World champs in PMB a huge event for city

2010-07-20 00:00

This year’s UCI BMX World Championships, which will take place at the Royal Showgrounds from July 29 to August 1, will be the best in the competition’s history, according to event director Alec Lenferna.

Work on the construction of the track began last week after Msunduzi Municipality Mayor, Mike Tarr, visited the venue to give the event the thumbs up.

Lenferna, who also organised last year’s downhill mountain biking World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, said that the occasion will be historic for a number of reasons.

“This is the first time that the UCI BMX World Champs will be staged on African soil,” he said.

“It is also the first time that the event will take place on a double course, with two separate ramps.”

One of the starting ramps on the course will be eight metres high and will only be used by the “elite” riders on the Saturday. The other ramp, at five metres, will be used by the “challenge” riders on the other days.

Lenferna added that designing the first double course in the event’s history would be challenging.

“It means that we have to do more of everything; more sand, more transportation and more equipment will be required,” he explained.

“We will definitely pull it off, though, and we expect to be finished with the track on July 24.”

Around 9 000 tons of soil that will be used to build the largest track in the competition’s history has been transported to Pietermaritzburg from Tweedie. There is currently 5 000 tons on site and the rest is being kept at a safe location near the showgrounds. Transportation of the soil from this location to the showgrounds happens at night time when there is less traffic.

Tarr said that the event would be great for the city.

“For people interested in biking it is fantastic as it puts their sport on the world map,” he said.

“Economically, it will be good for the city as money will be brought in.

“This also falls in line with our longer-term objective of making Pietermaritzburg a focal point for sporting events.”

It is reported that the event will bring in around R23 million to Pietermaritzburg.

Lenferna is expecting between 1 000 and 1 200 participants from 32 countries around the world.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.