BMX racers hit the track today

2010-07-29 00:00

AFTER much anticipation, the UCI BMX World Championships at the Royal Showgrounds will get under way today with the first competitive race scheduled to begin at 9 am.

Yesterday and Tuesday saw competitors from the “challenge” categories being allocated time to practise on the sculpted 385 metre track.

There are bound to be many supportive parents in the stands today as all of the under-13 classes will compete between 9 am and 12.30 pm.

The winners of the under-13 categories will be decided in this session and a prize-giving ceremony will follow the racing.

Spectators will be given their first opportunity to see the big names in international BMX hit the track in the afternoon when the Elite Men come out for an hour-long practice session. ­

This category will see the Soweto-born Olympic finalist, Sifiso Nhlapo, in action.

Nhlapo is scheduled to appear on the track for his first stint at about 5 pm.

This will happen after the Junior Men’s and then the Elite/Junior Women’s practice sessions have taken place between 3 and 5 pm.

The elite field will really heat up on Saturday, although, competitors begin their journey to the final by having to go through their heats, or “motos”, as they are known in BMX circles.

Adding pressure to the elite riders is the prospect of earning critical Olympic qualification points that will be awarded at this year’s World Championships for the first time.

The director of the event’s local organising committee, Max Cluer, says he is extremely excited to finally get the event under way.

“We’re very chuffed and proud to be a part of what is the biggest event of its kind; it’s a dream come true,” he said.

“The UCI has given us the thumbs-up and we’ve been way ahead of schedule in our preparations.”

Cluer added that the track is reaching prime condition at exactly the right time and will make for some exciting racing.

“The redness of the track is really starting to come out nicely,” he explained.

“We’ll keep looking after it and keep watering it and it will be just fine.”

Cluer urged members of the public to come out and enjoy the weekend’s championship, saying that it is about a lot more than just BMX’ing.

“It’s a visual show. We’ve got people and DJ’s from different countries and it promises to be an amazing experience,” said Cluer.

 

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