was still satisfied. Looking back on this awesome event, making it to The Olympics is a goal for every athlete, Raymon felt how it was and he is hungry for more. He will work hard to be part of this event again.
The year after Raymon again was in a good shape and felt strong true the first couple of European races and SX races. In preparation for the Worlds in Adelaide Australia Raymon felt good although a crash were he broke his hand and eye socket was crucial. He was out for 5/6 weeks and wasn’t 100% in shape for that race. But ending the year with good overall rankings he can look back on another great year.
2010 Raymon was looking for more podium finishes. He started of great by winning 5 out of 5 European rounds. Eventual Raymon was crowned as the 2010 Dutch and European Champion. During the World Cup series he made one final, so that was a little disappointed to him, but getting a 5th place at the World Championships in Pietermaritzburg he had a great year of racing with a lot successes.
A new racing season just started “2011”, a lot of new stuff is going to happen… Right now Raymon is in full training-mode with the Dutch National team for the upcoming season and again all for that big goal LONDON 2012!!!!!!