2012 will be the second time that BMX has graced the Olympic Games making it the most recent discipline to be added to the Olympic programme. A new short outdoor track next to the equally new fabulously modern Velodrome has an 8m high starting ramp, followed by a series of bumps, jumps and steep corners that is so speedy it only takes 40 seconds to complete!
48 cyclists will compete in groups of eight in each heat for individual trial seeding rounds. Each rider in both the men’s and women’s division will run the track once to determine the seedings and to ensure that the fastest riders don’t meet before the final. The top four in each group compete for 2 gold medals.
Other BMX Events
But this is all next year… in the meantime BMX events abound this Summer. The Summer X-Games in LA, California was a very international event. Britain’s Jamie Bestwick took the Gold in the BMX Freestyle Vertical discipline, Venezuela’s Daniel Dhers won Gold in the Freestyle Park event, Steve McCann from Australia won Gold for the Freestyle Big Air and America’s Garrett Reynolds won the Freestyle Street. See what I mean by international? Nicely shared between the Continents!
The highlights of the competition was Steve McCann’s successful landing of a no-handed-900 – only the second time in competition history that this has been achieved, but despite this moment of brilliance, Jamie Bestwick defeated him to win his 5th consecutive gold medal in BMX Freestyle Vertical.
BMX World Champion
Meanwhile, 19 yr-old Mariana Pajon has made history by becoming the first Columbian to win, ever, a BMX World Championship. She won the elite women’s title in Copenhagen at the 2011 UCI BMX World Championships last week. She had won every lead up to the race making her a huge favourite and she didn’t let nerves ruin the day. Lined up against current world number one Sarah Walker (NZL) in the fnals, she blasted out of the gates overtaking Walker for the win. “My gate was awesome. It was great. My fastest gate,” she said.
This win gives her a huge advantage as she begins preparing for the BMX World Cup Supercross. This event will be the test run for the course used in the 2012 London Olympics. Joris Daudet of France was the men’s champion at the same event.
18,000 spectators were there in Copenhagen to cheer on 2,200 athletes for the 5-day UCI BMX World Championships. The event was host to the strongest field ever seen at a Championship with 132 riders including Olympic champions, reigning World Champions, European champions and World Cup champions. It also showcased the new Time Trial Super Finals World Championship discipline which added extra excitement to the already action packed competition.
Enjoy this short snippet of some Copenhagen highlights and it’ll give you an idea why tickets for the Olympic BMX events are going to be very hard to come by!