December 5, 2011 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
BMX News has been long looking forward to a comprehensive sit-down interview with Johan and Ritz since before the Chula Vista Supercross in September. Johan, is CEO of GSX Events–the independent company that runs the BMX Supercross World Cup Series for UCI. And Tom is CEO of a GSX division called Elite Trax, which is responsible for building all SX tracks on the World Cup circuit, as well as the Olympic track in London.
Any time the riders, spectators, industry or other observers express an opinion or comment about BMX Supercross, threre is nearly a 100% chance it involves a decision one or both of these gents made at some point.
GSX is just about a year old now, and a lot has happened over the past 12 months. We talk about the dark days, when their original partner in the GSX venture–the National Bicycle League, imploded about a month in to the 2011 World Cup series. GSX was relying on the NBL for financial and back office support–and it was suddenly gone. Johan and Tom candidly address how that went down, and also talk about Stratesphere, Inc. a private equity firm, who is their new partner, after buying the NBL’s shares in GSX out of receivership in October of this year.
The guys also address popular hotbutton topics like track design, whether BMX Supercross as a whole helps, hurts or has no effect on “classic” BMX Racing, and whether we will see prize payouts rise dramatically in the 2013 season (after the 2012 games, next August).
It is a fairly long show, but we felt all of the content addressed was of interest to our audience, whether you’re an insider or a fan. Of the topics left on the cutting room floor, we salvaged three clips, which we present to you as “deleted scenes.”
Enjoy the Podcast…and, as always, we’ll be discussing the show over on VintageBMX.com, so come join the fun (and listen to the deleted scenes).
iPhone Users can listen by pasting this URL into their phone’s browser:
June 8, 2011 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
Johan Lindstrom has been a man in the background, making the proverbial trains run on time, in the BMX Supercross scene for many years. A few months back, he made the jump from working stiff at UCI to CEO of the newly-created Global SX Events, or GSX.
GSX announced, concurrent with its formation, that they would be acquiring the rights to promote the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup events, beginning with the 2011 season. This was a very important announcement, because the World Cup series is the gateway to the Olympic Games and, if that were not enough, carried a fair amount of prestige on its own.
With the UCI SX deal inked, the group came out of the gate strong, and soon announced GSX was to be the promoter for the NBL’s “NationsTour” — a five-city tour of events (later cut to three cities), which promised unprecedented payouts of $40,000 per event, with $8,000 to the winner of Elite Men.
Unfortunately, the NationsTour started to show cracks early in its trajectory. The first event in Primm, Nevada scheduled for March 12 was abruptly canceled two weeks before the event date (citing problems at the location and/or a disagreement with the landowner).
Then, last month, the NBL announced it was in financial distress, ultimately leading up to the announcement that an agreement had been reached to merge the NBL with the ABA to form USA BMX. With 51% of the shares in GSX owned by the NBL, and the Papendal World Cup event rapidly approaching, you can imagine that there were some serious questions as to whether the NBL’s collapse would also take down GSX, and with UCI SX series down with it.
NBL CEO Gary Aragon was the face of all of the above news. And then, two weeks ago, the Papendal World Cup event grabbed BMX headlines with an innovative-but-extreme track–a near-replica of the track being built in London for the next stop on the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup tour and, of course, the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
We had been hoping to get Johan to join us on the Announcers Tower Podcast when he moved to Ohio from his UCI gig in Switzerland, in February. The stars never quite lined up, and the interview never happened.
Last week, Johan reached out to us saying that he could take some time for an interview to bring BMX News readers up to date on a variety of issues. From the current GSX situation vis a vis the NBL, BMX Supercross track design, the London Olympics, BMX Racing’s likely future in the Olympic Games, how BMX Racing might be affected by BMX Freestyle’s entry into the games, and much more. We enjoyed doing the interview, and wish to thank Johan for taking the time to join us. We also made him promise to come back on again after the London SX in August, so keep an eye out for that.
Technical Note: Not sure if it was our Skype or Johan’s phone, but there is some pretty severe digital distortion (at times making Johan sound like Max Headroom). Just know that we are aware of it, and tried to fix it twice while recording yesterday.
iPhone users: Use this direct-listen link