January, 25 men who pioneered European BMX during 1978 and 1983.
With this article I want to honor the people that were instrumental getting BMX off the ground in their respective countries in Europe. They all were very motivated and enthusiastic to get this new sport going in Europe. They invested a lot of time, energy and even money in promoting and marketing a knew sport, that had to coop with all the problems, such a new development meets. These men and women were charismatic, good promoters and organizers of the first hour of development. In due time I hope to be able to place pictures with the names in order to let you all see, about whom we are talking here. You might meet some day, at a bicycle or motorcycle event, one of the 25 people who made it possible for you to enjoy this great sport or enjoy it right now.
Of all those men and women mentioned, about 55 % were motorsport orientated (mainly moto-cross), 40 % were bicycle oriented and around 5 % did have other backgrounds (organizers/promoters / PR business). I met and know all of them personally from the pioneer days of BMX and I wonder what they are doing now. From some I know, from others I hope to find out what’s has been going on with them and I will tell you all about it, adding the new info to this article from time to time.
Well, here are the names of the men and women who PIONEERED BMX and made it possible for you riders to race BMX bikes now a days, in the first place. More and detailed info of each of them also in the HISTORY of BMX sections.
Gerrit Does, discovered BMX in 1974 when in the USA. Saw BMX start as an organised sport in the USA. Many times called “the father of European BMX”. Involved in an actif why in BMX till ending 1998. For more and detailed info, check out the “introduction page” on Gerrit. Still active as owner-publisher of this website and sometimes as ambassador/advisor for BMX.
Louis Vrijdag, asked by Gerrit Does in1978 to help getting organized BMX off the ground as a sport here in Holland. Later on worked on a professional base for the KNWU, when the SFN merged with that organization and Louis was instrumental in the ‘90’s concerning the merge between I.BMX.F. and the UCI, as chairman of the I.BMX.F. board at the time. Worked hard for about 6 years to realize this merge. Louis was involved in BMX till 1999 when he retired as president of the UCI BMX Committee.
Pierre Karsmakers, got involved in BMX through Gerrit Does (brother in law of Pierre) in 1976. Pierre, living in the USA at the time as a full professional moto-cross rider invited Gerrit to visit him. Together they visited all major BMX manufacturers and several organizations, among them the NBA of Ernie Alexander. When Pierre returned to Europe, he started a motorcycle shop in Waalre – Holland and later on started to import USA BMX stuff as well. His business is not involved in BMX anymore since the early ’90. Pierre and his business were trendsetters in BMX developments in the early ’80 ‘s.
Alain Kuligowski,discovered BMX in the USA during a motorcycle trip in 1977, introduced this sport in France, was involved in the organization of the Indoor de Bercy-Paris in France. Still working as a motorsport journalist I believe. Alain seen here getting out of the Murray Bicycles Company helicopter, picture taken by me in 1983 during the Murray World Cup.
René Nicolas, got involved in BMX through his friend Alain Kuligowskiin 1978. The motivator behind the AFB and later on was professionally involved in BMX, employed by the FFC. A main figure at international level up and till this day.
Albert Dekker (r.i.p.) 1979; saw BMX in Holland in February 1978 when Gerrit Does organized a demonstration during the interval of an international moto-cross in Valkenswaard - Holland. Started a Belgium organization in 1979. Besides BMX, his business was running a Supermarket. Involved in BMX till the late ‘80’s. Now retired from his business.Just last year (2010) mr. Dekker passed away. Former MX world champions Joël Smets stated out on a BMX bike and raced at BCB events of Mr. Dekker.
Armand Blondiau 1980, was involved in BMX till the early ’90. At first working with the I.BMX.F. and later on with the F.I.A.C. organization. Don’t know what he is doing right now.
Boonen en van Velthoven. Both Jan Boonen (r.i.p.) and Jack van Velthoven were top moto-cross riders. I (GD) competed with Jan Boonen many times. Jack was a Grand Prix rider. They imported Mongoose in the early days of BMX in Belgium. Aren’t involved anymore in BMX since the early ’90. Johan Boonen, son of Jan Boonen started out as BMX racer together with MX star Joël Smets andalso competed at MX Grand Prix events.
Helmut Heitkamp (r.i.p.), was one of several German enthusiastic men who tried to develop BMX in the area that they were living (Cologne area) in, got involved in 1979/80. Uli Heitkamp, his son, was one of Germans first top BMX racers in the oldest age class at the time. Helmut died of cancer in the early ’90 ‘s.
Kurt Hammer (r.i.p.), is one of those German pioneers, crazy about the sport. Got involved in 1980. Had great plans and as one of the first Europeans he even went to the USA to see BMX for himself and learn form the way the Americans organized the sport. Mr. Hammer owned several business and among others was the importer for PUCH motorcycles for Germany at the time. I don’t know what happened with Mr. Hammer after 1982/83 when he got out of the BMX scene, due to the interference of the BDR, in BMX.
Eckhard Teichreber 1980, shop owner (Bremen area), still does. No more BMX! Organized and promoted BMX in the Bremen area.
Wolfgang Renner 1980/81, bicycle distributor with his own brand CENTURION. His business has expended big time during the years.No BMX anymore, all ATB/MTB/FTT. Both men, Teichreber and Renner, do have a bicycle-racing back-ground.
Hartwig Hofherr 1980/81, shop owner - distributor HAJO’s. Still involved in business mainly skate-board, ATBand such. Some free-style bikes.
After Mr. Hammer stopped his activities in promoting BMX, the above men were asked by the BDR (German cycle federation) to help them organize BMX. I believe they were involved in the sport till about the mid ‘80’s.
Sue and Malcom Jarvis 1979, import-distribution of the Mongoose brand and did built their own BMX tracks, said to be the first track in England. Not involved in BMX business anymore since the early ’90.
Don Smith 1979, a motorcycle fram builder turning towards building BMX frames. Was actif promoting the sport,aswell as business wise.
Alan Rushton 1979, owned a PR company and acted as promoter for the sport of BMX (together with Halfords).Not involved in promoting BMX since a long time. Organized/promoted the 1 leg of the Tour de France in Englandsomeyears ago. Worked for the UCI as marketing manager till about 1995 for road cycling.
Dave Duffield 1979, a business manager of Halfords organizing the first international events in Redditch - England together with the above mentioned pioneers.
Geoff Wiles 1979, the first chairman of the UK.BMX, the official BMX organization in England at the time, later on I.BMX.F. affiliated. Geoff is not involved in BMX anymore.
Major Arthur Woods (r.i.p.) 1981, was the second in line chairman of the UK.BMX who took over from Geoff after about 1 ½ year. Both men have been of great importance for the further development of BMX in England. Allan Woods, Arthurs son, still is involved in BMX businesswise and running old school BMX events in England.
Lars Forus, 1980 DBS. Has a high (top) position at the bicycle manufacturer DBS (Den Besten Cyckle) in Sandness - Norway (Factory next to World Champion BMX track in Sandnes - Norway 1991). Has been instrumental in the early days of Norwegian BMX to get the sport going and organized. He led the way and paved the path. Isn’t involved in BMX anymore, changed to promoting mountainbikes in the early ’90 ‘s.
Joan Ventura 1981. Juan was the first person from Spain to contact GD and later on the I.BMX.F. with the request to help him getting BMX organized in Spain. Together with close colaborator in organizing races, mr. Didac Redondo, Joan Ventura got BMX going in Spain. Joan also had good contacts with Frenchman René Nicolas at the time, who helped him a lot too. Joan Ventura and Didac Redondo were involved in getting BMX started in Spain till the late ’80 ‘s. Seen below a picture of the 2 men mentioned during a BMX reunion in 2011.
Pedro PI 1980. Pedro, a former moto trial champ, manufacturer of MONTY bikes at the time, had his contacts with the amateur leg of the UCI, called the F.I.A.C., at the time. His specialism is organizing Bicycle Trials. Was instrumental getting Bicycle trial organized European wide, helps organize World Championships Bicycle Trial - UCI even today.
Brian Montgomery, 1980. Manager at BH bicycles (Beistegue Hermanos S.A.) a Spanish bicycle company, which has been supporting specially the French and Spain BMX scene during the early days of BMX. Witnessed the first ever International BMX event at Beaune - France between French, Spanish, Dutch and Belgium first hour / pioneer BMX racers.
Besides the 25 men and women above, we should also recoqnize these 3 men for their contribution to the development of BMX in their countries:
Ib Kjeruff 1981, moto-cross organization.
Franz Hattan 1982 bicycle shop owner saw BMX in England in 1979 for the 1st. time
Aldo Gandolfo 1982 Not involved in BMX anymore. Still promoting moto-cross events.
February 2011, ex top BMX'ers Zdenek Stybar (CZ) and Sven Nijs, Worldchampion and runner up at Worlds Cyclo-cross.
Former top BMX'ers Zdenek Stybar and Sven Nijs are absolute top class during the World Championships Cycle-cross, Stybar winning the title and Sven finishing runner-up. As many other old school bmx'ers, also these men excell in their presentcycling sport discipline. Here some picture of their battle during the event. Also some picture of the large number of spectators, cycle-cross is booming.
March 9th, The UCI BMX SX at Pietermartizburg - South Africa.
First UCI BMX Supercross event out of a series of 5 events.
Final results in Elite Men:
1. Corben Sharrah - USA laptime: 34.054 sec.
2. Khalen Young - AUS 34.815
3. Jaris Daudet - FRA 35.095
4. Raymon van den Biezen - NED 35.156
5. Andreas E.J. Caicedo - COL 35.620
6. Robert de Wilde - NED 36.026
7. David Herman - USA 37.089
8. Marc Willers - NZL 1:13.216
Final results in Elite Women:
1. Manon Valentina - FRA
2. Maria Gabriela Diaz - ARG
3. Sarah Walker - NZL
4. Magalie Pottier - FRA
5. Caroline Buchanan - AUS
6. Vilma Rimsaite - LTU
7. Stefany Hernandez - VEN
8. Lauren Reynolds - AUS
March 25th. Official opening of the replica "OLYMPIC BMX track London 2012" at the NOC-NSF training center at Papendal - Arnhem, Holland.
It has been a while since BMX was in the picture as on this day. In spite of the fact that BMX is an Olympic sport since the Olympic Games in Beijing - China in 2008, here in Holland the attention for the sport in the media did not progress dramaticly. Even after 32 years of its existance, BMX is still considered a "small sport" overhere by the media.
However, because of the fact BMX is an Olympic sport now, the NOC-NSF (Dutch National Olympic Committee) has put in a lot of afford in building a replica of the London Olympic BMX track 2012, at the NOC-NSF sportcenter at Papendal - Arnhem. They invited the media/press and others to be present during the official opening of this prestigeous project on March 25th of late. Must be said that since a very long time, a lot of publicity was given to this happening and many BMX related people were present. Also representative from the KNWU (Royal Dutch Cycling Federation) were present with whom the NOC-NSF worked together to built this track.
Even Mr. Pat McQuaid, the president of the UCI (World governing body for cycling) was on location. I can say that building this replica Olympic BMX track announced a new area of development in BMX in Holland.
This track with its 9 meter high starting hill is specialy suited for top Junior and Elite riders and will be used for World Cup and Supercross events. It is the first ever A-track in its kind.
Specialy because this is a milestone in the history of BMX in Holland, one would have expected that the father of Dutch BMX, Gerrit Does, who introduced the sport early 1978 in Holland and started the SFN (Stichting Fietscross Nederland) in October 1978, co-ordinated European BMX from 1978 on, was one of the original founders of the I.BMX.F. (International BMX Federation, now integrated into the UCI)and still is involved in BMX in one or another way, would have been invited and present at this happening, ..... sorry to say he was not !!!!! Talking about "respect".
Besides myself I can name around 12 / 15 persons more, officials, riders and organizers, that should haven been there too because of what they did for the sport of BMX in the past. Now we are looking forward to the UCI Supecross of BMX event at the Papendal track that will take place on May 27-28th. 2011. Let's see who will be invited now. For a full report on this event, read on.
April 29th. Open European Old School of BMX event, Peer, Belgium.
On Friday evening starting at 18.00 hours, the organizer of a TC event in Belgium, mr. Leopold Lenaerts, did startthe old school event scheduled. Sorry to say it was not very busy, maybe there are too many activities at the time for O.S. BMX'ers? In this weekend also official races in Holland, were Old School riders battle for Championship points. Difficult to be on 2 places at the same time !!! Anyway, those present did have a lot of fun, the weather was great and the track was very good. Here the results of the several races and some pictures to give you an idea of the track and riders. Riders from Holland, Germany and Belgiumwere present.
Results of the event.
Sidehacks: Open Class 15+:
1. Sam Steegmans (BEL) - Dylan Meznar(BEL) 1. Dimitri Lenaerts(BEL)
2. Leopold Lenaerts (BEL) - Sebastiaan Lenaerts (NED) 2. Jell Claes(BEL)
3. Ingo Keller (GER) - Massimo Vallo (GER)
4. Robert Baumeister (GER) - Hamdi Abbas (GER)
Open Class 30+: Old School 24-34 years:
1. Sammy DeSchepper (BEL) 1. Thomas Enck(GER)
2. Massimo Vallo (GER)
3. Richard Schols (NED)
4. Dirk Vandeput (BEL)
5. Dominico Lauritano (BEL)
Old school 30+:
1. Markus Weisse (GER)
2. Abbas Hamdi (GER)
3. Stefan Aendekerk (NED)
4. Massimo Vallo (GER)
5. Patrick Wiefand (NED)
6. Robert Dinet (GER)
7. Frank Steffens (GER)
8. Naud Aendekerk (NED)
9. Kurt Corbeels (NED)
10. Ingo Keller (GER)
April 2011, Developments in BMX !?
It has been a while since I gave my opinion on several development in our sport, Bicycle Moto-cross. Normaly I do place articles of this matter in the News & Opinion section of this website, but now I want to write this article as an editorial article in the "History" section. The intention of this article is to contribute in a constructive way in thinking and talking about our sport and were it should go towards the future.
Just recently I was appointed as "BMX Ambassador for LEATT" (neck braces, used among others in moto-cross and also in BMX now) active up and till the 2011 UCI BMX Worlds in Copenhagen-Denmark. So, more specific I want to go into detail on safety for our athletes, specialy at the level of Junior and Elite Men and Women at World Cup, Supercross events ánd the Olympic Games.
Just recently the first ever BMX Supercross track has been opened here in Holland on the grounds of our National Olympic Committee, the NOC-NSF, at Papendal. A new area has started, one can say, specialy because this track is a copy of the 2012 Olympic track which is being built right at this moment (april 2011 >) in London - England. For me this is the moment to review the development of our sport, technicaly (rider and track), mentaly and safety wise. In my opinion a very important aspect of the development of World Cup and Supercross tracks, being built more and more radical since some time, should be safety (discussion on clic pedals, helmets, neck braces, body protectors and such) for the riders. As we know only Junior Men and Women as well as Elite Men and Women do compete at those events mentioned.
I also want to talk about the effects of BMX being accepted as an Olympic Sport since 2008 and the results of that. Furthermore here in Europe the diagnoses is also that the specific character of BMX is changing towards a cycling orientated character. Just to mention, riders being a member of a club must wear clubjerseys from a certain age on, here in Holland starting in 2012. Factory teams of which the individual riders are at present members of a club as well, must now form a foundation, pay extra fees to the National organisation, before the are allowed to wear factory team jersyes/uniforms. So the freedom of choosing ones own uniform in general is banned. It might even come that far, that length of cracks and gearing ratios will be obligatory for certain classes. I do regret that change of character of the sport very much.
Before starting my report on developments in BMX, here an interview by Bart de Jong of FATBMX with Gerrit Does Wednesday May 25th, 2 days before the UCI BMX SX at Papendal-Holland, May 27-28th.
How does it make you feel to go to a UCI BMX Supercross event in Holland this week?
Bart, I am realy exited about it. It has been since 2004 that I have seen a TOP event in BMX. Ofcourse I do follow delopments, but witnessing an event life is different. It's also good to see that, when I started the World Cup/Supercross of BMX concept to work out in 1995 as Project manger for the UCI, most of my ideas' of how an event like that should look like, have been implemented (document "The New Concept", 1995) . Added to that New Concept 1995 is the 9 meter high starting hill at those events ánd very technical layouts of the track. All of this is making BMX very exiting and spectacular and brings BMX at the top level, to a different level again.
You’re the Leatt Ambassador Safety for the event, how did that come about?
Watching on TV the latest development in Supercross track design I wondered, what about the safety of the riders. They catch high speeds leaving the 9 mtr. starting hill, jumps are getting more radical, riders clipped in there pedals and when the fall, they fall hard!! Since some heavy accidents in road cycling, as a sportsman, you start to think about the dangers in BMX too. I talked about that with among others people at LEATT here in Waalre, we had a discussion also on body protection for instance to prefent speen reptures etc. Some time after that they contacted me and asked if I would like to act as their safety ambassador / advicer. Since safety is becoming a serious thing in BMX, I thought with my knowledge and experience in MX ánd BMX, I might be of use to themand to the BMX athletes, so that's how it happened.
The Supercross tracks are way more spectacular than the traditional BMX tracks, was this what the sport needed?
Bart, we have had some discussion on this item every time developments occur in our sport. Remember the comments I had organizing the ECC (European Challenge Cup) at Slagharen, when the surface of the track became harder every year, after the Worlds in 1983? We used "stabilized sand" to built the top layer of the track. Fantastic at first, but after one winter, the stabilized sand turned slowly to concrete, due to too much water/snow on the track in wintertime.
Look at what happened during the years, to prefent wash-outs during rain, turns were made of tarmac. It also made the sport faster ánd more dangerous, that's for sure. O.K. Since around 2000 UCI is looking for a way to make BMX a more "outside BMX" drawing spectator sport by making the tracks more and more difficult and spectacular. I think the limit has been reached by the track layouts like this BMX Supercross track at Papendal, which is a copy of the Olympic BMX track. On a 20" bike, you can only go a certain speed at a certain track, leaving the startinghill and I think this is the maximum limit, maybe a little over it. Does it make BMX a more spectartor sport because of that? Will it draw more "outside BMX" spectators?
I have my doubts. I am anxious to see how many "outside BMX spectators" there will be at the Papendal event. I do have the greatest respect for the riders, their technique to handle a track like that is fantastic. However I am worried about their health at the same time. Problems is people watching TV don't realize how difficult racing on a track like this one is. It all looks so easy, so smooth. Often races are "train-events": up and till the first corner the batlle for best posision and after that, a lot of times, a "train" to the finish, that doesn't make BMX attractive. I think, the most important thing, beside s spectacular track within the safety limits, is CREATING HERO'S riding a safe to race track, where if possible no bad crashed occur and where there is a battle between the riders up and till preferably the finishline! In the outside BMX World at this moment, people don't know any bmx heros, like we have in another "small" Olympic sport for instance in ice speed scating. As you see still a lot of challenges in developing BMX further, I think.
With more speed and bigger jumps, comes the risk of more injuries. How do you think the riders can prepare themselves for this?
Bart, its almost impossible to prepair yourself against injuries. BMX is a speed-sport and therefore dangerous more or less, just like road cycling, moto-cross and so on. You can prepair yourself by having a the best physical condition possible. But that will NOT prepfent injuries when you crash, so ...... in this new situation, extreme tracks, the quality of means of protection must be upgraded. Is it still safe to race with a special designed and light BMX helmet? or must the standard be lifted to motorcycle quaity? To determine this, investigations should take place by, in Holland TNO, for example protecting one's head and neck is essential. For sure research has proven that the LEATT brace helps prefenting neck injury, now the question is, is the present used helmet efficient enough. Remarks are that because of the neck-brace, more collarbone will brake, IF that is the truth, what do you prefer, brake your neck or a collarbone!? The LEATT brace is designed in a way, that it is almost impossible to brake a collarbone because of this brace. The specialist will be able to explain and show that to riders.
Since back in time, speen injuries are kind of common. Rider falling, gets handle-bar in stomach and the speen gets ruptured (or liver!). The present body-protectors used, in my opinion, are not protecting those areas sufficient enough to prefent speen/liver/chest injuries. Also because riders are strapped in their click-pedals, when falling, most of the time the bike comes with them, can't be pushed away. So fully protecting, light, flexible but strong bodyprotectors would do a good job here. To not talk in the blue..... test should be made, how strong must BMX protection be, but before that, at big events all injuries should be registered, put in one data-base and with thos findings re-developing new and better safety-equipment. During my ECC - Slagharen days (1984-1993), per event we exactly kept score of any injury, small and big. All injuries of the riders treated at the first aid post, were registered. We used that info to adjust the track among ohters, now it should be used to determine what must be protected and against how much power of impact etc., thats my opinion. BMX is a professional sport now and we should act like it on this subject too, is my advice.
Do you think it’s a matter of time before every national federation has their own BMX SX track so their national riders can prepare for the big jumps at the races that matter to get more spots for
Well, I am not sure if the OLYMPICS 2012 have to be that happy with SX tracks like the one at Papendal. Don't go over the top with your track design. If bad injuries occur during and Olympic event, which millions of people watch all over the world, that would not be good for the image of the sport. So, to find the balance here is essential. In principal, away from the Olympics, I would advice each affiliated country to the UCI to have one SX track in their country at least. I always have been in favour of having a TOP class track in each country, just to start a great series of events in the professional BMX classes, like the Elite Men and Women. lt is nice for any organiser to have an important event, but in the top class, BMX should be run like in Grand Prix racing motorcycles, motorcars etc. Professional organisations, running events at a fixed standard of quaity, that garantees quality of these events and the "outside BMX" people will know in due time, were to go to and watch these races (like Papendal or in the past ECC Slagharen). An extra is, that top riders can train at the level of an Olympic track. Don't forget on the other hand, we talk about BMX - BICYCLE MOTO-CROSS, you know what I mean? It's not racing in a velodrome. The MX in the name should NOT be forgotten.
Imagine you’re on top of the starting hill and have not jumped the first jump yet. What preparation should you have done before you are at that point (from putting on the safety equipment to warming up,
mental preparation, etc.)?
I quess we are talking Elite riders here plus the top in that class. So, they have the experience of riding on all kinds of tracks. You shouldn't be affraid of hights, thats onother thing.You have to get used to the speed going down, when you'r out there for the first time. Start step by step (technic first, later on speed), first by riding down the hill and riding the first jumps. Slowly each time, increase your speed, land even in between the jumps. Don't be haste, prepair well, confidence will grow even if it will take a couple of hours, take your time. While writing this down, I think, if many riders have to get over this track like that, then there is something wrong. There must be a challenge, thats for sure, but this is too much. O.k. you manage to jump at last and now you'r in the race with 7 others, here the problems will start. I am anxious to see this weekend how the developments will be at the first straight and on at the Papendal SX track.
Do you think a track should be designed in a way that jumping is faster than rolling?
Bart, that's what I always liked about BMX, some riders were even faster rolling then jumping, THAT made BMX interesting and it is in those areas that trackbuilders should think. By the way, who built the track, a former BMX'ers? or is it a "designed" track by non-racers. I keep saying, the track should not be the decision maker, but the rider, his power, stamina, his technique, his tactics and son, must be. Why always the 2 horse shoe model tracks? If there is enough space, one can try a different lay out? I always wondered, why aren't there anymore downhill BMX tracks, countries enough were tracks like that can be layed down. I also feel that 30 / 35 second tracks for the Elite are to short, built at least 400/450 meter tracks. More attention on physical condition then on riding technique (as now), again balance in all areas. Bart, we can talk for hours on this and now-a-days there are as many opinions as people, so this is just mineánd for discussion.
The very best BMX racers will come to Papendal for the 2nd round of the UCI BMX SX series. Who is your pick in both classes for the win?
Yeah, thats fantastic. In the early days when I starting these series as UCI Project manager, it was very hard to get riders and more specific national organisations interested to enter their riders for these events. Since BMX became an Olympic sport, that all changed dramaticly. Now many countries are present with their best riders (national selections) and they have no problem financing it all. I don't have a list of registered riders, but I think Maris Strombergs (if recoverd from injury) will do fine. Because of the fact they have been able to practise at this track, I also expect the Dutch riders to do well and don't forget, our French and American sportfriends. I realy can't predict who will win this event. The track will be the decisionmaker when the 8 finalist leave the gate I think. It all depense on luck getting away from the gate o.k. and doings one's thing perfect and thats very difficult on this track. We'll see, I wish them all good luck. It's almost SHOW-TIME.
I think these developments are a new fase in BMX and I am glad to be a witness of all that. It is good to see that a lot of things I suggested/promosed during the years (check out www.universityofbmx.com History of BMX 1995/1996 among others) have been implimented and working. In 1995 I introduced the use of transponders (AMB - Holland) which helped registration, but also gives tools to make BMX more exiting for outside BMX people, TV and more. What is so exiting about 2 skaters on ice, competing against eachother?: yeap ..... time registration ánd showing. This specific item should be used better within BMX. It takes too long to explain how, but there is a way. After the SX in Papendal I will write down and publich my ideas, comments and advices on this site, so watch out for that. Anyway, glad to be present thanks to the UCI invitation, I do wish all riders good luck and I hope the audience will have a great weekend at Papendal.
End of interview.
For the report on "Developments in BMX" check out the History of BMX section of this site, year 2011 - 2012, down below.
May 17th., HISTORIC NEWS from the USA, the impossible made possible: the NBL and ABAbmx merged into USA BMX !
BMX MANIA reported this day the following: The CEO's of both the ABA - American Bicycle Association and the NBL - National Bicycle League appeared together today in a "webinar" regarding the merging of NBL and ABA. This historic event ends a decades long battle between the two sanctions for "BMX Supremacy" that has involved tracks waging "sanction bidding battles" and riders battling off the track on internet forums bickering over "Who's Best".
Here's a quick overview of what is taking place, and is IS historic for the sport of BMX Racing in the USA:
The Webinar featured both NBL CEO, Gary Aragon and ABA head, B.A. Anderson, and B.A. was very active during the event explaining what is going to happen as a result of the merger. The NBL CEO will submit his resignation as head of the NBL, but indicated his desire to add his name to the list when the interviews for the position begin.
The two sanctions will be united under the umbrella organization of a new structure to be called USABMX. The NBL side will still be configured as a Non-Profit and the ABA side will still be configured as a For-Profit organization. Both groups will work together to make BMX better. Although the NBL board has approved the concept, it will not be legally implemented until the "lawyer word" is done. Maybe by the first of June 2011? One license will be good for both sanctions.
There will only be one magazine for both sanctions and it will be the newly launched Pull Mag that the ABA has invested heavily in. Although it was not really addressed, logic would say that the last NBL magazines has been launched. The racingrules of both sanctions will remain intact,i.e. ABA raqces will rund with the `transfer system` and NBL races will be three moto events. The ABA and NBL Grands will stay the same for both sanctions with a Super Bowl of BMX at the Christmas Classic.
The ABA expressed a dedication to keeping the NBL legacy strong as well as the ABA´s. The desire is to keep both groups doing what they do well in place. The headquarters for USA BMX will be at the ABA office in Gilbert, Arizona and the NBL´s Columbus offices will be closed.
The revolutionary NBL `All you can race` membership plan will be terminated and the most traditional yearly membership plan will be reinstated. A pay back formula will be announced that will square poeple away with the difference between their cafetaria plan and the new yearly plan. This will encompass the difference between the number of races run and the membership paid. More details on this item to be announced.
More info on this merge will follow soon.
Reading this article on the merge of NBL and ABA one can feel how delecate this merge is. In fact this look more like a working together relationship then a real merge, 2 organizations melting together in 1. Ofcourse a strategy has to be developed and let´s say within 3 years, there should be only USA BMX, with one set of racing rules, one National Champion in several classes, and so on. This isa very careful start of things for sure. The other important thing one can read from this, that ABA has a very strong grip on things, which is o.k. since they are for the past 10 years at least the most professional BMX organization in the USA. It´s funny to see that probably because of BMX being an Olympic sport, our USA friends did let go of the `free enterprice` principal and are now working towards one big national BMX organization, which if it is done right, will benefit all involved. Going back in history, at a certain periode in the 1980´s there were around 12 till 15 BMX sanctioning bodies in the USA. In modern times that is impossibleto do and has no sence any more. BMX is a full grown professional sport now at the highest levels. A big compliment for the responsable people at the NBL and ABA that finaly common sence prevailed, good luck USA BMX!
May 27th-28th. UCI Super Cross of BMX event at Papendal, Arnhem - Holland.
First impression of the venue, it looks fantastic. Track nicely manicurered, plenty of space everywhere, public area looked great. This was before racing on the track.
This was my first Supercross event that I witnessed life at Papendal - Holland. Ofcourse I followed developments in World Cup and Supercross events since I started the "pilot project World Cup Series" for the UCI in 1995, but this specific event was kind of a next level in professinal BMX racing in Elite men and women class. Specialy the past 5 /6 years riding technique, building tracks and such have development progressive. I was asked by LEATT (neck braces and such)to act as their "Safety Ambassador" and given advice on safety equipment to be used at those top events. Besides the safety side of things, I also felt the need to say something about the organisation and racing aspects of this historic meet. Underneath my evaluation of the UCI BMX Supercross at Papendal-Holland.
The final results of the UCI BMX SX at Papendal - Holland are:
Results in ELITE Women: see picture.
Results in ELITE Men:
1. Marc Willers - NZLlaptime: 40.963 sec.
2. Jelle van Gorkum - NED 41.698
3. Joris Daudet - FRA 42.800
4. Tony Nyhaug - CAN 43.454
5. Edzus Treimanis - LAT 44.950
6. Joshua Callan - AUS 45.008
7. Brian Kirkham - AUS 54.459
rapport: DEVELOPMENTS IN BMX, TODAY.
Waalre, Holland May30th. 2011
UNIVERSITY of BMX:
History of BMX – European BMX Hall of Fame – Opinions – Training - Consulting – Public relations – Communication
Concerns: report by Gerrit Does on status present BMX SX tracks, on safety and more specific included an evaluation on the UCI BMX SX at Papendal – Holland, May 27-28th. 2011.
Dear friends in BMX,
On May 27 and 28th. 2011 the first ever competition took place on a copy of the BMX Olympic BMX track London – England 2012, that has been built here in Holland at the National Olympic Training Center called Papendal, located in the city of Arnhem. The track designed, can be called an “extreme” and right after the official opening of this track early this year, riders who rode the track ánd people who have seen it, were kind of critical about it. An actual event should give a final verdict on the design and on the safety aspects of such a track. Well, this UCI BMX SX event was a great test for sure.
I was asked by LEATT neck braces to be their “Ambassador safety” and advice them on safety equipment as well as advice riders, coaches and others to use safety equipment. During the event however I also had the need to write down my comments (always ment to be positif in the sence of improving things, make racing safer, media friendly and promoting our sport) on the overall organization of the event. As you might know, I have been the “UCI Project manager World Cup (SX) Series” from 1995 through 1997 and looking from that end to the present developments, I wanted to give my opinion on the overall organization too. Step by step and section by section I will go through the whole event and give my remarks and advices “as I see them”.
Evaluation UCI BMX SX at Papendal – Arnhem, Holland.
For those who don't know me, I introduced and started an official BMX organization in 1978 in Holland and became that same year the source for a couple of men (from France, Spain, Belgium, Norway and Germany among others) in Europe on explaining about what the BMX sport was all about, handing out racing rules and advising them on all kinds of other practical things concerning BMX. Later on, in 1980, my dear friend George E. Esser (USA) had the idea of starting an international bmx organization and he asked me to help him out. As one of the original founders of the I.BMX.F., now UCI BMX, I was the driving force (in all modesty) getting international, world wide racing off the ground.
Because of the knowledge I had back then, I adviced the I.BMX.F./FIAC and later on UCI BMX, on developing BMX to a professional level in the highest performance classes, racing technical wise. I rode a plan called “The New Concept” in 1992 (check "History ofBMX" on this site) and several otheradditional plans and proposalslater on. Ending October 1994 the I.BMX.F./FIAC appointed me as “Project manager World Cup (SX) Series”. Check out www.universityofbmx.com the History of BMX section, year 1994-1995 and read the article under October 30th. 1994. It gives you an idea of what the New Concept was all about in headlines.
Just to mention a few points: make BMX a more spectator orientated sport; make BMX at the highest level an adult sport, make BMX a popular sport, create hero's.TV coverage is needed as well as good communication between organisations, riders, industry, sponsors etc., on purpose of these events and goals one wants to reach, promoting & marketing of our sport and events at a professional level is essential too. Well the list goes on and on.
All of that ment,lets haveJunior and Elite ridersrace their own events, away from the 5 year olds through 50+ y.o. Also tracks should be adjusted to the classes competing on them. Outside BMX people will not come and watch 30 plus different classes from 9 in the morning till 5 in the afternoon. So, racing should be compact and take from about 14.00 till 17.00 hours. Then maybe outside BMX people would be interest to come and see the event. A whole list of improvements should be realized to get BMX to the next level and our goal was to finaly get BMX in the Olympics. Thats is what happened anyway in 2008 (thanks to among others Hein Verbruggen, at the time big boss UCI and some other things going on. Will not go into detail on that.). By no means we will forget about the other BMX classes, they are the foundation of our sport, without all the other classes there woudl be no BMX.
A long story short, the last World Cup in 1996 at Valkenswaard – Holland was “about” what the New Concept should look like, but still very basic. The use of transponders (AMB Rijswijk-Holland) that I introduced in 1995 were in place, the timing and registration computerised system was working, a big screen with results was actif, a fantastic crowd present (just as many people as last May 28th at Papendal and that was 15 years ago! check pictures). Still this was only the begin of what I had in mind and written down in reports towards the UCI. However, money was essential to realize most ideas from the New Concept and that was not available at the time. Things changed dramaticly since BMX became an Olympic sport, when the UCI announced that decision mid 2006.
UCI BMX SX Papendal May 27-28th, overall impression of the venue.
When I arrived at the Papendal SX venue, I was very exited. The overall impression was: THIS IS HOW A TOP EVENT LIKE THIS SHOULD LOOK LIKE, JUST FANTASTIC. Here I saw my dream come true, talking image of the venue and so on. This was the idea we had in 1996: enough space is essential. A good routing can be made, vendors, riders parc, parking, public area, VIP facility, all of that was just as it should be. We have seen this at World Championship events and now this should become “standard” for SX events is my opinion. The length of the track is just great and as I always wanted it to be (at least 400 mtrs.): for Elite Ladies around 420 mtrs. And for Elite Men around 475 mtrs.
The BMX track itself looked great too. Impressive starting hill (9 mtrs. high) and nice lay-out of the track in general. Grandstands on one side for around 3500 people. Good facilities for first aid, registration and so on. The starting hill is one thing that was new in comparison with the New Concept of the mid '90 s. The NOC's (National Olympic Cie.) Olympic traning facility Papendal and their responsable officers, did a great job. Also compliments to the track builder Tom Ritz, all under responsability of GSX ceo Johan Lindström.
Remark GD: it was however disturbing to me, when I learned that the KNWU BMX department had very little tosay in this project at all. I was not able to hear both sides of the story yet, so the reason why is still a questionmark for me. Will go into that.
The accomodations on the venue, like party tents, vendor accomodation, rider housing, VIP area, grandstands, demo area for other bicycle disciplines and so on, they were all the responsability of a company called BMX/Holland B.V.This is a business that also runs important bicycle roadrace events in Holland, but never did anything in BMX, its their first! On this part of the overall organization, they did a good job for sure.
Remark GD: Here again, we do have KNWU BMX clubs and foundations with experience enough in Holland, who can handle and act in this field the same way. However, non of these clubs do have over 300 thousand euro'savailable, to just built a track like the one at Papendal.Since the NOC (National Olympic Committee) invested in this accomodation and has events schedueld up and till 2014, it was possible to built the first ever SX track in Holland. I understand why theKNWU choose for those professional organization (NOC-NSF and BMX Holland), on the other hand chances are taken away from KNWU clubs organizing such events and developing towards professional organizations themselves.
About the BMX Supercross track
As we know, this track is a replica of the Olympic BMX track in London 2012, which track is being built at this very moment in London. On itself, the track overall looked great, but.... its a different story riding it.
During practise on Thurday, several bad falls. At the time there was a lot of wind force (3 till 4 bf) blowing towards the starting hill. Althoug it was a hinder, just the wind did not cause a lot of problems (althoughthe Dutch National team managerstated otherwise in an interview in Hollands largest newspaper, De Telegraaf). The medics present on the track had a busy afternoon and the ambulance had to leave for hospital 3 times. The very high starting hill plus the extreme jumps and bottle neck step up (the BOX) halfway down the track, were the cause of a lot of problems.
Remark GD: it must be said that a rider needs time to adjust to new circumstances. Time was kind of short, specialy for those flying in from all over the world and also from countries with less experienced riders as we have in Europe and the USA.
On Friday May27th. The time trials were on. Riding the track on your own without any competators around you was kind of o.k. But again also on this day too many bad falls. During me watching all this taking place, I did meet and talk with several coaches, many riders and a lot of expert bmx racers (among them former National, European and World Champoions) and they were very worried about riders getting injured during the actual event, when they had to compete with 8 riders per moto. A time trial on your own, or racing wiht 8 other competitors is a different story. Everybody I spoke to, stated that this track design was just about 10% too much, too extreme. All of these remarkswere kind of emotional although they came from riders andpeople with experience!
For the record and I will mention details only concerning the Elite Men class and those are facts: In total there were 133 entries in that class (world wide entries!). Watching and/or taking part in practise on Thursday, 40 riders decided NOT to race. Too dangerous a track they said.So, 93 riders were left to compete. During the time trials, 9 riders DNF and therefore did notqualify. Main reason, they weren't able to jump the 90 degrees vertical step up (the box) orcrashed too hardand were threated by the medics present. Out of the 84 riders left, 64 qualified for the next rounds on Sunday.
If 30 % of your total entries in Elite Men class don't race OR have been stopped by a section on the track one cannot race/ride on/over, my opinion is, something is wrong here.
First of all, the “container step-up/box” (not possible to ride if something goes wrong!) halfway the track, does not make BMX more spectacular. An obstacle like that should NOT be the decisionmaker (specialy not at an Olympic event) in the sence of, will I make the next round or not. Just riding on your own and catching the ideal line, then it should be no problem for any Elite Men rider to ride the step-up/box. Different story with 8 men on the track. Everything must be perfect then and a lot of times it isn't. Essential in my opinion is, the TRACK (one obstacle) should not be the decisionmaker, it must be the RIDERS.
Also for spectators it is disappointing to see a rider been stopped by a step-up/box like that ánd ….. they even can't see what exactly is happening life, they have to watch the video-screne, which makes it less exiting again (the step-up was out of sightfor spectators).
Remark GD: Do you all remember the BMX World Cup/Supercross at Woodward – USA? The one some years ago, Robert de Wilde did win, but were it was impossible to “ride, role or speedjump” several double jumps? If you couldn't make the jump, you were out at once, in a ditch, or hurt. No possibility to recover, catch up and maybe even qualify. That is not the way how we should go about now again! BMX is racing and not free-style! Also the NBL had their problems building extreme tracks in the 80's and 90's. O.k. BMX was developing and with new track design they tried to make BMX more spectacular then it was and more technical. A lot of problems occurred when rider broke legs, collarbones and worse, their neck! The riders/parents started lawsuites towards the NBL, the landowners, trackbuilders, the manufacturers and so on. Quickly trackdesign changed to a more safe situation. Even racing became attractive again then.
Starting-hill. Why has a starting hill to be that high? Motivation; it looks spectacular, plus it gives the riders an enormous speed, which looks exiting for the audience, TV and at the Olympics (plus a very powefull TV station in the US) say that's what we want, exitement!? This hill in combination with extreme jumps, cross-overs etc. might turn out to be a little bit too much as well? The hight of starting hills at top events was not planned in my "New Concept". The present people running these events came up with the idea several years ago and ...... in a way it works. Hopefully these startinghills will only be built specific for World Cup and SX events to be raced on by Elite men and women and possibly Junior men and women, the modern pro's of BMX.
During the WC project periode in 1996, the average speed by Elite Men on the track then, was around 40 – 43 km.p.h.. Competition was heavy, racing close ánd spectacular mostly from start till finish. Riders needed real powere to get away from the gat as fast as possible. Now the top speed reached at the bottum of the WC/SX startinghill is around 58 / 59 km p.h. in Elite men and around 54 / 55 km p.h. in Elite Women class. So they hit the first jumps on the first straight hard en when falling down, athletes get hurt accordingly. To make BMX even more spectacular, are we then going to built 12 meter high startinghills and what about the jumps to built then? With a 20 inch BMX bike, you can only go at a certain speed, kind of safely over certain jumps. I think the limit has been reached here or even been crossed. Maybe they should start using 24 inch BMX bikes? (insiders know why).
Seeing all of this happening on TV, parents from young people will not allow them to start racing BMX bikes, thats another item to take into consideration, image of our sport. We want to use the World Cup/Supercross events as tool to promote / market BMX ? Don't let it turn against us in a way that the sport will be considered too dangerous. The balance should be 50/50 and when the balance is 40 % rider orientated and 60 % track orientated, things will go badly wrong.Advice GD: it is very important to explain that this kind of racing is for Elite and Junior riders only and that for "normal" competition (all other classes then Junior and Elite) different tracks are used and so on.
To make a comparison with moto-cross of which the sport of BMX is a copy of. 30 years ago a 250cc MX machine produced around 25/30 horse power. MX tracks were built to accomodate those machines. Dubblejump on a standard MX track back then, with around 20 meter apart jumps, would be impossible to jump with those machines (not enough power and insufficient suspension). Now-a-days a modern 250cc Honda has around a 65/70 horse power engine. They have incredible more power then 30 years ago, they do have excellent suspension and go faster (top speed) then the old machines. For such a machine 20 meters can be jumped at once easily. So, the power of the engines and suspensiondeterminded the changes in trackdesign mostly. 200% more horse power for a MX machine, but in BMX a pro, well trained can not gain 200% more power in his (leg) muscles. That is also something we have to think of, the balance between the physics of riders, the maximum speed they can ride to be safe and the 20 inch bike, which has its limits also (safety first).
Another thing, I did not messure it, but I believe that if you take away the highest speed at the bottum of the starting hill (Elite men around 58 km p.h.) and take the average laptime starting entering the first corner and ending on the finishline, that the average time will be around 44 / 45 km p.h., so around 5 till 7 % higher then during the 1996 project series.
IF starting hill ( 6 meters) as well as jumps (no box jumps) are made somewhat easier and rideble for all. The average speed might even be higher then 45 km p.h. Again a balance between track and riders and the decision maker should be the athlete which is best trained. If one wants to enter an extreme sport, go ride BMX Free-style.
One more thing concerning the track.
Most of the time the start and the first straight, racing looks good. However a lot of times, just after the first corner, when riders hit, or make a mistake, the group of 8 is torn apart. Eight men riding
one after another with in between 10, 15 meters is not nice to see. If then another 2/3 riders can't jump the box, the race as a race is over, no fun, no spectacle what-so-ever. Personaly I must say that most races were not very interesting competition wise, on Saturday. Several of the Elite ladies races were more exiting then the men's. The Final was o.k., but still …... it can be so much better if the group could stay kind of together and this time, the track was just a bit toodifficult. Don't let this happen in London!
Sport in general is dangerous more or less, specialy when speed is involved. All bicycle disciplines have a certain amount of danger getting hurt in them. Competing in events will mean one can get hurt. It's the task of organizers to limit the dangers as much as possible by building "safe" tracks (in all diciplines). Riders have to prepair as good as they can, practising on their bikes and prepairing their bodies physicaly. Not much is said about safety equipment. Except for a helmet, gloves, longs sleeves, long pants andthe right BMX shoes, all the rest of the protection equipment is riders choose. Seen the developments in BMX (specialy trackdesign) at the highest level, World Cup/Supercross and Olympic events are starting to get an “extreme” look, in a way.
Nobody is talking about improving safety equipment, maybe even make wearing safety equipmentobligatory! At the present situation, can the BMX helmets used, resist the pressures when a rider crashed into a jump or falls on teh ground? Is this being tested lately? What should the quality be of potential new helmets for top rider in Junior and Elite classes?
The same goes for body protection. In the past, accidents occured ofcourse also and I know a lot of riders who ruptured their speen, when falling down and getting handle bar in their stomach. Also other organs can be protected when using the right body protection. The materials used now, are in my opinion not sufficient enough on WC and SX tracks. Flexible, strong and longer in front body protectors, should be used. Again here, have tests been done? Advice GD: I understand that in snow-boarding bodyprotectors are used that are very flexible and reach down far more then MX bodyprotectors, at the moment mainly used in BMX. Riders, check it out! MX bodyprotectors aren't flexible enough in use bu BMX'ers.
Essential in this matter of safety is also, as an organization (UCI, or National org.), does one have data available on injuries registered during important as well as local events? Important also is, on what part of the track this injury occured? All facts necessary are needed to make a safety plan to be able to advice which protection to be used. Question GD: does have UCI statistics available on BMX injuries that can be of use to manufacturers? How can manufactureres obtain that info?
One item that is already in place is the LEATT neckbrace. Doctor Chris LEATT of South Africa has done extensive research (7 years long in cooperation with BMW, KTM, University, doctors, physioterapist etc.) and designed the LEATT neckbrace, in the first place for MX. It's use has been proven several times already, also within the sport of BMX. It should be considered to make using these neckbraces obligatory at the above events mentioned,so used by all riders! Dutchman Raymon v.d. Biezen's crashed hardon Saturday and I saw his neckbrace afterwards. Without that brace his neck would have been in a very bad situation for sure. Now he was able to walk away. Also Roger Rinderknechts neckbrace savedhim from a bad neck injury when he crashed.
At this level of competition it should be forbidden that riders race in shorts. It's not safe ánd it does not look professional at all to the outside world. BMX is no Free-style, sorry! Promoting BMX? During this event over 50 riders crashed, 39 were treated in the Medical center, the ambulance had to leave to bring riders to hospital 3 times. For an event with just around 160 riders total this is a lot. Must be said that this was not due only to the track. It had partly to dowith in-exprience of some riders too. Again, it will be impossible to prefent injuries, we must realize that ourselves, BUT all must be done to prefent as much injuries as possible.
Try to find the balance between the difficulty of the track and the capicity of the Elite riders (and probably Junior riders when they join these events), keeping in mind that ALL riders should be able to finish the track (no box obstacles). 200 riders present? Then at least 200 riders should be able to participate in qualification races.It is a bad thing when 50 riders would say, the track is too dangerous and not ride.The challenge is to built a spectacular track with the least possibility of injuries and keeping about 8 riders as close together as possible from start to finish.Work on making safety equipment better, like helmets, gloves and have develop new products like body-protection and neck protection. Even consider making use of those protection materials, obligatory for the riders at this level of competition.
When we talk PR/promoting/marketing our sport on the track and on TV, I think this is the way to go. I do have so much more to say, but that will take too much time now, sorry.
I understand that around Arnhem / Papendal publicity was at an o.k. level. Even city buses had posters announcing the event. Not much was said in national newspapers and thats a pitty. Better next time? I did find it very disappointing to see the 3500/4000 people Grandstands filled for about 4/5 part on Saturday. After counting, my quess is about 3200 people on the Grandstands and about 250 in the VIP area. The NEW CONCEPT's goal was also to try to get outside BMX people/spectators to these events. It still seems hard to get that goal realized.So thats the next challenge then?
PUBLICITY after the event.
Again today NO article on this event in our regional newspaper Eindhovens Dagblad, not even the results. Last Saturday there was a short article in “De Volkskrant” (a national newspaper) and the headline was:
“A BMX ONLY COUNTS HIS BROKEN BONES”. It was all about the risks of our sport and a rider telling how many bones she (Elite rider) had broken already. Also I was quoted as founding father of BMX in Holland and coordinator in Europe, more specific they asked about my work as Ambassador Safety for the sport. I think I responded at a professional way (again said in all modesty).
In our national newpaper “De Telegraaf” an article on our sport with the headline:
“FIETCROSS (bmx) IS GETTING MORE AND MORE EXTREME” In this article even the reporter noticed, that this special track was kind of too redical. Bas de Bever was interviewed and stated that everybody said this track was over the limit, too dangerous. He did not think so, 7 years ago something simular happened and after some time nobody complained anymore ! I think this is a total different situation, as you can understand reading this evaluation. Pitty to say nobody in the article in “De Telegraaf” said anything on safety and what is done to keep the sport as safe as possible (equipment and so on). My opinion, both not very optimistic articles on our sport and …. it has been almost one year since any article on BMX appeared in a national newspaper.
TV; Freecaster and the NOS (Dutch National Sports channel).
On Saturday Freecaster did broadcast live on internet. Pete Dylewski (USA) and Anneke Beerten (Holland) were the reporters and they did a fantastic job. Why? They know BMX racing wise and historical wise, the know the riders and talk professionaly about our sport: compliments, well done!
NOS – National sports chanel.
Between 16.00 and 18.00 hours fragments of the event were broadcasted as well as takes that had been made the day before. Frustrating over and over again is, that it has to be explained, what BMX is all about, why they use those small (children's bikes) 20 inch bikes, actualy it was reported as “big guys on small bikes”. This situation is the same since about 1993. From 1980 through 1993 BMX was on Dutch National TV several times per year in the beginning and later on (1989) one could watch BMX on TV about every year for sure. People in Holland knew what BMX was all about. 75% of people in Holland knew what BMX ment (research RAI). Since 1994 BMX on TV incidentally and everytime when it is on TV, again …... one has to explain what BMX is all about, the 20 “bikes etc.etc. BMX is considered a “small” sport by journalists.
I understand that around 325.000 people (out of the 16 million people we have living in Holland). That's not bad, but only around 2% of our population. In the early days of BMX and even up and till around 1993, the percentage of people watching BMX on TV (from national TV stations Veronica, AVRO, TROS in that order) was around 6 / 7 % at the time. What does that tell us? It must be said, that again here, no promo was done/made to announce this event to be on TV on that Saturday.
Reading all of the above, it looks like things were totaly wrong, THAT'S ABSOLUTELY NOT THE CASE. Remember, I am in “insider” and just want to let you know, with the back ground I have, what in my opinion can be better and by writing it down and publishing it, start a discussion that way. And it worked. I did have very good meetings with NOC-NSF/BMX Holland and among ohters Bas de Bever (UCI BMX Cie) and the KNWU-Holland.
It's a couple of days after the event now and in the meantime among others on FACEBOOK the discussion started also. Those are just short/sharp remarks and I try to give background info with this written evaluation, make remarks but also give advices. THIS IS NOT TO TALK ANYBODY DOWN, this is to help the sport. Very difficult to start a serious discussion through facebook though.
I also can tell you that this kind of evaluations were made by me concerning my own events, like the E.C.C. – Slagharen happenings (European Challenge Cup 1 through 10 !!), why …... to improve my ownorganization for the next event.
Please do read my view on the present situation in BMX enclosed, written after I had spoken with people from NOC-NSF, BMX Holland, KNWU - Holland, UCI BMX Cie and some actif Elite riders. I also learned from those confersations/discussions. Till this far, all the best and success,
July 18th. Update / my opinion after discussions on the above, with parties concerned:
BMX IS IN A GROWING PHASE,ADOLESCENT BMX IS BECOMING AN ADULT TOP SPORT.
During and after the above mentioned event there has been and still is a lot of discussion going on concerning the new track design of SX and Olympic track and specialy on the so-called “box jump”. My report on the overall event added even more discussion later on, through internet/facebook among others. Not everybody was happy about me sending this evaluation report around. I can understand that, but in the end I think it will bring us some good. Discussion is essential for understanding ánd improvement of things in our sport.
Following my “evaluation SX Papendal” I was invited to have a discussion with the actual organizers of the BMX SX at Papendal, the responsable people from NOC-NSF (Olympic committee) and the promotor BMX Holland B.V. Besides the discussion on technical items in my report, I was also informed about some background info on how the combination NOC-NSF and BMX Holland B.V. came together and how they were accepted as organizers by the KNWU (Dutch national cycling federation) and the UCI. It became clear to me that this combination had a professional plan ready for the 3 years to come, so up and till the BMX Worlds in Holland to be helt at the Rotterdam Ahoy Sportarena in 2014. They lack some BMX background info, but that's somenthing that can be solved easily. With all respect towards BMX clubs in Holland working with volunteers as officers, this combination forms a professional group of people who's business it is to organize. I will come back to this later on in my recommendations. Must be said that in the end, most of the remarks made about the organization in my report, they more or less agreed with. They will seriously look into possibly changing the track design were it concerns the first corner and for sure the box jump. I think it was very positif that those responsable invited me to have this meeting with them. We both learned from this experience for sure.
Another meeting/discussion took place with one of the UCI BMX committee members. Also this meet was an eye-opener for both of us. In general most of my remarks in the evaluation report were correct and some weren't. It was explained to me how BMX hasdeveloped the past 5/6 years, after the announcement came that BMX would become an Olympic sport in 2008. From then on National cycling federations started to put money into the sport of BMX, organizing a national team, training camps, and appointing trainers/coaches and so on. This concerned mainly the top classes, Junior and Elite m/w. Besides that, the World Cup and Supercross events were developed in the sence of more difficult BMX tracks were only Junior and Elite Men and Women were allowed to race. I haven'n been present at any WC or SX event from 2005 on, but did see development on TV/Freecaster concerning track design ofcourse. O.k. BMX got more extreme, personaly I would say “more professional”. Development in JUNIOR and specialy in ELITE class progressed fast. One can say that BMX now is a real top-sport. At National level (and I believe that's not only in Holland the case) I believe that in every country that has been involved in BMX for the past 20 years or more, tension is building up between the riders (Junior/Elite m/w and all other classes) but more specific between parents, organizers, members of BMX committees, boardmembers of BMX clubs and so on. I come back to this specific point in a minute too.
My meeting with the UCI BMX committee member was very positif too and again, I think both parties learned from eachother and were able to respect their opinions. All of the above people with whom I talked had kind of the same opinion on the track design of the SX track at Papendal and therefore also the Olympic track. This design was in some places just a little bit too progressive.
I can add that many reactions (mostly at an international level) I received through facebook, from respected people involved in BMX ánd riders, who all know the sport of BMX very well, are very concerned about these developments. They have about the same idea's on track design and how to organize our sport towards the future. Something must be done.
With the track at Papendal – Holland, being a replica from the Olympic track in London 2012, a new STEP has been made in track design. The very high starting hill, jumps were somewhat further apart then normaly at a WC or SX event, a complex lay-out in the first corner and last but not least, an extreme jump was built called “the BOX”. The conclusion was kind of easy: look closely to what can be improved (made safer) in the first corner and most important remark was, remove the “BOX”. BMX is not free-style / stunt riding, this obstacle takes away the character of BMX – bicycle moto-cross as it is ment to be.
I heared from several sides the remark being made: why did trackbuilders change the lay-out of the SX track this dramaticly DURING a running season. They should have changed track design starting the new 2012 racing season. Stick to the character of the sport of BMX, don't make it Free-Style and don't let sponsors or TV tell trackbuilders/organizers what to do, how to built a track and such.
At large, changing the track design by making jumps langer and so on, is already a big step as it has been proved during the Papendal event. 30% of the riders present did not race, some practised, but did not race. Still some of those riders came from far away and waisted time and money!
This tells me 2 things:
a. Riders (specialy from outside Holland) should have had more time practising on this new track.
b. It also shows the differences in the level of riding skills of riders world wide. Most European and USA riders were kind of o.k. with this track after some time, others with less experience and lacking rider skills, they had a big problem.
Conclusion by almost everybody who reacted (respected people with good knowledge of the sport) on this event was; this track might be just a little bit too much at this moment and nobody realy wanted the “BOX” jump to be there. Hope the responsable people will make a wise desicion on this “BOX” jump soon.
Safety! Due to the next step in developing BMX (specialy concerning the tracks), safety for the riders is essential. I don't have to explain to all of you insiders, what I mean with this, I quess. You all can see high speed is reached coming down the starting hill. We will never be able to ban or prefent crashes, that's part of any sport in which speed is involved (look at what is happening in the Tour de France this year, extreme crashes and many riers out with broken bones and such).
Attention should be given to “quality marks” for helmets for instance. A helmet should have a special quality standard confirmed after test-crashes and so on. Work on that! I think a discussion Open or Full-face helmets is not nessecary: full-face. I think it would be very wise, to make wearing neck-braces obligatory (???)in the near future for all Junior and Elite Men and Women racing in WCup, SX, W.Championship and Olympic events. Very soon a DVD will be published on YOUTUBE and www.universityofbmx.com in which Doctor LEATT explains very clearly, why also in BMX top athletes should wear a neck-brace. Check it out later on, we will keep you all posted.
It tells you about Doctor LEATT developing and testing neck-braces for 7 years, working with BMW, KTM, an Institute for Health and several other doctors, physioterapists, and so on, before even selling one of his LEATT braces.
Many BMX racers have lost their spleen since 1978. Falling down, handle bar in stomach, problem! A MX bodyprotector is o.k. But not sufficient for BMX. The area protected should at least be 20/25 cm lower then with the present MX body protectors. Flexibilty for BMX riders is essential and I learned through a physioterapist that snow-board body protectors might be the solution. They are very strong, flexible and do reach much lower then moto-cross bodyprotectors. Check it out!
BMX at the highest level is executed profesionaly since the Olympics. That also means that riders should show professionalism, not only in attitude, training and so on, but also in dressing. Racing in shorts should be forbidden.Long pantsalso protecs somewhat more, so ..... long pants!
Another small detail, nothing to do with safety though. At some events I have seen riders wearing Olympic rings on their jerseys (collars) while they never have been World Champion. At one time they were World Challenge winners. Only World Champions are allowed (UCI rule) to wear this rainbow collars. Attention please!
Concerning safety, here another item. As mentioned above, I have been watching the Tour de France running at the moment. It seems a lot is going on there too concerning safety (tracks/ parcour, too many cars in and around the riders, too many motorcycles in and around the riders etc.etc.). Many crashes and never this many riders had to leave the Tour because of broken bones and so in. Part of the problem also seem to be the “carbon” frame, forks they are racing on. Bikes are made lighter ( around 6, 2 kg for a complete bike) every year! Discussion has started on returning to alu and other types of metal frames again, maybe even a higher minimum weight of a complete bike. Also in BMX racing at Wcup and SX on the new design tracks like Papendal (and probably London too) problems with frames and forks occured. We have to watch development very closely here too.
All of the above and some more organization and policy problems at national and international level do show us BMX is still developing. We must not forget that BMX at an international level, is exiting ONLY since 1981, so that's about 30 years. BMX is still a “child” developing (comparing with other Olympic sports). During the years we have had periodes of conflicts, stress, adjusting rules and regulations and so on. Riders getting more and more experienced, faster on tracks, demanded new track designs, that sometimes caused conflicts too. Don't forget the periode in the 80's / 90's were in the USA, when bad accidents accured because of a new area of track design, law-suits were kind of normal almost. BMX went through a lot of changed thrue the years, not just now.
I believe we are now at the threshold of BMX in general, becoming an ADULT sport. I won't tell you all anything new, but for years their is discussion on how do we organize BMX racing.
5 years olds up and till 50+ year olds racing on the same tracks as the present profesionals, theJunior and Elite men and Women, is in fact becoming a big problem. Not only riding technically but specialy since BMX became an Olympic sport, IMAGE WISE.
BMX IS IN IT'S NEXT GROWING PHASE: "ADOLESCENT BMX IS BECOMING AN ADULT TOP SPORT".
What I see and hear around me is that there is more and more discussion between the volunteers at club level, the professional organization of Federations and organizers and promotors. The gap between Junior and Elite men and women and the other classes is growing (different kind of training, more difficult tracks such as SX tracks etc., sponsoring). In order to organize important events like a World Cup or Supercross, European or World Championship for Junior and Elite men and women, clubs don't have the financing anymore to do so. Just building a quality, UCI approved Supercross track will cost around 300.000 euro's. Organizing a World Championhip will cost tons of euro's or even a million! Because of that, more and more professional promotors are getting into organzing these events, which can be good.
Personaly I think that in each country in which a UCI BMX affiliated organization is actif, there should be at least 1 World-Cup/Supercross track. In Europe one can put together a fantastic series of races then for Junior and Elite men and women during a racing season. Besides that, Junior and Elite riders can then practise properly to prepair for participation in SX events through the world. Right now, only a few countries do have SX tracks, meaning that many riders come to these events unprepaired and have to learn to read and ride the track at the spot... and that can be very dangerous, so...!
Most important: don't ignore the very important BASE of our sport, the 5 year and under through 50+ and over classes. They are the future of our sport, absolutely. However, to market and promote BMX, like in any other sport, the absolute top, the Junior and Elite classes, must pull the wagon. The must have a professional image and they should become the HERO's that any young boy/girl want to become too in BMX in the future.
FOR THE FUTURE OF BMX, RECREATION SPORT AS WELL AS COMPETITION AND TOP SPORT MUST GO “HAND IN HAND” TOGETHER AND CREATE AN ADULT SPORT ACCEPTED AS SUCH BY “OUTSIDE BMX” PEOPLE.
However, their have to be some changed in the organization form of our sport at National and International level, to succeed, I think.
Most of the people involved in BMX (like in any other sport) acting as offcial, trainer, coach, club board member and so on, are volunteers. Nothing but respect for what they do for BMX. At the top level of organizing events, as well as at the top of our sportsmen and women (Junior and Elite), we do see more and more professionals coming in (payed officials/businesses running an event and so on). More and more important events have businesses run their events. Main reason is that for a club it is very difficult, sometimes even impossible to finance such events. Businesses/professionals know how to get sponsorships realized. Important events like a World Cup or Supercross only have around 200 entries world wide. Entry-fees from that group will not be enough to run an event like that. Sponsorships are essential then. At European or World Championships between 1000 and 2000 entries are kind of normal. Their entry-fees will help organizers to run that event as usual (as their base income).
Conflicts occur now due to the fact that “volunteers” (with only good intentions, I am sure) are interfering with what “professionals” are doing (organization wise, racing technical wise etc.). There is a tension building up here, which can harm ths sport if we don't take notice!
Another problem, is that again we have tracks were 5 y.o.'s and Elite riders have to compete at. All of that was possible up and till about 1995 – 1998, but after that it became more and more a problem because of trackdesign. Also the younger riders must have fun riding a BMX track with jumps fitting their seize and capicities.
Insiders will understand this very well I quess. Depending on the level of organization and experience in BMX in any country, there should be a seperation between recreation / competition sport AND top sport (semi-pro's and pro's meaning: JUNIOR and ELITE Men and Women). On an international level, specific events only for Junior and Elite riders on tracks suitable for them (call them A-tracks, WC-SX desing). With these events and level of riders, TV must be realized and in this way TOP SPORT BMX should be the marketing tool for BMX. Creating Hero's!
As an example for Holland: I think professional organizations/businesses like NOC-NSF / BMX Holland B.V. in Holland should run these events.
We still have to change our form of organzation as well. Instead of just a BMX committee running events in a country, one should have 2 departments/divisions or whatever you will call them on national ánd maybe also international level:
1. A group coordinating/running the TOP SPORT section (professionals): Junior and Elite m/w. World wide at an international level, the GSX inc. (in order of the UCI).
2. A group coordinating/running the RECREATION / COMPETITION part of BMX (volunteers/amatures).: all other classes. For Europe at an international level the UEC for instance.
Each group with there own responsability and not to interfere with one and another. In the Top Sport section riders should have a “say” too. Is their a riders committee at this moment in the ranks of Junior and Elite m/w? Are their voices heared well and listend too? These are just some headlines, details have to be worked on ofcourse.
USE THE CORRECT NAMES!
In the past misundestandings at high level even on what BMX realy ment. To the “outside people” BMX could mean tricks, free-style, street, stunts and racing. For years now Free-style BMX just use the name “BMX” and that is very misleading indeed. In Europe BMX free-style / stunts can be seen often on EURO-SPORT. Many outside BMX people think BMX IS stunts/free-style cycling.
Misunderstanding occur because of this, just as it did many years ago in the USA (NBC tv). Marketing wise, be very clear where BMX stands for; BMX is Bicycle Moto-Cross. If you talk free-style or street, call it like that, also publicity wise, so: BMX FREE-STYLE or BMX STREET or BMX KoD or STUNTS-EXTREME, whatever. Very important for good understanding by outside BMX people (TV, sponsors, spectators etc.)
Again, I am not saying that Junior and Elite m/w should only race at WC and SX tracks, ofcourse a good BMX racers must be able to race at any track. Personaly I am in favour of 5 types of tracks:
1. Track designed for the 5 though 13 year old riders (jumps and so on, fitting thier seize)
2. Track designed for the 14 and over ánd Junior/Elite riders.
3. Track designed for WorldCup, Supercross level racing by Junior and Elite m/w
4. Track designed for World Championships, so called dual tracks (mix of above ??)
5. Track designed for Olympic games only for Elite m/w riders.
Well, this is all I want to say now. I am absolutely not complete in me explaining my idea's for the future. That would take a lot of more paperwork/talks/discussion and again, it is better to discuss things like this face to face. Goal is to keep discussions going and maybe add some new idea's to what we have already. Special attention on the SAFETY aspects of our sport is needed. I did understand from my talks with the people mentioned above, that safety is a hot item with them too (also within UCI) and they have been working on that for some time now.
I also probably won't tell you insiders anything new, but COMMUNICATION is essential. I have the feeling that on all levels communications is kind of restricted to small groups. Misunderstanding and people not supporting changes can be caused by lack of communication. Please do give good communication at all levels priority.
Well this is it for now. Wishing you all the best and maybe till soon again. I will keep on “communication” mainly through my website www.universityofbmx.com and give my personal and straight forward opinion on things, not with the intension to talk people or persons down, but to hopefully develop BMX towards an accepted adult sport by all.
a. Get rid of the time trials (boring, waist of time, what's the honour of becoming WC time trials, with what do you compare? Time trials is for road cycling).
b. Upgrade our qualifying system (do make BMX more exiting to watch on among others TV and on the track).
This is nothing new, its'done in running/ahtletics (at Olympics also). This idea goes back tillaround the NEW CONCEPT (1995-1997) area as well!
July 7th - 10th, the UCI BMX European Championship, Final Rounds at Haaksbergen - Holland.
July 12th., a remarkable day for many of us, this was the day Richard Long of GT Bicycles USA was killed in a motocycle accident 15 years ago.
I never forget the telephone call I received from John Holcomb, the GT sales rep. for Europe who lived in Hasselt-Belgium during this periode, telling me to sit down because he had a very sad announcement to make. My dear friend Richard Long, business partner of Gary Turner and thé men behind GT Bicycles, was killed in a motorcycle accident early this day. I knew Richard by then some 13 years and I never forget our first contact. This was during the 1983 I.BMX.F. World Championship in Slagharen - Holland. GT Bicycles entered the Manufacturer Team Trophy competition for the Manufacturer TeamWorld Title.
Just before competition would start, Richard wanted to speak with me (I was the responsable organiser of this event) and kind of furious he explained to me something was done wrong concerning ruling for this teasm competition and he protested heavily. I listened to him and let him explain exactly what has been done wrong. Indeed I had to acknowledge we had made a mistake and I decided wright there on the spot to make changes, make things wright. In a way he was surprised I decided positif on his protest and respected my quick decision. From that moment on, we became very good friends. Some years later (year 1992) I even became his teammanger for GT TEAM EUROPE. You will not be forgotten Richard!
Seen here a picture of Richard Long and myself taken during a bicycle show at the Waalre BMX track in February 1984, organized by Monique's Bike Shop. This was the first time Richard returned to Europe, after the 1983 Worlds in Slagharen - Holland, specificly to meet with me and talk about developments in BMX in general. Later on Richard travelled on to Germany and Belgium.
July 24th - 31st, the UCI BMX World Championships Copenhagen - Denmark, the 30th official WC since 1982.
This 7 day event that took place in the city of Copenhagen - Denmark, did have around 2.200 entries coming from 38 countries. In the CHALLENGE category titles were to be won in 44 classes. In the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP category 4 titles had to be decided on: Junior women and Junior men + Elite women and Elite men. Around the track there were seats in the grandstands for around 7.000 people. Specialy during the World Championship event on Saturday, the stadion was loaded. Here the results of these World Championships and World Challenge classesin Copenhagen.
The WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP results:
Results in Elite men:
1. Joris Daudet FRA - World Champion
2. Maris Strombergs LAT
3. Marc Willers NZL
4. Sam Willoughby AUS
5. Brian Kirkham AUS
6. Carlos Oquendo Zabala COL
7. Connor Fields USA
Results in Elite women:
1. Mariana Pajon COL - World Champion
2. Sarah Walker NZL
3. Magalie Pottier FRA
4. Lieke Klaus NED
5. Arielle Martin USA
6. Vilma Rimsaite LTU
7. Amanda Geving USA
8. Jana Horakova CZE
Results in Junior men:
1. Alfredo Campo ECU - World Champion2. Trent Woodcock NZL
3. Antonin Dupire FRA
4. Darryn Goodwin AUS
5. Lain can Ogle USA
6. Bodi Turner AUS
7. Igor Martins Ferreira BRA
8. Rusty Nesvig USA
Results in Junior women:
1. Melinda McLeod AUS - World Champion
2. Abbie Taylor GBR
3. Brooke Crain USA
4. Danielle George USA
5. Nadja Pries GER
6. Priscila Carnaval Stevux BRA
7. Enora le Roux FRA
8. Laura Smulders NED
The WORLD CHALLENGE results.
1. Jacob Mitchell GBR
2. Daniel Jarrin ECU
3. Magnus Doj DEN
1. Kjelle Poets BEL
2. Regina McGee AUS
3. Alyssa van den Heuvel NED
7 Boys: 8 Girls:
1. Lachlan Stevens-McNab NZL 1. Francesca Cingolani ARG
2. Ondrej Matejik CZE 2. Mia Christensen DEN
3. Wannes Magdelijns BEL 3. Ngahina Pene NZL
8 Boys: 9 Girls:
1. Jack Kelly USA 1. Leinani Peralata USA
2. Kohl Piluso USA 2. Leyna Jones USA
3. Rico Bearman NZL 3. Desree Barnes AUS
9 Boys: 10 Girls:
1. Julian Dittrick USA 1. Jordan Scott USA
2. Andres Papajohn USA 2. Indy Scheepers NED
3. Ronalds Ritins LAT 3. Kaly Harcourt NZL
10 Boys: 11 Girls:
1. Matthew Denslow ZIM 1. Mathilde Bernard FRA
2. Roman Jaworsky USA 2. Maite Naves Barreto BRA
3. Edvards Glazers LAT 3. Kim Baptista GBR
11 Boys: 12 Girls:
1. Jesus Matias Brizuela ARG 1. Sae Hatakeyama JPN
2. Carlos Javier Zuluaga Melo COL 2. Vineta Petersone LAT
3. Pjotr Paeshuyse BEL 3. Sya Sakakibara JPN
12 Boys: 13 Girls:
1. Michael Gonzales USA 1. Merel Smulders NED
2. Richard Holec CZE 2. Axelle Etienne FRA
3. Axel Webster GER 3. Karo Vertessen BEL
13 Boys: 14 Girls:
1. Ryan Pettigrew USA 1. Margot Hetmanczyk FRA
2. Daichi Yamaguchi JPN 2. Tahlia Hansen NZL
3. Justin Kimmann NED 3. Daina Tuchscherer CAN
1. Collin Hudson USA
2. Juan Carlos Diaz Cerna COL
3. Romain Racine FRA
THE CRUISER CLASS RESULTS.
12&under Boys cruiser: 12& under/13&14 Girl cruiser:
1. Axel Webster GER 1. Abigail Fox NZL
2. Matias Jesus Brizuela ARG 2. Annaliese Rokov AUS
3. Franco Soriano ARG 3. Aislynn Weber AUS
13&14 Boys cruiser: 15&16 Girls cruiser:
1. Collin Hudson USA 1. Felicia Stancil USA
2. Ryan Pettigrew USA 2. Monique Smith NZL
3. Zaithyel Soekandar ARU 3. Sarah Harvey AUS
15&16 Boys cruiser: 17-24 Women cruiser:
1. Amidou Mir FRA 1. Tessa Geerling NED
2. Mael Levay FRA 2. Sharon van der Kolk NED
3. Romain Mahieu FRA 3. Iris van der Linde NED
17-24 Men cruiser: 25-29 Women cruiser:
1. Chase Hines USA 1. Ria Goodman GBR
2. Niels Verrijt NED 2. Femke Majchrzak NED
3. Olivier Begue FRA 3. Anais Pihet FRA
25-29 Men Cruiser: 30-34 Women cruiser:
1. Bo Kleinhesselink NED 1. Jaclyn Wilson AUS
2. Rick van den Dikkenberg NED 2. Kim Bent GBR
3. Levi Collins AUS 3. Danielle Dikkeboom NED
30-34 Men cruiser: 35-39 Women cruiser:
1. Julian Lim AUS 1. Anne Praud FRA
2. Raul Ruiz Astorga BOL 2. Sabine Spanier GER
3. Harm van Brussel NED 3. Amy Herrmann USA
35-39 Men cruiser: 40-44/45&over Women cruiser:
1. Alan Hill GBR 1. Kerstin Meyer GER
2. Richard van Zomeren NED 2. Anita van de Mortel NED
3. Bob van Westerop NED 3. Mieke van Schijndel NED
40-44 Men cruiser: 45&over Men cruiser:
1. Scott Moreland USA 1. Eric Rupe USA
2. Paul Luttrell NZL 2. Jens Klunder GER
3. Tony Fleming GBR 3. Brad Lane AUS
UCI BMX WORLD CHALLENGE results NATIONAL TEAMS:
1. Team USA- 365 points (riders Michael Gonzales, Eric Rupe, Ryan Pettigrew and Lewis Shayne)
2. Team Argentina - 341 points.
3. Team Australia - 257 points.
UCI BMX WORLD CHALLENGE results TRADE TEAMS:
1. J&R Bicycles USA - 310 points (riders Ryan Pettigrew (20"), Domingos Lammoglia, Leinani Peralata and Ryan Pettigrew (24").
2. Clube Ciclismo SAO Jose Dos Campos - 221 points.
TIME TRIAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2011 (1st.ever!?):
Results Superfinal Junior women: Results Superfinal Junior men:
1. Melinda McLeod AUS - 39.801 sec 1. Darryn Goodwin AUS- 35.237 sec
2. Brooke Crain USA - 40.197 2. Trent Woodcock NZL - 35.259
3. Nadja Pries GER - 40.821 3. Thomas Doucet FRA - 35.454
4. Abbie Taylor GBR - 40.925 4. Carlos A. Ramirez Y. COL - 35.723
5. Proscila C. Stevux BRA - 41.007 5. Bodi Turner AUS - 35.756
6. Danielle George USA - 41.016 6.Daniel Franks NZL - 35.785
7. Laura Smulders NED - 41.529 7. Alfredo Campo ECU - 35.786
8. Enora le Roux FRA - 42.649 8. Connor Mc Cormack CAN - 35.905
Results Superfinal Elite women: Results Superfinal Elite men:
1. Shanaze Read GBR - 37.440 1. Andre F. Aguiluz NOR - 33.811
2. Caroline Buchanan AUS - 37.627 2. Jelle van Gorkum NED-33.849
3. Mariana Pajon COL - 38.154 3. Brian Kirkham AUS- 33.858
4. Sarah Walker NZL - 38.454 4. Raymon van der Biezen NED - 33.865
5. Jana Horakova CZE - 38.537 5. Sam Willoughby AUS - 33.889
6. Laëtitia le Corguillé FRA - 38.833 6. Corben Sharrah USA - 33.936
7. Manon Valentino FRA - 38.865 7. Joris Daudet FRA- 34.003
8. Magalie Pottier FRA - 39.148 8. Maris Strombergs LAT - 34.162
9. Aneta Hladikova CZE - 39.190 9. Nicholas Long USA - 34.198
10. Arielle Martin USA - 39.254 10. Connor Fields USA - 34.216
11. Elke van Hoof BEL - 39.290 11. Arturs Matisons LAT - 34.265
12. Romana Labounkova CZE - 39.395 12. Marc Willers NZL - 34.267
13. Merle van Benthem NED - 39.725 13. Edzus Treimanis LAT - 34.360
14. Lieke Klaus NED - 39.906 14. Thomas Hamon FRA - 34.500
15. Andrea Zuluaga COL - 40.219 15. Joshua Meyers USA - 34.554
16. Amanda Carr USA - 40.321 16. Toms Mankus LAT - 34.896
Meeting old friends, here some pictures:
After 7 years, Gerrit Does also did meet again with Abe Schneider,President of the UCI BMX Committee. Both men know eachother from around 1985 on. Did meet for the first time during the I.BMX.F. Worlds in Whistler - Canada, were Gerrit Does retired after that Worlds as I.BMX.F General Secretary, after 5 years of hard work, getting BMX organized worldwide under I.BMX.F. At the 1985 Worlds in Canada, Abe Schneider wanted to announce during the event very much, but wasn't allowed by the organizer. Gerrit did speak with the organizer and finaly Abe was permitted to do some announcing during several moto's.
People being present at the time, still do remember him announcing very well, because he had one special announcement when riders passed through a corner named after one of the sponsors, the so-called Kukukukukuwahara corner. Some years later, Abe got involved in the organization and became a boardmember of I.BMX.F. At this time and date, Abe Schneider is the only one left from the original group of people running I.BMX.F. and after Louis Vrijdag announced his retirement as President of the UCI BMX committee in 1999, Abe Schneider was appoint as President.
Evaluation/suggested "points for improvement" on the UCI BMX World Championships helt in Copenhagen – Denmark, July 27 – 31st. 2011.
First of all I must say that the Danish organzing committee did a good job. This was the 30th World Championship since 1982 when I.BMX.F. started (integrated into the UCI in 1996). Appreciation points were given (by the University of BMX) in the past to each World Championship organized. The score was never higher then a 9 on a scale from 0 through 10.
The score for this BMX Worlds will be around 7.5 / 7.8.
Advertising: I visited the city center of Copenhagen and I was pleasently surprised by the many banners and incredible large poster of the UCI BMX Worlds in the city center. Good publicity here during a very busy tourist time in Copenhagen.
On Saturday July 30th it was the big day, UCI BMX Championship races were on. From the hotel I travelled by bus to the venue, no problem. After being accredited, I walked to the main entrance. As parking space for cars, the sides of the road leading to the entrance were used. Not very professional and not up to standard of such a high quality event. Walking towards the main entrance, I only found a simple tent where tickets and accredition were checked. Not the entrance I expected when entering the World Championship venue.If we want that professional image, something should have been different here for sure.
What I could see as spectator sitting at the Grand Stands was a nice layout of the track. The VIP space for that day (it was completely filled with spectators too, when the semi finals started and thats good) was sufficient and catering “normal”(not excessive). Around the track there were approx. 7000/7500 seats available for spectators and on this Saturday. 99% of the seats at the Grand Stands were filled. Even people were sitting on the green boarders on the far end of the track. Whether there were many outside BMX people (beside on the VIP grand stand) it's hard to tell, but my quess is NOT many.
I learned that there were around 2200 entries. Most riders bring an avarage of 3 people with them, so around 6500 / 6600 spectators were already in place here. Another 500 in the VIP area gives us around 500 outside BMX spectators? In spite of the several banners in the city, were thousands of people were walking around (tourists, they aren't interest in BMX!) not many outside BMX spectators. Question is, what can we do about this, to attrack more outside BMX spectators at such important events?
Another remarkeble thing was the fact that with around this 7000 spectators present there was only one catering unit on the grounds of the BMX track (picture). During a brake, very long lines to get a drink or something to eat. Besides a lot of irritation among spectators, by having this better organized, one could have made some more money too as an organization IF the catering was set-up properly. Another point for improvement.Personaly I found it disappointing not to see any vendors (selling parts, bikes clothing etc.) directly around or in sight of the track. Normaly when one has enough space, the vendors make a nice line of showing and promoting their materials. It gives atmosphere. Indeed the space around the track was limited, thats probably why. A good example how to work on atmosphere could be seen at the Europeans at Haaksbergen – Holland a couple of weeks before the Worlds. So another point for improvement.
COMPETITION, TRACK, SAFETY, TIME TRIALS, a.o.
The attendance at this Worlds was good. Around 2.200 entries coming from 38 countries, that's nice. Races in in 44 Challenge classes, 4 Championship titles classes (2 Junior and 2 Elite classes) and all of that taken place in 5 days including registration and practise. Time trials on Friday July 29th., I think, are a waist of time and serve no purpose. Very frustrating for those not making the top 64. Even a World Championship titel for the winner of the time trial! How crazy can one get. Around 140 Elite men, 44 Elite women, 96 Junior men and 19 Junior women had to race each at a time, which takes at least 4,5 hours, if all works out fine (no crashes and such). For any kind of spectator, inside or outside, this is a waist of time and boaring to watch. Totaly NOT interesting for TV. It serves NO purpose what-so-ever, only to eliminte everybody up and till number 65. At the end on that Friday, Superfinals are run in Junior men and women as well as in Elite men and women class.
Only the 64 fastest riders will be allowed to race on Saturday, the real World Championships. Watching time trial is NOT interesting for the public and specialy not interested for outside BMX people.
If anybody wants to participate in time trials, go ride on a velodrome track. This is BMX racing, meaning competing against eachother on the track with a maximum of 8 riders. Time trials make no sence at all.
Any rider coming over to compete in the Worlds for a Championship title, wants to prove him/her self in competition, not in a one lap alone riding time trail. Out of the 140 Elite men riders only 64 qualify. All others NOT qualifying, of whom several travelled the world (and spend a lot of money) to be in Copenhagen, can go home after 1 lap riding onthere own!. THAT IS ABSOLUTELY CRAZY and not the intention of a BMX World Championship event. At least any rider entering the World Championship, should be able to prove himself in COMPETITION WITH AND AGAINST others in a maximum 8 man race. THIS IS AS IT SHOULD BE. This is a very important “point for improvement”.
Another important citeria to have a Supercross track (including startinghill) at the Worlds is the following: not many countries do have Supercross tracks, so only a few selected Junior and Elite riders out of the 297 riders present at the Worlds, were able to practise sufficiently at a Supercross track at home as preparation for these Worlds in Copenhagen. Many saw this type of startinghill and track for the first time and were scarred by it. SeveralJunior ladies did not even take part in the time-trials, because they weren't used to this type of startinghill.So, Supercross tracks (including startinghill) should only be built at World Championship if ALL countries have at least one Supercross track were their riders can practise on before hand. Everybody should have a fair change at the Worlds and right now, thats not the case. Another “point for improvement”.
Suggestions: Instead of time trials on Friday, do allow at least a maximum of 256 entries in Elite men, 64 entries in Elite women, 128 entries in Junior men and 32 entries in Junior women. More riders then at present will gain experience in such events is one point. To run these numbers we need a maximum of 60 moto's run 3 times gives 180 minutes (1 minute per moto). So to qualify for the Saturday, the day of Championship racing, the Elite men and Junior men will also run 1/16 finals on Friday, gives 32 races times 1 minute is 32 minutes. Time trials at present take 4 ½ hours, including some “spare” time, REAL RACING will take the same amount of time, with more riders involved and more to see for the fans and supporters of those traveling with their riders. Now we are talking racing and now a rider coming from Japan or China can at least compete 3 times in these moto's and having the feeling he realy raced at a Worlds. Something to think about! “Point for improvement”.
OLYMPIC QUALIFYING SYSTEM ? …... AN ADDITION.
What I am going to tell you now, probably will be something for the future. It's a different way of thinking and also needs a mental adjustment by the riders. BUT, the Olympic Qualifying System will improve competition through the qualifiers for sure and will garantee exitement when executed the right way. One needs a well programmed computer system, transponders ánd a large scoring board showing laptimes of each rider.
The three moto's are run as usual. The overall top 4 finishers qualify for the next rounds. In qualification rounds in athletics, in each round the top 2 finishers, qualify for the next round automatically. Example: If you have eight, 1/8 qualifiers, 16 men/women qualify by finishing 1st or 2nd in their race and the other 16 men / women that will qualify to make the ¼ finals (32 sportsmen overall), must have raced the fastest times in there 1/8 qualifier. That could mean that in some races, finishers 1 thr 4 qualify, but in others just 1 and 2 and again in another qualifier maybe 6 riders (including number 1 and 2) qualify. Under normal circumstances (no crashes and such) always the fastest riders will transfer to the ¼ qualifyers.
The same procedure during the ¼ and ½ finals. It makes it much more exiting for spectators to watch and specialy for TV this is a perfect tool to make BMX even more exiting for the TV audience. If you have the change, watch athletic sport events and even at speed skating during wintertime, the time element is essential for exitement ánd qualification ofcourse. THINK ABOUT IT!TEST IT!TRY IT OUT! (at least). Again a “Point for imporvement”
SEEDING OF MOTO'S.
What I saw during Saturday's racing is that riders starting out in the quaifications in a certain moto, moving on to the next round, had the same riders in here next qualifyer. If you were in a strong moto or qualifyer, you had to run the fastest guys all day long and sometimes very fast guys were eliminated. I think not a very fair system. Also for this reason, qualifying as suggested as above (O.Q.S.) is only fair. Then it doesn't matter if you are in s strong and fast group, the fastest riders qualify anyway, even if you are not with the top 4 in a certain qualifying race. If the Olympic Qualifying System (O.Q.S.) is NOT used, it would only be fair to change the seeding into the system as done many years here in Europe: don't put the strong riders in one moto, but devide riders over the moto's. René Nicolas and others can explain better then me, exactly what I mean. In the end still the strongest and fastest riders will come through, but it is fair to give everybody a realistic change to qualify. Point for improvement.
What can a say more then I already said in my evaluation BMX SX Papendal – Holland. Safety IS an item and should be addressed properly by ALL. During this Worlds a SX starting hill was laid down. My question is, why a SX event run at the Worlds? Is that the UCI's new standard?Riders coming down (the fastest anyway) from the SX startinghill with a top speed of around 59 km p.h.Once more, BMX is a “speed sport” and in any sport with speed involved, there are dangers. One can limit injuries coming from crashed that always will occur, by designing “safe tracks” and take care of professionaly tested safety equipment for the riders. Concerning SAFE TRACK DESIGN, the present SX type startinghill will keep many people and riders argueing about safety. Several crashes before or on the first jump after the start. Specialy at this very point, were the highest speed is reached, bad injuries can happen. It is NOT nice at all to see on TV, crashes happen (in almost every race) and people waiting long for the next round to start.
Looking at het TV images and pictures on the internet and elswhere of riders crashing, it also tells me, that CLICK PEDALS are dangerous in BMX. I will not go into details on this, just read several comments on people who know what BMX is all about and those personsare very worried about these developments within BMX.
Reactions specific on click pedals by others:
* The replays on Freecaster of the World Championship classes (the crashes) they are showing now, make me cringe! All of them stuck to the bikes. You can see them trying to get rid of the bike and they can't.
* Honestly, I am old school, but I just don't know if these SX tracks can be conquered without click pedals!
* C'mon! Don't be daft, just watch Brian Foster or Chase Hawk hit the trails. You need skills to ride flats and less skill to have your feet stuck in one place on the pedals. Clips were the beginning of the dumbing down of race skills in my opinion and my opinion ain't worth sh... these days! OUR CARING IS SEEN AS A BITTER ENDICTMENT, they have not a clue ….......
* Bottom line is, I watch it all the time. You need not look at the UCI Worlds to see it. Clicks have made racing boring and also more dangereous. THIS IS A FACT, NOT OPINION! You cannot throw the bike out from under you and YES you can get hurt badly both clipped in and on flats. BUT if you look at averages, people get more injured more frequently on clip pedals. The same people will be winning, regardless of what pedals are being used, but the racing will be more exciting, some what safer and less follow the leader. That leads to me not falling asleep while I watch races.
* I am not sure change can be made back to flats (remark GD: why not, ofcourse they can!).The thing that puzzles me so much is the fact that most everyone I speak with, agree's that clips are not as safe and making racing more follow the leader, detour little kids from wanting to race if your 6 y. old getting moto'd by kids that have been clipped in for a year. You do your first race and can't even balance in the gate, feeling scared, you decide this is not for me! (remark GD: a solution for the time being would be, only 13 or 14 and older riders are allowed to race on clips! In places in Europe that is the case already at this moment).
* Conducting BMX clinics the past 20 years, I see it all the time. Take the clips off and learn them basic skills. Watching the Elite men event on Saturday, we actually witnessed a rider ride as if he was using flat pedals. JORIS DAUDET of France went for the pass on the inside of Willers and pulled it off. Most races I witnessed, you did not see this. People are affraid of contact because they are clipped in. So ….... please without negativity ….... answer this questions for me ….....: Is there any advantage if everyone is using clips? Would you prefer to watch races with riders who are clipped in or using flats? Is Nike, DC, Etnies etc. making way more $$$ than Shimano sell shoes??? CAN SOMEONE PLEASE GET THROUGH TO THE HEADS THAT RUN OUR SPORT AND TELL THEM WHAT'S UP?????
This was just a small selection of reactions received through facebook.com Also look on facebook.com : BMX RACERS AGAINST STUNTS.
SCRUTINERING OF THE WORLDS TRACK!
What I also don't understand is, how a track like this Worlds Track in Copenhagen could have pasted scrutinering, when I look at the cement stone blocks, serving as boarding for the jumps on the track. I saw several riders in Elite class crashing hard on the jumps and roling off the track, just missing by a couple of inches those cement stone blocks. I tell you, with the speed they were going and the helmets they are using now (some of them anyway), bad head injuries would have been occured if they had hit those blocks. Look back on Freecaster and see what I mean (also picture enclosed). Suggestion: On childrens playgrounds they use rubber tiles, why not use them here?
TV – FREECASTER
The only thing that I can say is that the producers of the broadcasting of the Worlds have done a fantastic job AGAIN. They know how to film the event and Pete Delewski is doing a great job too as colourman. Well done.
PA SYSTEM and SPEAKERS.
Speakers were doing a good job. The only thing that in my opinion was kind of wrong was playing a song called SUICIDE IS PAINLESS almost after every terrible crash, when medics were helping the falling rider. I found that tasteless and it realy irritated me, looking at the rider on the ground being hurt and in pain.
SCORE-BOARD and MOVIES.
During intervals on Saturday, almost the ONLY thing shown on the score-board were movies/ pictures of crashes that had occured during the day. We were there for the RACING, not to watch crashes all over again and listening to Suicide is painless.Outside BMX people would not have liked that , I think! Another “point for improvement”.
SUNDAY RACING, cruiser class competition only. It was a pitty to see that only about 40/50% of the number of spectators from Saturday, were present on Sunday. However, the atmospherevery good. Also the racing itself wasvery exciting then and there even was close racing often now. I enjoyed it very much. Pitty that the Cruiser riders did not get the attention they deserved, being the last group racing at these World/Challenge Championships. 7 days is a long periode to be at an event and many went home after Saturday's racing.
FUTURE OF WORLD CHALLENGE AND WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP EVENTS.
I also want to give you an opinion of mine concerning the World Challenge and Championships in general. Something to think about (probably done already by you all?!). I know MONEY is the key word for organizers, but it would be best for the future of BMX to seperate the WORLD CHALLENGE event from the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP event. I do mean have those events on different locations and on different dates.
The Event in Copenhagen took from Monday till Sunday. Riders/parents have to spent a lot of money staying most of the time 7 days at any location. For better understanding to the OUTSIDE World, seperating these 2 events would be better too. A World Championship should take no longer then 3 days, Friday through Sunday, The same goes for the World Challenge event. Numbers (entries) are important to finance (among other things) an event. On the other hand almost nowhere you find World Championship events with over 2200 entries, while in fact a World Championship should hold a minimum of 480 entries worldwide (32 Junior women/128 Junior men/ 64 Elite women and 256 Elite men).
World Challenge events could holt around 1200 through 1500 entries. Those numbers can be easily run in three days time. Another advantage is seperating professional sport from amature sport. Less discussion of amatures looking to the pro's and visa/versa.
Again, I had a great time in Copenhagen, enjoyed myself very much. BMX still has a long way to go, but it's always interesting to follow developments and give an opinion or even an advise. Well, this is about the end of my evaluation on the 2011 Worlds in Copenhagen. My opinion or remarks for better ones, no problem.
August 13th. FAT JAM Aarle-Rixtel - Holland by the brothers DE JONG.
August 19-20th. UCI BMX Supercross London - England.
Must be said that there were plenty of problems a couple of weeks before this event. The track wasn't ready 10 days before the event. Some BMX coaches said the track looked like a moon landscape, impossible to ride well. The people hired by the GSX Inc. to built the track did not do a very good job at all. In the end another, outside GSX company (Emglish contractor) had to safe the day, Clark & Kent constructors had to change the track into a rideble track and they did. New in this Olympc track was a tunnel and alltough changed for the better, there still was that so called Box jump, now more looking like a table top. All together a not to good preparation for the Olympic event around 1 year later.
August 31st. visit to the ZOLDER motorcar & motorcycle racetrack and their BMX facilities in Belgium.
After the Worlds in Copenhagen I was contacted by Mr. Gil de Vis, the Cycling assistant at the Zolder motorcar and motorcycle racetrack in Belgium. Besidesmotorcar and motorcycle racing, this organisation also did start a cycling department on their grounds. Gil de Vis invited me to come over and have a look around on their grounds.Allthough being a young organization, they were asked by the UEC to organize a leg of the European Championship rounds on April 2nd & 3rd of 2011. With only 3 months to prepair and in fact no actual experience in running BMX events, the finale organized a top class European Championship event on the weekend mentioned. Some facts concernign this EC event: 1.627 entries, 368 trohies, 250 campers on location, races from 8 through 19.00 hours, live broadcasting on a 12 m2 screen around the track, 120 volunteers, 3000 visitors, 18 defferent nations, a promo village (8 shops) and animation.
Great advantage is ofcourse being a part of a professional organization and that showed off for sure. Besides BMX, they already organized in the past the UCI Road Cycling World Championships in 2002 on their race circuit. Also in 2002 the Cyclo Cross UCI World Championship was run at the Zolder grounds. All very succesfull done. The responsable persons for the BMX section at Zolder are former roadcyle pro Marc Wauters and marketing specialist Gil de Vis. Both men have a very clear vision of what BMX should look like at their complex and it is a vision that is renewing and very interesting. A lot of potential at these BMX facilities since they have the right accomodations that belong to a professional sport complex: facilites for the riders like dressing rooms, showers, medical facilties, test facilties, facilities for the media and so on.
Besides BMX roadcycling, tourcycling etc. is part of theri philosophy.
Just to give some impressions here a couple of pictures of the BMX facility and some pictures of teh motorcar racetrack were practise was going on for a 24 hour event that same weekend. Check it out.
September 3rd-4th. UEC Round 1 & 2 (2012) European Championships BMX, Valkenswaard - Holland.
Due to the Olympics being in 2012, already in 2011 the first rounds of the European Championships are being helt. The results also do count to determine how many riders per countrie will be allowed to race at the Olympics. At this UEC Round 1 & 2, around 650 riders/entries from all over Europe were present in Valkenswaard. The weather on Saturday was fantastic even somewhat too hot (around 30 degrees C.). The Sunday morning started out wet but from about 11.00 hours on the ski cleared and riding conditions were o.k.
I was asked by the poeple from the BMX club Lion d'Or - Valkenswaard, to give a speech on the fact that Dutch top BMX'er Rob van den Wildenberg, finalist with a 5th space at the 2008 first Olympic for BMX, had ended his BMX career earlier this season. Since Rob has been in the WEBCO team almost since the start of the team and up and till 2004 has always been part of our sporting group, I was more then glad do say YES to this request. Rob has been asked by the K.N.W.U (Royal Dutch Cycling Federation) to act has so-called Talent-coach BMX for them, which job he excepted. Good luck Rob!
Result of the European Championship Round 1 & 2, series 2012.
Again, due to the Olympics in 2012, the 2012 qualifying season for these Olympics as well as the EC and WC, started already in September 2011. Because of the Olympics, also the European Championship and World Championships will be run before June 2012, so a very hactic and busy season 2001-2012.
Final resultsJunior Women
1. LIGTLEE Elis - Nederland
2. MIKKELSEN Live Andrea - Norway
3. MOHLMANN Annemarijne - Nederland
4. CHRISTENSEN Simone - Denmark
5. DIJK Femke - Nederland
6. VAN HEES Soraya - Nederland
7. NAVRESTAD Elisabeth - Norway
8. BAAUW Judy - Nederland
Final results Elite Women
1. POTTIER Magalie - France
2. RIMSAITE Vilma - Lithuania
3. HLADIKOVA Aneta - Czech Republic
4. KLAUS Lieke - Nederland
5. HORAKOVA Jana - Czech Republic
6. HEREIJGERS Maartje - Nederland
7. SPRENGERS Dana - Nederland
8. AILLOUD Eva - France
Final resultsJunior Men
1. MIR Amidou - France
2. MAHIEU Romain - France
3. VINTERS Kristaps - Latvia
4. DE JONG Pim - Nederland
5. TRAMIER Léopold - France
6. VEKSA Kristaps - Latvia
7. VAN OS Randy - Nederland
8. GRASSIN Thomas - France
Final resultsElite Men
1. MOO CAILLE Moana - France
2. TREIMANIS Edzus - Latvia
3. VEIDE Rihards - Latvia
4. VAN GENDT Twan - Nederland
5. ANDRE Sylvain - France
6. PELLUARD Vincent - France
7. VAN GORKOM Jelle - Nederland
8. HEIJNE Frank - Nederland
9. JASPERS Martijn - Nederland
10. VAN DER BIEZEN Raymon- Nederland
11. VAN DER HEIJDEN Jordy - Nederland
12. GODET Damien - France
13. KARTFJORD Sebastian - Norway
14. RICCARDI Romain - Italy
15. VAN DE WETERING Glenn - Nederland
16. CALEYRON Quentin - France
September 2011, the final results of the UEC-UCI European Championships 2011.
GENERAL RANKING JUNIOR WOMEN:
1. LIGTLEE Elis - Nederland EUROPEAN CHAMPION
2. SMULDERS Laura - Nederland
3. CHRISTENSEN Simone - Denmark
4. PRIES Nadja - Germany
5. LE ROUX Enora - France
6. TAYLOR Abbie - England
7. MAIRE Camille - France
8. BAAUW Judy - Nederland
9. MIKKELSEN Live Andrea - Norway
10. VEDDER Tamar - Nederland
11. NAVRESTAD Elisabeth - Norway
12. VAN DE PERRE Tori - Belgium
13. ZHINKOVA Kseniya - Russia
14. VRENEGOOR Danielle - Nederland
15. DE KLEIN Melissa - Nederland
16. BORAIE Victoria - Sweden
17. SILVESTRE Amelia - England
GENERAL RANKING ELITE WOMEN:
1. VALENTINO Manon - France, EUROPEAN CHAMPION.
2. POTTIER Magalie - France
3. HORAKOVA Jana - Czech Republic
4. RIMSAITE Vilma - Lithuania
5. AILLOUD Eva - France
6. SPRENGERS Dana - Nederland
7. HLADIKOVA Aneta - Czech Republic
8. SEESING Joyce - Nederland
10. LABOUNKOVA Romana - Czech Republic
11. KLAUS Lieke - Nederland
12. MEYRAN Camille - France
13. DESPEAUX Amélie - France
14. ALEKSEJEVA Sandra - Latvia
15. BESKHMELNOVA Marina - Russia
16. BIRKELAND Benedicte - Norway
17. NICOLET Cindy - Switzerland
18. HINDMO Caroline - Sweden
19. RUNGE Regula - Germany
20. HEE Shannie Camilla - Denmark
GENERAL RANKING JUNIOR MEN:
1. JANSSENS Benjamin - France, EUROPEAN CHAMPION
2. DOUCET Thomas - France
3. DEROM Quentin - France
4. MAYET Romain - France
5. GIRAUD Charly - France
6. DUPIRE Antonin - France
7. TANNIGER Romain - Switzerland
8. VINTERS Kristaps - Latvia
9. TRAMIER Léopold - France
10. SCHMIDT Julian - Germany
11. HILL Grant - England
12. DE JONG Pim - Nederland
13. EVANS Kyle - England
14. OLSEN Fredrik Westeng - Norway
15. Mc BRIDE Daniel - England
16. LISOVSKIS Klavs - Latvia
17. FURLAN Mattia - Italy
18. MANATON Curtis - England
19. HLADIK Jakub - Czech Republic
20. CHALUPNY Matej - Czech Republic
21. HOOGLAND Jeffrey - Nederland
22. BUJAKI Bence - Hungary
23. SOPPELSA Dino - Switzerland
24. VAN OS Randy - Nederland
25. CLAESEN Chiel - Nederland
26. JOSDAL Andre - Norway
27. SZOBOSZLAI Patrik - Hungary
28. ROTH Axel - Germany
29. VAN DER BURG Dave - Nederland
30. KIM PENA Alejandro - Spain
31. HAYES Jordan - England
31. CASSANELLIMarco Edoardo - Italy
32. OTTO Fabian - Germany
33. LEHNER Severin - Germany
34. TOMCO Michal - Slovakia
35. KERN Samuel - Germany
36. SOENEN William - France
37. KISSLING Jan - Switzerland
38. JUILLERAT Damien - Switzerland
39. BOGAERTS Michael - Belgium
40. BAHR Nicolai - Germany
GENERAL RANKING ELITE MEN:
1. DAUDET Joris - France, EUROPEAN CHAMPION
2. TREIMANIS Edzus - Latvia
3. HAMON Thomas - France
4. VAN DER HEYDEN Jordy - Nederland
5. VAN GORKOM Jelle - Nederland
6. MOO CAILLE Moana - France
7. GODET Damien - France
8. AGUILUZ Andre Fossa - Norway
9. DE VECCHI Manuel - Italy
10. BRETHAUER Luis - Germany
11. JASPERS Martijn - Nederland
12. KARTFJORD Sebastian - Norway
13. THERKILDSEN Morten - Denmark
14. TEPPER Niels - Nederland
15. VEIDE Rihards - Latvia
16. VAN DE WETERING Glenn - Nederland
17. CALEYRON Quentin - France
18. LINDENMEYER Thorsten - Germany
19. SCHERPEN Martijn - Nederland
20. RICCARDI Romain - Italy
21. BAIER Maik - Germany
22. LEJINS Kristers - Latvia
23. GAGNU Francky - France
24. SVUB Jan - Czech Republic
25. GOUX Lilian - France
26. PELLUARD Vincent - France
27. SCHAEUFELIN Nickolas - Germany
28. KELLER Axel - Switzerland
29. CRISTOFOLI Roberto - Italy
30. PERRIER Julian - France
31. HARMSEN Joris - Nederland
32. TAIMS Kristers - Latvia
33. JACOBS Toon - Belgium
34. SCHLANG Daniel - Germany
35. KREBS Milan - Slovakia
36. GANSER Maximilian - Germany
37. LAUSTSEN Niklas - Denmark
38. NILSEN Per Erik - Norway
39. FANTONI Giacomo - Italy
40. DEMKIN Sergey - Russia
41. VODAK Marek - Czech Republic
42. KALTOFT Mike - Denmark
43. PRAJCZER Peter - Hungary
44. BALTZERSEN Henrik - Denmark
45. BIKNIUS Tautvydas - Lithuania
46. DEMONT Jonathan - Switzerland
47. ROZSENICH Gabor - Hungary
48. NORDKVIST Theis Thanning - Denmark
49. STRICKLAND Calum - England
50. CRESPO OLIVAN Ruben - Spain
51. LUCKHURST Billy - England
52. MIKKELSEN Sondre - Norway
53. GIOVANELLI Andrea - Italy
54. WATERHOUSE Scott - England
September 2011, USApioneer BMX racer Eric Rupeis nominated for a Lifetime Achiefment Award by the University of BMX Hall of Fame.
“Winners come and go. LEGENDS stay for ever”
Here a rider profile of a very special sportsman,ERIC RUPE. Eric now 48 years old, started his racing career in 1974, that about when BMX became an organized sports in the USA. Up till this day, Eric iscompeting at World TOP level in his age class, which is extraordinary. As far as we know, Eric is the only rider that has a record like shown below. For the University of BMX, European Hall of Fame, the very reason to nominate Eric Rupe for induction in the European Hall of Fame with a Lifetime Achiefment award.
NAME : Eric Rupe
ADDRESS : 22530 Clarendon Street
CITY : Woodland Hills, CA
COUNTRY : USA
DATE OF BIRTH : June 14, 1963
CHILDREN : Three boys names/birthdates Eric 8-5-84,John12-13-86 and Kevin9-13-88.
PROFESSION AT THIS MOMENT (explain a little about this job, has sport helped you with this?):
I still race BMX, but no longer on the professional level, though I have other duties as well.I drive our team rig to all the events and do all of the team set up and tear down.Hard work on top of still being a top competitor, but I love it.
BMX CAREER STARTED (year): since the start of BMX in 1974 and still counting!!!
MAIN RESULTS DURING THE YEARS (championships, nr. 1,2,3 spots) at NATIONAL LEVEL :
9 NBL Pro Titles (83-84 AA Pro) (87-88 Pro Cruiser) (95-96-04 Vet Pro)and (2000 A-Pro) (2002 Pro cruiser)
8 ABA Pro Titles (87-88 Pro Cruiser) (95-98 Vet Pro) (2000-2001 Vet Pro)
USAC National Champion 45 & Over Cruiser 2008-2009-2011
EUROPEAN LEVEL: No European Titles
WORLD LEVEL: IBMXF 87 & 89 Pro Cruiser Champion and UCI 2005-2006-2007 WorldChampion 40-44 Cruiser class. 2008-20092010-2011 World Champion 45 & Over
REMEMORABLE EVENTS and RESULTS:
My first NBL Pro title I’ll never forget. I was just 20 years old.My wife was there to share it with me.Every title means something special.Being voted into the ABA BMX Hall of Fame in 1988 is the biggest jewel in my crown.
WAS A MEMBER OF THE FOLLOWING TEAMS:
R&R 1976-1977; Schwinn 1977-1980; SE 1981; Mongoose 1982; Profile 1983; Mongoose 1984-1990; Parkpre 1995-1997; Mongoose 1997 – 2006; GT 2007 and still going.
WAS A PRIVATEER RIDING ON (bike brands):
Mongoose 1975; GHP 1991; Mongoose 1992-1994.
STOPPED CAREER AS ACTIVE BMX RACER IN (year):
NOT YET BABY… NOT YET!!!!!
STILL ACTIVE IN THE SPORT OF BMX ?
YES, active as… Full time racer & Road Team Manager for GT Bicycles
BEEN ACTIVE IN ANY OTHER SPORT: Play a lot of golf and ride MX. I have two Honda dirt bikes.
ANY GENERAL REMARKS TO BE MADE CONCERNING BMX (O.S. or present):
It’s the best sport I’ve ever known. BMX keeps families close. BMX builds character and teaches discipline. BMX keeps me in great shape even at 48 years old.
ANY ADDITIONAL REMARKS TO BE MADE:
I just want to thank my family (Dads Bob & John-Mom Toni Lee-brother Rob-sisters Laura & Jonna) for always supporting me. EVEN STILL TODAY, they always want to know where I’m headed next and how my results are. I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for keeping me safe, healthy, humble and for continuing to bless me beyond my wildest dreams. The late Russ Okawa, Skip Hess, Scot Briethaupt, Jim Alley, Bob Haro, Bill Thomas, Kozi Yamakoshi, the late Rod Pang, Brad Hughes, Larry Pizzi, Mike Ninteman (Ninty-Newman) and my three wonderful sons Rocky, John & Kevin. Without these people in my life, my life wouldn’t be what it is today. I am blessed.
Signed: ERIC RUPE.
September 15th., I received some very interesting news from Janis Grinvalds - Latvia, on the BMX scene in Russia.
One of my good contacts in Latvia is Janis Grinvalds - Latvia. just recently Janis made a nice and interesting trip to Saransk, Mordovia - Russia. Janis explained to me there were 2 surprises on BMX developments. One was at a BMX track in Moscow, a track located in a leisure park (like Slagharen in Holland) in the center of a very large neighbourhood. The track had a classic design but did have surprisingly facilities under it's starting hill. Everything was there, rooms for any purpose. The complex was fenced and even a policeman opened the gate for us. Janis was very impressed by the quality of this complex and the overall infrastructure: Fantastic! Here some pictures, just to give you an impression on BMX racing in Moscow.
Even the Minister of Sport visited the BMX track and promissed additional support for BMX. He enjoyed the Finals of the Russian CUP series very much, he stated. Many more respectable officials and politicians were present to see with their own eyes BMX racing for the first time. It's a well kept secret but also the President of the UCI, Mr.Pat Mcquaid was present at the Saransk BMX event.So, BMX is developing very well in Russia. Just alone in the Moscow area there are around 9 BMX tracks now and the do have their own website .....
September 29th., the ABA BMX Hall of Fame dinner & Induction Ceremony, San Diego - Cal., USA.
The plans were to attend this event on Thursday evening September 29th., but due to problems with my visa and flight, I only arrived the next day on Chula Vista. Pitty! This happening is becoming more and more a kind of reunion for old school top USA BMX racers. After 35 + years of BMX racing in the States, rider that had a future in sport back then, have a history now and ....... they want to share memories with their former competators and such. It's good that way, to show respect to one and eachother and it's good for the rest of the BMX world to honour ther hero's from back then, who shaped BMX towards what it is today.
On these picture, the entrance at the Olympic Training Center's main building, leading towards the ABA Hall of Fame with around 80 ABA (now USA BMX) HoF members at this time. Among myself and I am proud to be a member of the ABA Hall of Fame, inducted in 1998.
We also visited the ABA BMX Museum located in the building of the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. It's a small museum but worthwhile visiting for sure. Here some pictures taken that time.
September 30th - October 1st. the UCI BMX Supercross in Chula Vista - California - USA took place.
The complete story on my trip over to Chula Vista you will find down below in my report on the event, dated November 15th. It was a long trip for sure. Anyway I made it allright to the USA at last. Missed the ABA Hall of Fame induction ceremony, but did meet up with old friends on Friday and Saturday as you can see below. B.A. Anderson jr (ABA) showed me around a bit and the first person I did ran into was my best friend, former Pro BMX racer, Greg Esser. He did not schedule to be there, so he told me weeks before, but he was there allright!
Meeting old friends, some I did not see or many years. One could call this a reunion for sure. Chris Jenkins and girlfriend, Bernie Anderson and Clayton John (ABA) and Christophe Leveque, GD's discovery during an International Indoor race in Tours in 1989. In 1990 Christophe raced for MCS and beside becoming World Champion in his age class, MCS became World Champion manufacturer Teams in 1990.
We talk early '80 s here, GD with some old friends from that periode like Bob Haro, Danny Nelson, Dale Holmes, ............Steve Veltman (who still talks about the Worlds in Slagharen in 1983!), Brent and Brian Petterson, Greg Esser, Greg Hill, In Hee Lee, Leigh Donovan, Eric Rupe, John Purse, Chris Jenkens, Todd Lyons, Brian Lopes, Cash Matthews, Jason Richardson, Stephen Murray and many, many others.
I had a very special meeting with Stephen Murray and his sons. Also Stephen's dad was there. This was a very emotional moment since I did nog meet with Stephen since his accident. So good to see how he and his kids go about with eachother, realy amazing, RESPECT. I also have a lot of respect for Stephens friends, who is helping him out all the time. I also have a lot of respect for Stephen's Mom Synthia and Dad, who travel back and forward from England many times a year to visit Stephen and his family. I do wish them all the best for the future.
Then the actual racing started and what my thoughts were about that, you can read in my report (dated October 15th.) on the Chula Vista event done here. The final results of that event will follow now.
The result of the UCI BMX SUPERCROSS, Chula Vista, Cal., USA:
Elite Men: Elite Women:
1. Conner Fields USA 1. Arielle Martin USA
2. Raymon v.d. Biezen NED 2. Brook Crain USA
3. David Herman USA 3. Maria Pajon COL
4. Barry Nobles USA 4. Melinda McLeod AUS
5. Jelle van Gorkem NED 5. Caroline Buchanan AUS
6. Edzus Treimanis LAT 6. Sarah Walker NZL
7. Nicholas Long USA 7. Amanda Geving USA
8. Maris Strombergs LAT 8. Teagan O'Keeffe USA
The Supercrosstrack seen from the ABA National BMX track on top of the hill (close to the main entrance at the facility).
October 2nd., during the ABA National at Chula Vista - Cal.-USA, Greg Hill and Eric Rupe were inducted into the European BMX Hall of Fame.
Due to the fact the GSX Inc. (Johan Lindström) did not allow me to present the European BMX Hall of Fame awards during or better during intervals in between racing, ABA (B.A. Anderson jr.) was so kind to give me the oppertunity to present the awards during one of the intervals at their ABA National on Sunday. As you might know, the track were their National took place is located on the same ground at the Olympic training Center as the Supecross track. After a short speech I presented Eric and Greg their European BMX Hall of Fame awards. Pictures below will tell you the story.
The motivation to induct Eric and Greg into the European BMX Hall of Fame:
GREG HILL: The UNIVERSITY of BMX presents The European BMX Hall of Fame award to Greg Hill, as member of the European BMX Hall of Fame, being the first ever World Champion in the highest performance class at the time, during the first official World wide I.BMX.F. (International BMX Federation, integrated into the UCI since 1996) World Championship that took place in Dayton - Ohio, USA in July 1982. Waalre-Holland, September 29th. 2011.
ERIC RUPE: The UNIVERSITY of BMX presents this European BMX Hall of Fame, Lifetime achievement award to Eric Rupe, as member of the European BMX Hall of Fame, being the longest still racing professional bicycle moto-cross rider, actif for over 37 years without any interruption and performing at the highest level in competition classes concerned, during any periode of time. Eric Rupe started racing in 1974 and won 9 NBL Pro titles, 8 ABA Pro titles, 3 USAC titles and 9 I.BMX.F / UCI World titles up and till 2011. Waalre-Holland, September 29th. 2011.
October 15th., the third and last evaluation report out of 3 UCI BMX Supercross events in 2011.
UNIVERSITY of BMX
Dear friends in BMX,
This is my 3rd. and last evalution reportfor the time being, on a series of three BMX SX events in 2011. Again, this evaluation is ment to be constructive criticism not only by me, but also by several team-managers, trainers, riders, inside spectactors and pioneer top BMX'ers watching the events and the developments in our sport at this level, the past years.
The trip over to San Diego was a disaster, problems with my Esta form, bad weather in Philadelphia. Because of that I did miss 2 connecting flights, so …..…. I arrived 24 hours later then planned at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista and missed the ABA Hall of Fame award presentation and diner.
THE BMX ACCOMODATION.
On arrival at about 10 o´clock in the morning of Friday September 30th., an ABA National was going on atan up-to-date`standard` BMX track close to the Olympic Training Center main building. First impression I had on the Olympic Training Center was just great. Professional set up entrance, lots of parking space, plenty officials regulating traffic etc. Parking $ 10,00 per day! Entree fee was $ 25,00 for the ABA event. To be present at the UCI BMX SX event on Saturday another $ 25 p.p. had to be payed.
The ABA National was run at the `standard` BMX track from early in the morning on Friday till about 14.00 hours. After that, the time trials took place at the UCI BMX Supercross track about 3/400 meters away from this `standard` BMX track. The ABA National had a little over 200 moto´s so about 1000 to 1200 entries. Around the track present about 3 till 4000 spectators-fans. A so-called Factory lane area was set/up a little bit aside and in between the 2 tracks. Most well known BMX brands had their trucks, bikes and so on, displayed there. It looked fantastic, only not too many people did visit the area, to far away from both BMX tracks?
Overall impression. A fantastic accommodation, to be compaired with the NOC Papendal accommodation, both with a high standard of general organisation and both on National Olympic Training Center grounds. First some picture of the National BMX track.
THE BMX SX TRACK.
According to the riders taking part in these SX series, the Chula Vista SX track is the best out of the 2011 SXserie. Well layed down and the dirt of the track itself was hardend with a top soil called `soil-tac`. This material is used among others to harden the surface of sand landing strips for planes in desserts and such. So, it makes the track realy hard. One problem was the wind blowing in from the Ocean. Till about 14 / 15.00 hours there is always a strong wind blowing and with the high starting hill that can be tricky. I have been told that among others for that reason, the BMX SX track will be moved to the backside of a hill, close to the location of the present track. Good thing!
PRACTISE and TIME TRIALS.
Safety is and will remain a hot item at BMX SX events. During practise several riders got injured and were not able to race on Friday and Saturday. Because of the speed, the jumps and the track being that hard, when falling down, injuries will mostly be not minor but serious. Time trials, well I think all has been said about time trials already. One more time then. Seeing riders going around the track one by one, about 180 plus of them, is not very interesting to watch. Time trials are NO spectator drawing part of BMX racing. During the time trials no more then around 2/300 spectators were watching and around 50% of them left after about 1 hour. In the VIP area there were almost only specialists in BMX, former professional BMX racers, organisers and such. Most of them had the same opinion, time trials are boaring and don´t have anything to do with Bicycle Motocross racing. Main reason for most of them to stay was: free food and drinks!
Again here, time trials is NOT BMX racing. Riders coming over from Japan or from Europe, not making the right laptime to finish within the 64 number, after one lap this rider can go home again. Awaist of time, money and energy and almost no experience gained by the rider concerned.It is BMX racing when a max. of 8 riders compete against eachother in 3 moto´s, best 4 qualify for the next round. Advantage of executing BMX as it is ment to be is, less time needed then running 180 riders one at the time, plus this is what BMX is all about, RACING AGAINST EACHOTHER and NOT one at the time. Much more interesting for spectators too to have real racing going on. An Olympic medal to be won at the BMX time trial event in 2012 ......... what will be the value of that ?!
My advice to the UCI. After the Olympics cancel the time trial events. Better have a Olympic medal ready for a National Team event, so where a Country can win an Olympic medal! This is done in many other Olympic sports.
The actual UCI BMX SX event took place on Saturday October 1st. 2011. The fact that the ABA had scheduled a National event in combination with the BMX SX event, was a very good one. Probably the intention was to have many National riders ánd their supporters at the BMX SX on Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon. Well, that was kind of a disappointment. On Friday maybe around 300 spectators around the SX track in the afternoon and on Saterday maybe around 1000 spectators, no more!!!! I counted the grandstands and how many people could sit on them. On one side a maximum of around 1000 people could sit there and on the other side maybe 200. Well, I can tell you that both grandstand were not filled completely and my quess is that including lots a people present in the VIP area, there might have been around 1000 spectators, which in my opinion is not very good for such an important event. Making the sport more spectacular by building large starting hills and extreme jumps don't realy help getting spectators overthere, GSX Inc., does it?
On Saturday I stayed around the entrance of the BMX SX track for some time and did hear many parents complain about having to pay $ 25 per person, also for the children. It was too much money for many of them. So there was a potential of around 4000 people on the grounds present, only a few actualy came over to watch. The VIP area was very well filled with former top pro BMX'ers and others, around 100 persons.
Publicity wasn´t very well done either, anyway what I could see in the area. I went around in Chula Vista by car, went to a shoping center close by and so on. Nowhere any sign or poster to be found on the UCI BMX SX event. Even on the roads around the event, no sign or whatever, telling you about the event. Only when arriving close to the main gate of the Olympic Center, there were signs telling you that an event was going on at the Center, thats all! Sign did not tell you what kind of event was going on. So .... how serious does the organisertake UCI BMX SX events?
Racing on Saturday was o.k. and sometimes even exiting and that was the opinion of people (again mostly former professional bmx racers) around me in the VIP area too. Safety was an item again here. Several bad crashes and after being at three BMX SX events, some crashes are that bad, that they can be considered CAREER ENDING CRASHES. Injuries that bad, that riders will not be able to come back and be competative again. In first aid at Chula I saw one rider with his foot in a way, next to his leg. Kyle Bennett hurt his shoulder again, might be one fall too much for him. O.k. also at normal tracks people get hurt, but not as many get hurt as bad as in BMX SX.
Main reason, the way BMX SX tracks are built. High starting hill, means high speed (average 60 km p.h n Elite men class at the bottum of the hill). Tracks as hard as a normal road. Nothing but jumps up and till the finishline. Riders know and feel the danger, don't want to hit eachother in corners, so here comes the TRAIN.
Nothing oldfashion or backward thinking (this is a remark of the GSX inc. CEO by the way. He stated:persons with remark or critisicm on the SX tracks are old fashion and backwards thinking) in having a last straight of about 30/40 mtrs.with no jump, where riders have to realy race and where the difference between power among riders can make a difference. A BMX SX track lay/out should be a combination of technicque and power. Right now its 90% technique. By the way, its fantastic to see what riders can do technicaly wise, but thats an inside opinion. Spectators want to see riders RACE and not ROLE and see almost only “follow the leader” action.
The ONLY rider at this moment, able to race and pass riders as we used to see in BMX racing some time ago, is Joris DAUDET – France. Even with clips on he can cut/back and pass riders in corners (like at the Worlds in DK). You almost don´t see that anymore because riders are affraid of falling or hitting eachother. I believe it was in the semi final, Joris Daudet tried to cut back in the last corner but slipped his front wheel. Besides Joris himself, a couple of riders did fall down, a New Zealand and Australian rider. Both of them almost got in a feight with Joris and warned him: don´t ever do that again ! What do you mean guys, its RACING, things can happen.
Anyway, all has been said about clickpedals too. Again click pedals are dangerous and they took away what BMX is all about, real racing. So happy that in Europe young riders will not be allowed to race with click pedals anymore (I believe 13 and under No clips). Probalby that will mean less bad injuries and riders learning better skills. AND if everybody is on normal flatpedals also in Junior and Elite classes, still the strongest in all fields, power / technique etc., will win anyway, so for the best of the sport: ban clips pedals.
Concerning SAFETY at Moto/GP´s, F/1 event and so on, in the past 20 years, all has been about safety. In BMX by building extreme tracks, allowing click pedals, not working seriously enough on protective gear and things, safety has gone down.
What I have seen myself and heard from riders is that the medical attendance in itself is very professional and good. Specialy the Doctor always present at these BMX SX events is doing a great job and deserve respect. It says enough about Supercross events/racing, that the Doctor is part of the officials team and is on the track itself all the time.
It would be very interesting to know how many riders were injured this year in BMX SX events and what their injuries were. Are medical reports sent to the UCI and what does UCI do with those reports? It would sound normal to me, that if most bad accidents happen after the first dubble jump for instance, UCI would say: lets change that obstacle to make it safer or lets go down in speed by lowering the starting hill a couple of meters. It also might be possible to draw a conclusion from this medical report, that for instance the click pedals are the cause of certain injuries. Maybe for the UCI a motivation to ban click pedals?
Talking about banning click pedals, some people say to me: click pedals being there now, is the technical development in BMX. I don't agree, clicks have nothng to do with the technical progress of equipment in our sport. As a matter of fact, it made the sport more dangerous, took away the meaning of real BMX racing and now BMX looks like “follow the leader” most of the time. BMX is not road or velodrome cycling.
UCI RULES AND REGULATIONS ON SX EVENTS.
What I have learned this year being present at the BMX SX events is that UCI should have strict rules on how to built a BMX track in general and more specific in building BMX SX tracks.
GSX Inc. or any other promotor, organisercan do what they want at this moment. If the somebodydecides, we will make the starting hill another 2 meters higher, they just do it.
Also what happend this year, building the Papendal Holland track, should not be possible during a running year. Changing the jumps, making the peaks of a double jump 50 cm or 100 cm wider apart. Putting in a so-called box-jump, which is crazy and has nothing to do with BMX racing. Enough has been said about this, hopefully we all learn form this. UCI can make rules for this kind of things and GSX or any other organisation as such, has to execute them. This is also to protect the riders. I also think UCI should have ruling in headlines on how to market and promote a SX event, how to dress a track, in general how to built a track. Check my remarks on the borders of the jumps at the Copenhagen WC event. Glad nothing happened there, but riders could have been hurt badly.
During the events I went to this year, I did find many people (spectators, riders and bmx specialists) complaining about a lot of things that have been said in my reports on those SX events. However, complaining and talking about stuff around the track will not help anybody any further. It should be possible to express one's idea's at least to the UCI and GSX inc.
Riders have no possibility to put down a complain or give comments on track lay-out, safety or anything else. In Copenhagen it was the GSX inc. CEO's idea to even fine riders that did not agree with or had outspoken critisicm on what GSX was doing. Crazy situation.
It looks like people are “affraid” speaking out their mind to those who should know what lives among the riders. It's also crazy that the CEO of GSX inc. gives a reaction on facebook, which seems to be the place to write down your critisicm now-a-days, “you guys are old fashion and backwards thinking”. Probably this CEO does not understand people are worried about developments in BMX within SX. He feels it like a personal attack on his person and that is NOT what the critisicm is all about. And... a serious CEO with the right background and education should “listen” to what is said and learn from that, not waving it away like, “you guys don't know what you are talking about”. WRONG.
My advice to the UCI: at the level of Junior (future) and Elite men and women, there should be some kind of “riders group” being able to communicate first of all with UCI and also with GSX inc., on items as track design, safety and racing rules. So many riders have such good ideas, but it seems they are never heared. Within the UCI, the BMX committee has 5 members. Four of them are former top BMX racers. What are they doing?
I have the experience that, when trying to communicate with among others GSX inc. “nobody is home”. O.k. they will be busy for sure, but NOT communicating, like not answering any mail one sends, is very unprofessional and in the end deadly for an organisation. The present felling is (and this is what others told me in Europe and now also in the USA, ánd I can confirm that myself) that GSX inc. can do as it pleases in all fields, for good but also for bad of the sport. They just don't listen/communicate and act like a dictorial organisation.
My advice to UCI: I also believe UCI should have an Observor at all World Cup, Supercross and World Championship events just to check if races are run according the UCI rules and regulations. If things are not done correct, he/she (UCI person) can decide otherwise. UCI should stay on top of things and must be the final decisionmaker, I think.
GENERAL REMARKS at last.
The BMX athletes today are great sportmen and women. Abilities have been improved a lot the past 5 till 8 years. It's great to see how even in Elite women class the level has grown so much. Jumping most obstacles is common now at International competition, fantastic. The problems that BMX SX is running into, are not caused by the riders. It's because of the riders that watching a SX event still is kind of interesting. But ... it can be much better!
The feeling is also that GSX Inc. thinks, that they are the most important party and not the riders. WRONG, GSX Inc. is here THANKS to the athletes in BMX. GSX Inc. should serve the riders, they should create the best conditions for the riders to race in. They are liable to serve BMX SX and such. Being present at these 3 SX events in 2011, I also noticed that the CEO at GSX inc. keeps everything under a tight control. Among others: Speakers do have strict orders what they can say and can not say on the PA system and are corrected if they step out of line. Speakers only talk about the race, something everybody present can see with their own eyes. No info on background of athletes and / or of history of the sport, mostly nothing more then just a race report while there is so much to tell about BMX in general to make it interesting for “outside BMX spectators” present at these events. I found SX events on that point "inside and almost only racing” orientated. Advice: just look how in other international sports announcing is done on the events itself and on TV. Still a lot to be learned here.
At the Chula Vusta event you have almost all pioneer Pro BMX racers of the USA present. Also present former top riders from Europe. During the racing, several times there are brakes and most of the time nothing happens then. Why not interview several of those pioneer BMX'ers / ABA Hall of Fame members in this intervals? Stephen Murray was there, why not try to have an interview with him and his sons? During one of the longer brakes a rock band was playing life. Only about 1000 persons to listen to the band. This does not add anything real entertaining to the event at all (same like at the Worlds in Copenhagen: almost nobody was realy interested in the band and singer there). If you have life music during the event, make sure it's a top act which brings lots of fans to the track, who want to listen to the act ánd watching BMX before and after at the same time (we did that with AVRO TV in the '80 s with bands that were number 1 on the hit-charts. Too many people came to the event, the accomodation was packed and....there is prove of that: tapes available of the events).
The UNIVERSITY of BMX, EUROPEAN BMX HALL of FAME AWARD PRESENTATION.
Away from all of the above, the University of BMX wanted to present 2 American BMX hero's their Hall of Fame award. Greg Hill and Eric Rupe have been inducted into the European BMX Hall of Fame: Greg Hill for being the first ever official World Champion in the highest performance class at the time within the first ever official World Wide BMX organisation the I.BMX.F. , now UCI. Eric Rupe for being the longest still racing, without any interruption, at the highest level in each of the performance classe during time, for 37 years now. A life time achievement award.
I (GD) wanted to present these award on the Saturday UCI BMX SX event, during one of the intervals on that day. Weeks before I did sent several mails to GSX inc. to ask for their permissing. NO REPLY!
During the time being at Chula Vista myself, through the ABA (being the host of this event?) I tried to get permission from GSX inc. to present these 2 awards. Finaly an answer came back: NOT possible because this is a “life” TV broadcasting!!!!
Shortly after that, I ran into mr. GSX himself, Johan Lindström and I asked him again: why is it not possible to present these 2 awards to Greg Hill and Eric Rupe during one of the many intervals on Saturday? A new reason came up now, nothing about life TV however, but: sorry we can't do that. No European awards can be presented here in the US! Again aBS answer. ABAhelped ushere and allowed us to present these awards. The next day (Sunday), these European BMX Hall of Fame awards were presented to Greg and Eric during the ABA National taking place at the Olympic Training Center, thanks to the ABA for helping out here!
A short history and something about respect!
In 1979 I did meet George E. Esser (N.B.L.) for the first time during the JAG BMX Worlds in Indianapolis. In 1980 George talked to me about starting an international BMX organisation run by National organisations worldwide. Since I speak 4 languages and had a lot of experience in the field of organising ánd Europe being a developing continent in BMX with many countries involved,George wanted me to be his secretary. So, together we made plans for such an organisation in 1980, did meet again during the JAG BMX Worlds in Indianapolisand finaly in 1981 the I.BXM.F. was formed. For 5 years I “pulled the wagon”, did all the work and even connected I.BMX.F with FIAC already at the time (during a UCI – FIAC/FICP congress in Leicester – England). Many years later I.BMX.F. merged with UCI and within that merge my friend Louis Vrijdag played an important role (Do read all about this on this web-site).
In 1994 I was appointed project-manager World Cup series UCI. You can read all about those development on my website www.universityofbmx.com in section “History of BMX” and then click on the years mentioned. Ending 1997 I did retire as project-manager. The World Cup/Supercross activities got a boost again after it was announced BMX would become an Olympic sport in 2008.
Conclusion of all of the above is, that GSX inc. is here and now acting as they do, BECAUSE of what happened in the past. I think it is showing NO RESPECT at all for pioneer riders (in this case Greg Hill and Eric Rupe) and organisers (in this case GD and ABA) NOT allowing awards being presented during the Saturday UCI BMX SX event. No respect for the history of BMX in general, only thinking of themselves. That's they end of that.
Well, this is it. As I told you before, this will be my last evaluation for the time being. Ofcourse I will follow developments in my sport Bicycle Moto-cross constantly and absolutely give my opinion on future developments which you can read at www.universityofbmx.com in the year concerned in the “History of BMX” section. Wishing you all good luck and wisdom making desicions, in making our sport a professional sport in all fields.
University of BMX
On October 3rd. I left Chula Vista to fly to Ft. Lauderdale and stay a couple of days with my friends, the Esser family, in Pompano Beach. We had a great time overthere, meeting with old friends like Jeff Devido (MCS), Bill Prince, John Hutelin and son his Zack and others. Greg and I also had lunch with Renny Roker one fo these days. Renny R. came all the way from around Daytona to talk with us on his project. The only thing we made very clear to Renny was, that after several years of "talking" it was time to prove he did mean serious business getting JAG BMX and his track off the ground. Most inside BMX people lost faith in Renny at this time. Only time will tell if RR can pull his project off!
Here some pictures: Melanie Esser did make us a great diner and stories were told. Also spent some time at the beach in Deerfield with Melanie and little Alex.
November 18th., I just received the sad news another good friend did pass away, John Kovachi (r.i.p.).
I know John Kovachi from our first BMX trip to the USA in 1979, the JAG BMX Worlds and also from the times I spent some time with the Esser family in the 80's. He was a very kind man and became thé specialist in building BMX wheels. He died far too young at the age of 46. The was burried October 27th. 2011. May he rest in peace.
HISTORY of BMX, year 2012.
January, a historical fact is that the NBL is no more and ABA has been transferred to USA BMX.
After many years of hard competition between among others the NBA, NBL and the ABA, in the USA, finaly there is one leading BMX organisation in the USA now called ... USA BMX. This means all attention can go to promoting BMX, training riders and so on. This will be for the better for bmx in the United States for sure and results in international racing will proive that. Also their new glossy magazine PULL will add to its professional image. All the best USA BMX !
January 21st., me and my wife were invited by Khaled to visited his exhibition hall of old school material.
Some time November last year, through Serge Mannee I received an invitation from an old school BMX bike collector named Khaled, to be present on Saturday evening January 21st at his annual meeting of BMX collectors from Holland and Belgium. During that weekend there also was the Bicycle exhibition in Kortrijk called VELOFOLLIES, which event also included a International BMx race. So we could make a nice combination, visiting the bicycle show ánd BMX race in Kortrijk and in the evening go to Khaled's place for the annual collectors meeting.
The International BMX race in KORTRIJK , a two day event, determined also the 2012 European Indoor Champion in Elite and Junior classes. The track was o.k., finaly a real BMX track again, so with dirt and no concrete or any orther hard surface. This was a real Bicycle MOTO-CROSS event. I find several top riders complaining about the track, surface just a little bit too soft and here and there to many bumbs. Don't complain guys, this is REAL BMX racing. All day long the event did attrack lots of people from the bicycle exhibition in the other Halls, so good promotion for BMX.
Overall Standings up and till Saturday 21st.
1. LIGTLEE Elis Nederland
2. CHRISTENSEN Simone T. Denmark
3. MIKKELSEN Live Andrea Norway
4. PRIES Nadja Germany
5. MAIRE Camille France
6. NAVRESTAD Elisabeth Norway
7. BAAUW Judy Nederland
8. VEDDER Tamar Nederland
1. HORAKOVA Jana Czech Republic
2. RIMSAITE Vilma Lithuania
3. POTTIER Magalie France
4. AILLOUD Eva France
5. HLADIKOVA Aneta Czech Republic
6. HEREIJGERS Maartje Nederland
7. SMULDERS Laura Nederland
8. KLAUS Lieke Nederland
1. MAHIEU Romain France
2. MIR Amidou France
3. SCHMIDT Julian Germany
4. TRAMIER Léopold France
5. DUMAIN Antoine France
6. VEKSA Kristaps Latvia
7. LINK Mark Nederland
8. LEVAY Maël France
1. TREIMANIS Edzus Latvia
2. VEIDE Rihards Latvia
3. VAN GENDT Twan Nederland
4. VAN DER BIEZEN Raymon Nederland
5. VAN DER HEIJDEN Jordy Nederland
6. ANDRE Sylvain France
7. LEJINS Kristers Latvia
8. HAMON Thomas France
THE OLD SCHOOL COLLECTORS MEETING AT KHALED'S.
We arrived at the anual meeting at Khaled's place at around 19.30 hours. Several collectors were there already. I must day, that this is one of the best, probalby THË best collection of old school bikes I have ever seen. The quality of "restauration" was fantastic, frames newly painted or chromed, everything did shine and glitter. Most bikes were as original as new. Almost everybrand was represented a few brands were missing, like a WEBCO and an CW, but Khaled promissed that he woudl have his collection extended with those brands next year. Big compliment for Khaled, who only started collecting old school bmx bikes ending 2008, early 2009 when he was looking for his old BMX bike from back in the time. When he got that back, the graziness started and he now has a collection of about 70 + complete bikes and several frames and a lot of parts. Also some uniforms or part of know uniforms were exposed. In all a realy exceptional collection of old school BMX bikes and things, worthwhile showing.
Khaled took good care of all of us, arranged a disco, had a typical Belgium "Friture kot" come to his house, we eat a lot of special Belgium french fries ánd more then enough drinks were handed out. We all had a great time. At around 23.00 hours we left for our hotel that Khaled and Serge arranged for us, thanks guys, this was appreciated very much. See you all next year again I hope.
Januari 21st. I did see for the first time a new magazine called 2024 bicycle motorcross magazine.
I only was at the Indoor event in Kortrijk for a short while and when I was walking around I met with Johnathan Hearn, the publisher/editor of 2024 bicycle motocross magazine, made in England.
Looking at the magazine and reading it, I was surprised by the high standard of this magazine in the field of stries, pictures and so on. I must say, this is one of the best magazines I have seen so far. It's international (and not only USA but European wide) orientated and also that is very special for an English magazine. It would be great if this magazine could become the leading EUROPEAN BMX Magazine, so don't hesitate to subscribe. Among the photgraphers, Jerry Landrum (USA) of BMX Mania (website) and Billy Wright (GBR).
Results Elite Men:
1. Raymon v.d. Biezen - NED
2. Louis Brethauer - GER
3. Jelle v. Gorkum - NED
4. Maik Baier - GER
5. Emilio Falla - ECU
6. Manuel de Vecchi - ITA
7. Danny Kelog - PHI
8. Roberto Christofoli - ITA
March 18th., a group of German Old School BMX collectors visited the BMX MUSEUM - Holland.
Due to the fact the BMX MUSEUM owner Mike Janssen was not able to welcome the group of German O.S. collectors himself, Mike's dad Jan and Gerrit Does were acting as hosts on Sunday March 18th. Most of the German collectors were present at around 12.00 hours. Coffee and the famous "Limburgse Vla" was presented to each and everyone (courtesy of Jan Janssen). After that they all went around in the BMX Museum, looked at the bikes and frames present, watched video's, did check O.S. magazines and even dressed themselve with O.S. BMX clothing. Many questions were asked and stories were told, among others who designed the Patterson Logo's, their raceshirts etc. as well as the background story on the WHEELS bicycles and TEAM from England, just to give you a few examples. They all had a great day and went home at around 16.00 hours. Here some pictures just to give you an impression of this day and the visitors:
Here the names of the German collectors present during this day:
1. Christian Noczynski, 2. Patrick Wiegand, 3. Frank Steffens, 4. Gino Cortese, 5. Alfredo Cortes, 6. Ingo Keller, 7. Marijus Buntic, 8. Jakob Schröder, 9. Pedro Dragoslis, 10. Willibert Holtz and 11. Massimo Vallo. Far right host Gerrit Does and on left on knees host Jan Janssen.
April 13-14th. UCI BMX Supercross Randaberg - Norway.
May 4th - 6th. UCI BMX European Challenge and Championship 2012 in Orléan - France.
Overall results over 12 rounds Valkenswaard NED Klatovy CECH Geneve SUI Kortrijk BEL Creazzo ITA Orléan FRA
Junior Novice Women:
1. USOVA Anastasia Russia EUROPEAN CHAMPION
2. SAILER Sarah Germany
3. THIBAUT Sandy France
Junior Novice Men
1. CHRISTENSEN Chris Tetsche Denmark EUROPEAN CHAMPION
2. GONZALEZ BERNARD Xavier France
3. BENSINK Niels Nederland
1. MIKKELSEN Live Andrea Norway EUROPEAN CHAMPION
2. CHRISTENSEN Simone T. Denmark
3. PRIES Nadja Germany
1. AILLOUD Eva France EUROPEAN CHAMPION
2. HORAKOVA Jana Czech Republic
3. HLADIKOVA Aneta Czech Republic
1. MIR Amidou France EUROPEAN CHAMPION
2. MAHIEU Romain France
3. SCHMIDT Julian Germany
1. TREIMANIS Edzus Latvia EUROPEAN CHAMPION
2. VEIDE Rihards Latvia
3. VAN DER HEIJDEN Jordy Nederland
May 11th., Eddy King (USA) visits the Dutch BMX Museum in Megen - Holland.
A couple of days ago, Mike Janssen owner of the Dutch BMX Museum, did sent a request to help him out having a special quest at the BMX Museum in Megen this upcoming Friday. Eddy King, a BMX legend form the USA and member of the USA BMX Hall of Fame, had excepted an invitation by Mike to visit his Museum. Danny Hartwig, Mike Hogerheijde and myself (GD) were asked to act as hosts. Eddy was staying with a friend in Amsterdam at the time and would also be present during the UCI BMX Supercross at Papendal in Arnhem.
Eddy and his friend together with her partner arrived at around 11 o'clock as scheduled. At around 15.00 hours we all left the building after a fantastic afternoon at the Museum with Eddy and friends. We talked history and present developments in BMX, walked around the bikes in the Museum and stories were told. Ofcourse Eddy had to sign the Wall of Fame at the main entrance of the Museum. Afterwards we learned Eddy had a great time and enjoyed himself very much indeed.
May 12-13th, the UCI BMX Supercross II at Papendal - Holland.
For the 2nd. time a UCI BMX Supercross event took place at the NOX-NSF grounds in Papendal - Arnhem, Holland. As you all can read in the 2011 report/evaluation on that event, several things did not happen as they should have been, anyway in my and several other persons opinions. Therefore it was very good to see that the actual organiser of this event, NOC-NSF and BMX Holland, took good notice of the remarks and advices and came up with among others a changed Supercross track. Here my personal findings and a few advices to the UCI as well as a couple of tips for the KNWU and NOC-NSF/ BMX Holland.
Evaluation on the UCI BMX Supercross II, in Papendal-Arnhem, Holland.
Actual racing technical organiser of the event was GSX inc. (Johan Lindtröm). Can't say much about the racing technical aspect of the event. What I could see on TV on Friday was o.k. and on Sunday when I was actualy present at the facility, from the ouside in, it all looked o.k. It was very good to see that the UCI BMX coordinator, mrs. Ellen Bollansee was present and closely followed the racing technical activities. It is good that the UCI checks the agreed on and running UCI BMX rules and regulations, actualy at the faclities.
NOC-NSF (Jochem Schellens) and BMX Holland b.v. (Eric Kersten) did a great job prepairing the BMX facilities. They changed the track, took amon other the box-jump out and beside the track itself they took very good care of Parking, Entrance, VIP accomodation, Entertainment and so on. It all looked very professional. In comparison with last year, the entertainment section liek the Disney BMX track, the BMX dirt track, special kids jump area and the BMX Freestyle section, was very well set up and did draw many spectators and youngsters using these facilities. Well done.
In general one can say, a job well done this year and that goes in general for all parties participating. My slogan is, It was good, but it can be better ! So here a view remarks - advices and tips that might improve the quality and the level of organisation of this prestigeous
Concerns: Report/evaluation on the UCI BMX SX in Papendal – Holland, May 12-13th. 2012
Please find here my report/opinion on the UCI BMX SX in Papendal – Holland on May 12-13th. 2012. This report only concerns the final day of the event, Sunday May 13th.
The BMX accomodation.
Looking from the outside in, the overall accomodation is just great and I think I can say, maybe the best in the World Cup – SuperCross series: The entrance is professionaly set up, reception entering the accomodation is good, fantastic hotelaccomodation on the grounds itself as wel as a Van der Valk Hotel at about 100 mtrs from Papendal. Arriving at the BMX accomodation, there is plenty of Parking space. Ticket boxes are o.k. and when entering the BMX grounds, again plenty of space, entertainment for the youngsters, food facilities, a grandstand holding 4 till 5000 people and a professional set up VIP area. This time the podium was set up behind the grandstand on the entertainment field. Everything well organized.
The BMX track.
It was good to see that positif changes have been made to the track. The so-called “box-jump” of last year, that had nothing to do with BMX, was gone. The track looked smooth with half way a difficult section and I mean the section were Robert de Wilde crashed twice. But again, that's BMX. A track must not be too easy as well and …. its BMX! No remarks to make here anymore. The number of accidents/bad crashes, were much lower then in 2012, due to the changes made in the track design ánd riders in general adjusting to the new situation quickly. Again SAFETY should be a hot item at all times. Still some very hard crashes, but that's the consequent of the speed riders go and the many jumps on which they can fall in an unfortunate way. In my opinion, the bad injuries occur mostly because of the riders being clipped in.
Also a different medical crew was on the infield, compaired with last year. I understand that last years group did not want to be involved in “dangerous sports” anymore, where very heavy accidents occur!?
In general very happy to see the changes and no remarks to make so far.
I want to say it one more time, the “time trials” are a waist of time, don't add any exitement to the event as a whole, boring to watch and frustrating for those riders not qualifying and can go home right away after 1 lap of racing. I did see in Chula Vista last year as well as here in Papendal. Last year there were about 1000 people watching the time trials in the grandstands. Now everybody knows what “time trails” mean …. my quess is that there were maybe 4 till 500 spectators watching the time trials in the grand stands this time maybe even less. 2013 might be even worse, if time trials will be continued then.
My advice: UCI....get ride of the time trials from 2013 on and add a “racing” aspect instead. I know, a golden Olympic medal in 2012 for the time trial winner, but that's a very thin gold medal, no real value! The outside BMX sports journalists, just laugh about time trial aspect of BMX!First: Just let riders qualify on first day of racing by running three moto's. Second: Think about a National team competition, after the moto's on the first day, with riders present. Make it a BMX of Nations competition, with in the end of the SX series a World Cup/SXChampion of Nations.
The actual racing on Sunday.
At this event there were 132 Elite men and 42 Elite women that participated. Racing on Sunday was good. I must say that I have a lot of respect for the Elite Women riders. In the past 8 years the technical abilities of World class women riders in these World Cup / Super Cross events have improved incredebily, respect! Elite Men class was very exiting and we did see some good and close competition with a great winner, Maris Strombergs.
Another thing that I think is very important and needed is the fact that the UCI BMX Coordinator Ellen Bollansee indeed follows developments very closely within these World Cup / Super Cross series. A promotor should not be able to do as he pleases and must stick to the rules and regulations of the UCI. Again, safety should have first priority and therefore it is good that UCI issues strick rules on the designs of these type of tracks. I was very glad to see that the UCI BMX Coordinator was following the races closely for among others, that reason.
Some general remarks: Spectators.
I found it disappointing to see that there were less spectators then last year. I compaired pictures of the grandstands of 2011 with 2012 and my quess is at least 10% less spectators this time.What does this tell us?Not enough publicity? Publicity through social media is o.k. but the problem is that one only reaches already BMX related people, they are the “inside BMX spectators” a limited group of people. We need to inform the masses, the outside BMX people!
My opinion is that for an Olympic sport, BMX gets too little attention. Who is responsable for publicity conserning the WC/SX events. Just connecting through "social media" isn't enough. To reach the “potential outside BMX spectator”, still newspapers, radio and TV are the best media to promote an event, on forehand.Even in this Olympic year, I did not read any good article on BMX in among ohter the largest National newspaper, “The Telegraaf” or no article in our regional newspaper “het Eindhovens Dagblad”. BMX originated from the South of our country were “het Eindhovens Dagblad” is situated. Many still interested in BMX former BMX'ers live in the South and might have come to Papendal, IF they had known about it.In this Olympic year my opinion is that in general BMX here in Holland gets too little till almost no publicity. So, a new challenge for those responsable in this field.
Presentation of awards.
It seems to be a problem that is hard deal with. Most of the time everybody is gone home when the presentation of awards take place and thats a pitty. We should be able to show respect for the riders and stay. However, most people want to go home fast after the racing is done. What can be done to keep spectators till after the presentation of awards? If next year a World Cup/SX of Nations race will be included in these event, these finals could be raced after the Elite men and women have finished their main event ánd have been presented their awards. Most likely spectators will remain in their seats for the presentation of awards, because they want to watch which country will win the National Team race. Just an idea to think about. Have the presentation of awards on the infield of the BMX track instead of at space away from the BMX track. Why? …. everybody can come up with the motivation why.
Shows, Bands / singers performing. In principal the same comment as with the presentation of awards. Having a band or singer perform after the races are over, probably around 10/15 % of the spectators will stay to watch that. Better have artists perform during the event, during intervals. Nothing new probably, but I just mention it one more time. It mus be said, in general a very well organised event overall. Anxious to see what the UCI BMX Worlds and the Olympics in England will bring us. Good luck you all women and men world class BMX racers!
Final results in Elite Men and Elite Women classes.
BMX Supercross WC 2012 - Papendal (NED). Number of entries by NOC as of 11 MAY 2012. Timing and Results by www.bmxholland.com www.bmx-results.com
Total number of riders
Country Elite Men Elite Women Total riders
ARG - Argentina 2 2 4
AUS - Australia 10 4 14
BEL - Belgium 1 1 2
BRA - Brazil 3 4 7
CAN - Canada 4 - 4
CHI - Chile 1 - 1
COL - Colombia 6 - 6
CZE - Czech Republic 5 3 8
DEN - Denmark 4 1 5
ECU - Ecuador 2 - 2
ESP - Spain 4 - 4
FRA - France 18 8 26
GBR - Great Britain 3 1 4
GER - Germany 4 1 5
HUN - Hungary 2 - 2
ITA - Italy 5 - 5
JPN - Japan 2 - 2
LAT - Latvia 6 1 7
LTU - Lithuania 1 - 1
MEX - Mexico 1 - 1
NED - Netherlands 17 4 21
NOR - Norway 3 - 3
NZL - New Zealand 6 1 7
PUR - Puerto Rico 1 - 1
RSA - South Africa 1 1 2
RUS - Russian Federation 1 - 1
SUI - Switzerland 7 1 8
USA - USA 13 6 19
VEN - Venezuela 1 1 2
Total: 132 42 174
Number of NOCs: 27 18 29 countries represented.
A race report on the Supercross in Papendal: Maris Strombergs (Latvia) and Alice Post (USA) win in Papendal.
Olympic Champion and former World Champion Maris Strombergs grabbed the gold at the UCI BMX Supercross series in Papendal the Netherlands. Remarkable was the fact that the eight riders in the men’s main final were all from different countries showing that the level of BMX Racing is rising all over the world.
The rider from Latvia, that some call ‘the Machine’, has a clear focus in 2012. Today Strombergs proved he is getting ready for London 2012, only stopping in Birmingham for the World Championships on the way.
Elite men Strombergs (LAT), Willoughby (AUS) and Herman (USA) Sam Willoughby finished second in another photo finish. The Australian rider crashed hard during the time trials on 12 May. He pulled of a small miracle by being on the bike. Let alone racing and finishing second in one of the toughest finals ever on the longest track on the Supercross circuit.
American David Herman finished third. His fellow countryman Connor Fields did not make the finals. Finishing last in the ¼ finals eliminated Fields. The Vegas kid that has won the three previous Supercross World Cup series tried everything but could not find a passing lane anywhere. Maris Strombergs was happy with the win, but has something else on his mind. “Being defending champion puts pressure on me” “I am not focusing on a Supercross tittle this year. It is no secret that it is all about the Olympics and the Worlds tis year. Olympics is a big thing in BMX. Me being a defending Olympic champion puts a lot of pressure on me and my expectations are always high. But I get older and wiser and I am confident. So I want to be a 100% by the time the Olympics come.” That was a close finish? “Yeah maybe I was getting to excited to early. Coming out of the last turn I had nothing left, my legs were burning. I also made some mistakes and Sam nearly got me!”
Alise Post definitely on her way back with this win Alise Post (USA) was super excited with her first win after coming back from an unfortunate crash last July 2011. Post was the only female rider jumping the triple at the end of the first straight and that gave her the lead she kept until the Papendal finish line. With that magic jump Post held off Caroline Buchanan who is in excellent form at the moment. Buchanan who had won the time trials finished in second place and Laetitia Le Corguille (FRA) grabbed third place.
Alise Post stepped of the podium soaked in Champagne and said: “It is huge A big win for me. I got hurt last year and I missed Olympic points. It is huge for me going in the worlds, big confidence boost. My first straight in the final was not great. I needed something. I jumped the triple in practice and had not hit it since. It was kind of a split decision moment. I knew I had to do it to get me out in front and I went for it. After that I tried to focus on the moment. Not to make any mistakes. Caroline and the other girls are great riders. I just wanted to cross the line first and I did.”
1. Strombergs M (LAT) 38.627
2. Willoughby S (AUS) +0.016
3. Herman D (USA) +0.998
4. Ramirez Yepez CA (COL) +1.880
5. Willers M (NZL) +14.269
6. Van Gendt T (NED) +1:09.274
7. Caleyron Q (FRA) +2:09.999
8. Nyhaug T (CAN) DNF
1. Post A (USA) 38.670
2. Buchanan C (AUS) +0.264
3. le Corguille L (FRA) +0.705
4. Geving A (USA) +1.294
5. Pottier M (FRA) +1.864
6. Crain B (USA) +3.059
7. Hladikova A (CZE) +3.534
8. Smulders L (NED) +3.798
May 24th - 27th., the UCI BMX World Championships in Birmingham City - England.
The time-schedule for a BMX Worlds.
Now-a-days World Championships do take some time. Officialy it's a program lasting a week long. This Worlds started with preparation on Monday 21th, but even 1 week before that the track was being built in the NIA , the Nationa Indoor Arena, in Birmingham. Registration opens on Monday as well as Accreditation. On Tuesday the same procedure plus practise of all Challenge classes and the Master classes takes place. At the end of the afternoon the Team managers meeting is on. On Wednesday practise again, the Oifficial Opening at 18.00 hours and after that again a Team managers meeting. Thursday the World Challenge classes for 14 and under riders does take place. Racing from moto's through to the finals and in de evening training for Junior and Elite women and men.
On Friday the Worlds Challenges classes 17 and over take place as well as practise again for Junior and Elite riders (m/w). In the evening races racing from the 1/4 finals to finals in the World Challenge classes 17 and over. That evening end with the super finals Time Triasl riding for Junior and Elite men and women.
Saturday is actualy the most important day. First the World Challenge 15, 16 year old and the Masters classes are run with in the evening the UCI BMX World Championship in Junior and Elite men and women classes. This program ends at around 22.00 hours, including the prize giving ceremoney.
On Sunday The Word Cruiser Challenge is run. All cruiser classes perform here from 10 till around 15.00 hours and after that a short closing ceremony takes place after which everybody goes his or her way. All in all a very long and tiring week for competators but specialy for all officers and officials involved.
Here some picture of the BMX track being built in the weeks before June 21st. A lot of dirt had to be brought in and starting hills (now-a-days there are 2!!) to be built. Must say a very nice track was laid down here, one of thé best I ever say in England (since 1982).
My report on the 31st. UCI BMX Worlds in Birmingham - England.
The History of BMX, "the Present can´t exist without the Past". I don't want to write down a "normal" race- report. You can find that in so many magazines or on the many BMX internet sites. I want to give you my opinion and add remarks on the event. Here we go!
Again, here my opinion and remarks on what I saw during the 2012 UCI BMX World Championship in Brimingham. Again, its just my opinion, still I want to share it with you all. I am looking from the ouside in and I also added some opinions and comments from people (most English) around the track and involved in organizing events or even this event. I must say that I was very surprised by the high standard of organization of this event, looking at it racing technically. I never did see such a well organized event in England since 1981.
We arrived in Birmingham on Thursday evening, went to the NIA for our accreditation on Friday morning around 11.00 hours. Walking through the City of Birmingham I noticed NO banners or posters on this UCI BMX Worlds, nothing!!! My conclusion, very poor promotion/advertising of the event. Afterwards I learned from inside people that because of a budget problem (not enough money!), British Cycling had to cut on promotional expenses? Pitty and I can't understand that in combination with the Olympics. BMX still not that important then to them?
It was very noticable too during the days I went over to the NIA to just have a look inside, the Grandstand were never completely filled completely. Normaly this hall can holt 8 through 10.000 persons. Part of the seat could not be used due to the location of the starting hill and track itself, that made it possible to have around 5500 paying spectators. A fourth part of the hall never was filled, also because those seats behind the 1st and last corner could not see these corners at all, so effectif around 4 till 4500 seat max. available and accupied.
That's not bad at all, but still, it could have been much better. It was said, that on Saturdaynight, all tickets were sold out (signs on the ticket boxes of the NIA did tell us that too). Everybody was very enthousiastic, wow …... sold out, a full house …. I already wondered if that would be the case. Conclusion watching the Saturday afternoon and evening show: NOT sold out. Anyway, the seats weren't filled at all. Same occupation as the days before, maybe around 3500 till 4000 people present. I believe almost NO outside BMX spectators ….. AGAIN! Around 2400 entries overall during the Challenge and World Championships with an average of 2 persons as family, supporters present makes around 4500 persons present max. at any moment and most likely all Inside BMX.
My Conclusion is: BMX is still not appealing enough to the outside BMX people or our promotion and marketing isn't able to generate a better level of interest and more spectators during the most important part of the Challenge and World Championship week, the Saturday event. Even TV exposure doesn't add a lot of interest with outside BMX people to come out and watch the racing in the hall itself.
Tickets, brooker, invitations?
Later on I learned (2nd hand info) that a “brooker” did buy a lot of tickets!? Probably did not sell enough of them then afterwards, no interest? The money probably came in for the organization, but no spectators. From inside the organization a heared (also 2nd hand info) that British Cycling kept a lot of tickets for there special quests. If that is realy true, they did a bad job too, not being able to get all those invited to be present at this Saturday evening event. I realy wonder what the truth of this all is.
From several directions I heared complains about the way ticketing was handled. One needed a ticket to watch the “normal” racing. But …. to be present during the Friday evening time trial event ánd-or the Saturday afternoon/evening Junior and Elite World Champinships, one needed EXTRA tickets per event. Conclusion: this became a very expenses exercise if one wanted to be present during all activities, with a family of 4, for instance. Another reason maybe, why the Saturday evening event wasn't sold out?
Personaly I wasn't present during the Official Opening of this event. My opinion is that this should be always something special, with among others a parade of participating countries and very well organized. This opening should take place before the official World Championhip event starts, the Junior and Elite races, I think. So, in this situation on Saturday instead of Wednesday. It could be a very nice part of the show on that particular day, nice for spectators ánd TV. Short and powerfull and again, well organized.
Ofcourse an official opening of the whole Race Week could take place on Wednesday for instance, but the official opening WC on the Saturday afternoon before racing starts. Just something to think about.
I also would advice to invite, have present and interview former BMX World Champions from the organizing country. We have to educate people a Historic sense of our sport. It's nice to have former BMX'ers present, now being the TOP in any other sport, but who never won a Continental or World title in BMX. Ofcourse it is very nice to have them present, but lets treasure our own Champions and honor and respect them as suggested.
The Present can´t exist without the Past.
Pioneer organizers ánd racers.
In my opinion, during at least World Championships, the national BMX organisation of a running WC, should honour their pioneers (organizers ánd riders) getting the sport started in the 70/80's, by inviting them as VIP's to the event. In England I missed among others, Mr. And Mrs. Jarvis, Dave Duffield, Alan Rushton, Geoff Wiles, Major Arthur Wood (r.i.p.) or his reps. I understand that BC is not into this “Historic sense” thing, what I can't understand since England is all about historic sense in general. Missed chance here for British Cycling.
Pioneer BMX'ers. The English pioneer BMX racers organized their own “getting together”. Had a VIP booth hired and gathered there. Among them, Tim March, Andy Ruffell, Geth Shooter, Tom Lynch, Jamie Staff and many others. Also present Stephen Murray with his mother and fathers, Jamie Staff,
Must be said that I found the English crowd one of the best in general this year. Very enthousiastic and always cheering on the riders and not only the English riders. Compliments.
Some racing technical aspects.
I think the track looked very good, was very well built. As I suggested before, for such WC events, in order safe expenses and space, why not think of a Supercross starting hill, combined with a “Challenge” starting gate on the sloop down. A 2 in 1 starting hill. Just a suggestion I did in 2011 as well ….... safes space ánd money. Note: Prepairing this report, I learned that experiments have been done with such a gate as montioned above. In 2011 I also did write about this and somebody took my advice serious ór had the same idea as me. New Zealand has a “Supercross double gate starting hill ready and working!“AWESOME.
Ofcourse I understand why we do have indoor World Championships. Must say, they are getting better all the time (think back of Melbourne-AUS, former Olympic swimming poule, track had a crossing !!!! crazy, was very bad). However, most of the time only tracks of around 25 / 30 seconds a lap can be built indoor´s. My opinion is, that BMX should be run on tracks of at least 400 meter (time around 38 / 44 seconds). O.k. if we want to run a lot of races with 2400 plus riders, 25 sec is better then 40, safes time. That however should not be the criteria.
Racing with 8 on a track needs riding technique but also power and endurance. Around 40 second tracks are just great for that, you'r an allround rider then. Allthough the start always is very important, on a 25 seconds track, mainly power is essential and endurance is almost reduced to zero. Space is a problem at indoor arena's, I know. Still I want to mention this and think about it.
Here we go again. Loose time trials as they are done now. Stop using time trials to have riders qualify. Crazy to come all the way from Japan or any other country far away, race 1 lap, not making the top 64 and sent back home. At least have riders race 3 moto's to be able to qualify, that is Bicycle Moto-Cross as it was ment to be. Back to those roots then.
As an EXTRA and short event (in time), have the top 16 Elite riders men and women and 8 Junior riders men and women from the “ranking” race a Time Trial (for a title?). Will take about about 1 hour, that's just o.k., probably also for spectators to watch. Three, four hours of time trials, ..... people walk away. 170 riders all together in Time Trials as done now is just too much, boring, doesn't add to the exitement and is too time consuming.
Note: after publishing all of this, I learned through the UCI that indeed they decided not to use time trials for qualification next year (2013 and on) at UCI World Championships anymore. The 3 moto system will be used, 4 best qualify. Fantastic! However, in World Cup / Supercross events organized by GSX inc., the time trial qualifications will still be used. If they are smart, they change that too soon.
Safety first: click pedals, helmets, uniforms.
I am still very concerned on the safety side of our sport. Watching TV, video's and son on, I always wonder when I see a rider go down, why do they go down that hard. Crashes in BMX are of all times, that's for sure. I believe it's not just speed that causes bad injuries. In the late '90's early 2000, the average speed in a international track raced by Elite men was between 40 and 43 kph. (I introduced transponders in 1995 at the Wcup/Supercross series, so we had exact timing then too). Since World Cup / SuperCross came out with their 9 mtr. starting hill, the average speed in Elite classes on a track went up to 45 / 47 kph, that's about a 10% increse and that is a lot.
Looking at tapes from before and compairing it with the present, when riders fall down for whatever reason, being clipped in, is according to me that makes their fall dangerous. They go down like a piece of concrete, can't almost make no correction with their legs, because of being clipped in and so on. Again, crashes are “normal” in BMX and of all times, but without clips one has more possibilities to make corrections on the bike or off the bike. I keep on talking about it and probably it doesn't help at all, still I want to mention it one more time, just for the safety and health of our riders. I am still very worried about the clip pedals being used.
Helmets: Also during these Worlds I noticed riders crossing the finish-line and taking their helmet off right away, without unstrapping the chin-band of the helmet. So, they did not tighten their chin straps before leaving the gate. Guess what happens if a rider falls down hard? Helmet catapults away! So they loose their helmet falling and very bad head traume will accur. Officials should check if helmet straps are correctly fitted and tight, according to the UCI racing rules.
Uniforms: It might sound traditional, but my opinion is that BMX racers must wear a full original BMX outfit. No shorts,and loose protectors on legs. It is not safe and does not look professional.
Body armer: I think it is getting time to start an investigation how to prevent injuries to one's spleen and liver. Again at this event, another young rider got hurt crashing and injured his spleen. Lukely his spleen was safed, but this type of injury needs attention. This is a very common injury in BMX and for safety reasons it would be a good thing to advice riders a certain protection to prevent this kind of injuries. Last year I learned that the UCI had plans to start an official inquiry after each BMX event, to gather data on all injuries occurring during an event. This is very important to go to the next step, how to prevent different kind of injuries and/or improve protection. I am very anxious to hear, read about their findings.
Presentation of awards: I witnessed kind of a same situation during the 2012 UCI BMX WC/SX event at Papendal, May last. An artist was invited to perform just before the presentation of awards. Right after the last Elite race, 95% of the spectators left the BMX facility and they went home, almost nobody there to watch the artist perform and the riders being awarded their prizes. Same situation here at the Worlds. The racing was over and within 10 minutes the grandstands were empty. My quess is that about 100 persons whatched the presentation of awards. This shows No respect for the riders ánd officials. But what can we do about this?
I remember the I.BMX.F. Worlds in Orlando, 1987. After racing was over, the presentation of awards (all classes) took place in a large hall at about 500 mtrs. from the track, around 90 minutes after the last race. This hall was packed with people. Same example in Norge I.BMX.F./FIAC Worlds in 1991. After racing was over, about 2 hours later and about a 20 minutes drive, the presentation of awards (all classes) took place at the amusementpark KONGEPARKEN and the Hall was packed. Here in Birmingham we had an indoor event, all facilties present and …. within about 15/20 minutes a presentation of award of just our Top athletes in Elite Women and Men class. Everybody gone. What does this tell us? Hope somebody can come up with a good idea to keep spectators inside and witness the presentation of awards. I've got an idea, will keep it to myself for sometime, let anybody else first come up with an idea. We'r waiting !!!!
TV show by BBC2.
One week after the Worlds, I did see the TV programm on BBC2. Must say I liked it very, very much. Great pictures, very good competition, Jamie Staff explaining things in between races and among others Andy Ruffell giving comments during the actual racing. Fantastic job guys and great promotion for BMX.
Well, these are my personal findings and opinions on several parts of this Worlds. My opinion for a better one, no problem. Again overall a great Worlds, probably realy the best since a very long time. Looking forward to the Olympic Games which I will watch on TV, was not able to get any tickets. That´s what you get if you´r an original founder Life member of the I.BMX.F., now UCI. Again … some historic sence would be nice, the Present can´t exist without the Past.
Sir Gerrit Does
Some data on this Worlds:
- Number of entries 2.461
- To built the track 8000 pallets were brought on and
- 3.000 tons of sand.
- 4000 seat available in the grandstands.
- Participating countries in the CHALLENGE classes, 38
- Participating countries in the WORLD CHAMPION Classes, 40.
Countries participating (country codes): AHO - ARG - AUS - AUT - BEL- BOL - BRA- -CAN- CHI - COL - CZE - DEN - ECU - ESP - FIN - FRA - GBR - GER - HUN - IRL - ITA - JPN - LAT - LTU - NED - NOR - NZL - PER - PUR - RSA - RUS - SUI - SVK - SWE - USA - VEN - ZIM.
2012 UCI BMX World Championships - Birmingham (GBR). Number of Entries by NOC in the World Championship title classes:
Results of the 2012 UCI BMX World Championships - Birmingham (GBR)
Elite Men Final Results country laptime
1. WILLOUGHBY Sam AUS 25.9232 World Champion
2. DAUDET Joris FRA 26.7663
3. MOO CAILLE Moana FRA 27.4714
4. DEAN Anthony AUS 28.2785
5. HERMAN David USA 32.8516
6. ROBINSON Donny USA 39.4177
7. WILLERS Marc NZL 53.103
8. STROMBERGS Maris LAT DSQ
7. MEYERS Josh USA 27.27990
8. LONG Nicholas USA 27.66010
9. SHARRAH Corben USA 27.99911
10. KIRKHAM Brian AUS 1:20.616
11. BRADFORD Joey USA
12. CALEYRON Quentin FRA
13. FAORO Tyler USA
14. NHLAPO Sifiso RSA
Elite Women Final Results country laptime
1. POTTIER Magalie FRA 29.6462 World Champion
2. AILLOUD Eva FRA 29.7923
3. LABOUNKOVA Romana CZE 30.4424
4. MARTIN Arielle USA 30.4505
5. PAJON Mariana COL 33.6246
6. STEIN Squel BRA 34.4937
7. VALENTINO Manon FRA 1:16.914
8. POST Alise USA 1:57.109
9. WALKER Sarah NZL 31.08010
10. RIMSAITE Vilma LTU 52.90311
11. HERNANDEZ Stefany VEN 31.15212
12. REYNOLDS Lauren AUS 55.76813
13. SMULDERS Laura NED 31.20314
14. HEREIJGERS Maartje NED 57.97515
15. BUCHANAN Caroline AUS 34.50216
16. ALEKSEJEVA Sandra LAT DNF
Participants in Boys and Girls classes 5 till 14 year old: 941 entries, they raced in 459 moto's, 52 eights finals, 48 quarter finals, 32 semi finals and 16 finals.
The results in above mentioned classes:
Participants in Women 17 & over and Men 17 through 30& over: 301 entries, they raced in 144 moto's, 16 eights finals, 16 quarter finals, 8 semi finals and 4 finals.
The results in above mentioned classes:
Participants in Girls and Boys 15 and 16 year and Masters: 307 entries, they raced in 138 moto's, 16 eights finals, 12 quarter finals, 10 semi finals and 5 finals.
The results in above mentioned classes:
Participants in Cruiser classes 12 and under through 45 & over: 558 entries, they raced in 270 moto's, 18 eights finals, 32 quarter finals, 24 semi finals and 12 finals,
Results in above mentioned classes:
Results 2012 UCI BMX National Teams World Championship
1. Team USA 372 points
2. Team NEW ZEALAND 358
3. Team JAPAN 308
4. Team AUSTRALIA 280
5. Team CHILI 239
6. Team COLOMBIA 223
Team USA: riders Julian Dittrick, Michael Gonzalez, Collin Hudson and Sean Gaian. Teammamanger Jeff Glynn.
Results 2012 UCI BMX Trade Team World Championship
1. Team Redman Rockstar 332 points
2. Team Hyper Bicycles 313
3. Team Answer BMX - USA 301
4. Team U & R Bicycles Speedco 285
5. Tufir Team 259
6. Team Club Ciclismo Sao Jose Campos 158
XXX results will be update soon and pictures will be published as well
June. Overall results publised of the UCI BMX European Championship 2012.
The 2012 UCI BMX European Championships were decided during 12 rounds at six different locations in Europe. These locations/tracks were at: Valkenswaard, NED - Klatovy, CZ - Geneve, SUI - Kortrijk, BEL - Creazzo, ITA - Orléans, FRA. Due the the Olympic year 2012, the first three events took already place in 2011, the Kortrijk, Creazzo and Orléans evets took place in 2012.
Overall results in Junior Women
Name country points
1. MIKKELSEN Live Andrea Norway 213
2. CHRISTENSEN Simone T. Denmark 194
3. PRIES Nadja Germany 172
4. NAVRESTAD Elisabeth Norway 112
5. BAAUW Judy Nederland 94
6. VEDDER Tamar Nederland 87
7. MAIRE Camille France 78
8. SUVOROVA Natalia Russia 72
9. BRUNEL Floriane France 67
10. VAN HEES Soraya Nederland 34
11. LYSENKO Elisaveta Russia 33
12. GRUN Melanie France 31
13. BORAIE Victoria Sweden 26
Overall results in Junior Men
Name country points
1. MIR Amidou France 309
2. MAHIEU Romain France 303
3. SCHMIDT Julian Germany 252
4. TRAMIER Léopold France 235
5. DUMAIN Antoine France 210
6. LEVAY Maël France 187
7. RENCUREL Jérémy France 185
8. LINK Mark Nederland 185
9. STEVENS Lauren Belgium 184
10. VEKSA Kristaps Latvia 183
11. LE NAGARD Karl France 178
12. CRET Loris France 151
13. BARINS Roberts Latvia 148
14. PETERS Jasper Nederland 143
15. VAN OS Randy Nederland 140
16. SCHIPPERS Jordi Nederland 139
17. LE NAGARD Axel France 134
18. TOMCO Michal Slovakia 101
19. OKOH Nicholas Italy 95
20. KOKELAAR Imro Nederland 86
21. DRIDI Anthony Switzerland 84
22. NODARI Gianluca Italy 82
24. HOLMGAARD Kristian Denmark 78
25. PETERSILIS Gustavs Latvia 76
Overall results Elite Women
Name country points
1. AILLOUD Eva France 220
2. HORAKOVA Jana Czech 211
3. HLADIKOVA Aneta Czech 196
4. RIMSAITE Vilma Lithuania 187
5. HEREIJGERS Maartje Nederland 140
6. SMULDERS Laura Nederland 139
7. SPRENGERS Dana Nederland 139
8. LABOUNKOVA Romana Czech Rep. 133
9. BOUDOUX Mélanie France 74
10. ALEKSEJEVA Sandra Latvia 64
11. VAN DE PERRE Tori Belgium 59
12. LE ROUX Enora France 53
13. HINDMO Caroline Sweden 51
14. BESKHMELNOVA Marina Russia 36
15. HEE Shannie Camilla Denmark 32
Overall results Elite Men
Name country points
1. TREIMANIS Edzus Latvia 315
2. VEIDE Rihards Latvia 292
3. VAN DER HEIJDEN Jordy Nederland 236
4. VAN GENDT Twan Nederland 217
5. MANKUS Toms Latvia 208
6. VAN DE WETERING Glenn Nederland 194
7. GOUX Lilian France 189
8. LEJINS Kristers Latvia 173
9. HAMON Thomas France 169
10. PERRIER Julian France 167
11. CRISTOFOLI Roberto Italy 153
12. DUBOIS Arnaud Belgium 148
13. SCHERPEN Martijn Nederland 148
14. JASPERS Martijn Nederland 146
15. JANSSENS Benjamin France 143
16. RICCARDI Romain Italy 136
17. DE VECCHI Manuel Italy 133
18. MARTINEZ Lorin France 122
19. TEULLET Denis France 110
20. GAGNU Francky France 109
21. TUMPACH Stepan Czech Rep. 105
22. HARMSEN Joris Nederland 102
23. DUCHENE Simon France 95
24. WOCK-TAI Rémy France 95
25. MAYET Romain France 85
26. MOROZS Viesturs Latvia 84
27. FRANCOIS Mathieu France 78
28. KILLIAN PATRICOLO Marc Spain 77
29. GANSER Maximilian Germany 76
30. ARSCHOOT Nicolas France 72
31. DEMONT Jonathan Switzerlan 70
32. TANNIGER Romain Switzerland 70
Junior Novice Women class
1. USOVA Anastasia Russia
2. SAILER Sarah Germany
3. THIBAUT Sandy France
Junior Novice Men class
1. CHRISTENEN Chris Danmark
2. GONZALES Bernard Xavier France
3. BENSINK Niels Nederland
July, BMX promotion by PSV soccer, the PSV Phoxy club (supporters club for youngsters).
July 28 - 29th., BMX Summer Games round 1, Lille - France
August 4 - 5th., BMX Summer Games round 2, Circuit Zolder - Belgium.
August 9 - 10th., the Olympic Games 2012 in London - England, in BMX.
Seen here the design of the Olympic track and next to it two pictures of the actual track just 20 days before use. They did a fantastic job laying down the "best BMX track ever" anywhere in the world, that is in my opinion anyway. Great job done!
the design the actual BMX track now
A very exiting periode for the sport of BMX. For the second time a select group of BMX Elite men and women from all over the world, will compete for the highest honours in our sport: an Olympic title. In 2008 the first ever Olympic in which BMX riders could win a title, took place in Beijing - China 2008. Now it is London - England.
On Wednesday August 8th, the qualifications took place from 16.00 hours on, at the Olympic Park
On Thursday August 9th, the Quater finals took place at 16.00 hours Olympic Park
On Friday August 10th, the BMX Semi-finals and Finals took place place starting at 16.00 hours at the Olympic Park
Around 750 million people word wide have been watching these Olympics. Just in Holland, during the opening and closing ceremony around 2,5 million people watched TV. A record on jurnalists present at these Olympics, 25.000 largest number ever. 10.500 athletes participated in these 2012 London - England Olympics.
Final results Elite Men:
1. Maris Strombergs Latvia Olympic Champion
2. Sam Willoughby AUS
3. Carlos Oquendo COL
4. Raymon van der Biezen NED
5. Twan van Gendt NED
6. Andres Jimenez COL
7. Connor Fields USA
8. Liam Phillips GBR
Final results Elite Women
1. Mariana Pajon Colombia Olympic Champion
2. Sarah Walker NZL
3. Laura Smulders NED
4. Laetitia Le Corguille FRA
5. Caroline Buchanan AUS
6. Shanaze Reade GBR
7. Magalie Pottier FRA
8. Crain Brooke USA
Laptime Maris Strombergs in Elite Men 37.526 sec. and laptime Mariana Pajon in Elite Women 37.706 sec.
Official Medalcount Olympics all disciplines:
Gold Silver Bronze Total
1. USA 46 29 29 104
2. China 38 27 22 87
3. Great Brittain 29 17 19 65
4. Russia 24 25 33 82
5. South Korea 13 8 7 28
6. Germany 11 19 14 44
7. France 11 11 12 34
8. Italy 8 9 11 28
9. Hungary 8 4 5 17
10. Australia 7 16 12 35
13. Holland 6 6 8 20
Out of 204 countries / National Olympic Committees, Holland finished 13th on the medal list, which is a fantastic result for this small country with just 16 million inhabitants. And ...... with 1 bronze medal in BMX !
August 19th., now published here on the Univofbmx, the Venezuelan History of BMX, received through Ruben Emilio Garcilaso de la Vega.
On July 31st I did receive the Venezuelan History of BMX in Spanish through Ruben Garcilaso (Venezuela), who actualy did write down the history of BMX of his country, being the father of Venezuelan BMX. Please find enclosed his report on the Venezuelan History, specialy for those who can read Spanish. Enjoy.
ESTA HISTORIA ES LA DE UNA GRAN FAMILIA COMO FUE ES Y SERA LA HISTORIA DE UNA FAMILIA UNIDA GRANDE HERMOSA CON SUS PROBLEMAS FAMILIARES PERO SIEMPRE UNIDA ASI ES ESTA HISTORIA QUE HOY DEDICAMOS A TODOS AQUELLOS INTEGRANTES DE SU TRONCO INICIAL QUE LA CREARON y LA HICIERON CRECER COMO UNA GRAN PLANTA QUE NACE, SE DESARROLLA SE MARCHITA Y SE MUERE ASI ES EL CICLO DE LA VIDA, PERO EN ESTA OCACIÓN ES DIFERENTE CAMBIAMOS EL METABOLISIMO DE LO NATURAL Y SUS HIJOS Y NIETOS SIGUIERON TRABAJANDO ALIMENTANDOLA NUTRIENDOLA PARA QUE DE ESTA FORMA SIGA CRECIENDO ESTA GRAN FAMILIA.
Hoy la dedicamos a todos aquellos fundadores, dirigentes, atletas de esa gran familia que ya no están en este mundo terrenal pero con su trabajo, su esfuerzo y su tenacidad hicieron que en aquellos tiempos difíciles pudieran hacer germinar la semilla y que la mata creciera, creciera hasta el día de hoy, 30 años costó para ello, pero se logró, yo sé que los que estamos seguiremos en esto y cuando no estemos habrá otros de la familia que seguirán regando la mata para seguir haciéndola crecer.
ESTA FAMILIA LA FAMILIA DE ALFREDO MATHEUS, CLARA SU ESPOSA, CAROLINA,ALFREDIDO YALEJANDRO (sus Hijos) COMIENZA SU HISTORIA EN 1979 CON EL REGRESO A SU CASA DESPUES DE UN TIEMPO AUSENTE DE LA MISMA,YA QUE SE HABIA IDO A PROBAR SUERTE A OTRO LUGAR (EEUU) Y ALLI EMPEZARON A CRECER SUS HIJOS Y FUERON ELLOS QUE APRENDIERON A JUGAR OTRO JUEGO QUE EN SU CASA ANTERIOR NO LO CONOCIAN Y LO PRACTICARON Y CUANDO VOLVIERON A SU HOGAR NUEVAMENTE LE DIJERON A SUS PADRE, Papa Quiero llevar esto allá a Venezuela y así lo trajeron, ERA UN JUEGO QUE SE LLAMABA BMX, PERO EL PROBLEMA ERA DONDE PRACTICARLO Y ALLI, EN LOS POMELOS, MUNICIPIO BARUTA, ESTADO MIRANDA FRENTE A SU CASA HABIA UN PEQUEÑO PEDACITO DE TERRENO Y COMENZARON A FABRICAR UNA PISTA, LOS VECINOS DIJERON QUE ES ESO, Y ELLO LO EXPLICARON AL POCO TIEMPO SE UNEN VARIAS FAMILIAS MAS FUE TAN GRANDE EL CRECIMIENTO DE ESTA GRAN FAMILIA QUE DIJERON Y AHORA CON QUE BICICLETAS VAMOS A PRACTICAR EL BMX Y ASI ALFREDO SE FUE DE NUEVO PARA EL NORTE PERO YA SE FUE A BUSCAR BICICLETAS Y DE ESA PISTITA ALLI EN LOS POMELOS ALFREDO JUNTO A SU HERMANO TOMAS CONSIGUIEN UN TERRENO GRACIAS A LO SOCIEDAD DE VECINOS DE LOS NARANJOS Y SE HIZO REALIDAD UNA GRAN PISTA “LA PISTA DE BICICROSS DE LOS NARANJOS” Y DE ESTA FORMA NACIO “Bicicross Center” como una tienda especializada y así nació el primer Club de BMX. en VENEZUELA.
DISTRITO FEDERAL A ESTA FAMILIA SE LE UNIERON MAS FAMILIAS CON SUS HIJOS LA FAMILIA BARRESI VECINO DE LOS MATHEUS SE INTERESARON, LUEGO OTRAS FAMILIAS LOS GONZALEZ (del hatillo), LOS ECHENAGUCIA, SANTACRUZ, “J.J.” LOS RODRIGUEZ (ORTOPEDIA CARACAS) LOS SOLARI, EL DR.CARDENAS, La familia Julio Gonzalez, LOS GARCIA DE LAS MINAS DE BARUTA, los Marval, los Nahr. Hugo Dávila, COCO RADA, Juan Carlos Amaro, LA FAMILIA DE RODOLFO SOLARI y sus HIJOS, LOS LOMONTE ,LA FAMILIA RANGEL (Bruni Rangel)RAFAEL GONZALEZ Y FAMILIA, LUEGO SE INCORPORAN LA FAMILIA DE OMAR ESTEVEZ, ASPIT, GARCILASO DE LA VEGA, LA FAMILIA CANO, LA FAMILIA CASAL (San Luis El Cafetal) GUILLERMO SALOMON, El Negro Lasly LA FAMILIA MELENDEZ (con su Tienda y Club Chiquicross) La Familia Guevara, MARCOS MAYORA, LOS LUNA, RAFAEL ACUÑA,MIGUEL GARCIA, SIGUE CRECIENDO CON DUSSAN BASICA, el Gato Marquez, RICHARD COSTA, LA FAMILIA DE JOSE PEREZ ( DANNY PEREZ), la familia Novoa (CON SU Club el Conde)Tomas Gester e (hijo) el compañero del Banco Comercio de Alfredo Matheus……………………………. LA FAMILIA DE MARIO GONZALEZ, la familia Alemán, Chamir Rios que luego se muda al Tachira a la localidad de Rubio y funda una escuela de BMX allà
La familia Curiel con sus dos hijos ARAGUA Antonio AGUIRRE y su familia Leopoldo Martínez y sus hijos Panchito y Iván), RONCO Márquez , SANTANDER, la familia Vacarella (Tonny), La familia Espariz, La familia Carpio, Arquitecto…….(el Barbudo) ,el negro Blanco Rectificadora de motores de la Victoria) Carlos Adarme. Humberto Aza, La Familia Neumann , La Familia Marchena, La familia Díquez, la familia Quiara con su hija Anna, los Marchena con Aurimar que fue Campeona Mundial en Melgar Colombia,
BOLIVAR SERGIO CASINELLI Y FAMILIA, LOS BOMPART, LA FAMILIA ROA, LA FAMILIA de JESUS “Chichí” SUAREZ, Marcos Rivera, el Coco González. Saúl Hernández, Carmen Hernández (madre de John , Stéfany HERRERA, La familia de John Castillo, Maigualida Coraspi (madre de Juan Pablo mejor conocido como Prestobarba), Marina Linares con su hijo Alejandro Linares (Traga leche), Familia González, La familia TOLEDO con don Humberto y Blanca y su hijo Humberto, LUIS Torres, Perez Prato (qepd),La familia Ibarra con su hija la gran atleta Lourdes Ibarra, Lucia y Daniel Marenda y su hermano, Tais Serrano, Marisela y Hector Escobar hijos del famoso gordo Escobar
En el año 1994 en Puerto Ordaz solo existía una pista de BMX en las instalaciones del Club Náutico, la pista de la urbanización los Olivos estaba en abandono total. Para este mismo año la familia TORRES ( MARIA Y LUIS ) nos invitan a una carrera de BMX a celebrase el Club Náutico, Juan Pablo para esa fecha tenia 4 años y una bici china, en ese evento conocimos la familia Cacineli, Bompal, Suárez (chichi y esposa) Jonatan corría con una botas frazani a la rodilla.
Yo trabajaba en VENENALUM y aprovechando esa oportunidad solicite al presidente de esa empresa Ing. Enrique Castell construyera una pista de BMX en las instalaciones del polideportivo de VENELUM , propuesta que le pareció buena y para finales del año 1994 se estaba construyendo la pista del Polideportivo VENALUM, el diseño lo realizo Rubén Garcilaso la pista contó con partidor automático alumbrado y oficinas.
Para su inauguración se realizo un evento de carácter internacional, con la participación de Curazao, Puerto Rico, y la presencia del campeón Mundial de esa época en 7 años DONY DUSTAN. Los trofeos de ese invitacional fueron unos lingotes de aluminio fabricados por VENALUM.
La creación de la pista de VENALUM dieron al BMX el crecimiento más grande y sostenido a nivel nacional de esta disciplina ya que las empresas básicas como: Venalum, Sidor, Interalumina, Alcasa ferrominera, Edelca crearon sus equipos, dándoles el soporte económico y técnico necesario. Como resultados BOLIVAR se transformo por muchos años en una potencia en esta disciplina. La presencia de Bolívar en los campeonatos era aproximadamente de 150 corredores, cuando todos los estados restantes apenas alcanzaban esa totalidad.
Todo este proceso dio como resultados grandes atletas y dirigentes.
Entre ellos podemos destacar el club SIDOR siendo sus dirigentes mas destacados Luís Herrera, Saúl Hernández, Carmen Hernández, entre otros. Los bicicricistas mas destacados de ese club lo fueron, Saúl Hernández hoy en día graduado de Medico, Luís Herrera graduado de Ing. Mecánico, José Daniel González Ing. Mecánico.
Otro de los club que marco pauta fue el de FERROMINERA ORINOCO quienes se destacaron en su dirigencia el Señor Luís Torre, ¿?????? Guedez, Antonio Toledo, Marina Linares y mi persona. Los bicicricistas más destacados de ese club lo fueron, Javier Guedez hoy día es escritor, Juan Pablo Castillo Ing. Electrónico, Humberto Toledo se desempeña como empresario, Yolman Ron Ing. Electrónico, no me recuerdo el nombre de traga leche.
El Club de EDELCA nace cuatro años después de la inauguración de la pista siendo sus dirigentes mas destacados Carlos Velásquez, Noel Aloisantonio, Héctor Escobar entre otros. Los bicicricistas más destacados de ese club lo fueron:
Además de los dirigentes mencionados existieron otros dirigentes destacados como Herman Serrano, Manual Bompar, Sergio Cacineli,
Anécdotas del bicicros.
En el campeonato mundial celebrado en Chile en el 1988, estábamos hospedados en el hotel TUPOWER y una de los representantes que no recuerdo quien, aprovecho la visita a ese hotel del presidente PINOCHE para reclamar algo en contra de Gracilazo, cuestión que la policía o carabineros tomaron medidas al caso y casi nos sacan del hotel.
En el regreso del campeonato mundial que se celebraba en OSLOS NORUEGA los chamos Tabare y Juan Pablo estaban tratando de abril la puerta del avión en pleno vuelo.
SUCRE Gonzalo Zurita Y después de varios años la Familia Jorge Castellano (Chévere Hause), Gladys Hernández y sus hijos, Betsaida de Colomine, el Che Ramos, la familia Cabrera,
CARABOBO: La familia Tang, LOS SUAREZ……….La familia TABARES, la familia Castro, La familia de Gerardo González, La familia de Leo Leiva, LA FAMILIA ESTABA (Pedro y Karin ),Zuleima Mederos, Víto Cortese, la familia del Flaco Natera y su esposa Mirian con su hijo muy buen corredor Osvaldito, Contreras (FUYIMORI), Jean Launay, Guarino, la familia Gonzalez(Pichi y Angi) la familia Moreno, la de William Ramos, y el Cascarrabia de Belandria con sus dos hijos siempre junto a él,
MIRANDA: La FAMILIA DE ANDRES LOPEZ, LA DE ANGEL GARCIA, LOS LONGART, LA DE LA FABRICA DE ANIS” Carlos Rodríguez, La familia Olivo,……….. mas tarde La Familia Lugo, La familia del Mono González, Familia Simanca, Familia Machado con Dayana y el gordito Eduardito ,Marina, Fredy…….., Fosforito Rangel,la familia Marrero con la gran atleta Marisela, Rina Rosario. Estas siete grandes familias del BMX del País fueron las pioneras de lo que es hoy el BMX en Venezuela. Por el crecimiento se empiezan a construir pistas por todo el país, en el Distrito Federal como dijimos anteriormente esta la de Los Naranjos, y hay que resaltar que gracias a las gestiones de Alfredo Matheus se construyen pistas en los Clubes Privados como Cumbre Azul, El Dorado Country Club, Club El Placer, y la pista de las MAYAS en Miranda en los Altos Mirandino en la Rosaleda Norte se construye la pista de BMX que es la única que se conserva en la actualidad desde aquel entonces, en Sucre se construye en los Chaimas, luego de muchos años,en ocasión de los Juegos Nacionales Juveniles se construye en el Peñón, en Bolívar se construye la primera pista en Los Olivos, luego otra, en donde está actualmente la represa del Guri que hoy está bajo el agua, en el Club Náutico de Puerto Ordaz y hoy existe una en el Complejo Venalum, en Carabobo en el Valle de Camoruco y hoy en San Diego,en La Esmeralda, en ARAGUA, en la localidad de Cagua la Pista Juan Silva, en Barcelona ESTADO ANZÓATEGUI, se construyó una Pista en el Parque Ferial, donde hoy se encuentra la Plaza de Toros y para esa inauguración vino el Campeón Mundial Nelson Chanady.En el Estado Nueva Esparta hay que destacar la labor de un gran pionero del BMX que tanto como corredor y dirigente como es Jesus “Lulú” Romero a la vez impulsó el desarrollo del mismo en esa entidad peninsular y allí se corrio por primera vez en la historia del BMX mundial la PRIMERA COPA MUNDO organizada por la UCI en una pista que se construyó en los terrenos del aeropuerto viejo de Nueva Esparta con total éxito en el año 88 u 89……..
1979 Se va a participar en un Campeonato Mundial de BMX en Indianápolis (EEUU) y se logra un Campeón Mundial (novato ) con Nelson Nahr………
1982 SE VA A PARTICIPAR EN EL Campeonato Mundial de Osaka Japón donde Antonio (Tony ) Aguirre logra el 2do lugar detrás de Marcial Rivera de Chile que salio Campeón
1983 se participa en el Primer Campeonato Panamericano en Bayamón .Puerto Rico
1985 se va a participar al Campeonato del Mundo en Winster. Britis Columbia, Canadá donde obtuvimos en Crucero 45 años el tercer lugar (3ero) con Garcilaso de la Vega, Rubén y el 6to lugar en la categoría………con Leonardo Leiva.
1988 en el Campeonato Mundial de Santiago de Chile se obtuvo el Campeonato Mundial de 6 años en la figura de Gerardo González y el Campeonato y Sub Campeonato Mundial en la categoría de 8 años en las figuras de Jacguel González y Gustavo (arepita ) Carpio.
Para que todos conozcan su origen VENEZUELA fue la fundadora de la primera Organización Internacional de esta disciplina. La International BMX Federation fue fundada por EEUU, Australia, Holanda, Japón, Inglaterra y Venezuela En el acta de fundación no aparece la firma de Alfredo Matheus, ya que tenía que viajar y dejó para su firma a Venezuela, en la presencia de Rubén Garcilaso de la Vega junto a Ruy Barbosa Gerona (qepd) en la pista de las Vizcachas (Santiago de Chile) 1984 funda la Confederación Panamericana de BMX que luego se convierte en Comisión Panamericana de BMX (COPABI)
La famosa Copa 750 que se realizaba en la pista la Rosaleda No0rte de San Antonio de los Altos Miranda, DONDE EL GRAN PROMOTOR DE ESTA COMPETENCIA fue Ricardo Farh, extraordinario organizador con un gran equipo de trabajo y patrocinantes de primer nivel como Maltin Polar, Helados Efe y la Radio FM 750 Todo el país esperaba esa fecha para concurrir masivamente era una fiesta extraordinaria y muchas veces con participación internacional como Puerto Rico, Aruba y Curacao (Ricardo Far)
Otra gran carrera que era esperada con gran expectativa era LOS CARNAVALES DEL TOCUYO, cuyo principal impulsador era el Gordo SILVA, extraordinario dirigente muy preocupado por el desarrollo en el estado Lara acompañado por un grupo de familias como la de Pocholo, El Dr. La Piedra, el Negro Márquez y su Hermano, la familia del Ing. Rolando Briceño y su esposa Alicia, acompañante de este gran amigo a todas partes.
El Entonces Consultor Jurídico del IND Dr. Tulio Sánchez fue el autor material para que el BMX no fuese Federación, resulta que el Sr. Rómulo Otazo con su mente maquiavélica puso un artículo en los Estatutos de la FVC que aún existe que dice” que no podrán ser federación todas aquellas disciplinas del que no tengan federación internacional propia” y por esa razón no pudimos ser federación.
OTRA:En el Campeonato Panamericano de Bayamón Puerto Rico un personaje de la FVC llamado Raúl Zurita viajó a esa competencia sin saber nada de lo que era BMX con un pasaje gratis que Viasa había otorgado por la cantidad de atletas venezolanos que viajamos y porque Garcilaso Rubén le reclamó eso, ese señor al llegar a Puerto Rico y como era de la FVC intentó que Garcilaso Rubén y sus hijos no pudieran correr porque no eran hasta ese entonces venezolanos, cosa que se opusieron todos y tanto Antonio Aguirre como Andrés López fueron la cabeza de ese movimiento y la familia Garcilaso corrió y tanto Garcilaso Rubén como su hija Constanza salieron Campeones Panamericanos, Que les parece?
OTRA: En ocasión del Campeonato Mundial de Bahía Brasil Hernández, y su compadre Herrera y Chichi Suárez adoptan por esos días a un niño de la calle que abundaban allí, y se lo llevan al hotel lo bañan, le compran ropas y les dan alimentación y alojamiento a este niño y así loo tienen has ta que llegó el momento de decir adiós, fue triste para todos pero que lindo es el BMX, eso era el BMX
RIVALIDADES DE FAMILIAS
Carabobo contra D. Federal. Familia Tavares contra familia Alemán
Carabobo contra Carabobo Familia Ramos contra familia Guarino
Carabobo contra Miranda Familia González (Angi) contra familia González ( Nataly)
Miranda contra Bolívar Familia Machado (Eduardo Torito) contra Familia Escobar (Héctor)
Distrito Federal contra Miranda (Familia Mayora (Marquito) contra familia González ( Jacguel)
Distrito Federal (julio Gonzalez papa de Mirlui contra Miranda familia Garcia (Tonia)
La gente del BICICROSS siempre fue solidaria tanto en nuestro País como en el extranjero, más aún, allá lejos, sabiendo que llevaban sus padres a sus hijos a correr con muchos sacrificios como el caso de Jesús Chichi Suárez que el hijo viajaba con la Delegación de Venezuela hacia el Campeonato Mundial del Melbourne (Australia) y él solo, la Delegación alquiló un autobús y que mejor que Chichi era para manejarlo y así resolvíamos dos problemas el chofer y a él el alojamiento y la comida, ya que en el presupuesto no lo podíamos incluir, pero como dice el dicho” en un plato comen dos”, y lo mismo pasó en el Campeonato Mundial realizado en Nantes (Francia) Chichí fue nuestro chofer y así se resolvió y durmió en la habitación con Luzmila de Urbaneja y el hijo de ésta José Urbaneja.
"End of the Venezuelan History of BMX by Ruben Garcilaso"
August 26th through 28th., Gerrit Does visited Latvia invited by the Latvian Olympic Committee.
Since October 2009, when we celebrated the 30th. anniversary of BMX in Holland/Europe (should have been in 2008, but because of me getting ill with meningitus, we postponed the event till 2009, and organised an International Reunion of Old School BMX racers at Attractiepark Slagharen in Holland, a special award/trophy for Maris Strombergs was still sitting at my home. It was Maris's intention to come and collect it in 2009, but due to other business, he was not able to come over to Slagharen.
Last August Maris won a Gold medal in BMX Elite Men class at the London Olympics for the 2 nd. time, which is a unique result. I congratulated him and the Latvian Olympic Committee and asked when was able to collect his University of BMX award now! I was very surprised to receive a personal invitation by the L.O.C. in name of it's president Aldons Vrublevskis, to come over to Latvia and to present the award personaly to Maris Strombergs. Invitation excepted gladly ofcourse.
Motivation for this invitation was also that a small part of this gold medal of Maris was mine !? Mr. Vrublevskis motivated this as follows: "Gerrit, for your invaluable contribution to the introduction and development of BMX in Latvia since the start of our sport in 1989, it's our honor to invite you over".
Here a report of my trip to Latvia.
I left Waalre-Holland at around 1 o'clock in the morning on Sunday August 26th. Took a flight to Riga through Praque and arrived in Riga at around 14.30 hours. I was picked up by mr. Aldons Vrublevskis and together we drove to Valmiera. On our way to Valmiera we made a short stop in Riga to have a drink and something to eat. Riga is a fanatastic city and some sightseein is always welcome.
On our way to Valmiera we stopped in a small town called Rubene, were around 2 years ago already, Ivo Lakucs was able to built a copy of the London Olympic Track here in Rubene, with help of a sponsor. On arrival at thte track, the Olympic BMX team was busy having pictures taken for publicity. We talked some with the riders and I was able to holt in my hand the actual Olympic Gold medals Maris won in Beijing (2008) and London (2012). An Olympic touch!
During this meet at the Rubene track a local TV station came by and among others interviewed GD, asking about the results at the Olympics and the future for Latvian BMX. After this we went on to Valmiera for our next appointment.
At around 18.30 hours a special meeting started at the Valmiera BMX Hall of Fame (owned by the Matisons family). Present were the members of the BMX Olympic Team, Maris Strombegs, Edzus Treimanis and Rihards Veide as well as trainer/coach Ivo Lakucs. Also present several parents and officials, BMX pioneers, the Mayor of Valmiera, President of Latvian Cycle Federation, Gundars Osis a former teammember of mine during the GT EURO team periode and many more. Many of the persons present I knew personaly from the early days of BMX in Latvia. It was great seeing them again after sometime many years ago.
President of the L.O.C. mr. Aldons Vrublevskis presented "appreciation awards L.O.C." to the Olympic BMX Team members and several officials present. Mr. Vrublevskis also presented me (Gerrit Does) with an "appreciation award L.O.C." with the text "a sign of honor for Merits in the Olympic Movement", appointed by the decision of the Latvian OLympic Committee's Executive Committee No.2.2. dated August 21sst., year 2012.I was very honored receiving this award indeed.
After this presentation was finished, mr. Vrublevskis did give Gerrit Does "the floor". I addressed those present explaining I was there to present Maris Strombergs this special trophy that he would come and collect in 2009 in Holland, but did not show up. So now I was able to hand out the trophy myself with an extra shield for winning the 2nd Gold medal in BMX at the London Olympic Games 2012.
It is remarkable that a small country like Latvia, with just around 2,1 million inhabitants was able to win 2 Gold medals (2008 and 2012) in BMX at the Olympics. It all had to do with motivated people involved in the organisation as well as riders and parents, from the beginning of times in BMX in Latvia.
Following the presentation of this special award, Gerrit Does also presented 2 European BMX Hall of Fame award, being memberships of this HoF, to Ivo Lakucs and again Maris Strombergs, which should have been present also during the 2009
Reunion and Celebration in Slagharen-Holland.
Motivation on Ivo Lakucs European BMX Hall of Fame membership, already awarded in 2009:
"For winning the European Championship series and therefore the title at the final round in Vallet - France in 2003, in the highest performance class in BMX being Elite men 20 inch. Besides that Ivo Lukucs has been a pioneer BMX racer in his country Latvia".
Motivation on Maris Strombergs European BMX Hall of Fame membership, already awarded in 2009:
"For winning a unique series of titles. In 2008 Maris Strombergs did win the UCI BMX European Championship series and so the title of European Champion. He also won the UCI BMX World Championship title in Taiyuan - China and just a few month later he did win the 1st. ever Olympic Championship title in the Elite men class at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing - China".
After this official presentation, diner was served and for some more time we were talking sports, BMX, history of bmx ánd the future of the BMX sport. It was great fun and fantastic meeting so many people from the early days. In the end group pictures were taken.
Picture of group in front of Valmiera BMX Hall of Fame
In front on knees, from left to right:
Helmuts Akis - BMX pioneer from the Riga BMX club MEXCIEMS; Rihards Veide - member London Olympic BMX team (finishing at 13th place); Gundars Osis - pioneer BMX'er and first top class level rider, former member of the GT Euro team run by Gerrit Does; Gerrit Does - Holland; Janis Silins - Godfather of Latvian BMX. First contact from Latvia with GD in 1987; Raimonds Ciesnieks - first ever coach of Maris Strombergs.
Standing from left to right:
Einars Fogelis - General Secretary of the Latvian Olympic Committee; Girts Rorbaks - President of Latvian Cycling Federation; Janis Baiks - Executive Director of Valmiera town council; Janis Matisons - President of BMX club TALAVA; Ivo Lakucs - manager/coach of "Maris Strombergs Agency" and coach of Rihards Veide and Edzus Treimanis as well; Inesis Bokis - Valmiera Town Mayor; Maris Strombergs - 2 times Gold medalist Olympic Games 2008-2012: Aldons Vrublevskis - President of Latvian Olympic Committee and former President of Latvian BMX Federation, a BMX pioneer himself; Iveta Gutmane - General Secretary of Latvian Cycling Federation; Edzus Treimanis - member of the London Olympic BMX team (finishing at 9th place); Olafs Lakucs - the coach of Latvian BMX selection team; Daina Jonkus - long time administrator of Latvian BMX competitions (from 1989 till 2003); Steps Jonkus - President of BMX club MITAVAS KUMELI; Haris Osis - President of BMX Club FAVORITS and BMX bike mechanic;
Planting a tree in the Olympic Park - Valmiera.
In the eary evening, Gerrit Does was asked to plant a young tree in the OLYMPIC PARK in Valmiera. On this field Latvian Olympic Champions/teammembers have planted trees as well as officials and other respectable persons. Now it was Gerrit Does' s turn to plant a tree. Here some pictures of that action. Janis Sillins assisting me together with Girts Rorbaks - President of Latvian Cycling Federaton.
Late that evening I went to bed in a very nice cottage, situated close to the BMX track, the BMX Hall of Fame and the Golf course, all owned and run by the Matisons family. Fantastic place to spent a holiday for sure
Latvian, Estonian BMX tour on Monday.
Early morning August 27th, my dear friend Janis Silins came and picket me up for breakfast, together with Janis Matisons. Right after breakfast our "tour" started. Our first meeting would be with the director of Tähtvere Leisure Park Foundation, mrs. Jane Kakobson in Tartu - Estonia. On our way to Tartu, ofcourse we had to look for mushrooms in the woods. One of Janis' hobbies is looking for mushrooms during this periode of the year, very interesting.
On our way to Tartu we also visited a friend of Janis Silins and former very successfull cycling coach, mr. Rein Kirsipuu, living about 20 minutes away from Tartu. This was a very interesting and educational meeting. I learned a lot about the history of Estonia as I still do also about Latvia. Mr. Kirsipuu's son, by the way, is a very succesfull road cyclist and won several stages at the Tour de France of late.
On arrival at the Tähtvere Leisure Park we were welcomed by mrs Jane Jakobson and showed around the Park. Since about 3 years now, Estonia has it's first ever BMX track on the grounds of the Leisure Park. The track was designed and built by Arturs Matisons, know international BMX top rider from Valmiera - Latvia. The Baltic Cup 2010 took place at this track. Here som picture of the track being built ánd some pictures of the Baltic Cup 2010. Picture by Kaimo Puniste - Estonia. On the grounds of this Park there was also an Open Air Stadium were performances take place. All together a very nice location, with plenty parking space around the track and at this stadium, which is close-by.
I also learned from Jane that in about 14 days an official BMX race track will be opened in Helsinki - Finland. This is very interesting because in the early days (1983/4) the Finland Motorcycle Federation already joined, as "adspirant member", the I.BMX.F. (International BMX Federation, now integrated into the UCI) but not much action from that side back then. So now, about 30 years later, BMX is realy starting as a competition sport in Finland, a very interesting and good development for the area, the Baltic States, Finland, Bellarus etc. Here a picture of the manager of the Helsinki BMX track, mrs. Katarina Laakkonen. Interesting fact, the BMX track in Finland has been built by Tom Ritzenthaler (USA).
After our visit to the city of Kartu and the BMX track at this Leisure park, we left for Latvia again. We visited several BMX tracks in Lativa on our way to Riga. First track we went to, was the Smiltene BMX track of the BMX club "Silvas Zikeri". I have been to that specific track before some time ago and I saw it was upgraded to the present track standards. Training was going on at the time, whih we wachted for some time.
The next track we visit, was the BMX track in the city of Madona followed by the BMX track in the city of Vecpiebalga. We had seen already the BMX track in Valmiere, run by the Matisons family and club there. Very interesting to tell you all that just for practise purposes a Supercross Startinghill has ben built next to the starting hill of the International race track. Junior and Elite riders were able to practise on this Supercrosshill and gate with a first straight only. This is how progressive Latvian BMX is.
During our around 575 km trip we talked a lot in the car. Mainly about the history of Latvia, in which I am very interested and which history is very emotional for Latvian people. Every time those stories do make a lot of impression on me. Ofcourse we also talked about BMX, international developments, championships, Olympic Games and how to progress from were we all are now. Very tired but satisfied of what I saw that day, we arrived in Riga were Janis dropped me off at my hotel along the river Daugava, at about 22.30 hours.
Final day, Tuesday August 28th., some sightseeing in Riga and visiting Riga's first BMX track.
At around 9.30 hours Aldons Vrublevskis (president L.O.C.) picked me up from the Hotel. Being on the 6th floor I had a great view over Riga City. We went directly to the Olympic Committee offices in the center of Riga, since a Latvian sportsjournalist, Mr. Dainis Caune, had planned an interview with me for the magazine "SPORTS".
After the interview we went on our way to the Riga BMX track, we visited a war cemetery called Braju kapi, meaning Brothers cemetery. Latvian soldiers but also Russian solders were buried here, a very impressive place.
The Riga BMX track has been realized after about 5 years of lobbying with the Town council and as location the Mezaparks was choosen, absolutely a great choose. General manager of this amusemenet park, Mr. Henrijs Fridenbergs, showed us around. First we visited the open air stadion were just a wek before Lady GAGA had performed for 54.000 people. There was a ZOO on the grounds of this park and many recreation areas like this climbing section (pictures below). There also was a waterfront at the joining lake, a realy great area to spent some time in.
The BMX track was a modern up to date track with a Pro-gate as starting gate. President of the BMX Club "Favorits", Mr. Aigars Ernstsons should us around at the track and talked proudly about having a leg/round in 2013 on the European Championship 2013.
After drinking some coffee, we, Aldons and myself left for the airport. On our way we past a former garage that now was turned into a beach-volleyball training facility, very interesting and inovatif I would say. Now I understand why the Latvian Beach-volleyball team did beat the Dutch team and won bronze at the Olympics! My plane left for Praque at 14.30 hours and from there I flew to Amsterdam. Arrived home after a train ride at about 22.00 hours.
Another very nice and interesting trip to Latvia. Thank you all for having me and your kind hospitality.
Picture gallery on the above story:
October 2012, seen here the final results of the 2012 UCI BMX World Cup/Super Cross series:
Overall results in Elite Men class:
1. Sam Willoughby - Australia
2. Connor Fields - USA
3. Twan van Gendt - Holland
Overall results in Elite Women class:
1. Caroline Buckanan - Australia
2. Magalie Pottier - France
3. Alice Post - USA
November 2012. Unique exhibition on BMX called BETON HURLANT in Paris and the 2012 VIBRATIONS URBAINE show.
Last October a unique happening took place at the National Sports Museum in Paris called "BETON HURLANT". Seb Ronjon, a filmmaker ánd very enthousiastic BMX lover, organized together with Franck Belliot together many other French BMX collectors and exclusive exhibition about BMX. Not only bikes were shown but also the story of BMX was told through magazines, uniforms and many other items. It took the organizers 6 month to get all the materials through many collecors together, select them, and actualy built the exhibition. People were able to come and see the exhibition for about 2 weeks.
Most unique initiative was to invite Bob Haro to come to the show. 45 collectors got money together, they invited Bob, took care of his flight, housing, transportation and so on. The exhibition was a great success. After I had seen the video, made by Seb Ronjon, about this exhition, I can truly say I never saw a show or exhibition anywere else in the world that was as professional set up and organised as this one in Paris, France. Big compliment for Seb Ronjon and his co workers. To get a real good impression check out this video on Beton Hurlant https://vimeo.com/55226610
Early November another special weekend took place where the 2012 Vibrations Urbaines BMX was helt. This event was organized by Franck Belliot with help of Seb Ronjon. This mainly concerned BMX Freestyle and for your entertainment, check out the video on that event through this link: https://vimeo.com/53367302
December 29th., a mini reunion of the famous Team AMEV I, year 1986 took place.
On this day a mini reunion took place at the Dutch BMX Museum in Megen - Holland. On initiativ of Mike Janssen (owner of the BMX Museum) and Gerrit Does (former Team AMEV team-manager) riders and staff were invited to attend this happening.
Present were Phil Hoogendoorn, Pierre van Zuijlen, Addie van de Ven and Jan Hekman. Ludy v.d. Werff died some 10 years ago, we are sorry to say. Ofcourse team-manager Gerrit Does was present as well as trainers Stanley der Meer (power) and Jeroen Vrijdag (general condition). Not present and on vaction was trainer Carry Graus. Also team doctor Jan Rijntjens was able to make it to Megen. Pitty to say that mechanic Wim Rijk (a former BMX racer from the pioneer periode of BMX in Holand) wasn't preent too, He was on a holiday too, in Thailand. Last but not least, Louis Vrijdag was present too. Louis was the responsable KNWU official at the time.
It was 26 years ago since this team was formed and some of its members did not see eachother for about 20 till 24 years. Ofcourse stories were told and crazy hapenings re-lived. It was great fun meeting everybody again. Jan Hekman arrived with an AMEV bike-box full with trophies, which he donated to the BMX Museum. A special trophy was his 3rd place trophy from the I.BMX.F. Worlds in Whistler-Canada, shown above in the picture. Also Pierre van Zuijlen did bring in and donated some special stuff from the '80's: a National Team AMEV bag with a Hutch uniform from the early '80's, unique stuff.
Some more old school bmx'ers came over to meet with their former competitors / friends in sport, like Melanie Hoogendoorn- van Deene, Mike Hoogerheyde, Cees Lengers, René de Groot, Danny Neijs, Arjan Schepers, Wim Kuiper (webmaster BMX Museum) e.o.
This meeting started at around 10.30 hours and the last person left the building at around 16.00 hours. Everybody enjoyed the meeting very much and all went home happy. Next mini-reunion will be with the Team Amev II - year 1987, probably ending 2013.
December 2012, the Latvian Olympic Committee issued their 2012 Olympic Year book.
Traditionaly the Latvain Olympic Committee issued and presented their National Olympic Team 2012 Olympic Year book. Mr. Caune Dainis did pu this book together with the help of several others. Impotant part of the book handles on BMX, since Maris Strombergs for the 2nd time (!) did win the Golden Olympic medal in Elite Men class. Nice stories and great pictures of all Latvian Athletes, a real nice document to have. The Latvian President of the LAC, Mr. Aldons Vrublevskis, presented Gerrit Does a copy.