January, EUROPEAN BMX RACING DECLINING?
TELL IT HOW IT IS!
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.
Just received some info from the ABA telling me they have over 65.000 license-holders. Just this year they added over 60 new tracks to their ranks. Normal Nationals have 240 motos and a large National will have around 325 motos. At European Championship events around 300 motos is about the limit and that's once a year! The same developments take place within the NBL.
TALKING NUMBERS (YEAR 2000)
Just to give you all an idea of how many riders per country their are, here a resume of countries involved in BMX and also the number of inhabitants of those countries (situation year 2000). My conclusion is, more then enough potential, U.C.I.: lets start promoting BMX!
|COUNTRY||# of INHABITANTS||# of LICENCES|
In the year 2001, the ABA - USA celebrated its 25th. Anniversary.
January 24/26th. The 17th. edition of the Indoor de Tours took place in Tours, France.
This year around 1400 entries were registered. Every year it is hard on many riders to adjust to the very technical design of the track. This event also counts as a test round for riders in Junior and Elite classes.
April. In the official UCI newsletter of the offroad department called “Off road News”, it was said that:
“The 2001 UCI BMX World Championship to be held in Louisville in July this year, will be one of the biggest World Championships ever. Being held indoors at the Kentucky State Fair and the Freedom Hall, is the perfect setting for the most prestigious BMX event of the year.”
Read on and shiver!
July 13/15th. The 2001 UEC - UCI European BMX Championship & Challenge in Geneva - Switzerland.
July 20/21st 2001
UCI - BMX EUROPEAN CHALLENGE & CHAMPIONSHIPS 2001,
GENEVA - SWITZERLAND
The UCI-BMX European Championship and Challenge 2001 took place in Geneva-Switzerland. It was also the final round for the Junior and Elite men/women European Championship (10 round series). Over 1700 + entries from 18 European countries. The were: Switzerland, France, Holland, England, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Hungary, Poland, Tjech-Republic, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Portugal.
General organisation was not at the level of the Europeans of 5 years (1996) ago at the same location. Must be said, that the bad weather also was cause of a less relaxed atmosphere.
Overall results in the Euro Championship classes.
In the Challenge classes, the Champions were:
Boys 7 Champion: Thorsten Lentink NED
Boys 8 Champion: Simon Lukie FRA
Boys 9 Champion: Denis de Vries NED
Boys 10 Champion: Jelle van Gorkum NED
Boys 11 Champion: Marek Vodak CZE
Boys 12 Champion: Yvan Lapraz SUI
Boys 13 Champion: Xander Martine NED
Boys 14 Champion: Maris Strombergs LAT
Boys 15 Champion: Romain Saladini FRA
Boys 16 Champion: Arturs Martisons LAT
Boys 17/18 Champion: Nicolas Colin FRA
Boys 19 + Champion: Uldis Pucitis LAT
Girls 8 & under Champion: Enora Le Roux FRA
Girls 9 Champion: Maartje Hereigers NED
Girls 10 Champion: Harmonie Sailly FRA
Girls 11 Champion: Joyce Seesing NED
Girls 12 Champion: Magalie Pottier FRA
Girls 13 Champion: Reade Shanaze GBR
Girls 14 Champion: Natalja Busschers NED
Girls 15 Champion: Laetitia Le Corguille FRA
Girls 16 Champion: Cyrielle Convert FRA
Cr. 14 & under Champion: Jeremy Chaffot FRA
Cr. 15-16 Champion: Romain Saladini FRA
Cr. 17-18 Champion: Christophe Frerot FRA
Cr. 19-29 Champion: Herve Krebs SUI
Cr. 30-39 Champion: Jorg de Louw NED
Cr. 40 & over Champion: Hein van Veghel NED
European Championship classes medal count:
GOLD SILVER BRONZE
1. France 5 3 3
2. Holland 1 - -
3. Latvia - 1 1
Czech Republic - 1 1
5. Great Brittain - 1 -
6. Slovenia - - 1
Total number of classes: 6 6 6
European Challenge classes medal count:
GOLD SILVER BRONZE
1. France 11 16 12
2. Holland 9 4 4
3. Latvia 3 - 3
4. Switzerland 2 2 3
5. Great Brittain 1 3 -
6. Czech Republic 1 1 3
7. Slovakia - 1 -
8. Belgium - - 1
Hungary - - 1
Total number of classes: 27 27 27
European Championship medal count:
6 European Championship classes and so titles.
European CHALLENGE title count.
27 European Challenge classes and titles (only winners):
|1st:||France||11 Challenge titles|
|2nd:||Holland||9 Challenge titles|
|3rd:||Latvia||3 Challenge titles|
|4th:||Switzerland||32 Challenge titles|
|5th:||Tjech-Republic||1 Challenge title|
|Great Britain||1 Challenge title|
July 19 - 31st. UCI - BMX World Championship 2001 took place in Louisville-Ky, USA.
Three weeks have been past since the rememorable UCI-BMX World Championship 2001 took place in Louisville - Kentucky, USA. I waited on purpose writing down my report/evaluation on this event and other happenings around it, just to let things settle down in my mind. However, about all what happened I still think/feel the same way to this day, so ..... it's time to wirte down my report on, our trip to the USA and the evaluation on the 2001 UCI Worlds. For me and many others this Worlds was a SHOCKING experience, I a sorry to say.
What follows now will be my report on the UCI BMX Worlds in Louisville as well as my opinion on the Pre-Worlds and the ABA World Championship. Fifty percent of what is written down are opinions from riders, organisers, country officials, mixed with my own opinion on these events.
July 19th., prepairing to leave for the BMX World Championships in the USA.
Packing equipment and things were, the Does family being Pieter, Nico and Gerrit, as well as Peter and Rob van den Wildenberg and Eric van de Nieuwenhuysen.
It's July 20th. and I am getting ready to leave for the USA. It feels kind of strange. I haven’t been in the USA since November 1998, normally I did go there one time for sure every year. I also considered this trip some kind of “let go” of BMX. It might be the last Worlds were Pieter Does, my youngest son will be racing since he is that busy with his job at TWIN AIR air filters. It was in the USA, the country of origin of BMX, I wanted go come with him to this event. Also Nico Does, my oldest son, traveled with us, as well is father Peter and son Rob van den Wildenberg and Eric v.d. Nieuwenhuizen.
Off to Louisville - Kentucky, USA. Our flight: Amsterdam - London - Washington Dulles - Louisville. We arrived in Louisville, late in the evening of July 20th, around midnight. It has been a long day travelling!
Pieter and Nico were flying with 3 more friends straight from Amsterdam to Washington. I had to go to London-England first. However, I was able to have myself placed on a "stand-by" list for their flight and I was lucky. 30 minutes before departure, they called my name and I was on the same flight as my sons and friends. The surprise was that I travelled business-class! We transferred in Washington for Louisville and arrived there on Friday evening July 20th. at around 19.00 hours. The hotel we stayed in was the Executive Inn, just across the Freedom Hall, the location were the Championship would take place the following weekend (a 5 minute walk).
The next day the boys went back to the airport to hire a mini-van. That day we checked-out the neighbourhood, did some shopping, swimming in the hotel pool and relaxing. We also checked out the site for the VANS TRIPLE CROWN of BMX (Freestyle) event on the fairgrounds, just behind the Freedom Hall. They were very busy building the dirt-jump track, half-pipe, street and ...... section.Saturday evening we went to an American football game in the FREEDOM HALL, just to check out the arena. It looked good and we all were enthusiastic about its potentials.
July 22st. The 2001 ABA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS of BMX at Kettering, Dayton- Ohio-USA.
Seen here a track overview of the ABA Worlds BMX track in Kettering. In a way a crazy thing that you can have 2 World Championship events in one week, a couple of miles apart. One UCI affiliated and therefore considered the only "official" Worlds and the ABA, American orientated Worlds.
Sunday July 22nd., we all got up early and traveled to Kettering-Dayton, Ohio to watch the ABA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS. When we arrived in the area we had to ask many people were the BMX track The what ……??!!” they said. We were talking a WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP of BMX, but the world around Dayton-Ohio/Kettering did not even know it was happening! No signs, no posters, no nothing. This is not the way to promote BMX, gain respect from riders and being competitive towards the UCI / NBL.
We have been looking for the track for about 30 minutes, then finally we saw a “Burger King” having a sign outside; ”BMX’ers welcome”. Now we knew we had to be close! We asked inside Burger King and directions were given. On arrival we found an outdoor track, I will call it medium seized track (laptime 28 seconds in Pro class), nothing special made or designed, just the track that probably was sitting there for several years. It had rained heavily the night before, the track was flooded but the organisation had managed to get everything in order in time for the Sunday.
On that Sunday there were around 190+ moto’s and in total 1074 entries (UCI had 1643 entries) in 64 different classes, meaning 64 World Champions would be crowned that day (UCI has 6 classes in which World Championship titles can be won and 28 in which World Challenge titles can be won). Not many foreign riders were present at the Kettering track, also because NBL had a so-called PRE-World BMX event in Evansville (points counting for the UCI World Ranking in Elite/Junior men and women classes in which final standings will award 10.000 $ for number 1).
Also a lot of foreign riders did not want to race at the ABA Worlds (or for that matter the NBL race as well), risking injuries and then not being able to race at the UCI BMX World Championships in Louisville the next week. Around 10 till 12 countries were represented with about 50 foreign riders (at the UCI event there were riders from 32 countries present and racing, the USA (NBL) did have 638 entries and the other 31 countries together did have 1015 entries registered). At the ABA Worlds, in the AA PRO class there were 18 entries (in Elite men at the UCI Worlds there were 183 entries!). Dutchman Robert de Wilde did win the ABA World Championship title in AA PRO class. In each of the 64 ABA classes the winner is called World Champion, that is absolutely too much in my opinion, the value of a title is reduced to almost zero by doing it all this way. In general the overall organisation of the ABA Worlds was good and of ABA quality.
ABA World Champions in the Pro and Amateur classes:
AA Pro class - Robert de Wilde (NED)
A Pro class - Beau Richards (USA)
Veteran Pro - Eric Rupe (USA)
Girls Pro - Alice Jung (USA)
Pro Cruiser - Matt Hadan (USA)
Pro Open - Warwick Stevenson (USA)
15-16 Open - Jason Rogers (USA)
17 & over Open - Donny Robinson (USA)
15 Girls - Hayashi Kimberley (USA)
16 Girls - Jessica Petersen (USA)
17 & over Girls - Staci Patton (USA)
15 Boys - Jason Rogers (USA)
16 Boys - Ian Stoffel (USA)
17 Boys - Ryan Nelson (USA)
18 Boys - Donny Robinson (USA)
19-27 Boys - Daniel Greer (USA)
28 & Over - Chad Roberts (USA)
16 Cruiser - Ian Stoffel (USA)
17-20 Cruiser - Clint Lambert (USA)
26-30 Cruiser - Chad Roberts (USA)
17-20 Girls cruiser - Darcey Cobb (USA)
Factory Team result:
1e Staats 242 pts.
2e Answer-Pro Concept 218
3e GT-Chevy Tracker 214
4e Powerlite-Chevy Tracker 186
5e Crupi Challenge 178
Just a view of the in total 64 classes.
Still I must say, that this event was just a disappointing experience, not ABA worthy I think. We all left kind of disappointed that event right after the last main event.Till today I have been thinking about the event, the reason why it was organised in this area and at the same time as the NBL Summernational. I know ABA can do so much better and organise a knock-out Worlds for sure. In my opinion they should use another strategy in getting the right attention of the American riders, Pro's, foreign riders and the respect of the UCI.
ADVICE: If I was ABA management, next year I would organise a "real" ABA World Championship. Invest in a unique event, perfectly organised. An event NOT conflicting with the UCI of even an NBL event, because that will not benefit ABA either. A much better change of having more foreign riders present when the dates are not conflicting and not close together. I would sent invitations to the international contacts ABA has of riders, organisers and others all over the world and invite riders to compete at the ABA Worlds. It could be an idea to organise a Worlds in conjunction with the ABA GRANDS. Maybe add one day to this prestigious event organised around Thanks Giving or change the Race of Champions into the ABA World Championships and titles to be won in a limited number of classes.
If I was ABA, I would go for a maximum of about 14 World Championship classes instead of the 64 as in July of last. This will give more meaning to the title of ABA WORLD CHAMPION. The 14 classes being:
AA PRO World Championship
A PRO World Championship
PRO women World Championship
PRO cruiser World Championship
VETERAN PRO World Championship
AMATURES men 16-18 World Championship
AMATURES men 19-27 World Championship
AMATURES men 28 & over World Championship
AMATURES women 15 World Championship
AMATURES women 16 World Championship
AMATURES women 17 & over World Championship
CRUISER 16 World Championship
CRUISER 17-20 World Championship
CRUISER 21-30 World Championship
And of course give maximum attention to TEAM COMPETITION as well. Within UCI this is done at a very poor level. Manufacturers do invest a lot in teams and want to see some attention/publicity come back to them. Well here is your change. Teams can be composed from the riders entering the Championship classes. Factory teams, Bike Shop teams and National teams, meaning that 3 titles can be won here.
Might be an idea to award World Title winners with a special HELMET instead of a race-jersey in rainbow colours. All Helmet in the same colours, custom painted, with name of the rider and class mentioned he/she became a World Champ in ....... etc.. Again, these are just some ideas, be creative about it.
NBL Pre-Worlds "Summernational EVANSVILLE, INDIANA"
After we arrived at our hotel late that evening, we did hear the stories about the NBL PRE-Worlds in Evansville that was held on the same day. Well, in general most of the reactions on this event were very negative. Many Europeans, who came to the USA for the first time, expected a perfect organisation. They were in the country of origin of the sport of BMX, they heard and did read stories about the fantastic events in the USA. Were they disappointed!
Without going into details, just a National event (not a National championship race) in any European country is better organised then this Summer-Inter-National event and Pre-Worlds in Evansville. At a certain point the NBL track officials just did quit their jobs. Representatives from foreign countries were asked to deliver officials to continue and finish this event: how crazy can it get. Also in this event, not many foreign riders took part. Around 200 moto's and about a total of 1100 entries. Racing took place till late at night.
Monday July 23rd, visiting Indianapolis Speedway, a "deja vu"
After we returned to our hotel on Sunday evening, we went out and had diner. The next day Monday 23rd, we had scheduled a trip to the city of INDIANAPOLIS. This was a kind of "Deja Vu" for Nico and me. In December 1979 we were in the same city at the Convention Centre, for the JAG BMX WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS of BMX organised by Renny Rooker and sanctioned by the NBL of George Esser (see history of BMX year 1979 for details). In these almost 22 years the city has changed completely, in its favour though. I will come back later on our experiences then (JAG Worlds) and the Worlds in Louisville now. We went to the Indianapolis Speedway Hall of Fame. We were very proud to see a Dutchman being an inductee/member too: Arie Luyendijk. He won the Indy 500 twice.
I had to make a picture of Nico and Pieter, standing in front of this magnificent trophy. 22 years ago I did make about the same picture in this museum of an 8 year old Nico then: Time flies! Of course a tour around the race-track was part of it all. Pity they weren't test riding that day. We learned later, that on Tuesday they were testing. I love to see that, its just amazing to see those cars go by at 300/320 km per hour. On our we back to Louisville we had diner and we arrived at our hotel later that evening. This has been a fun and enjoyable day.
Tuesday July 24th.
The race-weekend is coming closer. Today is the day registration starts. We all went to the Freedom Hall for registration. Over there we learned that the registration has been postponed because the number plates weren't there yet. Was this the beginning of problems or just an incident? Still, I think it's really incredible that after at least 2 years of preparation, now, when it all has to come together, the number plates "aren't ready in time"! Having plates ready in time is just an organisation thing, nothing special of complicated, yes? We also went down to the Freedom Hall to have a look at the track being built. Already then, riders who were on the floor found the clay too wet. This would become a hot item towards the weekend. Luckily we had planned already ahead to spent the rest of this day at the amusement park SIX FLAGS on the fairgrounds. We had a good time and enjoyed ourselves, specially Pieter, Erik and Rob had a great time taking all the rides!
Pieter and Erik took the ride were you the hang in a "harnas" on a cable, about 50 metres above the ground, they pull you up and then they drop you!!!! Crazy stuff. Also this ride was a heavy one, going straight up slowly and coming down in a free fall, oeps. For me it was an orientation visit this this park, since I am working at an amusement park myself back in Holland.
Wednesday July 25th.
Since we had to bring back our rental car early that morning, we were kind of stuck at the hotel and planned to be "bored". Just to do something we went back and forward twice to the Freedom Hall and The Vans Triple Crown of BMX Freestyle side. Because of the short but heavy rainfall, the outdoor dirt-track was flooded. Looking at the progress of the building of the indoor Worlds track, we got more and more worried about what it all would look like, due to the softness of the track. BUT, professionals were handling it, so it should be o.k. by Thursday.
NUMBERPLATES; late that afternoon the number plates arrived and our riders were able to pick up their plates at the hotel at 19.00 hours that evening. My opinion is that when things go wrong this bad, why not have 1 instead of 2 days for registration. Saves many people one day, a lot of expenses and irritation (in this case anyway).
On Wednesday also the annual UCI BMX Convention took place. Without going into detail, here some reaction from country representatives who were present at this Convention:
* I left early with my delegation, its just a one way communication and they are telling the same stories for 5 years now. Nothing new.
* Our National organisation never received any minutes from the 2000 Convention so, what are we taking about.
* Policy is not made and decisions are not taken here anymore, that's done earlier by committees and the UCI management. What is the sense is having a meeting like this then. Its just a formality. Waist of time!
* Nobody speaks out or dares to speak out during this meeting. Probably specially not during this meeting since the President of the UCI, Mr. Hein Verbruggen was present (you know what I mean).
* Later on, after the meeting and off the record, everybody talks with everybody, but then nothing can be done anymore.
Glad I wasn't involved in all of this.
I was also told that Mr. Bob Tedesco held a very long deliberation on HOW TO BUILT A BMX TRACK. How contradictory would be the result of building this Worlds track in relation with this instructions.
Due to the fact the track seemed to be NOT o.k., several questions were asked AFTER the meeting (why not IN the meeting?). Several representatives asked UCI officials: What are the criteria for building an indoor BMX track? Like in Melbourne a "crossing" is possible (track 200 mtr., had to be run 2 times)? What about the Rule book, don't the criteria mentioned in there for building a track count for indoor tracks? So this means indoor tracks are kind of "outlawed"! That is a nice guarantee for quality events at World level, isn't it? NOT. This track was about 28/30 seconds (Elite men), meaning about 300 metres. That's too short. The starting gate wasn't wide enough (according to the rule-book); the 1st. jump was not according to the rule book and so on and so on. WHY IS A RULE BOOK NECESSARY THEN? Get rid of it. UCI should stand for quality and guard that. They don't!
Evaluation on the UCI BMX World Championships Louisville - Kentucky 2001;
Thursday July 26th. Doing nothing for one day is more then enough, so we were glad there was some action today: PRACTISE TIME. Since the French were scheduled to practise around 10, we went to the Freedom Hall around that time. On arrival I met Christopher Leveque and he explained to me that there was NO PRACTISE. No practise, what do you mean???? No practise because the track is too soft, the dirt is too wet!
Oh, Oh, but..... we are at an Indoor WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, what do you mean too wet. Did it rain insight the hall? Anyway, NO PRACTISE, dirt too wet. The Chief referee Eddy Posthuma cancelled practise of the early group this morning because accidents happened and they did not want anybody to get hurt. Riders went over the bars due to soft soil and so on, no good. The decision Eddy made was correct.
Well, here we go, UCI and specially Abe Schneider who is strong in favour of and defending the BMX committee's policy to go indoors when it concerns World Championships with the motivation that weather can not interfere with the running of the event. Well, here is your prove. This is BULL ....!
The 1998 indoor event in Melbourne-Australia and now here in Louisville, in the country of origin of BMX the USA, shows us that also indoor events are NO GARANTEE for good tracks. Several people might flash back to 1993 the Worlds in Schijndel - Holland. O.k., very bad weather then and there, BUT the track was o.k.. Only the surrounding grounds were very wet. Mostly the spectators had to coop with that. Building an indoor World track just 3 days before an event does start, isn't that a kind of short planning too, asking for problems? How can the "Q" standing for quality be guaranteed? In my opinion it all has to do with how serious any organisation picks up the actual organising of such an event (think of Norway, almost perfect organization).
Thinking about all of this, the two main reasons why the K.N.W.U./BMX club Valkenswaard - Holland had not been allocated the 2003 Worlds, was because Australia offered an indoor facility and expenses paid for some National representatives (travel/hotel). What about a guarantee for a 99% perfect track for the RIDERS according to the rule-book, instead of expenses paid for representatives and that kind of stuff. I know, its totally impossible to organise a BMX event 100% (in the eyes of everybody that is).
UCI to blame? Yes and no, I tell you why.
Several times during the weekend I heard remarks and even people yell, UCI...BOEEEE! That's not fair also. The organiser of the event is the NBL. They are responsible, they have had about 2 or more years to prepare well for such an event. That should be enough to have everything ready at least 2 weeks before the actual event. So, what I say is, in the first place the organising country and its National UCI affiliated organisation, in this case the NBL, is responsible and therefore to blame when things are not o.k. The UCI is just co-ordinating, but... also NOT doing a good job for that matter. At least 2 weeks before the event the UCI should be able to hold a final check and EVERYTHING should be in order, ready etc. by then. Also the numberplates (as just a small example). I could say much more about this, how to get this organised and so on, but that would take to far now.
I think it's an insult to the riders and supporters who come from all over the world, spent thousands of dollars to compete and then find the organisation is a this bad. Criteria should be clear, concrete and measurable. The UCI should act very strongly and even be able to give fines for NOT being organised in time.
Anyway, talking about the soft/wet track, experts were brought in and a plan was made to try to get the track ready to race for Friday. That mend working for some people, who tried their best, all through the evening and part of the night. Well, this was the end of a very disappointing, frustrating and boring day. Going back to our hotel we wondered how the track would be the next day. Also the time-schedule had to be re-arranged. That even happened 2 times. Now training would take place on Friday. Four days were pressed into three days.
Communications. As an outsider not being involved in the organisation or as a National official of any country, I found it very disturbing not to have any actual event/race information available. Finally, some information was put on walls and doors but still very limited. It must be said, that a 100% correct organised BMX event is an utopia. Always something goes wrong, but up till now this was already too much.
Friday July 26th. Official opening and UCI-BMX WORLD CHALLENGE and CHAMPIONSHIP 2001, Cruiser classes.
Finally action. Practise time! It was decided by the UCI/NBL that due to the problems with the soft track, the riders were allowed to make a choice between the Pro-section and the right hander of this section (rhythm section). The decision was made and should go for the whole weekend and all classes. It was also announced properly. Some problems will occur from this decision as you will find out in my report on Sunday. The track was still hard to ride. It was soft and asked a lot of energy from the riders. Although during the day the track slowly got better and better. Must be said, that the NBL did everything possible to get the track "in shape".
During practise several USA riders were practising together with the English. When the English team manager protested against this happening, the Chief referee did tell him to look for NBL's Erma Miller to solve the problem. Mrs. Miller did sent this TM back to the Chief referee. What happened was not right, but nothing was done about it. Normally a rider would have been disqualified (lucky you GR!). I don't call this fair-play.
The official opening of the UCI - BMX WORLD CHAMPIONHIPS 2001.
I will not talk about this too long, because it isn't worth talking about. Colourless, no atmosphere, simple presentation on a screen, a couple of speeches, nothing really spectacular. It looked like: we have to do this, lets get it over with. Being in the USA, all foreign riders and supporters expected much more then this official opening.
Hein Verbruggen's speech.
I want to go back to 1993, the World Championship in Schijndel - Holland. During this time the UCI also tried to get all the former I.BMX.F. organisation in their camp. Nothing wrong with that, BUT ..... to use the OLYMPICS as a tool to do so, wasn't a realistic thing. But Hein Verbruggen did. In 1993 Hein Verbruggen told in his opening speech that BMX would become an Olympic sport very soon. I knew then, that was an utopia at the time and still is. You can't realize such an important decision in a couple of years. I lot of Lobbying is needed with affiliated countries and specialy the I.O.C. But anyway, it helped some National organisation to vote for UCI integration later on.
Anyway, during Hein's speech in 2001 no word concerning the Olympics. You know what I mean!!! I.BMX.F is integrated into UCI now, so why talk about the Olympics. For your information, I just did read an article in a sports magazine that the new President of the I.O.C., Mr. Jacques Rogge from Belgium, wants to reduce the number of participants in the Olympic Games. Its growing too big and therefore financially almost impossible to organise. Already in 2004 Mr. Jacques Rogge wants to limit participation till 10.500 athletes. This also means NO more new sports will be added; that is already a fact. This means the number of participants from the cycling sports will/can not be increased. That means that certain discipline can be taken off and other can be placed back, as long as the number of participants stay the same. Do you honestly believe that BMX will have a change here? Yes, we will have, as soon as organisations are really professional and our professional riders are acting like professionals (read about the protest later on, then you know what I mean) a change to become an Olympic discipline.
Note added in 2017: must be said that a couple of years later (ending 2003) the official announcement came from the UCI - Hein Verbruggen, that BMX race had been accepted as an Olympic discipline by the IOC (of which Hein was a member also) as per the Beijing - China Olympics in 2008. The UCI had to cancel a couple of cycle velodrome specialties, to allow BMX to enter. From then on BMX became more professional step by step. Hein Verbruggen has kept his promise ... thanks for ever Hein !
Finally racing got underway.
Cruiser class racing. Instead of 16.00 hours, the racing started at 18.30 hours. For the younger riders it was physical hard work on the track. It all ended around 23.30 hours. The next day, many of the younger riders had to be present at 07.00 hours again for practise (20" classes). Personally I think this is unacceptable and not according to sporting rules (work and relief) at World Championship level. I know, this was an emergency: it should not be necessary when only the organisation would have been "normal".
What about spectators on this day? Oh yeah, there were spectators but only related to the riders competing. Maybe about 2000 of them? The Freedom Hall can hold 12.000 spectators. Why wasn't this hall filled with people? We talk about "marketing" of a World Championship in this area. Publicity in news-papers, radio-tv interviews, flyers, posters I did not see any of that. And IF the hall would have been filled, probably most of the outside BMX people would have left because it took all that long. I remember the 1999 World in France? On the Sunday it was almost impossible to find a place to watch the racing. Over 8000 people surrounded the track of which at least half of them were from outside BMX. A good communication/publicity plan and a good program was the reason for that.
Anyway, it was good to see a European win the Elite cruiser class: Christophe Leveque! Well done my friend (former MCS Europe team member). Dale Holmes finished 2nd and Randy Stumpfhauser 3rd.
Saturday/Sunday July 28/29th. The UCI-BMX WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS and CHALLENGE 2001.
World Challenge day, July 28th.
Around 12.00 hours I walked from the hotel to the Freedom Hall. On arrival the moto's were still running. The track was kind of ok. Still some soft sports here and there and the track was bumpy. About 1500 till 2000 spectators on the grandstands and during the finals maybe around 3000. Finally during the main events some enthusiasm from the spectators. Although there was time, most of the moto's had 2 races on the track. Why hurry like that. It's confusing, specially for out-side BMX spectators. Too much is going on then to follow the races seriously. During most of the time too long intervals, nothing happened. No information through the PA system about what was happening, no entertainment, nothing. One just was sitting there and waiting for the next thing to happen. The announcer could have done some interviews, or any kind of demo could have been given on the track. No action what so ever.
Qualifiers were run very hastily too. Again, most of the time 2 races on the track at the same time, why? There was no time problem of any kind. Between the ¼ and semi finals on this day there was a waiting period of 55 minutes due to a video protest. We only heard it was a protest after waiting for about 50 minutes. Besides that, there was nothing going on, no entertainment at all. A simply idea would have been: show a video about the previous racing on that day on the score-board in top of the hall. Just an idea.
Finals were finished off at around 18.00 hours with not many outside-BMX spectators present. The crowd was about 2500 / 3000 persons. In the end the athletes/the riders made it all interesting again. The riding quality of the riders has improved very much. Specially the Argentina riders were doing a great job by winning many Challenge titles.
Sunday July 29th. World Championship day.
Well, the final day arrived. What would this championship day bring us? All exited we went to the Freedom Hall, were racing started at 9.15 hours. At around 9.40 hours when the Elite men were on the startinghill, something happened. From were I was sitting I did see Neil Wood (GBR) cross his bike over the starting gate and Eric Abbadessa (USA) did stand in front of the gate, meaning: the racing was stopped by them.
Well, here we were, what was happening now? Eddy Posthuma walks towards the 2 riders blocking the gate/start and a discussion started. All the time most of the people present did not know what was going on. The only announcement that was made, concerned a request to the National Team members to come to the infield and meet with Eddy Posthuma. That happened after about 10/15 minutes.
Later on I learned that the Elite men, or better US Pro's mainly, protested against the possibility of choosing to ride the Pro-section or the Rhythm section. The US Pro's wanted everybody to take the Pro section! Separate the men from the boys! Although the decision and announcement was made before the racing started on Friday that one could choose, NOW the US Pro's wanted to change that. It also seemed that on Saturday and early Sunday a petition had been signed by around 50 riders, that also wanted to ride the Pro-section (50 out of 183 entries; what about democracy). The whole matter slowly got out of hand. More and more Elite riders entered the infield. The officials on the infield weren't able to find a solution and the spectators were waiting and waiting for any explanation. It took over 2 hours to have this sharade come to a conclusion. Suddenly (after about 1 hour) Mr. Bob Tedesco walks on the track and calls his USA riders together. After a while Mr. Tedesco takes the microphone and announces that the Elite men will take the Pro section. This decision was made without consulting the Chief referee who on his turn walked off the track and gave the honours back to the NBL. So, no more Chief referee ... and now? More discussion and confusion on and outside the track, the spectators left in total astonishment. Is this THE UCI Worlds??!!
Slowly the track was cleared and the next group of riders were asked to come to the gate for their race. Now the Europeans, mainly the French Elite riders present in that particular race, protested because of the procedures and decision taken and now they blocked the gate and track. After another discussion it was decided that all the Elite men would vote on the matter. The result of that vote would then be the final conclusion.
Finally it was announced what was going on after all that time. It was also announced that racing would go on with the other Championship classes and that Elite men would start their competition at around 13.30 hours.
The result of the vote was as follows: out of the 183 entries only about 124 riders did vote:
* 60 riders were in favour of making a choice taking the Rhythm or Pro-section.
* 64 riders were in favour of ONLY the Pro section. So; the Pro section it was.
Luckily also Eddy Posthuma came back and racing could continue now at around 11.00 hours with the Junior men and women and Elite women classes.
I must say that if any TV station would have been here recording all of this, it would have been very bad publicity for BMX. Also if there would have been 10.000 paying outside BMX spectators, this would have been very bad promotion for the sport. I also found the discipline of mainly the USA Elite riders on the infield of poor quality, sorry to say! It took officials, announcer, Bob Tedesco and others 10 till 15 minutes to clear the track, before it was all over.
After the moto's were run in Junior men/women and Elite women, extra practise was added for those Elite men that had not practised on the Pro-section before. This had to be done, to also give them a fair change as well. All the Elite men showed up ofcourse. However, the way this practise was conducted was very bad too. Pure chaos and dangerous situations. No co-ordination, too many riders on the track and one can be glad that no really bad accidents happened here. Again, what would outside BMX people have said about this. We are talking a serious sport aren't we? Well, the racing on its own was exiting. The riders are very good and have improved their abilities even more, specially the riders from other countries then the USA (look at the Argentina riders, the French, the English, Australian and others). I must say that the actual racing for which I was there myself, was great. The main events were of top quality and very exiting. Great to see Dale Holmes and Christophe Leveque win Elite men and Elite cruiser classes. Around 17.45 hours it was all over.
Still some team racing had to be done. This would take only about 10 minutes. What exactly happened, I think nobody knows. Suddenly it was all over with no racing at all anymore. It was a total flop. I don't want to talk about it anymore, thats how bad it was.
Presentation of Awards.
The presentation was scheduled at 16.00 hours, but now took place at 19.45 hours. Everything had to be prepared on the BMX track, so... that did take some time. The presentation itself? Nothing spectacular. The podium was professionally set up and that was about it. I remember the Orlando Worlds, were part of the main events were shown on video in a nice air-conditioned hall. But this is 2001, diferent story.
Conclusion of this exiting World Championship weekend:
Speaking from what I know of the European BMX scene, I think I can say that BMX is better organised over here in Europe then in the USA at this moment. Many people came over to the USA for the first time and expected the best of BMX ever. They went home very disappointed. Indoor events are not an absolute quarantee for quality events at all. Prove is here. Before an international event starts like this, one should have several announcers speaking at least French, Spanish and English. Now, during the event people had to be found to help out here and they had to explain what was happening in one of the foreign language as well. Planning is all.
Very important ofcourse is also to built demanding tracks with jumps that can be jumped or speed jumped. BMX racing should NOT become a Dirt-Jump competition and that is what it looked like here in Louisville, looking at the Pro-section. BMX is a fast/contact sport with the risk of injuries. Why improving those risks by making jumps that only in a perfect situation can be jumped correctly (Thomas Allier was a victim of this Pro-section and with him many more). Better look for longer tracks (more stamina) of at least 40 seconds instead of 28 seconds and built obstacles that demand a combination of technique and skill. The NBL organisation looked like, o Yeah, we have to do this Worlds also. Just something extra in between "normal business" running races in the USA.
I want to come back on this item. Suppose a representative of the IOC would have been present, to check-out BMX to find out and report on the status of the sport. How professional the organisation was, how professional the World Championship competitors were. I think he would probably had to write a very negative report. Did you ever see athletes protest at the Olympic Games, them stopping the event(s)?? Don't think so. This is something to think about. Many Old Skool riders are kind of disappointed when they look back and see now that BMX has not become what they expected it would become: a respected fully professional sport which one could compare with football, soccer, moto-cross or even ATB down hill and cross-country riding. The UCI and the National organisations should be alert now and evaluate all the experiences of the past 22 World Championships and learn from that, finally!
It was in 1979 that I came over to the USA for the first time and that my son Nico took part in the JAG BMX WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS organised by Renny Rooker and the NBL with over 1500 entries as well. One would say that after 22 years things should have improved all over. O.k., the computer is there and the automatic starting gate, but that's about it! I dare to say, trying to be as objective as possible, that the Worlds in 1979 was better organised then this one. I am sorry to say it, but its a fact.
At last, here the final results of racing and some figures, to give you a better idea about the scale of this UCI-BMX World Championship 2001
Printed results above, courtesy of Paull McLaughlin - Australia.
Country: USA (country of origin of the sport of BMX).
City: Louisville - Kentucky
Location: Indoor event at the FREEDOM HALL
Date: 27, 28 and 29th of July 2001.
Final count on the day the racing started:
Total number of countries 32.
Total number of entries 1653 of which in
Elite men 183 entries
Elite women 44 entries
Junior men 121 entries
Junior women 29 entries
Elite cruiser 80 entries
Junior cruiser 59 entries
All of this resulting in: 255 moto's, 12 - 1/16 qualifiers, 30 - 1/8 qualifiers, 88 - ¼ qualifiers, 66 - semi finals and 34 finals/main events.
Argentina: 82 entries France: 143 entries Slowakije: 6 entries
Australia: 57 entries Germany: 29 entries South-Africa: 24 entries
Belgium: 12 entries Holland: 49 entries Spain: 1 entry
Bolivia: 114 entries Hungary: 3 entries Switzerland: 25 entries
Brasil: 47 entries Japan: 10 entries Sweden: 6 entries
Canada: 126 entries Latvia: 13 entries USA: 640 entries(39%)
Chili: 17 entries Lithuania: 1 entry Venezuela: 29 entries
Colombia: 51 entries Mexico: 11 entries Zimbabwe: 1 entry
Czech-Rep.:17 entries New Zealand: 15 entries
Danmark: 7 entries Norway: 5 entries
Ecuador: 61 entries Poland: 2 entries
England: 47 entries Puerto Rico: 1 entry
By looking at these figures, one can speak of a true WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP.
In the 6 World Championship classes of Elite men/women, Junior men/women and Elite/Junior cruiser, the medal count for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place is as follows:
GOLD SILVER BRONZE
1st place: USA 3 titles 2 4
2nd place: FRANCE 1 title 2 2
3rd place: GR. BRITAIN 1 title 1 -
4th place: ARGENTINA 1 title - -
5th place: LATVIA -- 1 -
In the 28 Challenge classes the title count (first place only) is as follows:
1st place: USA 10 Challenge titles
2nd place: ARGENTINA 7
3rd place: AUSTRALIA 2
7th place: BOLIVIA 1
August. Trials News in the UCI newsletter, “OFF Road NEWS”.
UCI Trials World Youth Games 2001. Last year the Management Committee approved the UCI Trials Commissions proposal to split the Youth Games and the World Championships, mainly because of the fusion with the Mountain Bike World Championships. This year the Youth Games will be held together with the Trials World Cup in Volvic France Between the 2 - 5th August 2001.
Classes to compete in the Youth Games are: Poussins (9 and 10 years old), Benjamins (11 and 12 years old) and Minimes (13 - 15 years old). More info? check www.uci.ch.
Appointed International Commissaires for the 2001 Trials World Championships are:
Chief Commissaire Gerold Billmaier - Germany
Commissaire Jean Yves Dore - France
Commissaire Christian Fisch - Switzerland
Commissaire Loli Mendibe - Spain
Commissaire Juan-Antonio Monpean - Spain
Commissaire Michel Rouault - France
Commissaire Hanspeter Wirz - Switzerland
Commissaire Klaus Zabinsky - Germany
Published was also the International calendar with in total 10 events of which 2 in the USA, 7 events in France, 1 in Austria and 1 in Switzerland.
August the 10th. MENTOS Trophy in Blumenstein - Switzerland.
Promotor Albert Knill celebrated the 10th anniversary organizing this international event in Blumenstein - Switzerland. This would be the last Mentos Trophy.
*** foto Mentos Tr.
August 2001. From this month on the UCI Trials World CUP 2001 would take place.
For the 2001 season, the UCI Trials World Cup will be a two race series. The first event will be held in Volvic, France during August 3-5th., together with the UCI Youth Games. The World Cup finals will be in Bulach, Switzerland on the 10th. November 2001. The finals will be held indoor with a limited number of participants. Qualification to the finals will be based on the results of the World Cup race in Volvic and the World Championship in Vail/Beaver Creek - USA. Classes: two classes, 20” and 26”. Both classes are combined with the Elite Men/Junior Men classes. 20 riders in each class will be invited based on the results from the World Cup in Volvic - France.
September 2001. In England the 1st. Old Skool of BMX Reunion took place, organized by Alan Woods. Besides many pictures of the old “stars” also a video tape was produced.
*** foto's Reunie GB
September 2nd. the NBL Grand National, Louisville - Kentucky, USA, European BMX Pro's dominating.
Just to give you all an idea how the Europeans are doing racing in the USA, here some info on the NBL Grand National helt at Louisville, Kentucky. Since the time I went over to the USA in 1990, to have the University of BMX training clinics in Orlando and after this camp the riders left for Columbus, in order to compete at the Christmas Classic in Ohio. Several top riders that came along at that time, wanted to stay in the USA to have a BMX career overthere. Among them Thomas Allier, Christophe Leveque, Jamie Staff, Dale Holmes, Levi Nordmark and Neil Wood.
In 2000 Thomas Allier did win the NBL Pro number ONE title and in this year 2001 after the Louisville NBL Grands, Jamie Staff was crowned NBL's Number One BMX Pro 2001. Here the top 15 finishers in the NBL PRO class, with among them 6 (six) Europeans. This all shows how much BMX in Europe improved over the years and now the Europeans were able to win the USA National NBL Pro Championship title. Well done.
Final Points NBL PRO class Championship 2001:
1. Jamie Staff GBR - 247 points
2. Thomas Allier FRA - 235
3. Matt Pohlkamp USA - 228
4. Randy Stumpfhauser USA - 220
5. Christophe Leveque FRA - 214
6. Cristian Becerine ITA - 192
7. Greg Romero USA - 187
8. Dale Holmes GBR - 170
9. Danny Nelson USA - 169
10. Kevin Tomko USA - 168
11. Levi Nordmark NOR - 162
12. Brandon Meadows USA - 149
13. Travis Turesson USA - 117
14. Jason Richardson USA - 103
15. Neal Wood GBR - 85
Just for the fun of it ánd to compare with present gearing ratio's and lenght of crancks, this chart.
November 2001 it was announced that the God Fathers of BMX, Gary Turner (founder of GT Bicycles) and Mike Devitt (formerly of SE Racing) have combined forces,
knowledge and over 30 years experience to create the all new ALLIANT complete bike line for the 2002 year. With the serious racer in mind, these complete bikes are all designed in the USA. With models ranging from the entry level “ Focus 20” through the complete “Xpress” 100% chromoly race line, ALLIANT is sure to be one of the heavy hitters in the complete bike world. The “Xpress” line will consist of the Mini, JR, Expert, Pro 20” and Pro Cruiser. Each Xpress model will be fitted with Radix components and high parts which add up to serious affordable bikes. The ALLIANT line will all retail for under $ 300,- complete. You won't find these products at Dan’s or any other mail order stores. By using traditional IBD values the consumer will have to go to their local dealer in order to buy one.
November 2001. Another Old Skool REUNION took place and this time in England.
After Germany and France now England experienced its first OLD SKOOL event, organized by Old Skool BMX'er ALAN WOODS. Well done Alan!
Here a brief report and results from this unique event, provided by Alan.
For pictures, check out his website www.alans.co.uk.
Report & Results
Wow! what an awesome day. THANKS to everyone who made effort either to race, ride, bring a bike to display or just hang out, without you this event wouldn't have been a success it was. Of course there are some things that, due to time and manpower contraints, we might have done/done differently but everyone I spoke to on the day and since had a great time and that's all that matters. Below are some pics and they tell the story better than I can in words, I wish I had more pics as there were loads of bikes & riders I wanted to get shots of, but I was running about/talking to people/racing and the whole day went by in a complete blur... I didn't have the names of everyone I took pictures of, so if you or your bike appears below please let me know and I'll put your name up here. If you have more pics different to mine or Carl's please email them to me.
IMPORTANT: If you have good quality shots, RIDE MAGAZINE need them for the next issue, but please be quick! Please check with Tim March at the mag first and send them in. For address and info go to http://www.4130.com/.
Many, many thanks to our generous sponsors: Vans, Village Idiot, Lord Clothing and Makt Lubricants.
Well, after talking to a lot of people both on the day and afterwards, we need to do this again! Definitely at Warrington again next September and if we can get a suitable track/club, one in the South early 2002 - if you have any ideas or suggestions please call me on 01942 826598 (day) or on 07979 868459 or email me. Also there's the Christmas Classic event at the Warrington track on Sunday December 30th. where there will be an Old School class. It won't be a big deal like the one just gone, but should be fun nonetheless - and it will run WHATEVER the weather, snow included!
Results(Old School Classes)
Old School 35+ A Final
1. Karl Sanderson (Red Line)
2. Jamie Vince (Scorpion)
3. Steven Gallier (SE Racing)
4. Jeremy Hayes (JMC)
5. John Lee (Torker)
6. Richard Key
Old School 35+ B Final
1. Alan Woods (Robinson)
2. Scott Williams (CW Racing)
3. Steve Noble (Red Line)
4. Rob Fryer (Red Line)
Old School 25+
1. Miles Kirkby
2. Tony Law (Raleigh)
3. Terry Lloyd (Torker)
4. Julian Hammonds (Torker)
5. Chris Warburton
Old School Cruiser
1. Peter Power
2. Steven Gallier
3. Anthony Butt
4. Paul Tracey
5. Andy Oldham
Changes of countries in the lead, with results in European BMX competition, continues. The first 10 years of BMX, Holland had a very strong representation at international level. The next 10 years France was dominating the European BMX scene and now slowly but noticeable very well, the riders from Eastern Europe countries are getting stronger and stronger. Riders from Latvia, Czech Republic and Slovenia are at present, very dominant in Elite men and women class as well as in the Junior classes. Reading the report below, you will find for yourself that this is the case.
February 25th. FKM-BMX President mr. Albert Knill passed away.
After a long periode of treatment and fighting his cancer, our dear friend Albert Knill passed away on February 25th. Albert Knill ment a lot for Swiss BMX, pushed organizations in his country to a higher level and did place Switzerland on the BMX map as a country to recon with. Also at a European level, Albert coordinated international effords to improve the BMX standard and got the European BMX racing committee into the UEC (Union European Cyclism, already part of the UCI). Albert Knill will be missed by his family very much and also his appereance will be missed at the international BMX scene. It was our honour knowing Albert Knill, that Albert may rest in peace.
February 25th. The 18th Indoor de Tours in Tours - France took place.
Over 1200 entries from all over Europe as well as rider from the USA; the were Pro’s (Elite Men) Steve Veltman, John Purse, Danny Nelson, Robbie Miranda and the “Wild Man” Todd Lyons, who did two (2) back flips during the race !! (were have we seen this before ??). On the Saturday evening the PRO Open with around 250 entries took place, The Pro-Open main had the following riders: Thomas Allier (F), Danny Nelson (USA), Christian Becerine, Florent Boutte (F), Thierry Fouilleul (F), Jason Richardson (USA), Roger Rinderknecht (CH) and Kelvin Batey.
Saturday results in Men's Open Class:
1. Florent Bout - FRA
2. Jason Richardson - USA
3. Kelvin Batey - GBR
Results in Women's Open Class:
1. Cecile Lazzorotto - FRA
2. Karine Chambonneau - FRA
3, Elodie Ajinca - FRA
Results in Pro-Open class, Saturday evening:
1. Florent Boutte - FRA
2. Jason Richardson - FRA
Sunday results Men's Class:
1. Thomas Allier - FRA
2. Thierry Fouilleul - FRA
3. Jason Richardson - USA
Results in Women's class:
1. Cecile Lazzarotto - FRA
2. Rachel Galindo - FRA
3. Karine Chambonneau - FRA
April 27th-28th. UCI BMX European Championship Elite rounds 1 and 2 in Mours - France.
May 25/26th. UCI BMX European Championship Elite rounds 3 and 4 in Kampen - Holland.
This event took place under not to good weather conditions. As always not many outside BMX people came to watch this event. A newly attracted promotion and marketing organization called RUTAC thought differently. With all the preparation and publicity they generated, RUTAC expected many, many more spectators. Mainly just the supporters of the riders present (and around 1500 spectators) were there as spectators. The event did have around 800 entries overall. RUTAC being new in BMX the help out the Kampen BMX club, didn’t know much about BMX and its history, that was their problem. BMX isn’t road cycling. Dutch National TV was present, filmed the main events and broadcasted this during a sports program a day later (approx. 4 till 5 minutes). This was about the only time, that the sport of BMX was on TV in 2002.
*** foto's race Kampen.
Results Elite Men:
1. Florent Boutte - F
2. Michal Prokop - CZ
3. Ivo Lakucs - LV
4. Dennis Wissink - NL
5. Lukas Tamme - CZ
6. Thierry Fouilleul - F
7. Aivars Buris - LV
8. Joost Wichman - NL
1. Dagmar Polakova - SW
2. Jana Horakova - CZ
3. Helena Aubry - F
4. Aurelia Don - F
5. Tatjana Schocher - CH
6. Kerstin Fritscher - G
7. Elodie Ajinca - F
8. Ellen Bollansee - B
Results Elite Cruiser:
1. Arturs Matisons - LV
2. Pablo Gutierrez - F
3. Cotte Jeremy - F
4. Henrik Baltzersen - DK
5. Laurence Mapp - GBR
6. Julien Yvorra - F
7. Fabian Peylaboud - F
8. Maris Majors - LV
1. Willy Kanis - NL
2. Aneta Hladikova - CZ
3. Cyrielle Convert - F
4. Emeline Blairon - F
5. Lydia Faure - F
6. Malika Fallot - F
7. Nicole Muheim - CH
8. Amada Sorensen - DK
June 8/9th. UCI BMX European Elite Championship rounds 5 and 6 in Valmiera - Latvia.
For the first time this European Elite Championship took place in Latvia. Janis Silins, the father of Latvian BMX, did a great job together with his people who did organize and run the event. All the top riders were there, pity that only around 250 entries were registered overall. The track was just great, the atmosphere fantastic as well as the hospitality of the Latvian hosts. Overall organization was good and could be an example for many others in Europe. A less positive point is that Valmiera is far away from the rest of Europe (an around 2400 km ride by car from Holland to Latvia). The riders that did go there, will have much more respect for the Latvian riders coming to all the Elite events in Western Europe. 2 till 2 ½ thousand km to travel one way, is for sure a lot! Respect Latvian BMX riders.
July 7th. National BMX event in Weiterstadt - Germany in combination with the 7th. Veteranen Cup of Old Skool BMX’ers.
July 12-14th. The 2001 UEC European BMX Championship & Challenge took place in Esselbach - Germany.
The town of Esselbach is located along the A3 from Frankfurt to Nurnberg, about 93 km from Frankfurt airport. The organizing clubs is the “RSV Esselbach” with contact person Mr. Jurgen Kuhn. The event will be organized at the BMX Track Esselbach, just outside the small town. In total 19 European countries were represented with over 1700 entries (approx. 200 more entries then during last years Europeans in Geneve-Switzerland). On Friday all cruiser classes were run. In total 72 motos. The weather was great and atmosphere good. The track was o.k., but nothing special. It was the type of one line track. Riders competed in a “chain” (fllow the leader) when on the track. There was too less grand stand space. Only on one side of the track it was possible for the spectators/supporters to watch the races: many spectators had to stand on a hilly side of the track. During the finals in total about 2000 + spectators were present. Almost no outside BMX spectators.
After the racing was over on Friday, the Official Opening of this European Challenge and Championship took place on the track.
Cruisers 12 and under:
1. Robin van den Krol - Holland, Champion
2. Jordan Froidmont - Belgium
3. Filip Gustafsson - Sweden
1. Xander Martina - Holland, Champion
2. Benjamin Girod - France
3. Julian Perrier - France
1. Jeremy Chaffot - France, Champion
2. Norris Martina - Holland
3. Christopher Mapp - England
1. David Duart - France, Champion
2. David Zuhlsdorf - Germany
3. Mael Jourdan - France
1. Herve Krebs - Switzerland, Champion
2. Jan Funiok - Czech Republic
3. Egil Sporaland - Norway
1. Matthieu Tanken - Holland, Champion
2. Alan Hill - England
3. David Alavoine - France
Cruisers 40 +:
1. Hanspeter Keller - Switzerland, Champion
2. Teun Stam - Holland
3. Bert Volkers - Holland
1. Pablo Gutierrez - France, Champion
2. Arthurs Martisons - Latvia
3. Sander Bisseling - Holland
4. Laurence Mapp - England
5. Julian Yvorra - France
6. Fabien Peylaboud - France
7. Johan Fransson - Sweden
8. Jeremy Cotte - France
1. Dennis Wissink - Holland, Champion.
2. Thierry Fouilleul - France
3. Lukas Tamme - Czech Republic
4. Florent Bout - France
5. Roger Rinderknecht - Switzerland
6. Gregory Moreira - France
7. Sebastien Paradis - France
8. Ivo Lakucs - Latvia
On Saturday all CHALLENGE classes were run as well as the 9th. round of the Elite European Championship.
Competition took place in two so-called “blocs”. (E.C.C. Slagharen system). A first block of 92 moto’s and a second block including the Junior and Elite classes of 24 moto’s (total of 116 moto’s on Saturday). Practice stared at 7.00 hours and racing was finished at 20.30 hours. Again about 2000 -/- spectators watching with some outside BMX people from the small town of Esselbach (maybe 25!). The weather had changed dramatically: it was raining. A wet track, because of that less exiting racing and a “wet look” on faces of supporters included a minor atmosphere.
Results: Challenge Champions
Boys 7 & under: Marco Muff - Switzerland
Boys 8 Thorsten Lentink - Holland
Boys 9 Franck Vollenweid - Switzerland
Boys 10 Lorin Martinez - France
Boys 11 Jelle van Gorkom - Holland
Boys 12 Guillaume Villette - France
Boys 13 Yvan Lapraz - Switzerland
Boys 14 Martijn Scherpen - Holland
Girls 8 & under: Elis Ligtlee - Holland
Girls 9 Lucie Dadulakova - Czech Republic
Girls 10 Merle van Benthe - Holland
Girls 11 Elke van Hoof - Belgium
Girls 12 Joyce Seesing - Holland
Girls 13 Lenka Koutna - Czech Republic
Girls 14 Shanaze Reade - England
Junior Women (round 9):
1. Cyrielle Convert - France
2. Lydia Faure - France
3. Frederique Griffet - France
4. Amanda Sorensen - Denmark
5. Iva Pabouckova - Czech Republic
6. Aneta Hladikova - Czech Republic
7. Willy Kanis - Nederland
8. Emeline Blairon - France
Juniore Men (round 9):
1. Arturs Martisons - Latvia
2. Laurence Mapp - England
3. Pascal Seydoux - Switzerland
4. Julien Yvorra - France
5. Johan Fransson - Sweden
6. Henrik Baltzersen - Denmark
7. Robert Simecek - Czech Republic
8. Edgars Rubenis - Latvia
Elite Women (round 9):
1. Jana Horakova - Czech Republic
2. Elodie Ajinca - France
3. Tatjana Schocher - Switzerland
4. Dagmara Polakova - Slovakia
5. Kerstin Fritscher - Germany
6. Rianne Busschers - Holland
7. Rachel Galindo - France
8. Vilma Rimsaite - Lithuania
Elite Men (roud 9):
1. Lukas Panka - Czech Republic
2. Aivars Buris - Latvia
3. Dorus Brink - Holland
4. Clement Doby - France
5. Kesper D. Rasmussen - Denmark
6. Florent Bout - France
7. Milan Krebs - Slovakia
8. Roger Rinderknecht - Switzerland
On Saturday Gerrit Does was presented an appreciation award by Mr. Janis Silins, "father" of Latvian BMX. Present was Latvians top rider Ivo Lakucs.
On Sunday, the European Championship classes 20” were run as well as the 10th. and final round of the Elite European Championship 2002.
Again the weather was bad: clouded and a still very wet track. Practice from 7.00 hours on and at 9.00 hours competition started. Around 1700 - less spectators and some what more outside BMX spectators (maybe around 50). On this day in total 81 races. Due to the wet and muddy conditions, there were problems with starting gate/area. Read about it in my article under OPINION concerning this event. Class with most entries: Sports class Men 19+ ..... 175 + entries. The racing was done at around 16.30 hours. After that, the Award and Closing Ceremony took place. Around 19.00 hours everybody went home.
Junior Men (final round 10):
1. Henrik Baltzersen - DK
2. Kim Erik Larsen - N
3. Edgars Rubenis - LV
4. Arturs Matisons - LV
5. Maris Majors - LV
6. Pablo Gutierrez - F
7. Laurence Mapp - GB
Junior Women (final round 10):
1. Willy Kanis - Ned
2. Cyrielle Convert - F
3. Cecile Lazzarotto - F
4. Aneta Hladikova - CZ
5. Lydia Faure - F
6. Steffi Marth - D
7. Frederique Griffet - F
Elite Men (final round 10): Elite Women (final round 10):
1. Florent Bout - F
2. Lukas Panka - CZE
3. Thierry Fouilleul - F
4. Lukas Tamme - CZE
5. Clement Doby - F
6. Milan Krebs - SVK
7. Jesper Rasmussen - DK
8. Roger Rinderknecht - CH
Elite Women (final round 10):
1. Elodie Ajinca - F
2. Jana Horakova - CZE
3. Ellen Bollansee - B
4. Kerstin Fritscher - D
5. Dagmara Polakova - SVK
6. Rachel Galindo - F
7. Tatjana Schocher - CH
8. Vilma Rimsaite - LTU
Overall result 10 rounds: JUNIOR & Elite European Championship series 2002.
Mours - France; Kampen - Holland; Valmiera - Latvia; Bussolengo - Italy; Esselbach - Germany.
1. Florent Boutte - F, Champion
2. Ivo Lakucs - LV
3. Lukas Tamme - CZ
4. Thierry Fouilleul - F
5. Roger Rinderknecht - CH
6. Michal Prokop - CZ
7. Lukas Panka - CZ
8. Janis Vanags - LV
9. Dennis Wissink - NL
10 Joost Wichman - NL
1. Helena Aubry - F, Champion
2. Damara Polakova - SLV
3. Jana Horakova - CZ
4. Elodie Ajinca - F
5. Tatjana Schocher - CH
6. Kerstin Frischer - G
7. Ellen Bollansee - B
8. Rianne Busschers - NL
9. Aurelia Don - F
10. Rachel Galindo - F
1. Arturs Matisons - LV, Champion
2. Pablo Gutierrez - F
3. Henrik Baltzersen - DK
4. Laurence Mapp - GB
5. Pascal Seydoux - CH
6. Maris Majors - LV
7. Jeremy Cotte - F
8. Edgars Rubenis - LV
9. Sander Bisseling - NL
10. Julien Yvorra - F
1. Willy Kanis - NL, Champion
2. Aneta Hladikova - CZ
3. Cyrielle Convert - F
4. Lydia Faure - F
5. Emeline Blairon - F
6. Cecile Lazzarotto - F
7. Amanda Sorensen - DK
8. Lenka Virglova - CZ
9. Frederique Griffet - F
10. Iva Pabouckova - CZ
Headofficials during this event were:
Chief Referee, Mrs. Susanne Ludewig - Germany
Chief Administrator Challenge Classes, Mr. René Nicolas - France
Chief Administrator Championship Classes and Team competition,
Mr. Heinz-H. Ludewig - Germany
At the large camping site there were 300 Camping plots available, 5 x 10 meters with electric power (Tent € 40,= Campers € 70,= for the weekend). For a personal OPINION overall of this event, check out the Old & New(s) section item “OPINIONS”.
UCI-BMX European BMX CHALLENGE and CHAMPIONSHIP, Esselbach - Germany, July 12th. - 14th. 2002
This weekend the 20th. European Championship ever organised took place in Esselbach-Germany. The first EC was organised at Beek and Donk in Holland in the year 1982 and was an Open European Championship. Several USA riders took part and made this event then, very special.
Comparing the event of 1982 with this one in 2002 (so, 20 years later) I must say that probably the 1982 EC had more flavour to it then this one. The total organisation then, probably was just as good or even better then the 2002 one, here in Germany. It worries me not seeing any progress, improvement and innovation of our sport, except the positive development of rider abilities/qualities physically and riding technically.
This brings me to the point of telling you all my opinion on the 2002 event. I don't want to be negative, my criticism must be interpreted as "it's o.k., but it can be better, much better!" Work on that.
The event did have over 1700 entries representing 19 countries, as it seemed about 200 entries more then in Geneva (CH) last year. This could be called a real European Challenge and Championship event in that sense. First and fore all, one cannot control the weather. Friday the weather was just fine and therefore the atmosphere was great. Racing was good and the finals did have a good mix of riders from the different countries.
One thing I still don't understand, even after being in BMX for this many years, is the fact that UCI and/or organizers don't give any attention to people that have ment a great deal for International BMX. Together with myself, Arvid Meland (Norway) a former chairman of the European section of the UCI-BMX department entered the gate for this event. Both of us had to pay for a ticket to get in and we had to go on the grandstand as everybody else. Nothing wrong with that, BUT….. there is no respect for people who made a difference in whatever way, in our sport. This is not about the money, this is about a principal paying respect to the people that did built BMX in Europe. A seat on the VIP stand would have been the least the UCI and/or the organization could have provided us with. Probably they don't care or don't even think about this at all. People complaining why BMX doesn't get the respect that it deserves? Well, the above is one reason why!
On the Saturday it was raining. This happened to be the 3rd. Europeans during which rain spoiled the atmosphere and good competition, in a way. In 1999 in Mandeure (F) it rained, it rained in Geneva (CH) and now here in Germany; just bad luck! Practise started at 7.00 hours and the event was over at around 20.30 hours. This is too long a day. Not only for riders and parents present, but specially for outside BMX people; they won't stay and watch all the day long. Specially the riders in the older age-classes complained about the slippery starting gate and hill. Several riders did have miss starts because of that fact. Nothing was done about it. I learned from several foreign riders that 2 years ago, the same problem occurred when there was a round for the European Championship Elite organised at the same track. My question right away now was, why didn't the organization prepare for rain, if this would occur? That's how serious we go about with BMX? This point could have been foreseen. As it seems (later more on that) on Sunday this fact would give some more problems.
Watching the older age classes race the track, I found that this wasn't a track for Junior and Elite riders. One could call this track an "expert" level track, but not an "junior/elite" level track. T-boning was very easy in at least 2 corners (predictable). The length was o.k. It did take the 12 year old Boys class around 50 seconds to complete a lap; the Junior Men 42 seconds; the Elite Women around 48 seconds and the Elite Men around 40/41 seconds to complete a lap.
Working with so called "blocks" was a good thing to do (always done at the E.C.C. in Slagharen). However, it seems hard to stick to time-schedules. Racing till around 20.30 hours isn't what we want, is it?
Still bad weather on Sunday although the rain had stopped, the track was still very wet. Around 10.00 hours the Elite men protested because many of them slipped at the starting gate because it was wet and muddy. The riders suggested 4 alternatives to the female Track manager. Non of them were seriously considered. It seems people find Elite Men (Pro's) spoiled kids! Probably one does not realise themselves the power the Elite Men do have in their legs, because of which wheels can slip, when on wet starting hills. It's a different story with girls and boys classes were most of the riders just leave the gate. From about 15 year old on, that is a different matter. Bad communication with the spectators also takes care of riders being "BOOOOED" at. Not fair.
Because of the fact that the Elite Men say what they think (small children don't dare to protest!) and actually protest the bad starting gate conditions they get "booed" at. Not right. Besides, the organization called this protest upon themselves by not evaluating their experience of 2 years earlier with the same problem in order to improve it now. Why then blaim the Elite and Junior riders?
Again, a time-schedule is hard to keep since practise started at 7.00 and the racing ended at 16.30 hours and that to run 81 moto's, qualifiers and finals. After the finals, the presentation had to take place, as well as the closing ceremony. Most of the finalist present could leave the area around 19.00 hours. For outside BMX people no option to stay that long.
Suggestions to organise in a different way.
Just some short remarks that must be placed in a wider concept:
* Divide European Challenge and European Championship; two separate events at separate locations.
* For the European Challenge, built/select tracks suitable for riders up and till 14 years old (expert level track). This event could hold about 1.000 till 1.200 entries.
* Let this be a three day event: Friday cruiser classes, Saturday riding in blocks to qualify and Sunday riding all 1/8, ¼, semi's and finals.
* For the European Championship, built/select tracks to suite 15 year and older riders (Junior and Pro-Elite level track). This event could hold about 500 till 750 entries.
* Let this be two separate events in all classes concerned, Saturday and Sunday. Practise on Friday. Try to get TV coverage for the European Championships and concentrate on the semi finals and finals to get in outside BMX people (through publicity).
* BMX need another class involved. At present the so-called 4 X in ATB/MTB/VTT is getting more popular by the riders, press is interested because it is a big bike (26 inch wheels) and NOT a childrens bike (20", this is still how they look at BMX). So, include an MTB/ATB/VTT 26" class specially for the European Championships, 1 class.
All the innovation, new ideas, try outs etc. take place within the All Terrain / Mountain bike world and most of the new ideas come from people that have been involved in BMX and are mostly BMX oriented new concepts. UCI - BMX is missing out here BIG time. Wake - up and start innovating, don't sit back and relax.
To promote BMX as an adult sport, do start next year (don't wait another year!) with a European Championship series as suggested above. Include a ATB/MTB/VTT class 26". Do start using the rider identification and registration system again, the latest concept of it. Transponders are very small, every rider has his own transponder, no complicated mounting to the BMX frame, registration right away in a improved computer program (as long as the UCI doesn't want to link their Rankings to this new system, there is no problem. Within the past World Cup Series, that was the problem in working with this system).
Start using a false start electronic system, visible for the spectators as well. Start using the score-board again where the results of the races are showed right after crossing the finish line. One can advertise on this board too and so many more obtions. It's possible to to have your time schedule on monitors through the above system. IF TV is present, they can use the timing system and link it to broadcast lap-times and lap-times should be the way of qualifying for the next round. All of this will make it much more interesting for specially outside people top watch and to come to these events. Now they can see and understand what's going on.
Most important of all, for these Junior en Pro-Elite series, try to find "down hill" BMX Tracks. This is nothing new too. In the early days of BMX in the USA, down hill tracks were kind of common. Not the ones that look like a down hill ATB track, no really BMX Down hill tracks: wide, smooth, going down slowly and sometimes even up and then down again. Designs are available. BMX down hill tracks could be found in England, Holland (province of Limburg), Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy and Spain in the first place.
Something to think about hé! A four weekend, eight round series would be just fine to start with.
Just some ideas.
July 26-28th. The 2002 UCI - BMX World Championship & Challenge took place in Sao Leopoldo, Paulinia - Brazil.
Sao Leopoldo is located in the Southern part of Brazil, approx. 3 hours south of Sao Paolo. This is the industrial part of Brazil with a good economy and good infrastructure. The event will be held at the Society Orpheu fairgrounds. With the strong position of BMX in South America, and especially Brazil, the 2002 BMX World Championships and Challenge will be a great event.
*** foto, overzicht WK baan Brasil
- This is what was written in the April 2001 UCI Newsletter -
And indeed very positive reactions from international riders and spectators came in. In general it can be said that this was one of the better organized World Championships. The BMX track was laid down in a stadium like venue with fixed grand-stands, big tents in which catering was provided. The grandstands could hold about 10.000 spectators and both Saturday and Sunday the grandstands were packed with spectators. The atmosphere were just great. It had been some time since the spectators present supported the athletes this enthusiastic. A compliment for the supporters/spectators.
The opening ceremony did hold a lot of cultural stuff like Brazilian dance and music. Only minus point, it took a little bit too long. After the National anthem, a fantastic fire-work concluded the Opening ceremony. The finalists as well as all participating riders in this World Championship received fantastic glass trophies and a remembrance item of this great event. Everybody was very pleased with that. Spectators had free entrance to the grounds and race. All competitors got free meals on the day they had to race. They could even eat twice if they had entered 2 classes! The closing ceremony included many speeches
In total this event did have 1005 entries, 24 countries were represented among others, riders from the USA 37 and Argentina 25. It must be said that the absolute top in Elite men and women didn’t attend this World Championship, which is a pity.
One minus point, the Pro-section of the track.
The BMX track was kind of o.k. Here the only serious minus point, because again a non-rideble Pro-section was laid down for the Elite class. One had to jump and many riders called this “dirt jump” competition instead of a BMX World Championship. It seems hard to learn from the mistakes made in the USA last year, 2001. Designing a professional BMX track doesn’t mean you must/have to jump a Pro-section. If you can’t jump, you must be able to “ride” the track. For many top riders, this section wasn’t a World Championship level section.
During the annual Convention not much new came up. In fact it is a kind of sad thing: the only reason being there the past years is being able to have a good meal afterwards! Policy has been made before the meeting even starts as well as the decisions had already been made. So, this meeting is a in fact a waist of time. Last year Mr. Hein Verbruggen, president of the UCI, was present during 2 days (present at the Convention and Official Opening), this year he wasn’t. General conclusion: A worth while and up to standard World Championship has been organized by the Brazilian organization. Well done!
Results in the Championship classes:
1. Kyle Bennett (USA) World Champion.
2. Randy Stumpfhauser (USA)
3. Wade Bootes (AUS)
4. Jonathan Suarez (VEN)
5. Cristian Becerine (ARG)
6. Jason Richardson (USA)
7. Greg Romero (USA)
8. Jean Christophe Tricard (FRA)
1. Gabriela Diaz (ARG) World Champion
2. Karine Chambonneau (FRA)
3. Jana Horakova (CZE)
4. Natarsha Williams (AUS)
5. Helena Aubry (FRA)
6. Tatjana Schocher (SUI)
7. Elodie Anjica (FRA)
8. Tanya Bailey (AUS)
1. Pablo Gutierrez (FRA) World Champion
2. Taylor Wells (USA)
3. Edwin Montoya (COL)
4. Agustin Podesta (BRA)
7. Arturs Matisons (LTV)
8. Santiago Duque (COL)
1. Willy Kanis (NED) World Champion
2. Cyrielle Convert (FRA)
3. Analia Diaz (ARG)
4. Aneta Hladikova (CZE)
5. Alessandra Procopio (BRA)
6. Melissa Jolliffe (AUS)
7. Lydia Faure (FRA)
8. Cecile Lazzarotto (FRA)
1. Randy Stumpfhauser (AUS) World Champion
2. Cristian Beverine (ARG)
3. Michal Prokop (CZE)
4. Clement Doby (FRA)
5. Florent Boutte (FRA)
6. Deivlin Baltazar (BRA)
7. Jonathan Suarez (VEN)
8. Neto Angelo Bragagnoli (BRA)
1. Agustin Podesta (ARG) World Champion
2. Santiago Duque (COL)
3. Jeremy Cotte (FRA)
4. Pablo Gutierrez (FRA)
5. Edwin Montoya (COL)
6. Carlos J. Brambilla (ARG)
7. Hudson Souza (BRA)
8. Arturs Matisons (LTV)
GOLD SILVER BRONZE
1. USA 2 2 -
2. Argentina 2 1 1
3. France 1 2 1
4. Holland 1 - -
5. Colombia - 1 1
6. Czech Republic - - 2
7. Australia - - 1
Total: 6 6 6
Challenge title winners are:
5-7 Girls Joana Correa (BRA)
8 Girls Nathalia Nino (COL)
9 Girls Bianca Quinalha (BRA)
10 Girls Mayara Peres (BRA)
11 Girls Mariana Pajon Londono (COL)
12 Girls Joyce Seesing (NED)
13 Girls Maria Ruarte (ARG)
14 Girls Melissa Mankowski (AUS)
15 Girls Chloe Macpherson (AUS)
16 Girls Samantha Cools (CAN)
5-6 Boys Cristobal Palominos (CHI)
7 Boys Carlos Quintero (COL)
8 Boys Carlos Ramirez (COL)
9 Boys Frankie Vollenwelder (SUI)
10 Boys Lorin Martinez (FRA)
11 Boys Josjua Callan (AUS)
12 Boys Paulo Aguilera (BOL)
13 Boys Cesar Delfor Bruna (ARG)
14 Boys Ramiro Marino (ARG)
15 Boys Marcos Serafin (ARG)
16 Boys Augusto Castro (COL)
19+ Men Wellington Nelsen (BRA)
12 & under Cruiser R.J. Scott (USA)
13 & 14 Cruiser Ramiro Marino (ARG)
15 & 16 Cruiser Jerome Leocadie (FRA)
19-29 Cruiser Daniel Roura (ECU)
30-34 Cruiser Matthieu Tanken (NED)
35-39 Cruiser Andreas Endlein (GER)
40-44 Cruiser Teun Stam (NED)
45 & over Cruiser Rene Reese (USA)
18 & under Women Cruiser Kim Hayashi (USA)
19 & over Women Cruiser Tatjana Schocher (SUI)
Medal count: GOLD SILVER BRONZE
1. Colombia 5 7 3
2. Argentina 5 4 1
3. Brazil 4 5 1
4. USA 3 3 1
5. Holland 3 1 2
6. Australia 3 - 4
7. Switzerland 2 2 1
8. France 2 1 6
9. Bolivia 1 2 2
10. Canada 1 2 -
11. Chili 1 1 3
12. Ecuador 1 1 2
13. Germany 1 - -
14. Venzuela - 1 1
15. Denmark - 1 -
16. Belgium - - 2
Total: 32 31 29
Note: In total 32 classes, in one class only 1 rider and 3 classes only 2 riders.
July 25-28th. The ABA World Championships 2002 took place at Ontario, California - USA.
This event was sponsored by Hyundia, Yamaha Waverunner, Pro Concept, Answer, Mongoose, Exclusive One and Tangent. Location: Cutting Edge BMX which track was 1150 ft long. Moto count on Saturday 308 and on Sunday 283 (meaning around 1600 entries). During this weekend, on Friday a regular National took place. On Saturday morning the Official Opening of the World Championship took place. Riders from Japan, Holland, Great Britain, Australia, Canada and even Brazil (!?) were present and racing. General organization, as allways, was just great. ABA quality. Racing was fierce since the best riders of the World were present at this event, specially in the Pro-classes. For details do read the report on this Worlds in the ABA magazine called BMX’er.
AA Pro (total 23 riders):
1. Thomas Allier - France World Champion
2. Robert de Wilde - Holland
4. Levi-Ove Nordmark - Norway
5. Tim Kneip - USA
6. Danny Nelson - USA
7. Bubba Harris - USA
8. Brian Smith - USA
9. Jason Donnell - USA
A Pro (total 38 riders):
1. Kevin Royal - USA World Champion
2. Mikey Weatherford - USA
3. Justin Snoderly - USA
4. Robert Bebout - USA
5. Derek Betcher - USA
6. Jason Silvia - USA
7. Scott Yoquelet - USA
8. Kevin Jones - USA
Girls Pro (8 riders):
1. Jill Kintner WC - USA
2. Jamie Lilly - USA
3. Jessica Petersen - USA
4. Stasha Sill - USA
5. Marielle Bogers - Holland
6. Ashley Recklau - USA
7. Alice Young - USA
8. Cody Smart - USA
Veteran Pro (19 riders):
1. Jason Carnes WC - USA
2. Todd Perry - USA
3. Eric Rupe - USA
4. Zack Secrest - USA
5. Mark Melton - USA
6. Eric Dyer - USA
7. Vann Johnson - USA
19-27 Boys (total 49 riders):
1. Gabe Moreno WC - USA
2. Susumu Mura - USA
3. Bent Lee - USA
18 Boys (total 25 riders):
1. Clint Lambert WC - USA
2. Justin Mclintock - USA
3. Jamie Bowijn - USA
17 Boys (total 31 riders):
1. Eric Meyer WC - USA
2. Brandon Nicholls - USA
3. Brendan Looby - USA
16 Boys (total 48 riders):
1. Jarrett Kouch WC - USA
2. Blake Ramsey - USA
3. Sean Storms - USA
17-20 Girls (total 10 riders):
1. Chantel Blanchet WC - USA
2. Breanna Brand - USA
3. Sarah Rybolt - USA
Pro Cruiser (total 16 riders):
1. Nate Berkheimer WC - USA
2. Bubba Harris - USA
3. Jason Carnes - USA
4. Chris Ham - USA
5. Daniel Greer - USA
6. Brian Smith - USA
7. Tim Kneip - USA
8. Eric Rupe - USA
Factory Team Results:
1. Redman-Yamaha-Waverunner, WC FT.
2. Answer Pro-Concept
3. Phantom-Adidas-Fly Racing
6. Phat Matt’s
7. Factory Crupi
8. Challenge Racing
9. Systen Web
10. Alliant Bicycles
11. Action Bikes
The European Fall Cup was organized as an after season happening. The series consisted of 4 rounds. Although each of the 4 events did have an average of around 250 entries, it still can be considered a success. Here the final results of the 2002 Europe Cup:
September 2002. For the second successive year, the EUC did have a EUROPEAN FALL CUP Series.
1. Michal Prokop (CZE)
2. Peter Prajczer (HUN)
3. Jesper Rasmussen (DEN)
4. Vilmos Radasics (HUN)
5. Jurg Meijer (NED)
6. Janis Vanags (LAT)
7. Lukas Tamme (CZE)
8. Harm van Brussel (NED)
9. Lukas Panka (CZE)
10. Rob v.d. Wildenberg (NED)
11. Joost Wichman (NED)
1. Jana Horakova (CZE)
2. Ellen Bollansee (BEL)
3. Dagmara Polakova (SVK)
4. Vilma Rimsaite (LTU)
5. Jirina Vestkova (CZE)
1. Henrik Baltzersen (DEN)
2. Carlo Gaule (I)
3. Sander Bisseling (NED)
4. Markus Huber (GER)
5. Thomas Nielsen (DEN)
6. Kaspars Dambis (LAT)
7. Kim Erik Larsen (NOR)
8. David Lahl (CZE)
9. Robert Simecek (CZE)
10. Federico Ravizzini (I)
1. Amanda Soerensen (DEN)
2. Aneta Hladikova (CZE)
3. Lenka Virglova (CZE)
4. Iva Pabouckova (CZE)
5. Steffi Marth (GER)
September 29th. On this date the 1st. Holland-Belgium Old Skool BMX Reunion took place in Luyksgestel - Holland.
Read all about this event in our Report (including a list of participants) of the OLD SKOOL STUFF section. There are also a bunch of photo's in the Old Skool of BMX Reunion 2002 Photo Gallery.
All participants took part in the diner that was served later that day. The money that was left from organizing all of this. was donated to the RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE in Veldhoven - Holland. In total € 334,50.
HOLLAND-BELGIUM Old Schol of BMX Reunion a big success.
Sunday September 29th. 2002 finally the first ever Holland-Belgium Old Skool of BMX Reunion took place at the town of Luyksgestel - Holland, about 20 km south of Eindhoven. Many old skool BMX’ers have been waiting for this moment. A lot of them told me, they had already great fun preparing for this event, looking for old uniforms, bikes and checking out old pictures.
The overall organization of the event was in the hands of the University of BMX chairman, Gerrit Does and in cooperation with the BMX club “De Duurtrappers” of Luyksgestel this event was made a big success. On the Saturday before the event a big tent that could holt 250 persons was set up on the grounds of the BMX track. On Sunday it became clear that this tent was too small. Thanks to the fantastic weather (sunshine all day long) it did not become a problem for the over 300 persons to even spent time outside the tent. Out of the 300 persons present at around 14.00 hours, there were about 125 old skool BMX’ers, around 40 children of old skoolers (potential new BMX racers) and the other people were partners and/or fathers/mothers/brothers and sisters. Main goal was to make this a social happening.
On arrival everybody received a drink and something to eat. At 14.00 hours Gerrit Does (organizer) officially opened the Holland – Belgium Old Skool of BMX Reunion 2002 and explained the planning and time schedule for the rest of the day. At 14.30 hours all those old skool BMX’ers present who wanted to participate in a training on the track picked up their ‘70/’80 bikes and uniforms and got ready. Wilco Groenendaal and Nico Does conducted the training in which about 60 riders took part, the rest watched their friends
struggle. Many riders, still active on other sports, had no problem putting on there old uniforms. Ofcourse there were some exceptions: Jan v.d. Dungen, in the early days a 70 kg rider, now weighs around 130 kg! Didn’t practise with the group, but he still is the same sympathetic gay from back then. Jan’s nick name was “Helicopter Jantje” and famous because his name was mentioned on Dutch National TV many times by Mr. Karel v.d. Graaf of the AVRO TV. It must be sad that most of the riders did not loose there skills after 10 till 15 years no BMX riding. It was a different story with their physical condition though. In general they had a lot of fun and enjoyed themselves very much indeed.
xxMeeting old friends
xxThe Kelders brothers report at registration with Mieke and Gerrit Does
xxWilfred v.d. Haterd and Gerrit Does talking
Among those present were many former top riders like Phil Hoogendoorn, Mike Hoogerheijde, Pierre van Zuylen, Bas de Bever, Nico Does, Pieter Does, Wilco Groenendaal, Danny Neijs, Anita van de Mortel, Anne van Happen, Heidi Kelders, Monique Franssen and so on. Check out the complete list of all who participated in this event. From Belgium there were not that many riders. Chris Jacobs, Peter Vandervoort and Nico van Dartel (the University of BMX webmaster) were present. Special guest from Belgium was 4 time World Champion Moto-cross 500cc Joël Smets. Joel couldn’t be present at first because he had to race in the USA (Moto-cross des Nations). But, this race was cancelled and Joël did join the Reunion. He brought his bike and practiced with all the others.
Gerrit Does interviewed Joël for the crowd present. Joël explained he does practice on his BMX bike regularly on his home town BMX track at Dessel, called the Joël Smets BMX Track (next location for a Reunion maybe !). Even other top World Class moto-cross riders do join him riding BMX bikes at the same track.
xxGroups picture with Old Skool BMX'ers with in front JOEL SMETS (white shirt)
During the training session, the 2 announcers interviewed several riders, asked them about what happened after their BMX career and so on. One rider, Maarten van Happen who lives in Switzerland now, specially returned to Holland for this event. By the way, Gerrit Does had trouble preventing Old Skool riders from England, France and Germany to come over and joining the crowd too. That’s for next year guys! Then we will have an international reunion, o.k.!
Still we did have some attendance from Germany, my good friends Dieter and Rainer Schadowski came to Holland and did bring part of their Old Skool Museum for display. Thanks guys! From Holland Dirk Jan de Vries and Sander Taphorn from Purmerend did bring a part of their Old Skool of BMX Museum and did put it on display too. During the day, Peter van de Wildenberg (Rob’s father) filmed all activities. A special video tape will be put together which tape can be bought later on (watch info on www.univofbmx.com about this). Walter Tjallinks took about 250 pictures of which several published right here in this article. From time to time we will change the picture gallery on the 2002 reunion on this site. As scheduled, around 17.00 hours everybody was asked to come into the tent for the Buffet that was prepared by Ger van de Velde, the mother of an Old Skool BMX riders and announcer Martin van de Velde. Great job don Ger!
During the buffet, video’s from the AVRO TV BMX series and the 1983 Worlds in Slagharen were shown. At the end of this day Gerrit Does did thank the three co-sponsors of this event, Mr. Alfons Busschers, Mr. Piet Ende and Mr. Jan Schippers. The organization even spared some money to be able to give € 334,50 to the newly built Ronald McDonald House in Veldhoven. By name of Carlos Swinkels of which a story on this website, all Old Skool BMX’ers that died in the past years due to accidents or illness, were remembered. Gerrit took special advantage of this happening to thank his wife in front of all those people (that know here very well too), for over 35 years of support and understanding in sports: first as an active motocross rider himself, then as a trainer-coach, after that during over 29 years of BMX activities and all of that, travelling over Europe and the world. Tina Turner’s “your simply the best” supported his statement.
At around 19.00 hours it was all over. Everybody expressed their feelings telling that they had a great day and went home with a very positive feeling. Some plans for 2003 have been made already, then it will be an International Reunion, also because BMX exists 25 years in Holland and therefore in Europe then. Watch out for the information here on this site, on the INTERNATIONAL OLD SKOOL of BMX REUNION and CELEBRATION of 25 YEARS of BMX 2003.
Go to the galleries to see more photos:
Participants Old Skool of BMX Reunion 2002
Alberto de Jesus
Anita v.d. Mortel
Anne v. Happen
Arjan v.d. Groendaal
Arnold v. Eeuwijk
Bas de Bever
Chris Jacobs - B.
Dirk Jan de Vries
Donnie v.d. Wiel
Erik vd Nieuwenh.
Frans de Vroom
Fred v. Breemen
Freddy v. Tongeren
Ghedy v.d. Aker
Hans ter Weeme
Harm v. Brussel
Jacqueline v. Meurs
Jan v.d. Dungen
Jan van Loon
Jan W. Gottenbos
Jelke v.d. Boogaard
Johan v.d. Velde
Jos van den Elsen
Ludy v.d. Werff
Marc v.d. Kort
Marc van Gerwen
Marianne v. Meurs
Mark van Leur
Marko v. Ormondt
Marscha v. Spellen
Mart v.d. Helm
Martien v.d. Velde
Martijn v.d. Boogaard
|Ralf Blawanus + pa
Rene de Groot
Rob v.d. Wildenberg
Robert Jacobs &
Rogier v. Diepen
Rogier van Hoof
Meta v. Spellen
Mike v.d. Wiel
Monique v.d. Aker
Nico van Dartel
Pierre van Zuijlen
Ron te Loo
Wilfried v.d. Haterd
Yarno v.d. Wiel
September 2002. Old School BMX people dit meet in Kaprun - Austria.
Ending last August the UCI World Championships took place in KAPRUN – Austria in the cycle disciplines of mountain bike cross-country, down-hill, trials and the new discipline 4 X (four cross, the replacement for dual slalom). Since I never had been to such a World Championship, I decided to go there and see how things were organized at this UCI event. I did spent five days in Kaprun in a hotel, just across the grounds were the center of activities were, so, I stayed at a great spot. My former teammember Daniel Herz of the GT Euro BMX team arranged my stay at this hotel; thanks Daniel.
For me it became more like a kind of a REUNION. From the first day on, I did meet many old skool bmx’ers, now involved in down-hill, cross-country or 4 X. I’ll write about that in my article under OPINION (check it out).
Now I want to write about just a couple of guys that I met, specially on the last day of this event, Sunday September 1st. During the days I stayed in Kaprun, I met with an old friend (young of age though); Franck Roman. We spent several hours together, talking about the early days of BMX, Franck’s experiences in down hill racing and now as a track designer for the 4 X events. Ofcourse we also talked about live in general and that’s something you can do with Franck very well, since he is very philosophical. We had e great time. Anyway, on Sunday September 1st. the weather was very bad and both Franck and myself watched the cross-country events from the VIP area. We had a good look on the large screen in front of us.
Frank Roman joking
While standing there a man joined us and was introduced to me as Steve Boehmke, working for GIANT on PR stuff. My guess is that Steve was in his 40’s and soon I found out he used to be a BMX racer too. While talking about early day BMX in the USA, names like Perry Kramer came up. I told Steve, Perry stayed at my house and was one of the first 2 Americans to race in Europe (Perry Kramer and David Clinton). Steve was very surprised, he said: I do see Perry often, he works for Giant too!
Then the name of Skip Hess (founder of Mongoose) came up and I asked Steve, do you know his sun and what has become of him. He said, I know him very well too, works for Giant as well. Well, about 10 minutes later, many names from early BMX have been spoken about and Steve was flabergasted about me knowing all this guys. Then suddenly Steve brings up WEBCO bicycles being the first big name in BMX. I showed him my “backpack” with a large badge on it with WEBCO bicycles. Steve went out of his mind. I told him my son Nico started WEBCO Europe in 1991 and the brand still excists in Europe.
Then another American joined our group of three (Franck, Steve and myself) and Franck introduced me to that man too. When I told him I was from Holland, the man said: well, I have been in Holland in 1983. I went to the Worlds in Slagharen and maybe you know them, two of my riders became World Champions: Clint Miller in Pro class and Gary Ellis in 16 Expert class. Slagharen … Clint Miller, Gary Ellis !!!!! ofcourse I know them and then I told Craig Kundig (that was the man’s name) that I was the organizer of that event and that Clint and specially Gary were very familiar to me. Gary and I even were inducted into the ABA Hall of Fame in the same year, 1998. That’s how small our world is.
Craig Kundig now is a main official for the UCI in MTB cross-country and also showed his great appreciation for the general organization and track design of the 4 X event towards Franck Roman. This is just BMX down hill he said, only on big wheel bikes. It was great. And I agree 100%. Well, this is my small story about OLD SKOOLERS meeting in KAPRUN - Austria. It also shows how small our world is! The best to you guys and till we meet again, sometime – somewhere. BMX RULES.
September 2002, I received info from the UCI BMX department on numbers of licenses, tracks etc. year 2002.
Per country specific information on the number of license holders, tracks and clubs. It still isn’t complete yet. I am waiting for additional info. This up-to-date information has been compared with the info I had from 2000, on the same subject. Here you can see, kind of realistic, the development and direction BMX is going. For several years now, there is a Status Quo. Even a four year plan to develop BMX did not help improve the overall developments of our sport. Plans are o.k., but enthusiastic people have to carry these plans and do the work ….! Several very motivated and enthusiastic BMX lovers at National and International level have left BMX for several reasons, which is a shame in a way
General remark: An update on countries involved in BMX and affiliated to the UCI, as well as number of licensees, tracks and BMX clubs compared from 1996 up and till 2002.
Country Inhabitants Year 2000 - Year 2002 Tracks / Clubs
Argentina: 36.123.000 1.000 270 22 24
Austria: 8.140.000 350 286 5 12
Australia: 18.520.000 2.500 9.246 139 139
Belgium: 10.141.000 250 146 6 6
Bolivia: 11.500.000 310 341 14 25
Brazil: 165.851.000 1.500 2.635 258 250
Canada: 30.563.000 600 700 12 20
Chili: 14.824.000 1.500 1.605 42 47
Colombia: 39.365.000 348 356 12 16
Croatia: 4.481.000 250 210 9 12
Czech Rep.: 10.282.000 350 373 15 25
Denmark: 5.270.000 300 315 18 18
Ecuador: 12.975.000 189 245 12 9
Estonia: 1.429.000 250 150 12 14
France: 58.683.000 7.200 7.359 248 280
Germany: 82.133.000 500 475 18 20
Hungary: 10.116.000 450 62 5 6
Ireland: 3.681.000 see UK ...........................................
Indonesia 206.338.000 ? ? ? ?
Italy: 57.369.000 500 250 32 7
Japan: 126.281.000 1.500 380 18 13
Latvia: 2.424.000 350 392 18 12
Lithuania: 3.694.000 250 215 10 8
Luxembourg: 422.000 see Belgium ....................................
Malta: 410.540 90 60 1 1
Mexico: 95.831.000 1.500 ? ? ?
Netherlands: 16.005.000 1.000 1.050 38 38
New-Zealand: 3.796.000 500 1.181 31 29
Norway: 4.419.000 250 175 8 11
Poland: 38.718.000 500 245 11 14
Portugal: 9.869.000 250 83 6 15
Rus.Fed.: 147.434.000 300 275 10 12
Slovakia: 5.377.000 250 104 8 10
Spain: 39.628.000 350 90 12 12
South-Africa: 39.357.000 1.000 750 20 20
Sweden: 8.875.000 350 212 8 8
Switzerland: 7.299.000 450 400 15 18
U.K.: 58.649.000 500 575 35 45
U.S.A.: 274.028.000 45.000 45.000 140 140
Venezuela: 23.242.000 500 450 40 12
Zimbabwe: 2.655.000 80 80 3 3
Total: approx. 73.317 76.691 1.311 1.351
Counts in earlier years:
year: total number of licenses - tracks - clubs:
1996 48.304 1.082 1.418
1998 53.900 1.102 1.392
2000 73.317 1.254 1.299
2002 76.691 1.311 1.351
Remark GD: for years now, I am gathering the numbers of licenseholders, number of tracks and clubs per country. I do get this info mainly through the minutes of the Annual Congress (I.BMX.F. and later U.C.I.) and later on the Convention (U.C.I.). I have always doubted the value of these figures, since I believe that most countries upgrade their actual figures, for political reasons. So do read this info with skepticm. The fact that from 1998 till 2000, the number of licenses increased that much, mainly has to do with a large grow of license-holders within the NBL - USA. The general conclusion can be that for years now, BMX developments worldwide have leveled off. BMX needs national and world wide, international promotion and marketing. Here U.C.I comes in, anyway that’s my opinion. Will they?
December 2002, article on Cycle Speedway in the USA!
It was in the year 2000 that I did write an article about CYCLE SPEEDWAY in FATBMX.COM Just recently I got in contact with a Dutch Cycle Speedway specialist again and he told me about some new developments taken place in the USA with this cycle discipline. It's time again to write about cycle speedway, but now an article on my own web-site. Well, here it comes:
Since the '70 several new bicycle disciplines have seen the day of light. Bicycle Moto-Cross ( BMX ), Road Bicycle, Down Hill F1 racing (special prepared BMX bikes, no paddles, only brakes ), Formula One road race-bikes ( 20" wheels and gears ), Bicycle Trial riding, MTB down-hill, MTB Dual Slalom and just recently MTB 4 cross just to mention a few disciplines.
Have you ever heared of Cycle Speedway?
As in BMX (a copy of stadion motorcycle moto-cross), cycle speedway can be seen as a copy of motorcycle speedway. Since I know just a little about this sport, I want to share this knowledge with you, because it might add a new dimension to cycling sport in general, world-wide. I do remember from the early days (1955 / 60), that in the city of Hilversum (Holland) were I was living at the time, we did have an official Cycle Speedway track. A watched a rider practice several times on that track and later on I learned he was a World Champ in his class.
Cycle Speedway in some form existed as early as 1927 ! The year 1945 is generally considered as the official birth of organized racing in Great Britain, were it all started. On May 30th. 1949 the first home international match at Rayleigh Stadium, Essex - England took place: England ( South ) beat Scotland by 88 points to 32. Team competition was the main thing.
The sport's first official national governing body, the National Amateur Cycle Speedway Association (NACSA), was formed the 14th. of January 1950.
October 26th. 1950, first visit of an overseas nation at Empress Hall, London. Holland beat England by 49 points to 47. Again, team competition still was essential. June 14th. 1958, the First World Championship final at Hilversum, Holland took place and was won by Dutchman Martin van de Brakel club: Hollandse - Welpen) with 15 points.
Ofcourse certain differences of opinion arose and in 1959, a rival body was formed, called the British Cycle Speedway Federation (BCSF). Finally in December 1971 top administrators of both organization came together and decided to start working together. A truly national body was now formed called the Cycle Speedway Council.
The inner perimeter of a cycle speedway track is about 65 till max. 100 meters. The starting gate is of the same structure as on a motorcycle speedway gate. The track must have a width between 5 and 6,5 meters. The track surface shall be of an approved substance. A loose dressing when used must not exceed 25 mm (1" ) depth and a certain banking is allowed.
Competition, bikes, clothing.
Big difference with BMX is that team-racing and competition is an important item. A team must consist of 8 riders. A race holds 4 riders, 2 riders of the home team and 2 riders of the quest team, riding 4 laps. This means the distance to cover is about the same as racing on a BMX track (350/400 meters ). Junior competition of riders under 18 and Senior competition of riders 18 and over. Ages are mainly between 12 and 30 years of age in this sport. Speedway bicycles don't have brakes, mud-guards, rat-trap or all metal pedals, toe clips or straps, lamp brackets, wing-nuts, any form of gears or any other fitting considered dangerous. Handlebars shall not exceed 30" ( 75 cm ) in width. Special super light frames and parts are mounted and 26" wheels are used. Riders in a team must be uniformly dressed and must be covered from the neck down. Nowadays a riders must wear a helmet ( wasn't so in the early days !) and gloves must be worn.
In the 1980's there were over 50 events from May till September and over 200 clubs in England alone Besides Great Britain and Holland, Australia has been very strong in Cycle Speedway. During the European Challenge Cup event in 1990 at Ponypark Slagharen - Holland, we had this Hilversum cycle speedway club giving several demonstrations with their riders.
First ever Cycle Speedway event in the USA.
Latest news I received in September 2002 from Johan Koudijs, one of the three men who organized the demonstration at Slagharen (Ton van Haren and Gert Veer where the other 2 men) was the following and..... it was HOT news I believe! Johan Koudijs told me that he just has come back from a trip to the USA, to be present at the first ever Cycle Speedway event in the USA. It concerned an Anglo-American competition between USA and Great Britain riders. Johan was invited by the British delegation to be present at this event. The competition took place in Edenton - North Carolina and the local organization made it a big happening. Many TV appearances were part of this event, explaining all about Cycle Speedway during interviews. John made a lot of friends and ofcourse the races took place.
Final result of this team competition was that Great Britain did beat USA with 113 - 67 points. In fact the final result wasn't that important. More important was the fact that nobody knew Cycle Speedway existed in the USA and now everybody knows. This is a good way to promote Cycle Speedway and make it more popular worldwide.
The main difference between Cycle Speedway in the USA and in Europe and Australia are the bicycles used. In the USA mainly adjusted BMX bikes (cruisers 24" or 26") are used and the tracks itself are somewhat longer than the European/Australian tracks. The Americans however are going to adjust their tracks and bicycles to the official standards and train very hard to be able to sent a good team to the upcoming 2003 Cycle Speedway World Championships, a two round series to be held in Rawicz (Poland) and Manchester (England).
Any of you USA BMX guys interested in joining the Cycle Speedway ranks?
Anyway, Johan Koudijs of the Cycle Speedway Racing Almere - Holland and his men are now preparing the European Club Championships which will be held in city of Almere (about 30 minutes by car from Amsterdam) in May 2003. This might also be an opportunity for Dutch BMX'ers to try Cycle Speedway and maybe qualify for this European Club Championship 2003.
Interested? Let us know.
Good luck with the organization of the 2003 European Club Championship Cycle Speedway Johan! We will keep you all posted in the time to come. Greets, GD
xx PICTURES: Track in Almere
Almere ECC 2001