New Zealand has received the thumbs up from cycling’s world controlling body, the UCI (Union Cycliste International) after hosting the BMX World Championships which culminated at the Vector Arena last week.
"Auckland went out of its way to make it a great event," said Abe Schneider, the chairman of the UCI’s BMX Commission.
More than 2000 riders from 37 countries took part in the event on a 300 metre track which was built indoors in less than a week.
After the first two days of competition for the age group challenge classes, the start ramp was raised from five to eight metres high and the jumps on the first straight changed for the elite competition.
"It’s the first time we have run an eight metres high ramp indoors at the World Champs," said Mr Schneider. "When Auckland was granted the hosting rights, the criterion was only for five metres high."
He said the local track builders headed by Tony Takurua who combined with the Olympic track designers from Britain had done a great job to meet the challenge of putting a world class track within the confines of Vector Arena.
American Mike King, the UCI Technical Director for the championships was also impressed with the local sport’s contribution. While the top few officials were appointed by the UCI to oversee the running of the meeting, most of the volunteer officials came from within the New Zealand BMX community.
"There were a lot of experienced and professional people. They did the best possible job and the whole event ran very smoothly," said Mr King.
Following sell out crowds on two days and near capacity crowds on the other two days of competition, the event provided not only a spotlight on the sport and the country as a host of world class events but also an economic benefit from participants and visitors New Zealand in general and to Auckland in particular.
The event’s Finals Day was broadcast live on Sky Television as well as live or delayed coverage through Asia and the Pacific on Eurosport, Australia, USA, Pan Africa on Supersport, the Netherlands, France, Great Britain on BBC, Colombia, Canada and Brazil. It was also broadcast live streamed for UCI’s designated streaming channels of Redbull Television and UCI’s own channel on You Tube.
Next year’s BMX World Championships will be held at Rotterdam in the Netherlands also indoors with a similar sized-track, followed by Columbia in South America in 2015 and Belgium in 2016.