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USA Cycling Creates All-Discipline “National Team”

December 15, 2017 by · Comments Off 

USA Cycling National Team
It was like Hall of the Justice League at the US Olympic Training center in Colorado Springs, CO earlier this week, as 23 of the newly-named 51-member USA Cycling “National Team” came togdether for a day of briefings and meet & greet.

Top stars in seven disciplines were represented (BMX Freestyle, BMX Supercross, Mountain Bike, Cyclocross, Road, Track Endurance and Track Sprint).

This was the first time we got a glimpse of the Freestyle team as one unit, and got to hear their take on how conforming to the fairly-ridgid USAC/UCI/Olympic format squares-up with their decidedly anti-conformity sport.

“Whoever doesn’t want to ride the Olympics doesn’t need to, and whoever does…this is a great opportunity.”

That was how Freestyle site, Vital BMX, opened a video highlighting the team, with an on-camera quote by Pat Casey, one of the eight-member Freestyle squad.

The USA Cycling National Team was selected, not based on “teacher’s pet” rules, but based on certain results-specific criteria (see table below).

In BMX Racing, there are three levels (not surprisingly: Gold, Silver and Bronze) of support for which an athlete may qualify.

The USA Cycling National Team Members, and the results that qualified them to the program, are:

GOLD LEVEL QUALIFICATION (Alphabetically)
Connor Fields – Top 3 World Cup Overall
Alise Post – 1st at the World Championships
Corben Sharrah – 1st at the World Championships

BRONZE-LEVEL QUALIFICIATION (Alphabetically)
Sean Gaian – 15th World Championships
Dani George – 11th at World Championship
Mika Shaw – 16th at World Championship

Don’t let the “Gold/Silver/Bronze” levels confuse you, as it did us at first. Unlike the medal stand, where there is but-one Gold medalist, multiple people can qualify into the Gold level, and some levels (like silver in BMX) may not have anyone qualified.

Gold-Level qualifiers receive $25,000 in annual support from USA Cycling, and all-kinds of support services to keep their eyes on the prize between now and Tokyo. See the graphic below for the full table of bennies.

Bronze qualifiers are in a rarified environment, to be sure, but there is no financial support, per se.

News Caught up with Connor Fields, who qualified at the Gold Level for his top three finish in the 2017 World Cup standings. here’s what he told us about being named to the National Team:

I am super excited to have been a part of the official USA Cycling National Team launch this week in Colorado Springs.

I have been involved with USA Cycling for nearly 10 years now and this is the best program I have seen from them in that time.

It is easy to understand the different levels of support involved now. It is crystal clear how to earn them and what they include.

It was also great to meet and interact with members of the team from all different disciplines of cycling. We have access to so many recourses through USAC and USOC and to learn about more of them this week was great.

For me personally, I was most excited about the opportunity to learn more about all of the ways we can try to become better BMX racers with the resources available to us.

With the help of USA Cycling, I attained the following results:
2016 Olympic Champion
2017 USA BMX #1 pro
2013 UCI BMX World Cup overall Champion
2011 Pan American Games Gold Medalist
2012, 2013 UCI BMX World Champion – Time Trial
2012, 2014, 2016 USA Cycling National Champion

Thanks to Connor for taking the time to give us a first-person account of the experience.

We should add that membership on this “National Team” does not interfere with the athletes’ participation on their respective factory teams (“trade teams,” in USAC parlance). It also does not guarantee inclusion on the world championship team or world cup race delegations, all of which have their own qualification criteria.

We will have more on the USA Cycling National Team program, and how the athletes are making use of the services provided, in a future report.

—Mike Carruth

Links

USAC National Team Qualification Criteria and Benefits






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Long Beach Selected for LA 2024 Olympic BMX Venue

September 26, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Long Beach may host Olympic BMX in 2024
Long Beach, CA is arguably the ancestral home of the sport of BMX. Scot Breithaupt was from there, and some of the earliest BMX tracks were in the immediate vacinity. If the LA 2024 Olympic Bid Organizing Committee has its way, BMX will return to Long Beach Read more

Podcast: Connor Fields on Rio Gold

August 25, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Podcast with Connor Fields

Hard to believe that it has not even been one week since the BMX Finals at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. In the short six days since Connor Fields crossed the finish line as the new Olympic Champion, it has been a whirwind of media appearances, hitting the closing ceremonies, letting it all soak in with his Dad, Mike by his side, and flying back to Las Vegas, where he was met by a crush of local media, fans and into the loving arms of his mom, Lisa, the moment he stepped past the security lines at LAS.

Now that Connor is back home, and has had some time to unpack, he was quick to agree to come on the Announcers Tower podcast to tell us the important details of the run-up to the Games, as well as the insider story of time in the Olympic Village, and the racing from Time Trials to crossing the line as the new Gold Medalist.

Listen Now
Link
iOS users: paste the URL below into your device’s browser to listen.
http://www.bmxnews.com/podcasts/at-128-connor-fields-gold.mp3

Voting is open for the Team USA “Male Athlete of the 2016 Olympic Games.” Connor is in the running, and needs the support of the full BMX community! Voting ends on September 6, and BMXers can vote every day. The BMX community can help make it happen. So, please check the link below, book mark it, and vote every day to get him over the top!

Connor was the first, unofficial guest of “Announcers Tower,” before the Podcast had a name, back on September 4, 2009. This was about two months before I purchased BMX News, and all coverage was via BMXNOW.COM.

The interview was focused on his return to racing after a terrible wreck at the 2009 ABA Super Nationals in Desoto, TX. It’s awesome to hear him seven years ago, and project that optimism to his performance in the Olympic Games. The interview is available at the link below.

A BIG BMX News congrats to Connor on his Gold medal, and for being a long-time friend of News. We look forward to seeing what the future has in store for his career.

—Mike Carruth

Links

Vote For Connor As “Male Athlete of the Rio Games”

Interview: Connor Fields and the Comeback Trail – September 2009





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Major Olympic BMX Update: Listen & Watch Links

August 14, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Major Olympic BMX Update - Aug 15, 2016

As the Dan’s Comp countdown clock to the BMX events at Rio2016 is measured in low-single-digit days, plus a few hours, BMX fans are firming-up their plans to witness the action as it happens, via the NBC live stream in the US, and local outlets around the world.

As a primer to the start of the BMX events on Wednesday, BMX News has compiled a comprehensive list of primer content to help you get some great baseline information on what you will see, as well as links to the NBC streams, results pages and the Master Schedule of BMX events in Rio.

All Links Will Open In a New Window

PODCASTS

DALE HOLMES PRE-OLYMPICS PODCAST
Dale and Dr. Jason Richardson recorded a great preview of the 2016 BMX Olympic events in this hour-long (and a little more) podcast.

RECENT MAINSTREAM MEDIA STORIES

Connor Fields Back From Hand Injury (NBC Olympics Website – Aug 13)

Video: Alise Post Interview on NBC Affiliate KARE – Minneapolis (Aug 13)

BMX Power Couple Go For Olympic Gold – NBC Olympics Website (Aug 14)

Video: Visalia BMX Rider Brooke Crain in Rio for Second Olympics (Aug 14)

Buchanan Aims for BMX Redemption – Yahoo Sports (Aug 15)

Q&A With Brooke Crain – NBC Olympics Website (Aug 15)

CHECK OUT THE OFFICIAL OLYMPIC AUCTION SITE

Auction for the Closing Ceremony Flags and Certain Event/Match Equipment

LINKS TO BMX EVENT LIVE STREAMS
The page on the links below show a Velodrome photo, but if you look below it is, in fact the BMX event noted.

WEDNESDAY (Time Trials) – 12:30PM EDT

THURSDAY (Mens Quarterfinals) – 12:30PM EDT

FRIDAY (Semis, Mains and Medal Ceremony) – 12:30PM EDT

MASTER SCHEDULE OF BMX EVENTS

Master Schedule PDF of BMX Events at Rio2016
Times in PDF are local Rio time. Rio is +1hr from US Eastern Time

OLYMPIC RESULTS PAGES

Women’s Olympic BMX Results

Men’s Olympic BMX Results

Top Photo via Facebook. Photographer unknown.





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Rio BMX Air and Stream Times

August 2, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Rio BMX Air and Stream Times
With two weeks to go before the BMX events in Rio get started, BMXers all over the world are starting to ask “how/where can we watch?” The answer to that is going to be different in each country—and in some cases from media market to media market.

Here in the US, NBC is the exclusive outlet for all things Olympic, including the Opening Ceremony, airing this Friday (August 5) at 7:30PM Eastern Time on your local NBC station.

For the 2016 Games, many will be glued to their mobile devices for the latest action. This will be the third Olympic Games that has featured widely-available live streaming.

In 2008, NBC streamed about 3,600 hours of Olympic content. In 2016, that number has swelled to 6,755 hours on various apps, platforms and specialty channels within the NBC infrastructure. One official source is quoted as saying “if you had to watch all this content on one channel, it would take 281 days (or about nine months) to watch it all.

So, what does that mean for the BMX events on August 17, 18 and 19? Well, weather permitting, it is all scheduled to be streamed, starting at 12:30PM Eastern time each day. The finals on Friday are scheduled to be televised live on your local NBC station starting just before 2PM Eastern time (but you will want to be tuned in at 12:30 Eastern to see the Semis).

We also saw one report that NBC Sports (TV) Network will air the Wednesday events on tape delay at 2PM Eastern, though this is not confirmed (NBCSN Listings only go up to Aug 15, as of this writing).

BMX News 2016 race coverage sponsored by Dan’s Comp
BMX News Race Coverage is Sponsored by Dan's Comp

Be sure to download the “NBC Sports” app, and update it to the most current version (earlier versions did not have the Weds or Fri BMX events listed).

On some viewing platforms, you may need the login and password for your cable provider account, so be sure to have that ready, and test it out on some earlier events, just to make sure you can get in before the first BMX gate drops.

Here is the schedule that we have found to be consistent among three sources (Google, NBC and nbcolympics.com). All times are US Eastern. Be sure to confirm the times in your local area, and on the device or provider you intent to use.

Wednesday

Women’s BMX Seeding
Aug. 17 12:30 p.m. EDT

Men’s BMX Seeding
Aug. 17 1:34 p.m. EDT

Thursday

Men’s BMX Quarterfinals
Aug. 18 12:30 p.m. EDT

Friday

Women’s BMX Semifinals
Aug. 19 12:30 p.m. EDT

Men’s BMX Semifinals
Aug. 19 12:38 p.m. EDT

Women’s BMX Finals
Aug. 19 2:00 p.m. EDT

Men’s BMX Finals
Aug. 19 2:10 p.m. EDT

Women’s BMX Medal Ceremony
Aug. 19 2:25 p.m. EDT

Men’s BMX Medal Ceremony
Aug. 19 2:36 p.m. EDT

Betting Windows are Now Open
Off the subject of the NBC coverage for a moment, Irish online betting site, Boyle Sports is taking bets on all Olympic events, including BMX. And while US Residents are prohibited from actually placing bets, under US law (and we do not recommend trying), it can still be fun to watch how the lines are moving as race day approaches. Current favorites are Mariana Pajon for the women (at 2/1 odds), and Niek Kimmann (at 4/1 odds). Maris is sitting in third at 13/2, just below Joris, who’s at 5/1.

Something to get you in the Olympic mood.



—Mike Carruth





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Maris Strombergs Debuts BMX Sculpture

July 7, 2016 by · Comments Off 

marisBMXNEWS

It is widely known that Maris Strombergs is one of the best riders our sport of BMX racing will ever see. Maris, at 29 years old, has a trophy case filled with European championships, NBL titles, a USA BMX title, two World Champion jerseys, and two Olympic Gold Medals. Strombergs is a true Latvian hero, being the only male Olympic Gold medalist in BMX Racing, and the only athlete from the Baltic Republic to earn two Olympic Gold medals. When the champ arrived back for a visit to his home town of Valmiera, thousands lined the streets, giving him a hero’s welcome. To make his mark even more profound, the citizens of Valmiera dedicated a sculpture in his honor.

Maris posted a picture of the sculpture stating what an honor it is to have a sculpture in his hometown:

The detail put into the sculpture is truly amazing. From the stem, to the tire tread there wasn’t a single shortcut taken on the bike-art. The video below shows a lot more shots of the bike, despite being in Strombergs’ native tongue of Latvian. The end clip also shows ‘the Machine’ winning his third gold medal in Latvian Olympic Games.

If you look closely the bottom of the #81 plate does have a little room on it. As many know Maris is in great form right now, heading into his third Olympic Games. The entire country of Latvia (2.013 million people) is going to be tuned to the BMX event in Rio, hoping he can add another Olympic logo to that numberplate. Only time will tell how he finishes, but history can repeat itself, and again.

Links

NEW MARIS STROMBERGS WEBSITE

Recap: 2016 US Olympic BMX Trials

June 14, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Corben Sharrah wins the Olympic Trials

Folks who watch the qualification process for the US Olympic BMX Team are split a few ways between the more straightforward method of selection, which would be something on the order of “pick the top three men and two women in the USA Cycling Power Rankings after the World Championships.”

Others (one might call “moderates”) say “use the Power Rankings, but also throw in the possibility of a wildcard qualifier, when a rider hits the podium at the worlds.” We are fans of this approach.

And then there are what we like to call “Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry” lovers. That’s how the Olympic selections are being made in 2016. Nic Long won it in double, with a Worlds Podium and the Power Rankings points win. Then there was the Olympic Trials, held this past weekend in Chula Vista, and the final stage will be the Selection Committee pick (aka “Coach’s pick,” which is somewhat of a misnomer; input from the coach is considered, of course, but the actual selection is by a nine-member committee). The Selection Committee picks for both the mens and womens teams will be announced sometime before June 24, 2016

The Olympic Trials were stacked with three riders (Sharrah, Upshaw, and Garcia) from the top five in the Power Rankings (Long already qualified and Fields could not race the Trials due to injury). The Selection Committee then picked four riders (Posey, Herman, Sebesta, and Nobles) to fill out the seven rider roster. That was a somewhat controversial move, since there were riders who were higher in the Power Rankings (McRory in sixth place and Collins in seventh place) who were not selected for the Trials, but did get to race the LCQ. Collins almost made it, but for a first turn wreck in the LCQ main event.

As BMX News reported following the LCQ race day, Zach Van Kammen, who won the LCQ race was ultimately determined to be ineligible to go to the Olympics, even if he won the trials race (all riders participating in the olympics must have at least 10 UCI points for the current year). That being the case, the next-highest scoring eligible rider was given the eighth spot, Tommy Zula. So the full field looked like this

Corben Sharrah
Jeff Upshaw
Jared Garcia
David Herman
Tanner Sebesta
Justin Posey
Barry Nobles
Tommy Zula

Practice at the 2016 US Olympic TrialsKyle McRory (right) was named alternate to the Trials team, and rode the warm-up session with the others, though was not suited up in a USA jersey.

Skydiver at the 2016 US Olympic TrialsThe race got started in grand fashion, with a skydiver jumping in, with trailing blue smoke, and a giant American flag waving proudly on his rig. All while a live rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” was belted out. It was a goose-bump moment, for sure, especially when you stopped to think about the fact that this whole event is all about selecting the third of five athletes who would represent our country in Rio.

Mike Redman and Erick Grindle were a dynamic duo on the mic for the on-site crowd. On the NBC live stream, Craig Reynolds and Donny Robinson called the action like no others could.

BMX News 2016 race coverage sponsored by Dan’s CompBMX News Race Coverage is Sponsored by Dan's Comp

THE FORMAT
The eight riders would turn a single time-trial lap to establish gate selection for three “semifinal” rounds (aka “motos”). The six low-points riders after three rounds of racing would then move on to the main event. The winner would be our second 2016 US Olympic BMX Team member.

TIME TRIALS

Jeff Upshaw at the 2016 US Olympic Trials

Jeff Upshaw won the Time Trial seeding round at the 2016 US Olympic BMX Trials.

The fact that there were only four riders in each gate made the gate pick less important to many riders, and it seemed like some were operating at 75% of full-power during the time trial, in order to save legs for the major battle to come in the motos. Of course, we don’t know what was in their respective heads, but once the racing got going, the nitrous was switched on, and we saw the full-throttle laps we all knew these athletes are capable of turning.

RACING
Corben Sharrah at the 2016 US Olympic BMX TrialsCorben Sharrah opened up the group racing with a win in the first rack of first round. Jeff Upshaw and Jared Garcia were in the 2-3 spots. David Herman won the second rack of first round, with Tanner Sebesta and Barry Nobles.

Buck-O-Nine at the 2016 US Olympic BMX TrialsIn the 25 minutes or so between racing rounds, the local ska band, Buck-O-Nine lit up the live stage with a series of cover tunes.

Justin Posey at the 2016 US Olympic BMX TrialsThe first rack of second round went Sharrah, Upshaw and Zula, and the second rack was won by Justin Posey (above), with Garcia and Nobles as the early call. But then, it was announced that Garcia would be moved to last due to “actions in the last turn.” That action was apparently that he cut inside the white line on the inside of the last turn. Final order was Posey, Nobles and Sebesta.

It was one more lap to make something happen for these eight incredible athletes. For Corben, he just needed to keep doing what he was doing. It wasn’t likely that there would be any third-round “cruise laps” as sometimes happens in small-rack third rounds, sitting on low points.

Corben Sharrah at the 2016 US Olympic BMX TrialsThird round was much the same for Corben, with a win, followed by Nobles, Posey and Garcia. Second rack, David Herman got the win, with Jeff Upshaw, Tanner Sebesta and Tommy Zula in for the balance.

The points were such that Garcia and Zula missed the cut, so the main event would be:
Corben Sharrah
David Herman
Jeff Upshaw
Tanner Sebesta
Justin Posey
Barry Nobles

MAIN EVENT
5PM was High Noon for these six shooters. On the gate, from the inside-out would be Barry Nobles, David Herman, Justin Posey, Jeff Upshaw, (a blank lane 5), Corben Sharrah and Tanner Sebesta.

The pack came down the ramp fairly-even, but by the backside of the first jump, Sharrah had a definite edge forward on the rest. Herman was on his left and came into the first turn tracking behind him.

Out of turn one, it was Sharrah, Herman, Upshaw and Nobles. Barry seemed to over-jump the first set on the second straight a bit, but was right back at it as the pack raced toward turn two. Over the berm jump it was still Sharrah, Herman, Upshaw, but Barry was on the inside, and got past Jeff, moving into third place.

Upshaw was not done, but jumped a bit high on the first set of the third straight, while Barry pedaled early, and got a few cranks on the backside. Then, in the third straight rhythm, Barry placed the back wheel perfectly each time, plus had the inside into the last turn. Nobles got past Herman in the last turn, but Sharrah was on to the stripe, and the win!

Corben Sharrah wins the 2016 US Olympic BMX TrialsWhen Corben crossed the line, there was no fist-pump, no ghost-ride, no victory dance. He cruised into the proverbial end-zone, and that was that.

One of the backstory moments of the Trials was that, at the very hour Corben was crossing the line as the winner of the Olympic Trials, his sister, Kim, was getting married back home in Tucson. The date had been set before the trials came into view, and Corben gave a very nice interview with Redman where he talked about the circumstances surrounding the date conflict, and how he wished her and her new husband Joe all the best. We will join those sentiments, with congratulations to the happy couple.

 

MEDIA CRUSH
Corben got the first taste of the media swarm around an Olympian in the minutes following the race. Ushered, immediately, over to longtime friend and former Team Manager, Mike Redman for an on-camera interview for the on-site crowd and the audience of the live stream.

Corben Sharrah interviewd after winning the 2016 US Olympic BMX TrialsThen to the live stage, where he was awarded the Olympic Team “Boarding Pass” to Rio, standing atop the one-place podium. And on that same stage, minutes later, to a press conference with Nic Long and Alise Post.

Corben Sharrah at the 2016 National BMX Hall of FameThe day ended with brief remarks at the National BMX Hall Of Fame dinner and induction ceremony, where Nic, Alise and Corben were invited, by emcee Cash Matthews to “spend a few minutes” talking about their experience. Corben was called first, and did a great job telling the capacity crowd about his day, and the next challenge that lies before him.

POSTSCRIPT
The next headline in the 2016 US Olympic BMX Team’s march to Rio will be on or about June 23, as the USA Cycling Selection Committee announces their picks. News has our picks already in-order, but the ones by the committee will decide the balance of our team. You can be sure that we will report those as soon as they are available.

—Mike Carruth

Links

2016 US Olympic BMX Trials Photo Gallery



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UCI BMX Freestyle and What it Means

May 17, 2016 by · Comments Off 

2016 FISE Montpellier BMX Park
For the past five years, News has been tracking UCI’s march toward including BMX Freestyle as an officially-recognized sport. Our first article, on March 28, 2011, headlined “UCI Sniffing Around Skating, Freestyle” covered UCI’s then-president, Pat McQuaid’s quote to BBC Sport, saying “They’re all related to wheels, they’re all related to bikes as such, and from that point of view cycling is the sport that can bring those disciplines in (to the Olympics)” (Link to each past article, below).

Then, on February 6, 2013, News reported the haps at a UCI management committee meeting in Louisville, KY, which discussed a proposal to bring three new cycling disciplines in for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, BMX Freestyle reportedly being one of the three.

Obviously, that didn’t happen for 2016, but as we move forward on the calendar, to our next update on the topic, May 18, 2015, UCI formalized “BMX Park” as an officially-recognized sport.

That 2015 release was fully-realized earlier this year, with the announcement of a four-stop UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup tour, promoting stops in France (Montpellier May 4-8), Croatia (Osijek July 21-23), USA (Denver, Sept 3-5) and Canada (Edmonton Sept 16-18).

The first of the those events took place earlier this month, as part of the 20th-annual FISE festival in Montpellier, France. The qualifying runs had a ridiculously-large crowd, which you will see in the video below, but the finals were ultimately rained out, and the previous day scores served as the final.



UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup Podium – Montpellier, France
Alex Coleborn (GBR)
Daniel Dhers (VEN)
Mike Varga (CAN)

It was, in fact, one year ago today that UCI issued their release saying “The UCI innovates by integrating BMX Freestyle Park into its development strategy” (Full release, linked below). So the progression of the program has moved rather quickly, by any standard.

It’s serious: BMX Freestyle Park has been added to the UCI website, alongside BMX RacingUCI BMX Freestyle Park

Freestyle has, for a long time, been BMX Racing’s perceviedly more suave and successful brother, with big sponsor cash for riders and events, inclusion on the Dew Tour and X Games program, TV coverage… and did we say big sponsor cash?

RL Osborn, Sundance Cycle, 1981As the founding-ground of the sport, dating back to Bob Haro and RL Osborn (above) in the early 80s, we had to ask: how will the United States be involved in this?

The answer comes in a familiar form. USA BMX is jumping, full-whip, into the Freestyle mix! Tony Degollado, AKA “Tony D” to most who know him, was brought on board recently to head the USA BMX Freestyle effort in Gilbert. Tony was a racer, but in his subsequent industry career, had long-experience with the freestyle scene while on board at Haro Bikes.

News sat down with Tony for a few mins yesterday, and asked him some premininary questions about the USA BMX Freestyle plans. Here’s what he said:

As discussed (and rumored on social media) USA BMX has created a division, appropriately named, “USA BMX Freestyle.”

There are so many questions being asked about this new division. . .some of which I am happy to address and others that will be brought up at this year’s Hall of Fame dinner.

There’s going to be two avenues that will be offered to athletes and riders through USA BMX Freestyle: A digital avenue and a live events avenue.

The digital side will be revealed at the Hall of Fame dinner, but I can say that it’s currently active to the select few, and is a great option to those who have a hard time making it to live events.

The live events (contests) side will be a fun project, with the sole focus on uniting both BMX Race and Freestyle into a festival type of event–with the launch of this new format being introduced at the 2016 Grand National.

The topic of the UCI has been brought up on many occasions with the announcement of the UCI World Cup Park series operated by FISE. My only comment at this time is that USA BMX Freestyle will adhere to the rules and regulations that have been created by UCI/Hurricane groups. They are a great set of guidelines, and it makes it easier to unite the Freestyle contest community globally if we all follow this. Simple is better.

Sorry this can’t be more informative, but at this time we have some pending partnerships that will benefit our 2017 Live Events Tour schedule, and until they are confirmed and the names/dates of the events are secure, we’re holding everything close to our chest. But I will say that we have a seven-stop regional contest series planned with a National Championships to conclude the schedule (for 2017).

INTERESTING!, to say the least. This adds a whole-other component to the prospect of UCI getting involved in BMX Freestyle. Legitimacy in the US is critical for any kind of global effort. And there is no question that USA BMX knows how to run large events professionally.

ABA BMX Freestyle 1987TRIVIA: Did you know that ABA had a freestyle division in the late 1980s and reportedly owns both the “American Freestyle Association” and “National Freestyle Association” brands, via acquisitions, from back-then?

Late last month, UCI President Brian Cookson, told the world cycling press that he is “pushing to expand track cycling at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.” Olympic watchers know that the Games can only support so-many events for a given sport, so our question is: How will Cookson’s statements, and the coming-on-strong BMX Freestyle game affect BMX Racing’s standing in Olympic Games to come?

—Mike Carruth

Top Photo: Courtesy of FISE

*Shows what WE know: This is an article about BMX Park…and it took me 11 hours to realize the top photo is of the FISE flatland event. Probably gonna take a while for us to acclimate.

Links

2016 UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup Event Schedule

UCI BMX Freestyle Park Rules – 02/12/16

NEWS: UCI Sniffing Around Skating, Freestyle – 3/28/11

NEWS: UCI Moves Toward BMX Freestyle in Olympics – 2/6/13

NEWS: UCI Brings BMX Park Into the Fold – 5/18/15

UCI innovates by integrating BMX Freestyle Park…





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Connor Fields Suffers Hand Injury in UK

April 4, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Connor Fields Suffers Hand Injury
While the USA BMX crowd, including BMX News, were in the thick of day two of the Lone Star Nationals, most of our top SX riders were in the UK, training-up for stop number two on the 2016 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup Circuit. During second round, news started to spread that Connor Fields broke his hand Read more

Sweat Lodge: 2016 Olympic Edition

December 4, 2015 by · Comments Off 

2016 Olympic Village

If you hear that things are gettin steamy among the athletes in the Olympic Village next August, you may need to ask for clarification before jumping to conclusions.

The Rio Olympic Organizing committee, in an effort to close a $520 Million hole in their operating budget, has decided that cool runnings in the Village is something the 10,500 athletes just don’t need. A spokesperson told The Associated Press “We don’t think it’s going to be critical (to have air conditioning) there.”

While it’s true that the games will technically take place in the Southern Hemisphere’s Winter months, the local temperature on August 19, 2015 (one year to the day from the BMX finals in Rio) was 95 degrees.

The same spokesperson did offer-up the possibility of national federations kicking-in the cold-hard-cash necessary to keep cool breezes blowing in their athletes’ rooms. Of course, for less affluent federations, sleeping will be strictly bake & wake.

Adding to the acrimony over AC, organizers have acknowledged that there is no agreement yet in place for an energy provider to supply electricity to the games, saying that their “Plan B” is to have a generous number of generators on site to power the venues.

Conditions at some venues have come under sharp criticism, with recent reports of open-water venues (used for sports like sailing) that have infected one sailor with a flesh eating bacterial disease, and sickened 38 other test event participants due to off-the-charts pathogen levels. A study undertaken by The Associated Press found water pollution levels 1.7 MILLION times more toxic than permitted under US EPA clean water standards, levels one might find in the depths of a municipal sewer system. Experts quoted in an AP exposé said that ingesting just three teaspoons of this water will give competitors a 99% chance of getting sick.

Turning back to temps in the dorms: the safety and comfort of the athletes should be top priority for any organizing committee, and we hope the PR heat Rio Organizers are feeling will encourage them to be cool about turning on the AC next August–providing they have the electricity to make it happen.

—Mike Carruth





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