The Netherlands' Niek Kimmann won the elite men's title at the UCI BMX World Championships ©Getty Images

The Netherlands’ Niek Kimmann and Venezuela’s Stefany Hernández claimed the elite men’s and women’s race titles at the International Cycling Union (UCI) BMX World Championships on a rain-soaked day in Zonder, Belgium.

Kimmann, winner of the junior world champion crown in Rotterdam last year, posted a time of 33.386sec to finish ahead of compatriot Jelle van Gorkom and Switzerland’s David Graf, second and third respectively.

"I can't believe it,” he said.

“I think I'll need some time to let this sink in.

“Back in the winter my coach Bas de Bever and I talked about winning the back-to-back junior to elite world title as we thought nobody had ever done that before.

“You only get one chance to do it and I'm just so stoked I got it done today.”

Hernandez, meanwhile, produced the move of the day on the "Pajón Peralte" turn, named after the reigning Olympic champion Mariana Pajón of Colombia, to overtake Australia’s Caroline Buchanan and the United States’ Alise Post before going on to build an unassailable lead and registering a winning time of 37.530.

Buchanan crossed the line in second place, while crash involving Post left Denmark’s Simone Christensen and fellow American Brooke Crain to battle it out for bronze.

A photo finish determined that third place went to Christensen.

Venezuela's Stefany Hernández won the elite women's crown
Venezuela's Stefany Hernández won the elite women's crown ©Getty Images

In the junior women’s event, France’s Axelle Etienne followed up her success in yesterday’s time trial by easing to victory with a time of 38.157.

Etienne stormed out of the gate from lane one and never looked back as Russia’s Svetlana Admakina finished runner-up and America's Kelsey van Ogle took bronze.

America's Collin Hudson looked set to take the junior men’s crown after making a strong start, but he ultimately had to settle for silver as a late surge from Argentina’s Exequiel Torres saw him prevail with a time of 34.306.

France’s Romain Racine completed the podium on a testing day for all the riders in difficult conditions.

For safety reasons, both men and women started their races from the five hill rather than the eight metre hill they had practised on throughout the week.

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