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Pioneers 2002

2002, Alexander Wurtz

On left Markus Rainer, right Alexander Wurz

Fltr Markus Rainer, Alexander Wurtz - Austria.

Ending August 2002 I did travel to KARPUN – Austria to be present during the UCI World Championships Mountain bike cross-country, Down hill, 4 X and Trial. Among those present at the exhibition center was ALEXANDER WURZ, the F-1 Racer. Did you know that Alexander is an OLD SKOOL BMX racer? Alexander’s heart still is in cycling. Together with Markus Rainer, Alexander started a professional organized mountain bike team called: the “Lana Bau Helly Hansen team”.

Check out their team trailer, ain’t’ it cool!


Here some more fact on Alexander Wurz.
Career:      Date of birth: February 15 th 1974
Nationality: Austrian
1986:         BMX Bike World Champion
1992:         International, German and Austrian Formula Ford Champion
1993:         Austrian Formula 3 Champion
1996:         Youngest ever winner of the Le Mans 24-hours race
1997-2000: Formula 1 driver, Benetton F1
2001-2002: Formula 1 3rd driver – McLaren Mercedes & Team Boss,
         (mountain bike team).

TestCare CockPit CockPitBottum 

2002, UCI “4X” World Championship, Kaprun - Austria.

For the first time I went to a UCI-Mountain bike World Championships in 2002, held in KAPRUN - Zell am See in Austria. My main goal was to see how this event was organized, since I heard so much about the new concept of the World Championship. Besides World Championship events in mountain bike cross-country and down hill racing, also 4 cross and bicycle trial was included in this event. In about 8 ½ hours I drove from Eindhoven to Kaprun in Austria. I did spent 5 days in Kaprun, arriving on Wednesday evening, just in time for the Opening ceremony in Zell am See, which was a kind of disappointing. I checked in my hotel, situated just across the main area were the finish was of the cross-country, down-hill and 4 X events. My former GT BMX Euro team member Daniel Herz (Austria) took care of my reservation, thanks Danny! Also the English team was staying in this hotel and that same evening I did meet with Scott Beaumont and his parents, whom I haven’t seen since 1997. I also ran into Dale Holmes, also a former team member of mine in team WEBCO and the GT Euro BMX team.

Very early in the morning the next day, Thursday 29th, I went to the so-called PERMANENCE to pick up my VIP card which I got from the UCI MTB department (Mr. Gerrit Middag; thanks Gerrit!). After that I checked the grounds, went up the hill to have a close look at the 4 X track designed by Franck Roman (former World Champ BMX and Down-hill top rider riding for Cannondale at the time). The track looked great to me, just a down hill BMX track. From the start and finish/ exhibition area, one had a great view over the to complete 4 X track. I also checked out the down hill track. That looked great too, fast, technical it had it all!  During my tour on the fields around Karpun, I did meet many, many old friends or better Old Skool BMX’ers who changed from BMX to down-hill or 4X.

The start and finish area as well as the exhibition area looked great. Big rigs were parked their of the main teams, manufacturers and sponsors, among others the Rainer-Wurz MTB team was present on the infield. Mixed in and around this area were the Bicycle Trial non-stops/trial sections. Two big screens were placed on the infield and a score-board would show the results to the spectators later on.

I was told that over 60.000 people were expected, specially during the weekend, Saturday and Sunday to come. Must be said that I was very disappointed by the number of people that actually came and watched the events. My quess is that no more then maybe 20.000 people were present: still a lot of spectators! Anyway, the combination of events made it a success. If one would organize just a 4 x event, or trial event, you would have the same situation as in BMX: only inside people would come and watch, meaning very little spectators.

The Down hill competition was very exiting. Steve Peat and Nicolas Vouilloz were far ahead of the rest of the pack. Its great to see how the technique of the bikes have been improved. The suspension is just as great as on a moto-cross motorcycle. The speed the rider go down hill, improved a lot due to better suspension. It was a good thing the big screens were there to watch the riders come down, otherwise I wouldn’t have been that great to watch just a few seconds of the race. Also the time makes it very exiting (haven’t I mentioned that before, concerning BMX too?).

The Bicycle trial guys have improved probably the most. Last time I have been to a World Championship was in Bielstein - Belgium, about 12 years ago! The skills and technique of these riders is fabulous. They deserve a lot of respect for what they are doing. Due to the whole set up of this Worlds, it was good to see these guys got a lot of attention from spectators too.

The Cross-country stuff for me is boring. I think its great to be competitor, but as a spectator sport, it isn’t that great. Again, very good that the big screens were there on the main area. One could follow the TV images of the race progressing. Without that, boring! This doesn’t say anything bad about the fantastic performance of the riders. I do have a lot of respect for them too, specially riding in these bad weather conditions.

Then on the Saturday afternoon there was the new installed World title to be one for the first time in “4Cross”. I think about 75% of the riders were BMX racers or former BMX’ers. In the semi final and final, only BMX’ers. As I said before, this just was down hill BMX on big wheel bikes with only 4 riders (pity). 4 Cross was the replacement of dual Slalom and the Boarder cross. All new names for really one and the same kind of discipline, BMX ! That’s what I think anyway. The racing was fierce, exiting, spectacular. The track was designed and built by former BMX’er Franck Roman. Franck laid down another great track a week later at the World Cup event 4 Cross in Les Gets – France. Guess who won: BAS de BEVER – Holland. The ambiance was great too. Many people (approx. 5 till 7000) surrounded the 4 Cross track and supporters all the riders, when coming down. Everybody was stoked about this event, even officials were very positive about 4 Cross now. I think it is a pity that they don’t understand that all of this came from the roots, …BMX.

My personal conclusion and opinion on “4-Cross” in relation to BMX. First there was BMX (Bicycle Moto-Cross) on 20 inch bikes and later on 24 inch bikes were added. In the early days Down hill BMX was kind of common in the USA. For whatever reason, BMX has mostly flatland tracks now a days.

In Mountain biking, down hill racing started. Former BMX’ers joined that discipline and showed special skills and technique: jumping double jumps, speed jumping, showing off and so on. Now its a common thing. The mainly BMX side of the riders wanted short tracks that could be overlooked by spectators easily. Then Dual slalom came in. Again, mostly BMX racers were the top. Bad thing about dual slalom was that coming down with only 2 riders, the race was over when one “killed” the other rider. Not good for spectators and TV. So, as an intermediate the Boarder Cross got off the ground. Riding with mountain bikes on a BMX track or something that came very close to a BMX track. This took a lot of riders away from BMX too. The older guys wanted to race bigger bikes and do something new. Now at last, within the UCI the Dual slalom was canceled and 4 Cross installed. We are back were we were: Down hill BMX racing in fact, only on big wheels and with only 4 riders in a race.

Frustration brings suggestions and proposals.
Its all great, but my frustration is that BMX doesn’t get the respect that it deserves being the foundation of all the above mentioned disciplines. Why call it “4 Cross”, while it is down hill BMX? (I know the reason of course). Why not include “real BMX” bikes 20 inch, allowing them to race with front suspension, but NO rear suspension. One could even think of starting with 6 or 8 BMX riders competing at this kind of tracks. I predict that BMX bikes will give you more spectacular racing. Including BMX also solves the problem that just that discipline within the UCI World Cup and World Championships is missing all the time. Ofcourse we talk only Junior and Elite classes here that will be allowed to race. Think about it.

Besides all of this, I think we all should rename all disciplines in BMX racing. When watching Eurosport the YOZ broadcastings, one can see a lot of bicycle free-style, tricks, ramp, flat whatever. Everybody on TV calls it BMX: this is NOT bicycle moto-cross my man! Why did they change the name in BMX for Xtreme bicycle riding? That’s the name I would give to this discipline: XTREME BICYCLE RIDING

The name Bicycle Trials for the trial disciple is just great, this is exactly what it is. BMX by the way, stand for Bicycle Moto-cross. In fact there is NO moto, however since this name is there from the start of the sport in the early ’70, it should stay like that. If you think marketing wise and then BMX in combination with the present UCI 4 CROSS discipline, I think it all should be called BMX (skip the name “4 Cross”).
Even better call it BMX Down hill Xtreme racing. Two advantages:
First, one promotes BMX in general and the youth section of BMX is still the foundation but also the melting pot of young talent to grow towards adult BMX Down hill Xtreme racing, Mountain bike Down hill enduro racing, Bicycle trail and even Mountain bike cross-country.
Second advantages: by using the above name for this discipline and separate BMX Youth sport from adult sport allowing only Junior and Elite riders to compete at these events, one builds the respect that BMX and its athletes deserve. Again, think about it.

European BMX racing in 2003 and on.
In my article Opinion on the European Championships in Esselbach in Germany I already stated that in Europe we have to make some changes. I indeed did mention down hill BMX tracks to be used in the very near future.

After being in KAPRUN and talking to many BMX’ers and former BMX’ers, I am convinced that something must happen to give a new boost to our sport and to help it grow towards an adult sport. In short, a new series of events must be created. Down hill BMX racing as in the early days of BMX in the USA. There must be locations in Europe, at least in 5 or 6 countries, were great tracks can be built.  These series counting for a European Championship must be for Junior and Elite riders as well as the 2 upcoming classes (14/15y.o). Besides 20 inch bikes, the 24 inch class will be run as well as a ATB/MTB class (just 1). We must try to get our Old Skoolers back who now run MTB Down Hill or 4 Cross.

These series should have all facilities and technical equipment as in other disciplines. Think of a large scoring board, timing and registration by transponders, qualification by time, fastest laptime, a false start system and so on. Ofcourse TV registration is a must and when we talk down hill racing, very interesting to watch on TV.  Europe shouldn’t wait another year. Act now, try to find locations a.s.a.p. I myself am looking around in our province of Limburg in the south of our country (Maastricht), were perfect locations are to built for a 8 man track down hill.  Again, its nothing new, think of the down hill track at Corona in the USA. I still got a video of a down hill track in Texas. Even with side hacks racing was great then.

Latest news: during my stay in KAPRUN I learned from several Elite riders present, that rumors were going round about a 2003 UCI BMX World Cup event organized by the UCI-NBL at the Woodward Down Hill BMX track in the USA, was a possibility. UCI qualified Junior and Elite riders would be allowed to compete there. We are talking about the same track as were the BMX X-games were organized by the ESPN and McGoo for several years now. When more news, I will tell you. I hope all of the above will start a discussion resulting in some action in the way I advice BMX to go. Concerning Kaprun, I enjoyed myself very much.


DOES Nico (Holland)

Nico-DoesSpecial recoqnition European Hall of Fame

At the age of 6 (1976) Nico was already riding BMX bikes, which his uncle Pierre Karsmakers (former MX Dutch and USA National Champion) imported from the USA in the late '70s.

Officialy Nico was the first license holder in Holland and probably in Europe with an official registrated organisation. At the time his skills were very exceptional. Even in the USA, were he competed at the JAG BMX World Championships in 1979, American riders, among them several Pro's, were astonished by his technic and skills of ND doing one-handers, no-footers and such.

Besides racing, Later on Nico started his own company building and selling BMX bikes. He started WEBCO Bicycles in 1991. Up till this day (ending 2001) Nico is involved in building these bikes and selling them.

KD Quality Products AG, owned by Albert Knill in Switzerland, works with Nico on this. (KD stands for, Knill Does).

Besides all of this Nico still is actif as a trainer/coach on local level with his club "F.C.C. Lion d'Or" in Valkenswaard - Holland, on National level with the KNWU regional training sessions and at International level, when invited to give training/seminars and so on.

More then 25 years he has been involved in the sport of BMX and still lives the sport a loves. Nico never won a European or World title, did win several Dutch national titles and 2 third places at World Championships (Indianapolis-USA and Brisbane-Australia) but for sure deserves his place in the European BMX Hall of Fame as BMX racer/promoter of the absolute "first hour of the sport".

More information on Nico can be found in his University of BMX Advisor CV.

Inducted in 2001

DOES Pieter (Holland)

Pieter-Does-August-79-BMX-track-Eindhoven-5yoSpecial recoqnition European Hall of Fame

A pioneer rider. still active in the sport (without a break) and competing at the highest level, celebrates his 25th anniversary in the sport in July 2004, has been nominated: Pieter Does, Holland. Update: end year 2004 Pieter Does stopped racing.

For more information about Pieter Does, check out his profile.

Inducted in 2004


HEIDKAMP Uli (Germany)

Uli-Heidtkamp-2003-Old-Skool-Reunion-Dessel-BSpecial recoqnition European Hall of Fame

Uli was one of the first BMX racers in Germany. Started in 1979 and competed in his first international race in 1980 at the AVRO GOLD CUP TV event in Waalre-Holland. In the early days, Uli was the "face" of German BMX.

In his country he was a trend-setter at the time because he was racing in the oldest age-class at the time (16+). BMX was new and many people found it kind of strange, boys of about 16 year and older riding these small 20" BMX bikes.

Uli's dad Helmut Heidtkamp, was one of the first pioneers of BMX in Germany in the Cologne area and did a great job getting BMX off the ground as an organised sport and promoting the sport of BMX in general.

1980-Uli-Heidtkamp-Gerrit-Does-helping-out-during-the-AVRO-TVBy nominating Uli, we also honour his dad (died in the early '90 of cancer) for his pioneer work.

Inducted in 2001

History of BMX (2001 - 2002)

YEAR  2001.



The UCI - BMX department has at this moment 41 countries with a BMX organization affiliated world-wide. From Europe 22 countries are affiliated with BMX organizations, North and South America has 13 affiliated organizations, Africa 2 and Oceanic 3 organizations/countries.

Looking at the European scene the number of license-holders is at a very low level. France, approx. 7.000 license-holders (in 1988 around 12.000); Holland, approx. 1.000 (in 1986 almost 6.000); England, approx. 450 license-holders; Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Czech republic around 350 + license-holders.

Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Italy, Lituania, Malta, Latvia, Poland, Slovenia from 150 till around 250 license-holders and Belarussian and Russia 200 and less riders! Exact figures are not made public, would be nice to see how the situation exactly is. My estimate is that in Europe we do have a total of ca. 12.000 license-holders.

LYNCH Tom (England)

Tom-Lynch1986 European Champion

Special recoqnition European Hall of Fame

Tom Lynch, one of the most successful British riders who managed to rake the Superclass by storm when he was only 16 years old (in 1986). Tom stated "I still have me verses TEAM AMEV dreams". Insiders know exactly what Tom means by this!

Tom started out as a moto-cross rider but switched to BMX in 1980, competed in his first BMX events in 1982 and Tom finished his career in 1994.

NICOLAS Philippe (France)

1980 Philippe Nicolas of France with young Pieter Does HollandSpecial recoqnition European Hall of Fame

One can call Philippe the pioneer and trend setter for French BMX.

He was the first ever National Champion of France in the oldest age class in 1979.

Philippe was a good promoter for BMX, competed also in the AVRO GOLD CUP TV event in Waalre-Holland in August 1980.

Inducted in 2001

NYBERG Andreas (Sweden)

1985 Andreas NybergSpecial recoqnition European Hall of Fame

Another pioneer rider has been nominated, Andreas Nyberg from Sweden.

Andreas was the first ever Swedish BMX racer in the, at the time, oldest age class and the first one from Sweden to compete in international events, among others, the 1983 I.BMX.F. Worlds in Holland and the Murray World Cup in Nashville Tennessee, USA.

Andreas still runs a Bicycle and BMX shop in Sweden.

Inducted in 2004

REDOIS Xavier (France)

xavier redois 1984Special recoqnition European Hall of Fame

Xavier started racing BMX early 1979 and can be considered one of the pioneer BMX racers of France and leaded the way for a long period of time.

He never won a European and/or World title in the highest level class, however he still was a leading figure in International BMX for many years, together with Claude Vuillemot and David Kastler.

xavier redois 1987Xavier is still involved in BMX due to his profession working for a bicycle company in England.

A man who had to be nominated for the European Hall of Fame of BMX.

Inducted in 2001

SCHADOWSKI Rainer (Germany)

Special recoqnition European Hall of Fame


Rainer started riding BMX bikes in 1980 and competed in an official event for the first time in 1982. He was one of the first German BMX'ers to travel with Gerrit Does to events in the USA in the early '80s.

Together with his Dad, Rainer started a BMX shop called "Rainer's Bike Shop". This shop still exists today. Since a couple of years, an Old Skool reunion takes place in Weiterstadt - Germany around September and among others, Rainer is one of the organisers of this event.

Rainer still rides his bike ('80's) once and a while.

As a leading, pioneer racer in the early days his nomination is a form of respect for the pioneer work he did.

Inducted in 2001