It's true, BMX racing is now an official Olympic sport and in the London 2012 Olympic games. Now joining the ranks of snowboarding half pipe competitions and boardercross as an official Olympic sports. The IOC is appealing to the youth in an attempt to reverse the trend of seeing the Olympics as boring or for older people only. The London 2012 BMX track will really turn the excitment up on the TV and maybe more people may have a go at the BMX racing, well maybe not on this track, however there lots of BMX tracks and clubs around the UK where you can have a go. You don't have to do any jumps and it's quite esy to keep both wheels on the track and just roll around.
The London 2012 BMX track is located in the Olympic park, next to the Velodrome and you are sure to see some fast action and breathtaking crashes. After the games, this purpose built BMX track will have the temporary removed and the BMX Track will be reconfigured to make it suitable for riders of all ages and abilities. Then hopefully encourge some future champion BMX riders. The BMX Track and Velodrome will be joined by a new road cycle circuit and mountain bike course to create the Lee Valley VeloPark, combining cycling facilities across all disciplines in one cycling ‘hub’.
Competition is fierce, so you need to be riding to an exceptional standard to attempt to ride the 30 feet gap jumps and hitting speeds of 40MPH at the bottom of the 8 metre high start hill and the races take around 40seconds, so you will have to be watching or you will miss it. The men’s BMX track is 450m long and the women’s is 440m long. Both outdoor BMX tracks are built up with jumps, bumps and tightly banked corners.
Great Britain has Liam Phillips and Shanaze Reade hoping to gain a medal for the GB team in the BMX racing and hopefully for the Olympic's in 2016 at Rio we will have a few more BMX riders qualifying to race in the ulitmate competition.
The men's and women's events at London 2012 both start with a seeding phase: each rider runs the track once to determine the seedings, which ensures that the fastest riders don’t meet before the final.
The women progress straight to the semi-finals and the men’s event continues with the quarter-finals, which are held over five runs, with points for places on each run. After three runs, the best two riders from each quarter-final progress to the semi-finals. The remaining riders compete in the final two quarter-final runs and the best two from each quarter-final also progress to the semi-finals.
Then the semi-finals in both the men’s and women’s events follow a three-run format. The top four riders from each semi-final advance to the final, where the medals are decided over one run.
The race officials are on the lookout for any infringements, such as deliberately interfering with another BMX rider, coming into contact with other riders or obstructing their racing line in the final straight. Officials can issue a warning, with two warnings resulting in disqualification. They also have the power to relegate a rider to last place in a particular run, regardless of where the rider actually came.
BMX Racing London Olympics 2012 Race Schedule
|Olympic Park - BMX Circuit||08 August 2012||15:00 - 16:30||M||Seeding phase runs|
|W||Seeding phase runs|
|Olympic Park - BMX Circuit||09 August 2012||15:00 - 17:00||M||Quarter-finals|
|Olympic Park - BMX Circuit||10 August 2012||15:00 - 17:20||M||Semi-finals, final, victory ceremony|
|W||Semi-finals, final, victory ceremony|
BMX racing has grown massively in popularity all around the world. Recognition as a mainstream sport came when it was included as an event at the Beijing Olympics back in 2008. The sport's roots go back to the 1960s, but it wasn't until the late 70s and early 80s in sunny California that is truly began to take off and capture the imagination of a whole generation of children and teenagers with racing small bikes on dirt. The BMX bikes are made from aluminium or cromoly or even carbon graphite now. This is to keep them light, but also to provide the durability they need to take the punishment dished out on the BMX track. If you're ambitious, there is a pro racing circuit. BMX race bikes have only one gear and one brake. Most racing riders use wheels that are 20 inches in diameter – roughly two-thirds the size of wheels used on a standard road bike.
So make sure you put this on your list to watch in the London 2012 Olympics or if you are one of the lucky ones and have a ticket, enjoy yourselves.