Initial high interest in next year’s UCI BMX World Championships in Auckland has led organisers to extend the event for an additional day.
The Championships, which will now run from 24-28 July at Vector Arena in downtown Auckland, will retain the planned four competition days with a separate elite practice day inserted.
The event will begin with the Challenge Class (age group) world titles including the 24” Cruiser division on Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 July. Practice for elites will be on Friday 26 July which will allow for the overnight change of configuration from the 5m start ramp used for Challenge classes to the 8m ramp and bigger jumps for the elite racing.
There will be further elite practice on Saturday 27 July before the World Championship Time Trials on Saturday which is the qualifying process for the UCI World Championships on Sunday.
“We have had significant initial interest that suggests we may attract more than 2000 riders for the championships,” said BMX World Championship 2013 Event Director, Jane Patterson.
“New Zealand seems to be a must-do destination for BMX riders and families. One of the lures is using Vector Arena both because of its location in the heart of the Auckland downtown and waterfront and the quality of the venue.
“We could fit the championships into four days but if the entries reach the level we are anticipating it could present some challenges and force us to compete very late into the night.
“We feel that would take away from the special atmosphere of the event with the Challenge classes involving riders from five years to over 50 years and also place undue pressure on officials and volunteers.”
While Vector Arena is a stunning venue, there is insufficient room to build twin five and eight metre start ramps within the circuit. An innovative design will allow for the conversion of the 5m start ramp (for Challenge classes) to 8m (for elites).
“We have programmed this conversion overnight after racing on Thursday to allow time for the elites to practice.
“It also means we can stage the elite world championships during the day which will accommodate the best interests of families which are the foundation of the sport. With the success by the likes of Sarah Walker at the London Olympics, we are confident there will be significant public interest especially from families to come along and enjoy what is going to be an incredible and fun spectacle.
“Adding the day will allow plenty of time to cope with all entries, provide an enjoyable experience for competitors and offer day time viewing of the championship race days which will appeal to the family environment which is a big part of BMX community.”
The event schedule will now be:
July 22-23 Practice (Challenge and Cruiser classes)
July 24-25 Challenge Class World Championships
July 26 Practice Elite Men, Junior Men, Women
July 27 Practice Elite Men, Junior Men, Women; World championship Time Trials
(qualifying and Super Time Trial finals)
July 28 UCI BMX Elite World Championships
For details: www.bmxworldsnewzealand.com