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2002, Interview with Neil Wood

  • Written by Jos Wissink
  • Published in Blog
Probably you all know the English bicycle magazine called "DIRT". The March/April 2002 issue of "DIRT" futures an interview of Pro- BMX' er Neil Wood. It's a very interesting intervieuw and you all should read it.
Neil Wood also give his opinion on the U.C.I. and I want to let you know about it as well. After the happenings during the 2001 Worlds in Louisville-USA, Neil's opinion might be a little "colored" but still worth reading.

The following part is a selection of the Neil Wood interview:
Q: So what do you think is wrong in essence with the UCI, why wouldn't they listen? It's all about riders anyway?
A: Neil: It's not about riders. It's about the UCI. I don't really know about them enough, as most people involved in BMX.

Q: In general, people who you met and worked with?
A: Neil: The people I've met with, were just a bunch of freeloading UCI people. I see them saying, "Hey there's going to be a full season of UCI races, five. One is going to be in Japan, one in France, one in Australia, one in America and one's going to be in Europe. Let's send all these UCI officials and wives and kids around checking out each location". There's not even a track there, it's just a "location". You don't need an all-expenses paid trip to America an official to check out a "location" for a race. If it's a BMX race, any NBL official or any NBL guy could go down and go "big room, plenty of places for camping, plenty of hotels close by. Yes, fine. Snack bar, yeah - great". Not send in the whole crew out there. It all seems like just a big scam just all about money. The UCI keeps money coming in and a bunch of people have got in charge and are freeloading, enjoying it.

Q: Do you think their job is so boring that they couldn't find anyone with any sense or knowledge of the sport to do it, or is it just the lack of money which would bring in the right people to be in charge? Obviously money is not a problem from what you're saying.
A: Neil: I don't know who they are, I don't know their backgrounds. I don't know where they come from, it's probably just people from road biking (Remark GD: the general problem is that less then 10% of the BMX racers, clubs and others worldwide know what UCI stand for, who represent the BMX world and what their BMX policy is!!!).  This is BMX. I'm being banned by a guy called (struggling with pronunciation): Jo han Li-nd-str-um (everybody in the room is laughing now), is that how you pronounce it? Yeah. I'm being banned by him, I emailed him and said there is no way I'm going to apologize for anything I did during the Worlds in Louisville-USA last year. I fully stand by all my actions at that race and I think I made it a better race on a professional level, because of my actions.

His reply email was: "Yes, I agree it was a very good pro race, it turned out to be an excellent race, we just should have gone about things a different way". Yeah, you should have gone about things in a different way Johan! You should have sat down and talked to us! UCI thinks we need them, but they forget, they need the riders! No BMX racers no UCI BMX Committee! (Remark GD: indeed the riders MADE the event, not UCI! One seems to forget that).

Q: What do you think the way out is? Do you think there are changes on the horizon or is this going to be the way it's going to be?
A:  Neil: I don't know, it seems so simple. I mean I don't want to get in the politics of it, I don't want to be on a BMX commission, I don't want to be involved in that. I want to go to a BMX race with a smile on my face, race a really good track or a pretty good track, with some jumps and ride it the way we want to ride it. Then leave with a smile on my face and have a good weekend. When it turns out to be a race run by people who don't understand BMX racing like Lindstròm, and don't understand any kind of fun aspect about it, then it just turns in to a job, which is not why we do this".

End of this section of the Neil Wood interview. Check out RIDE Magazine!

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