UCI BMX World Champs 2012
UCI BMX World Champs 2012, Birmingham NIA – May 24-27th
I’ve had the chance to attend a few top level cycling events over the last couple of years and was lucky enough last week to watch the BMX World Champs and cheer on three riders from the One and All Youth Academy who had earned a spot in the event due to their early season results in National races and overall National BMX rankings.
To say I was blown away by the performances of the young riders from over 20 different countries would be putting it mildly. Each rider appeared to take to the start gate totally focussed and committed to the task ahead, throwing themselves out of the start gate and into the first jump showing no fear. Some fared better than others; some made it all the way around in first or last place but still on 2 wheels. Others were not as fortunate with spills aplenty as riders’ misjudged landings, turned a little hard or simply collided in the heat of battle. What stood out most of all though was the commitment and determination to give it 100% each time and the sheer enjoyment of being able to race in an international event in front of thousands of supporters and fans at such a young age.
Having only ever watched BMX on the TV before I have to say the atmosphere and excitement within the stadium was unreal, gradually building as each day went on and the racing got closer to its conclusion. Fans were patriotic but not exclusive, with all appreciating a good performance, close race and, most humbling of all, supporting those riders whose dreams where left in tatters as they were picked up off the track and escorted off by the paramedics.
For our Youth Academy riders it was an experience they will never forget and has left them all motivated to work hard at their training, both BMX and on-road, and come back better and stronger when the World Champs return to Europe with Holland as the host nation in 2014.
From a coaches point of view I had the perfect opportunity to fast track my BMX knowledge and understanding of the technical nuances and intricacies of the sport as well as the sheer strength and power required to make it to the top level in whatever age group. I also got to watch our riders in action firsthand to observe and understand a little better how they deal with pressure situations and am hopefully now in a better place to work with their other coaches in the coming weeks/months/years to help them become the best bike riders they are capable of being.
I would urge anyone that has the opportunity to get out there and watch top level events whenever they are able to, or better still, to take up the opportunity to compete should you meet the qualification criteria.
Next week sees the Tour Series come to Torquay and having watched Round 2 in Oxford, which also doubled up as Round 1 of the Women’s Team Series, I’ll be sure to make the trip up to soak up the atmosphere and watch some of the best bike riders in the UK and Europe showcase their skills.
A visit to the Tour Series is also another opportunity to support local/SW talent with One and All Cycling/Bike Chain-Ricci Youth Academy rider patrons Chris Opie and Yanto Barker (Team UK Youth) and Steve Lampier (Team IG-Sigma Sport) hoping to put on a good show in front of a home crowd.