History 2015-2016

History of BMX (2015 - 2016)

Year 2015.

March 7th. - 8th., International BMX Indoor de Tours - France, the 22nd. edition.

On March 7th. and 8th. the longest running indoor in Europe took place. The International BMX Indoor de Tours - France, took place for the 22nd time, the only remaining CLASSIC BMX EVENT from the 80's (first event took place in 1983). The other CLASSIC events were the E.C.C. / European Challenge Cup at Slagharen in Holland and the International Indoor Palais Omnisport de Bercy - Paris, in France. Both latest mentioned events seized to exsist years ago.

After a break in organizing the Indoor de Tour of 9 years, now this prestegious event is back. Since BMX has some history now, there will be Old School activities and a BMX Museum was in place. Three Pioneer well known BMX racers will attend this event on the Saturday evening. Hope to have some pictures available soon for you all.

April 3rd.-5th. International BMX event, including Round 1 & 2 European Championship Junior and Elite, Circuit Zolder - Belgium.

Waalre, April 2015.                                                             
OPINION:

International BMX event Circuit Zolder – Belgium, including
Round 1 & 2 European Championship Junior and Elite, April 3rd. thr. 5th. 2015.

L.s.,
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 3,4 and 5th. This event took place at the new built BMX track at Circuit Zolder in Belgium. The event did have 3888 entries what means that, this event did have the most entries ever in a European event and probably even in the world.

For reasons I don't know and for sure don't understand, the UEC had decided the Championship classes would race on Friday and Saturday evening from 20.00 hours on. For outside BMX people coming over as a family and sit there all evening till around 22.30 hours at least, doesn't look very challenging. Not a good marketing/promotion decision.

Here my personal conclusion after watching both evenings on Lifestream on my computer: The track looked great to me, well prepaired. Since last year some changes have been made on the track for the better. Among others they changed the grid on the starting hill for the Junior and Elite riders, prefenting slippery conditions whenever it would start to rain (no Papendal 2014 situation!).

Watching the racing I noticed that nice moves can be made on this track, specialy on the first and second straight and corners. It has been a long time since I saw such nice overtaking and cutting back moves by the riders during racing. The correct rythem on the 3rd. straight made you fly and able to pass riders. To me, looking at the screne, the track looked smooth as well. My personal remark on the length of the tacks for several years, comes back here too:  I believe and think that the fastest rider should finish a lap in around 38-40 seconds. Here the track was around 32-33 seconds. I would love to see the track a bit longer (Olympic standard).

Again I did see plenty crashes. Still a bit too many for me. However, this was not due to track conditions, but they happened because of lack of experience by riders. Most of the crashes I saw on TV were single rider crashes, caused by a mistake by the rider. Ony a few crashes of more then 1 rider: one falling down and takes at the same time another competator out too. I believe there still is too much difference a riding skills between riders at this level of racing, in men as well as women classes. That's not bad, because BMX has countries that are developing to a higher riding level in time. Several Junior and Elite women riders weren't able to take the jumps on the 1st. straight correctly among other things.

Riders of countries that impressed me were first of all the Russian riders. The American's, were on top of their game too and ofcourse the new generation Dutch riders did very well in both classes. This was only a first meeting between international top riders this year, my quess is, 2015 will see some very good BMX racing in Junior and Elite classes.

Specialy the Friday evening the best racing took place, despite the fact that due to floodlight problems there was a delay in finishing this first round of about 80 till 90 minutes. Starting at almost 20.30 hours, racing finished at midnight around  0.10 hours !!!!  You see and that's what I mean, outside BMX people like families with kids won't stay and they go home disappointed. Even BMX people present left the grandstand at around 22.30 and at the end not many people were there to watch the main events. UEC should re-think there evening racing setup, that's my advice. For the organizer this all was a good general rehursel for the World. Things that weren't going like it should. can be corrected in time for the Worlds.

I know the lifestream was a first for the organization. I could see they were experimenting during the program and that's o.k., this first time. They will eveluate and learn from thier experiences for sure. One thing that have been and still is a problem, I think, is the way our “speakers” go about their business. I try to explain what I mean: Why must their be so much very loud yelling, trying to make spectators present, enthousiast. They also use the same kind of routine of country group calling/yelling …...  Try something new! Announcers/speakers should be trained as well, educated what could be done best. Learn from other sport disciplines by watching and hearing what happens there. That's about the speakers on the field. Presentator during a Lifestream broadcast should give additional information also, background info on riders, situation, the sport in general etc. making the story  interesting for the in- and outside BMX people. Telling what spectators can see on TV themselves has no sence realy, does it? Announcing is a PROFESSION and now it 's done by mostly BMX enthousiasts, which is o.k., but at Top events and when TV is present, the professional speakers should come first. This is just a suggestion (as I suggested in the past, several times as well !).

Over 260.000 people world wide followed these races on Lifestream. That is o.k., but not fantastic for an Olympic sport. A lot can be gained here.

What I think is the most important conclusion, is the fact that with this track and event, Belgium can now be confirmed to belong to the top countries in Europe and in the World concerning organizing top events. Here a piece of history.  Belgium has had a very troubled BMX history with in the early days several BMX organizations competing against eachother, each holding around a few hundred license holders. At one point there were 3 or 4 organizations running BMX in such a small country. The were killing eachother in a way. Crazy situation. This was from 1979 on. In the '80 s in Belgium laws were in place were young children )I believe under 13 ?) were not allowed to race BMX. That was a struggle too. Tracks in Belgium have been of poor quality for a long time. Only since around 2000 when the Dessel BMX club started out, they did set the trend for “modern” BMX racing and good organizing in Belgium. Since BMX became an Olympic sport in 2008, also in Belgium things became much more serious in all fields concerning our sport. European Championships have now been organized and for 2015 a real UCI BMX World Championship will be run on this up-to-date BMX track at Circuit Zolder. Belgium BMX is now on top of things for sure. Congratulations to all involved in Belgium BMX. Circuit Zolder and it's BMX staff have done a great job so far, prepairing for the 2015 Worlds.

Well, this is all for now. Let's meet again at the 2015 UCI BMX World Championships in Zolder, Belgium. Good luck to all.

Kind regards,
Gerrit Does


May 9th.-10th., the UCI BMX World Cup-SuperCross at Papendal-Arnhem, Holland took place.

Being present at this event, I was able to give a fair opinion of this event, which took place for the 5th. time at the BMX facility at the Olympic Training Center Papendal in Arnhem, Holland. Here my opinion on this event:


Waalre-Holland, May 12th. 2015.            
                                                              
Concerns: Opinion on the UCI BMX World Cup/Super Cross Papendal – Holland, May 9th. -10th. 2015.

Saturday and Sunday, May 9 -10th, the UCI BMX World Cup/Supercross took place at the Olympic Training Center Papendal – Arnhem in Holland. A long story, short: This was the best ever event, helt at Papendal since their first WC/SX, organization wise. I was not present at all WC/SX events world wide over time, but of those events I was present, the Papendal event this year tops them all.

The dressing of the track, the position of facilities for riders, VIP's and specators, was changed for the better. The total “picture” was just great and this is how each and every WC/SX event should look like. Well done Papendal organization (Jochem Schellens) in co-operation with BMX Holland.

An extra dimension was added by the different activities outside the BMX stadium. The BMX free-style demo, the ATB/MTB event, the sprint on the artificial pump track. More people came and watched this events this year here.

As always, the VIP facilities and VIP business lounge were taken care off professionaly. Around 2500 seats were available in the grand stands. On Sunday around 2200/2300 spectators came to watch the event, whish is just o.k. Atmosphere was good, also thanks to the good weather conditions.

A couple of weeks ago, the first 2 rounds of the European Championship were helt at Zolder. My opinion of that event was that the “announcers/speaker” (3 of them I believe!), were too loud a lot. At this WC/CX event at Papendal, we had present a very good group of announcers/speakers. Not too much “yelling”, only working towards the semi finals and main events, the tried to make the spectators present to cheer for their riders and that was just good and enough. This is what announcing should look like. It was done in a professional way. Compliments! Hope this will be a good example for other organizers as well, how to go about with the public address.

I realy don't have much more to say, besides that I learned that on the Saturday around 6 ambulance brought riders to hospital. BMX is a sport of falling down and getting up, however we should try to make the tracks as safe as possible and keep on working on safety, making tracks safer. Accident will happen, but lets try to minimize that. Good think is that people involved in prepairing this track know where problem spots are in that track and they plan to change parts of the track for the better. That's the way to do it.

Racing itself was o.k. working towards the finals, it all became more exiting for riders and specialy the spectators, what showed when Niek “the Torpedo” Kimman won the Elite men final. People went wild. Good promotion for BMX in Holland with National sports channel NOS and local TV station present to report about this event.

RESULTS:
Final Elite Men 
                                     Country  laptime                     
1. KIMMANN Niek           NED     37.577  
2. WILLOUGHBY Sam           AUS     37.839  
3. VAN GORKOM Jelle          NED     37.850  
4. DEAN Anthony            AUS     38.409  
5. OQUENDO ZABALA Carlos Mario          COL     38.658  
6. REZENDE Renato           BRA     38.701  
7. CALEYRON Quentin           FRA     39.628  
8. DAUDET Joris          FRA     42.642

Final Elite Women  
                                     Country  laptime

1. PAJON Mariana          COL     36.193  
2. STANCIL Felicia          USA     37.422  
3. HERNANDEZ Stefany         VEN     37.982  
4. BUCHANAN Caroline          AUS     38.629  
5. REYNOLDS Lauren          AUS     39.370   
6. CHRISTENSEN Simone          DEN     39.961   
7. POST Alise         USA     48.910   
8. VAN BENTHEM Merle          NED     49.837    

My personal conclusion: a top event and maybe even one of the 3 best WC/SX events ever so far, overall organization wise.  Nothing more to say !

 

June 26th, the 1st. ever European Games took place in Baku - Azerbaijan.

On this date the 1st. European Games took place in Baku - Azerbaijan, more specific the BMX competitiion took place on this day. Concerning the BMX Time Trials, the results were as follows:

Elite Men
1st.   Edzus Treimanis  - Latvia     time: 32,288  sec.
2nd.           Graf - Switzerland     time: 33.307  sec.
3rd.            Mir - France     time: 33.310  sec.

Elite Women
1st.   Elke VanHoof - Belgium     time: 36,628 sec.
2nd.         Christensen - Denmark     time: 37,212 sec.
3rd.          Labounkova - Tjech    time: 37,523 sec.

Note: the time realized can not be compaired with any other time trial event, since the tracks are never exactly the same of length ánd have never the same obstacles. It's an indication of the time on that particular track in comparison with the times realized by the other competators on that same track.

Here the results of the "normal" competition:

Elite Men

Elite Women

 

July 5th., the day Scot Breithaupt died.

Death of Scot Breithaupt, Sr.
July 14, 1957 - July 5, 2015
La Quinta, California | Age 57

Entrepreneur considered the Godfather of BMX Racing         
By CHRISTOPHER WEBER, The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Scot Alexander Breithaupt, who helped turn BMX bike racing from a backyard backwater into an international action sport, has died, authorities said.

Breithaupt was among the first to organize bicycle races on dirt motorcycle courses in the early 1970s, becoming first a founder of BMX — or bicycle motocross — then a champion, then one of its first famous faces,  "Scot was one of the key figures in making BMX become what it is today. He would say he was the key figure, because that was the kind of guy he was," said Craig Barrette, spokesman for USA BMX, which runs the sport's Hall of Fame, where Breithaupt is enshrined. "He was involved in every aspect of BMX."

The sport, which later took on some of the same high-flying freestyle features as skateboarding, now draws crowds of thousands, fueled by energy-drink company sponsors and featured on ESPN's X Games. Among its biggest current stars is Jamie Bestwick, a 13-time X Games BMX gold medalist, who was part of a social media outpouring in the action sports world for Breithaupt.

"Sad to read about the passing of one of the all-time greats," Bestwick said on his Twitter and Facebook pages. "Scot Breithaupt thank you for your amazing contributions and dedication to BMX."  Another BMX Hall-of-Famer, Mike King, tweeted that it's a "very sad day in the BMX world."  Breithaupt's death was unexpected, and the circumstances are murky.

Police responding to reports of a body near a shopping center in the desert city of Indio found him dead in a tent at a vacant lot, Sgt. Dan Marshall said Monday. Breithaupt, who was 57 and lived in neighboring La Quinta, had been dead for an unknown time, and there were no obvious signs of foul play, Marshall said. A cause of death had not been determined Monday.

Breithaupt was a teenager and a competitive motocross rider when one day he saw a group of kids riding their bicycles in a dirt lot near his home in Long Beach, Calif. He was inspired to organize bicycle races on a dirt track similar to those used by motocross riders.

"Those were some of the first BMX races ever," Barrette said.  Breithaupt became a BMX rider, winning several championships.  He also became an early voice for the sport, introducing it to the nation as a color commentator in the early 1980s when it was televised on ESPN at a time when the network itself was new and specialized in novelties.

Later, he started manufacturing bikes, founding the company SE Racing and creating several innovative frame designs, Barrette said.  After retiring from active racing, he sold SE and started LM Productions, producing BMX and extreme-sport shows for ESPN and Fox.

End of Press-release.

 
                                                              
July 14th.-18th, the UCI BMX World Challenge and Championship at Circuit Zolder – Belgium.

2015UCIworldsLogoMaster

OPINION, written down on August 8th.

Sorry to say, but I ran into health problems on July 10th, because of which I wasn't able to be present during this fantastic event. Without the normal “signs” concerning a possible heart problem, after a check not feeling that well, I had to stay in the hospital.  Agina Pectorus it was. Luckely no damage to my heart, but still a “stent” was placed in one of my “kransslagaders”. Because of all this happening, I decided NOT to go to Zolder and watch the UCI BMX Words event on LIFE-STREAM, which I did.  On Friday July 24th. I was riding my All Terrain Bike already, ofcourse at an easy pace and from then on I picked up my training taking it step by step. Today, August 4th. thr. 8th., I started writing down my impressions and opinion on the 34th. World Championship since 1982 (I.BMX.F.-FIAC- UCI) and the 20th. World Championship of BMX under the flag of the UCI.

167945 12-SM-SD 

Opinion on the UCI BMX World Championship and Challenge, helt at Circuit Zolder in Belgium.

Finaly after a couple of years having BMX World Championships Indoors, on too short tracks, a REAL outdoor BMX event took place, outdoor, as BMX was ment to be historicaly. No 22+ second BMX track, cramped inside an indoor facility, but a real outdoor BMX track of around 370 meters or in seconds, for Junior riders around 37 seconds and Elite around 31 seconds a lap.

This track was built by former BMX Champ Thomas Hamon (France) and company. Thomas built the track in 2014 and after perfectioning the track since last year, I think this was one of the most demanding and exiting BMX World Championship tracks of the past 5 / 6 years. It was possible to even win a Championship title coming from lane 8, cutting back and other moves were possible in corner 1 and 2  and the last straight gave those with a perfect riding technique to change to catch up and even win a race on the finish line. EXITING racing took place, not only in Junior and Elite classes, but also in all Girls, Boys, Cruisers classes and Master class.

* The only remark I want to make is, that I pledge for UCI ruling, to built World Championship tracks, that should at all times be 400 metres in length (standard).

From day 1 up and till Friday, the weather was just great. Sunshine, almost no wind and very interesting racing took place. Grandstands were realy well filled with spectators at all times and the ambiance was very good.

Another exiting happening were the weather conditions on the Saturday, the World Championship Day. The worst storm since about the year 1910 raged across Belgium and Holland (we learned that afterwards!). It was decided to run just 1 qualifying moto and NOT to use the 8 metre starting hill, because of the too heavy winds and so on. Not only riders could be in danger, but also spectators, because around the grandstands there were high trees, which formed a certain risk by such a storm. An absolute wise decision of the Jury/Organizers to try to run this event as quicky ánd safe as possible, because the weather forcast showed an increas of bad weather during the day.

It also rained off and on and what I think is an absolute FANTASTIC fact …..... the riders did not complain, as professional sportsmen and women they adjusted to the circumstances and cooped with it. Not only the riders, but also the officials and specialy the public/spectators stayed in the grandstands to support their riders. The track was holding up great. I think it is worth while giving ALL those present and taking part in this event a BIG COMPLIMENT. This is what I think, is real BMX.

Addition to the above made August 12th., after receiving several complaints, about the change in the time schedule and non communication about this, on Saturday:
Due to lack of communication by the organizers, several BMX and outside BMX people who planned to come over and watch the qualifiers and the main events (finals) from around 14.00 / 15.00 hours on, were very disappointed finding out on arrival that RACING WAS OVER AND DONE with already. The only thing the organizers did not think of, were those spectators who ONLY had tickets for that Saturday ánd who did not want to be at the track very early. They only were interested in the1/4, 1/2 and final events. Again, because of the change in the time-schedule, they arrived when racing was over, office box and ticket box were closed etc. Some very angry spectators here …...... 

Everybody in the grandstands and on the grounds of Circuit Zolder were informed in time. Those outside the facilities, staying at hotels somewhere around Zolder, weren't informed at all. Most people present were inside BMX people, but if it would have been 80 % outside BMX people, it would have been a dissaster. Well here 1 important point for improvement. Maybe have printed on the tickets a text to check the time-schedule at all times, before coming to the event. Internet is the correct media for that, I think.  So there is at least one, kind of negative point to be mentioned here. Hope organizers and UCI take good notice of “this point of improvement” in order to prefent mis-communication as it happened this time.
End of Addition.


To me, specialy the Saturday was also a déjà vu. I remembered very well the 1983 I.BMX.F. Worlds at Slagharen in Holland, that I organized and were we had about the same weather circumstances. Also then, on the Saturday, heavy rain but racing went on, spectators stayed in their seats, the track was “bad weather prove" (unique at the time) and we had great races too. However, then the Final events took place on Sunday and on that day the weather was just great again, the sun was shining and we had a great ending of the 1983 I.BMX.F Worlds at Slagharen in Holland.

A Historic background on BMX in Belgium (1979 – present).

I want to give you all a historic background in BMX developing in Belgium, because I am so proud of what several people and organizations realized in the past 15 years in this country.

Probably not many people will know this, but this 2015 World Championship was the 3rd. World Championship organized in Belgium. Officialy BMX started in Belgium in 1979 with the B.L.B. Soon several more “organizations” did see the light of day, each of them holding between 100 and max, 200 license holders. These organizations were “fighting” eachother and therefore slowing down BMX developing like it did in comparison with among others France, Holland and England.

Another problem was that in the '80 s the government did not allow youngsters to participate in BMX competition (the 5 till 12 year group, if I remember well). So for many years the total number of license holders was around 300 / 350 in Belgium. Also tracks weren't very professional and in many cases just grass tracks (meadows and such).

Internationaly the I.BMX.F. was founded in 1981 and we organized BMX World Championships since 1982. However, the FIAC (amature devision of UCI at the time) also started a BMX section and they organized their 1st. World Championship in 1984. The 1984 FIAC Open BMX World Championship was helt in Charleroi – BELGIUM. So with around 280 entries, this was in fact the first time a BMX Worlds was organized in Belgium. More details on the history, check www.universityofbmx.com  Section History of BMX.

Four (4) years later another FIAC World Championship was organized in BELGIUM. This World Championship took place in MOL in 1988 and did have 850 entries, including a BMX National Team from the USA, them being also founder members of the I.BMX.F. !!!  The NBL  racing at this FIAC Worlds felt like treason to me and many others, but that's another story.

Up and till the year 2000, BMX developments in Belgium were kind of difficult. Then a man called Frank Smets, initiated and got organized the JOEL SMETS  BMX TRACK in DESSEL. Being a fan of the E.C.C. Events at Slagharen up and till 1993, he wanted to do even better then Slagharen.  And he did. A great track was built, top races were organized and a couple of years back the Final round and the UCI BMX European Championship was organized at Dessel. This high quality organization did set a trend and motivated several others in Belgium to try to improve that result.

In their footsteps Circuit Zolder, a professionaly run sportsorganization in motorsports, and already very much involved in cycling in general on their race track, got interested in BMX. The Circuit Zolder organization appointed 2 men that started to work on a professional bases to set up BMX, they are Mark Wauters, a former professional cycling road racer and Gil de Vis a marketeer-organizer. A track was built and an application were made with the UCI to organize a BMX Worlds at Zolder. Since 2011 the organization has been working on this project, with the result of this fantastic 2015 UCI BMX World Championship at Circuit Zolder in BELGIUM,  now being the 3rd. ever organized BMX Worlds in Belgium.

Since 1982 this has been the 34th. BMX Worlds and the 20th. Worlds under UCI flag after I.BMX.F integrated into the UCI in 1996.

Again, great compliments of what has been accomplished in Belgium the past 15 years. Belgium absolutely can be ranked under the TOP countries organizing top events.


European BMX Hall of Fame.

It is a plesure to announce that the Circuit Zolder organization has been nominated to become a European BMX Hall of Fame member in the category B2, organizers/promotors of European TOP events.   Congratulations to Mark Wauters and Gil de Vis of the Circuit Zolder organization. More details later, check www.universityofbmx.com  in due time (September 2015).

The UCI BMX World Challenge and World Championships 2015 at Circuit Zolder – Belgium.

I have been watching World Challenge BMX racing on my laptop from race day 1 up and till the BMX World Championships on Saturday July 18th.  Here some facts of interest: the overall pre-entry riders count was  3.133. The largest contingencies of riders came from Great Britain with 444 entries, France with 439 entries, Belgium with 412 entries and Holland with 395 entries.

42 Nations were represented: Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Netherlands, Switzerland, USA, New Zealand, Chili, Colombia, Spain, Germany South Africa, Slovenia, Sweden, Zimbabwe, Ecuador, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Peru, Austria, France, Argentina, Brazil, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Canada, Lithuania, Mexico, Portugal, Estonia, Belarus, Norway, Ukraine, Poland and Aruba.

Racing in the Challenge classes was very interesting and exiting. The ambiance around the track was good all the time, also due to the nice weather conditions. Two finals come to mind from these Challenge classes and 1 Championship class, the Men 40 plus class were Dorus Brink (Netherlands) , who had gate number 8 on the five metre starting hill and still was able to win this Main event with an important lead. In the Masters World Championship class it was Kelvin Beatey, who had a gate on the far right side too, had a bad start and still managed to gain the lead and win this class in an impressive way. The next day Kelvin also won the Cruiser class. Both men showed the potential of the track, anything was possible and even from bad starting positions a race and championship could be won.

Going through the event day by day, as I saw it:

On Tuesday the Challenge classes 5 through 14 year Boys and Girls were racing. This became a very long day, were racing ended at around 21.15 hours that day. Interesting races, grandstand filled with spectators all day long and the weather was just great again. As I stated before, the track was just fine and the excidents/crashes that happened were mostly riding technicaly related. 
 
At around 21.30 hours the he price giving ceremony started out a bit hectic, not well organized. During the week procedures improved and in the end the price giving ceremony went smooth and organized. The trophies were very unique/special, they had the form of the race track of Circuit Zolder.

On Wednesday the Challenge classes Boys & Girls 15, 16 were on the track as well as Women 17+,  Men 17-24, Men 25-29, Men 30+ and the Worldchampionship Masters class. Just a little bit less spectators were watching these races. So far the SPEAKERS had done a good job.  Personaly the Final of the Girls 16 class come to mind were a Japanese girl won the Challenge title.  I already told you all about the very nice race of Kelvin Beatey, who won the World Championship title in the Masters class.

The price giving ceremony was already better organized and started around 16.45 hours after racing had ended at 16.25 that day. Again the weather was just fine.

On Thursday is was Cruiser day. Fierce racing on this great track (compliments to Thomas Hamon and his crew). Still there were some bad crashes. Lack off riding technique and click pedals were the cause of those crashes mainly. Speakers were doing a great job again this day like not yelling like crazy, still bringing athmosphere into racing. Personaly, as a "spectator", I would like to get some more inside information on top riders, situations and genereal developments of and in the sport, from those speakers. As expected less spectators in the grandsstands. It was good to see that there were not many persons like press and photographers on the infield of the race track (safety). Racing ended at around 14.15 hours. One rider took a double winning the World Championship in Masters class ánd the Challenge Championship in Cruiser 40 plus, Kelvin Beaty. Well done.

Following racing through Lifestream was just o.k. Good show.

Remarks.  I want to make 2 remarks. In several races of the younger riders, I noticed that some of them did not have their helmet streps closed (safety), that should have been checked better, I think.  Also a couple of riders had too big a helmet (too loose fit around their head), did not fit correct, that should be checked better in the future too, just to prefent any injuries when crashing.

Last but nog least, the price giving ceremony on Thursday went much smoother then the earlier 2 days. Routine was getting in.

On Friday the Time/Trials were on. You all know what my opinion is about the TT´s. O.K. there is another World title to be won, but still, the principal of BMX racing is getting on the gate with 3/4 till 8 riders and see who can be at the finish line first. Using time trials for qualification and position at the gate, I can understand too. On the other hand this type of qualification for any reason, takes a lot of time. Riders going round one by one. I think it is also not very exiting and interesting for TV as well as for spectators present around the track. Grandstands weren't realy filled well

People could follow racing at Zolder through Lifestream. Belgium old school BMX'er Tom Jacobs was a co-host commentator during the TT's at a Belgium National TV station called CANVAS. He did a good job explaining all about BMX. The program itself was professionaly broadcasted.

There have been counted over 127.000 unique viewers, who all together watched these World Challenge and Championship race 660.000 times. One can not compare these figures with the broadcasting of the Tour de France ofcourse, but numbers are getting larger every year, when we talk BMX.

Time Trial World Championship results can be found at the UCI website. In Junior Women, France did win the title with a laptime of 37.036 seconds. The Columbian Elite Women had 35.518 seconds in which she covered the track.

Junior Men fastest lap was 32.582 seconds by an Australian rider and in Elite Men, the French rider did it in 30.953 seconds. As I stated before, this track was around 370 metres. I think a “standard” Worlds track should be at least 400 metres. It would be a marketing tool as well to be able to compare BMX 400 metres with running 400 metres training wise (stamina, power, lactic acid etc.) for instance.


The UCI BMX World Championhips, Saturday July 18th.

The number of participants in these World Championship classes were as follows:
Junior Women     25 riders
Junior Men    70 riders
Elite Women      37 riders
Elite Men     93 riders,   makes a total of 225 riders.

During the week the weather has been just great. For this Saturday the weather forcast was not very good. The bad weather started already during the night (Friday-Saturday) and in the morning there was too much wind and terrible rain.

UCI officials decided to not race 3 qualifying moto's but just one. It was also decided NOT the use the 8 metre starting hill, because of the hard wind. And that was a very smart decision they took. Another reason to try to run the races as quickly as possible was the fact that the track was surrounded by trees. Also the spectators had to be protected, trees could fall down. Thunder, wind and storm could cause trees to come down etc.etc. Again, a very wise decision to make the changes as mentioned earlier.

Personaly I was not able to watch the racing on Saturday. On Sunday morning I watched a 1 hour show on the BBC about this World Championship in Zolder. One of the commentators presenting this program was our dear friend Jamie Staff, former BMX Champ and Olympic Champ Velodrome.  Great show, BMX was presented very professionaly, absolutely top. This was the first time I had the feeling: now BMX as a sport is getting the credits it deserves since it became an Olympic sport. Well done BBC and big compliments to Jamie Staff promoting BMX as he did.

pictures x x x x x  Jamie in studio

Racing in all 4 World Championship classes was great. As I said, all classes used the 5 metre strting hill. It was an adjustment for the riders, but they all cooped with it and showed their professionalism by not protesting or complaining.

There were some crashes, maybe even due to the weather conditions, but still racing was very interesting. Moves were made from the first straight going into corner 1. It was possible to make tactical moves in corner 2 and come out on top. Going into corner 3, technique could help you going into the corner first and the last straight was a decision maker several times if you had the correct technique increasing speed at the end. Loved watching all of this.

Want to say it one more time. THIS WAS BMX RACING as I like to see it. I also want to give my compliments to the Medical Staff present around and on the track. They were with many (around 25 persons) but you rarely noticed them. Very professional people.

Very sad story about one of the 2 main men of the Circuit Zolder organisation. Gil de Vis, who had been prepairing this event for 3 years. Gil made a bad fall prepairing the track and broke his elbow in a complex way, in the weekend before racing started. Had to go to hospital, got operated upon, had to stay a couple of days at the hospital and only the last couple of days was able to come to the track and watch the racing. Gil, it is because of all the work you did during those 3 years prepairing for the event, that all went smooth and well. Compliment and get better soon.

Again, 1 point for improvement is for sure the way to communicate when time-schedule changes are inplace. I explained above what kind of complaints I received from several parties (read above).

The BLACK HOLE.
Belgium can consider itself at the top of organizing BMX events at the highest level at this moment. For the actual organizers of Circuit Zolder, there will be the famous “black hole” after this event. Just finishing business and cleaning up and then back to “normal” again.  As an organizer myself, I know exactly what that looks like. Now we have to look for a new challenge !

What will be the next challenge for a professional organization such as “Circuit Zolder”?  One could think of a UCI BMX World Cup / Super Cross event. O.k., in comparison, organization wise, that is a piece of cake now for Circuit Zolder, I think. Maybe even another World Championship organized at the Zolder track ? Who knows.........

A NEW and CHALLENGING event would be a “next step”.  Well, I can help you with an idea:  Since early 1990 I am talking about a BMX  WORLD  CHAMPIONSHIP  of  NATIONS, but so far no serious attempts have been made to set up such an event yet.  Would it not be a great idea to organize  a  UCI BMX WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP of NATIONS in 2017> ?  An event like and in the setting of the Moto-Cross of Nations by the FIM ?

I know that an event like that, with National Teams competing against eachother, will be very interesting for National TV stations world-wide to broadcast.  Around 40 till 50 countries within UCI are involved in BMX and they do have riders of international competition quality. Such an event should not have as goal to have as many entries as possible, no, it should all be about quality.

So, each country could sent  1 or 2  National teams max., consisting of 8 riders per team: 2 Junior Women, 2 Junior Men, 2 Elite Women and 2 Elite Men. In racing only the best 6 results will count for points. You talk about around 800 riders  max.

This should be a 2 day event (Training Friday, 2 days of competition, Saturday and Sunday).  Pricemoney for the top 8 teams of this UCI BMX WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP of NATIONS: make if BIG pricemoney, like 1 st place 20.000 euros etc. etc.  So, this might be something to think about Circuit Zolder organization !  I can help you with some more ideas and details, if wanted.


Here a Dutch perspective (historicaly) on this UCI BMX World Championship 2015.

In the Eilte Men class, Dutchman Niek Kimman surprised a lot of people winning the BMX World title in Elite Class.

In the highest performance classes at any time from 1982 till 1994, Dutch riders won 15 World titles. From 1999 till 2009, Dutch riders did win 4 World titles of which Robert de Wilde was the last Dutch rider winning the Elite Men class in France in 1999. So 19 World titles in total we won up and till now.

So after 16 years (1999-2015), finaly a Dutchman did win the World title in the highest performance class again, the Elite Men class, Niek Kimmann 2015 !


ROOKIES winning a World title in the highest performance classes at any time since 1982.

Another very special fact is that there are 3 riders, winning a World title in the highest performance class as a ROOKIE, over the years 1982 up and till 2015.  Here they are:

PHIL HOOGENDOORN, the Netherlands, World Champion Junior 16 and over at 1983 Slagharen, Holland.  As a ROOKIE in the Superclass 20 and 24 inch the next year 1984, he won World Titles in both Superclass 20 ánd 24 inch. That was unique too.

CHRISTOPHE LEVEQUE, France, World Champion Boys 17 year, 1990 Le Castelet, France. Riding for MCS Euro Team by the way, of which team I was the team-manager at the time. Christophe moved to Superclass in 1991 and as a ROOKIE he won the World Title in Superclass 20 inch in 1991 at Sandnes / Norway.

NIEK KIMMANN, the Netherlands, World Champions Junior Men 2014 Ahoy Rotterdam. Niek moved to ELITE Men class in 2015 and as ROOKIE he won the Elite Men title 2015 at Circuit Zolder in Belgium.

Three absolute unique results in 33 years of BMX history by Phil, Christophe and Niek!

Well, this is all I have to say about the 2015 UCI BMX World Championship at Circuit Zolder in Belgium. Great event it was, again compliments to all involved. Let´s get ready for the OLYMPIC GAMES in RIO in 2016! Good luck you all.

Gerrit Does

xxxxxxxxx   Result on this Worlds will follow soon.

August 15th.-16th., the UCI BMX World Cup - Super Cross Ängelholm - Sweden, round 4.

Round 4 of the 2015 UCI BMX World Cup - Super Cross events took place in Ängelholm - Sweden in the weekend of August 15th.-16th.  Qualifications on Saturday and Finals on Sunday. In total 125 Elite Men participated and in Elite Women 44 riders took part in this event. The Super Cross track was located at the Sibirien BMX Arena. The weather conditions were not that good, specialy on the Sunday. It was very windy and because of that racing was postponed several times for a short periode of time, till the wind was at an exceptable level. Crazy situation though that because of the 8 metre starting hill and too strong winds, racing had to be stoped 

Besides a poor number of spectators and the delays because of the strong winds, racing on TV was not very exiting. No ambiance, not that good promotion for BMX. Commentators were from the USA and Australia what ment too much talk about riders from those countries and less about the rest of the participating countries. Personaly I think for an Olympic sport, this event was below Olympic level in general.

Results Final Elite Men
1. Liam Phillips      - GBR
2. Bodi Turner      - AUS
3. Sam Willoughby      - AUS

The participating 24 countries at this Elite Men event were: Argentina - Australia - Belgium - Brazil - Canada - Colombia - Czech Republic - Denmark - Ecuador - Finland - France - Great Britain - Germany - Hungary - Italy - Japan - Latvia - The Netherlands - Norway - New Zealand - Russian Federation - Switzerland - Sweden and the USA.

Results Final Elite Women
1. Alise Post      - USA
2. Felicia Sstancil       - USA
3. Lauren Reynolds      - AUS

In Elite Women 22 countries were represented: Argenta - Australia - Belgium- Canada - Colombia - Czech Republic - Denmark - Ecuador - France - Great Britain - Germany - Italy - Latvia - Lithuania - Netherlands - New Zealand - South Africa - Russian Federation - Switzerland - Thailand - USA and Venezuela. 


August 22nd. I received a book (novel) written by former BMX'er Steven Cohen (USA).

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was asked for my home address by Renny Roker and Steven Cohen. Steven Cohen, a former JAG BMX Teammember of Renny Roker, had written a book about our sport, BMX. Steven would then sent me a copy to read and keep, another book on BMX for my collection.

On August 22nd., the book called: "CLIPPED IN,  The Ride of a Lifetime"  arrived at my house. I will start to read it soon and give my opion later on, below. Here some information for you all about this book. The book has 345 pages, is published by MRK publushing. Can be abtained through  amazon.com  and/or  booksamillion.com.  this book cost 16,99 dollars .... enjoy!

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December 23rd, Mr. Janis Silins receiving a special Latvian award.

Photografer of photo's  -  Zigismunds Zalmanis and the Latvian Olympic committee.

Hello from Riga!
Merry Christmas to you and family and Successful Olympic 2016!

Dear Gerrit, I would like to inform you, that our friend Janis Silins reached 70 years age and is awarded this year the highest price in Latvian sports - he was nominated and awarded the price - Lifetime contribution to the Latvian sports 2015. Only one such price is given each year. We had our National Sports Gala 2015 on Wednesday December 23rd. of 2015. When Janis received this award, there were 450 sports and society people present and with direct translation in Latvian TV 1. Also his daughters and some grandchildren were present (Janis has 8 grandchildren already). By this I am sending you some photos from the Sports Gala of December 23rd.

President of the Latvian Olympic Committee, mr. Aldons Vrublevskis

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Comment by Gerrit Does:

I am more then proud to know both men mentioned and call them my friends, Aldons Vrublevskis and Janis Silins, for such a long time. It was around 1987 when I had my first contacts with Janis, though post mail. Since then we do have a long history in BMX. Again, congratulations dear friend Janis Silins. This Lifetime in Latvian Sports award is more then deserved. 

 
 

Year 2016:

January 2016, article from BMX MANIA:   Big change in Global Supercross World Cups UCI.

picture:  Johan Lindstrom at the 2006 UCI BMX World Cup in Frejus, France.

After 15 years of running UCI BMX Supercross World Cups, Johan Lindström and his Global Supercross/GSX inc. organization will be replaced by UCI BMX for 2016. Remark by Gerrit Does: Johan Lindström (from Sweden) started to work for the UCI on July 1, 2000. He replaced Jeroen Vrijdag (from Holland) who left the UCI a few months before. Johan Lindström was appointed UCI BMX ánd TRIALS COORDINATOR. Johan got involved in promoting and organising BMX World Cup - Supercross events more and more. UCI re-thinking the position of the BMX Coordinator job over time, decided to return to their core business. Lindström resigned from the UCI job and excepted a position as CEO within the new formed Global Supercross Events inc. a business orientated promotion and organization company. On January 1st. GSX inc. became a fact. Several circumstances caused GSX inc. to stop their activities ending 2015. So for 10 years Johan Lindström worked within the UCI organisation/office and for 5 years as independent GSX inc. running the UCI WC-SX events.
 
The BMX Rumor Mill was working overtime Thursday as the word leaked out that Johan Lindstrom's, Global Supercross organization was no longer going to be running the day to day operations of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cups beginning with the 2016 season.  GSX fell victim to financial woes and the result was that without the financial backing, UCI BMX pulled the plug on the contract which was up for renewal this season.

When reached for comment, Johan had this to say....."It all came down to finances really, where our investors decided to pull the plug. We weren’t able to reach an agreement with UCI for 2016 without financial backing so that’s the end of it… 23 events over 5 year delivered beyond and above requirements without any hiccups – all because of the amazing (former GSX) crew. End of an era".

"We are still continuing with track building and I'm heavily involved in the Sarasota project and don’t be surprised if you see the crew (as individuals) still involved in UCI events worldwide, they are still the best of the best".

The 2016 UCI BMX SX season begins, March 26 in Santiago del Estero, Argentina so the UCI will have to be working quickly to get up to speed with an event that it has never had to run in detail before. Will Kevin MacCuish, UCI BMX Director and the cycling pros at UCI be able to get up to speed quickly enough to pull off a compacted UCI SX season? It ought to be interesting......Hang on to your grips, BMXers, it's going to be an interesting 2016 UCI SX season!
 

February, 

  

DREAM  –  BELIEVE  – ACHIEVE

September 2015, I received a very nice picture ánd reaction from Rich Bartlett - USA

Through Facebook I received a very nice message from former US BMX Pro and good friend, Rich Bartlett. Check out his reaction and the pictures he did sent. I also added some pictures to this article since it also has to do with the Hisotry of BMX. This reaction is published in the Old & New section of my website. Through the LINK underneath, you will get there.

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http://www.universityofbmx.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=283:2015-us-pros-racing-in-holland&catid=6:news-opinions&Itemid=12


March 26th. Spectacular developments in BMX, from 1995 till 2016 ?

An historical overview.

For some time now I had the plan to write an article about the developments/evolution in the sport of BMX at the highest National and International level within the UCI, in the Elite Women and Men classes. Also all the other BMX classes followed the developments closely.

Background information.
Since BMX started as an organized sport in the USA in the early 1970's (1973 to be exact, when the NBA was formed by Ernie Alexander) and was spread over the worlds since 1980/81 by the I.BMX.F. (International BMX Federation) and from 1996 on by the UCI, big changes took place.

I think we have seen the following phases in the development of our BMX sport:
Phase 1, the pioneer periode from around < 1970 through 1979, mainly in the USA.
Phase 2, BMX start to spread over the world with help of among others, the I.BMX.F., 1980/81 through 1990 (Old School periode).
Phase 3, the recoqnition of BMX as a official sport by the FIAC/UCI. A working together relationship started between I.BMX.F. ánd the FIAC from 1991 through 1995 with the intend to merge at a certain point and time (Old School periode).
Phase 4, merge of I.BMX.F ánd FIAC into 1 organization, the UCI. A UCI BMX Committee was formed. This happened in 1996 and is stil running.
Phase 5, BMX being recoqnized as an Olympic discipline from 2008 on. First Olympic Champs in Elite Men and Women during the 2008 Beijing – China Olympic Games (New School periode started)..
Phase 6, BMX at the highest level developing towards an absolute top-sport from 2007 on. Meaning training technicaly (fitness and riding technique) as well as on track design etc. Facilities professionalized, governments supporting National BMX teams (since BMX became an Olympic discipline) etc.

After the 2012 Olympics in London, world-wide BMX got an extra boost. Old tracks were updated to the now-a-days international standards, many new tracks were built according to the new UCI standards, indoor as well as outdoor. Building companies specialized in building BMX Elite tracks.

Additional specs.
When BMX started, tracks were kind of simple and peddle power was essential. The hight of starting hills varried from around 1.5 metre till around 3 till 4 metres. Working towards the 1990's, more and more technical tracks were built, worldwide. At the time the Pro class and Superclass riders were well trained and because of the increasing competition (I.BMX.F.) more attention was given to phycical and technique training.

During that periode of time the I.BMX.F started to work with FIAC, the Amature division of the UCI (FICP was the professional division, but due to the possibilty of Olympic participation later on, BMX was considered an Amature sport at the time).

In 1995 negotiations were very serious to have the I.BMX.F. integrate into the UCI, also because Olympic rules had changed and amature and professional athletes in sports would be allowed to compete in the Olympics. A reorganisation within UCI took place with the result that FIAC and FICP seized to exsist. Final result concerning BMX: the I.BMX.F. integrated into the UCI in 1996.

During that same periode (1993/94), the UCI by name of their President Hein Verbruggen and the UCI BMX Committee, asked Gerrit Does to start a new project: the UCI BMX World Cup events. GD was appointed as Project Manager BMX World Cup / Supercross events ending 1994. After prepairing these series, the first Wolrd Cup was organized in Brighton – GBR in 1995. It was the intention of taking BMX with these series to the next level within the UCI.

From 1995 till 1998 according to Gerrit Does "NEW CONCEPT" (presented to the FIAC in the early '90 s), World Cup/Supercross events were organized during this try out periode. Transponders were introduced, a big screen was installed to inform the public of the results, laptimes etc. and show replays of races, TV was essential and therefore implimented, an ATB/MTB class was introduced to show the “outside” BMX world the big wheel bikes as well as to give the sport an adult image. Only ELITE Men and Women were invited to compete. To communicate the new format, all international Elite riders received a periodic information bulletin from the UCI on developments within the World Cup organization UCI.

During this periode also the possible 400 meter tracks became more technical, to make BMX spectacular to watch for spectators and on TV. Finaly ending 1996 the World Cup/Supercross event at Valkenswaard in Holland, broadcasted on National TV, showed the actual idea of such events. This was realy the start of a new area.

Gerrit Does resigned in 1998 as Project Manager and for some time the World Cup events were not of a high priority to the UCI. Still the events kept taking place.

At the UCI office a big change took place ending 1999. BMX Coördinator Jeroen Vrijdag (Holland) resigned and Johan Lindström (Sweden) took his position at the UCI office in Aigle Switzerland and he started to work there on July 1 st. 2000. He became the new UCI Cooridinator BMX ánd Trials.

Johan Lindström's background originaly was Alpine downhill skiing and downhill mountain biking. He organzed multiple Mountain Bike World Cups and in 1999 the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, all in Äre, Sweden.

During the following years, Johan Lindström got more and more involved in organizing the UCI BMX World Cup events. In 2003 the format of the UCI BMX World Cup transformed more and more in a downhill event. This concept was based on the Xgames/Vans Triple Crown events, with a purpose build downhill type BMX track for Elite riders, but with the Supercross being built more like a race track (compared to the Xgames).

The dowhill was great but had 2 issues: 1. you always needed a big hillside and 2. it was difficult to attrack spectators to the mentioned hillsides. This was 2003 and as we know now (2016), it still is very difficult to attrack big crowds (outside BMX people) to World Cup / Supercross events.  At “normal” international BMX events, Continental and World Championship events, as an organizer you have around 1500 till 2500 + participants. They bring with them an average of 2.5 / 3 persons to the races, so you have around 4500 till 7000 spectators on and around your event. With World Cup / Super Cross events one has around 250 / 350 riders present with maybe around a 700 till 1200 spectators, if you are lucky. Not many “outside BMX” spectators present in general. There are exceptions ofcourse. Still a lot of work to be done on this topic. Marketing/promotions needed.

During this periode of time the UCI also worked with a start ramp with the idea on bringing “Supercross” style racing to a “Parking lot”. So therefore creating a big rill in start ramp to reach the same speed as on a downhill track. All of this to make BMX very attractive in city's with lots of people to come and watch to see this spectacular BMX racing.

So, the first ever built mentioned above ramp was placed at the San Jose Dew Tour – USA in 2005.  The ramp was 10 meters high with a ski jump lip at the bottom. Johan Lindström said it became obvious that the format could work and the riders liked the idea of combining traditional BMX with this new Supercross Format.

During that periode of time (2005) , the UCI, headed by Mr. Hein Verbruggen, President of the UCI ánd International Olympic Committee member, was working on including BMX into the Olympic Games. A lot of lobbying went on. The original request from the International Olympic Committe – I.O.C. was to have BMX Freestyle into the Olympics. As you might know, the first ever application for recoqnition of BMX racing becoming an Olympic Sport, was done by the I.BMX.F. in 1984 already, so the I.O.C. knew about our sport since then.

BMX Freestyle also was ofcourse known by the UCI, but organization wise, was not in any way a part of the UCI organization. So, Freestyle not being a part of UCI, therefore never could become an Olympic discipline at the time. At last the UCI also convinced the I.O.C. that this new format of BMX racing (Supercross) could fulfill their needs. And so it happened that in 2008 our sport BMX racing became an Olympic discipline at the Beijing – China Olympics. Due to the maximum number of participants per discipline (cycling) at the Olympics, the UCI had to skip velodrome disciplines in favour of BMX, which resulted in heavy protests. BMX will have it's 3 Olympics this year 2016, in Sao Paulo – Brazil.

Talking about this new development in building Elite tracks, the first correct “Olympic Spec Ramp” was built in Aigle – Switzerland in 2007 (UCI head office), followed by a “travel ramp” for all other World Cups, such as Roc d'Azur, Madrid and others.

Besides the unique RAMP, now standard 8 metres high, the track itself changed a lot in comparison with the 1997 and on tracks. Because of the 8 meter and the speed that could be reached now (around 60 km/p.h), the jumps at the first traight had to be adjusted as well as the berm first corner. Tracks became very technical and full of obsticals.

UCI's core business.
Within the UCI a lot of discussion was going on about the fact that the UCI BMX Coordinator had became more a promotor/organizer then UCI official/BMX Coordinator. From 2008 till 2010 their was constant change and discussion going on. Questions were raised about what the core business is and should be of the UCI.

It was on January 1st. 2011 that Johan Lindström left the UCI and became thé man of a new business oriented organization called GSX – Global SX Events inc. The World Cup / Supercross events were mainly funded by the UCI, but since 2011 when GSX inc. became a fact, the investment in the World Cup/Supercross events had come from private funds rather then UCI's.

Since then Johan worked closely with some of the top riders to fine tune the design of the starting ramp, also knowing that Elite Women would ride the ramp from now on. The height was tweaked, angles to suit the riders better (watch the first 4.5 meters, the have only an 18 degrees angle – 2 cranks ).

So developments in track design specialy concerning the starting ramp was spectacular from around 2007 up and till 2015. Also the obstacles on the track became more radical. Since speed went up because of this 8 meter ramp and obstacles became more technical, also the risks of injuries increased!

Due to financial problems, ending 2015 it was decided that GSX inc. would no longer exsist. Johan Lindström stopped his activities as CEO. It became clear since GSX inc. started, that generating sponsorships in this particular BMX World Cup / SX project was very difficult for several reasons.
  

Career ending injuries occured, mainly caused by high speed crashes.
Development happened with ups and downs. It was in 2011 when in Holland a replica of the London Olympic Track was built on the grounds of the National Olympic training facilities PAPENDAL – Arnhem. Their were some standaard messurement concerning the width of jumps, shape of jumps, hight of corners etc. but no check by the UCI on the execution of those guidelines, took place at the time.  At the Papendal replica Olympic Track, GSX inc. changed the messurement, made jumps that were further apart then “standard”, they even made a so called “box jump” which proved to be a disaster.

Anyway, during the actual first race on this “new, updated” track design, a lot went wrong. The track proved to be very dangerous and over 30 riders coming from realy far away, did not start because of the risks involved, riding this track. During the raceday, many riders crashed, were brought to hospital were at a certain point, injuried riders were refused and sent to another hospital, because there were to many casualties at this particular hospital. Not good for the image of BMX. This track design was just “one bridge too far” as we say in Holland. The result was that not only this track at Papendal was changed after this event, but also the official Olympic Track in London (luckely).

It is good to say that since about 3/4 years now, the UCI coordinator BMX and Trials and their head officials follow delopment closely and now rules and regulations tells you exactly what can and what cannot be done building a Super Cross track.

Number of licenseholders down, went up after the Olympic Games 2008-2012 ?
The first Olympic Games did give the sport a boost. In many countries numbers had go down badly from the late 1989's till around 2000. In Holland we did have around 4700 licenseholders in 1987/88 and in the early 2000's there were only about 8 / 900 licenseholders left. After the 2012 London Olympics a real boost came, not only in numbers of licenseholders but also in building new tracks and updating old tracks. The numbers in Holland are now around 2000 / 2500 licenseholders overall (2 organizations though!). I am very anxious to wait and see what the 3rd. Olympic Games 2016 in Brasil will bring us concerning the above aspect.

For some time in the past, I have been trying to collect information on exactly how many licenseholders UCI affiliated countries within their BMX departsments had. It would be nice ánd usefull to have statistics about numbers of licenseholders to follow the developments and act if numbers go down, for instance. It looks like it is a secret, no statistics available. I have put together statistics concerning Holland and will show them below, just to give you all an idea of those developments over time. In the early days of BMX (1980's) I knew exactly what the numbers were. Over time it became more difficult to get these figures on the table. Why ? ..... I don't know.

In Holland BMX officialy started in October 1978. Seen here the number of licenses issued up and till the end of the year.
Year     # licenses     # tracks/clubs      our national population went from 12 to 17 million (in 2017) over these years.
1978          27                     0
1979          122                   1
1980          750                   5
1981         1318
1982         2959
1983         4700
1985         5950               190 
1986         7432               196 
Remark: in 1986 the KNWU issued official licenses 4400 + so called "club cards", only for local racing approx. 3000. So, a total of over 7.400 registered BMX racers !

1987        3831               130    (just the number of official licenses, no club cards included here)
1988        2875
1989        2001
1990        1497
1991        1288
2000          900                 35
2010        1200                 44
2013        1936                 46 
Remark: Holland has now 2 BMX organizations, the KNWU (UCI affiliated) and the NFF (Dutch Bicross Federation) with all together around 3423 official licenseholders. KNWU holds 1936 and the NFF holds 1487 license-holders. These are figures I received confidential from inside the organizations in 2013.
2016          ??

In Europe, all countries involved in BMX did have the same development curve, only with different figures ofcourse, but the trend was the same.  As you can see the top was reached in 1986, now 30 years ago. Also the Olympic recoqnition did not realy help increase the number of licenseholders, no booming of numbers.

In France the curve was about the same as in Holland as one can see below.
Year      # licenses     # tracks/clubs       France population went from 54 to 64 million over these years.
1981           140               10
1982           1500             75
1983           2240             140
1984           5300             208
1985           7700             300
1986          10000            327
1987          12000            400

1990          6000             260 approx. up and down
1995          6010
2000          6970
2010          7200
2014          7500             260 approx.
2016             ??

As you can see, the curve is about the same as in Holland, only with bigger numbers ofcourse, because of the larger number of inhabitants in France.

I also wonder about the number of members published bij de ABA and the NBL in the past.  ABA claimed to have around 45.000 licenseholders and the NBL around 25.000. Since NBL integrated in a way in ABA, now called USA BMX .... is the number of licenseholders now around 65 till 70.000 ? (The USA has around 315 million inhabitants). Wouldn't it be nice to finaly have exact numbers on this item from all National BMX organizations world wide?
      

The Future, ... audult image, ... Elite classes on 24 inch BMX bikes ?
Will there be a special organization like GSX inc. set up next? I believe countries can now organize their own SX events and be professionaly scrutenered by UCI officials present, on forehand as well as during the events. I learned that the above is a fact at this moment. The UCI BMX Coordinator, Steve MacQuish, is coordinating activities during the World Cup/Super Cross events as "Event Director", in collaboration with the event organizer. Further more a panel of UCI commissaires present is actualy helping out as usual, during the event.  Mr. Yvan Lapraz is appointed by the UCI as Technical Director of each event. 

I also believe a bit more should be done on giving serious attention to safety  ánd specialy the adult image of BMX. I would like to see the 24 inch class having a come back. A more adult BMX bike that probably is safer to race on SX tracks as well. So, something to think about, changing Elite Men and Women classes racing from 20 to 24 inch BMX bikes. This idea is not knew, have said it several times before during time (since 1992). I also know that for BMX'ers the 20 inch bike is THÉ bike to race. However, to give the sport a more adult image bigger bikes like a 24 incher, might be the thing.

At last.
Since I was talking above about the deveopments in BMX from 1995 till 2016, here some pictures that show you all not that much difference, while when present at a SX event, one sees and feels the difference, specialy when you are “old school” and can compare old & new. Great to see were BMX stands now.  IT IS GOOD, BUT IT CAN BE BETTER!

cover bxm plus 1995     / cover pull 2015
advertentie Red Line     / advertentie fiets van nu
actie foto 1996              / actiefoto 2015
startheuvel 1996 V'wrd / startheuvel 2015
body renner 1980         / body renner 2015
publiek 1996 wc/sx       / publiek 1014 wc/sx
20 inch bike                 / 24 inch bike

Tagged under History 2015 2016
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