At yesterday’s cycling reception in Westminster, British Cycling’s Dave Brailsford let it slip that street BMX is probably going to become an Olympic sport. Mark Sutton, my colleague on BikeBiz, says this is “huge news for BMX”.
I’m all in favour of street BMX joining racing BMX at the London Olympics but who makes these decisions? Probably not the International Olympic Committee. It’s down to a sport’s governing body and in this case that governing body is the UCI.
When he was president elect of the UCI, Pat McQuaid told me the UCI was being lined up to be the governing body for all “wheeled sports”, even sports like in-line skating.
But the UCI has a poor track record of protecting blue riband cycling events. To introduce racing BMX to the Olympics, the UCI wonks - in their wisdom - ditched the kilo and the women’s 500m time trial. The women’s event was a recent entry but the kilo had been in the Olympics since the very first summer Olympics, in 1896.
I campaigned hard - but unsuccessfully - against the UCI decision, creating a pro-kilo petition and delivering it, by hand, to the gnomes of Aigle.
The follow-upstory on BikeBiz.com got the UCI is all sorts of hot water with the IOC.
Luke Madill’s back-garden BMX track - an almost exact replica of the track he hopes to race on at BMX’s inaugural Olympic Games - first made the news late last year.
But it has now been filmed and syndicated to news stations across the world. BBC Newsround has carried the footage, ITN has pumped it out as an ‘and finally…’ piece, and the video is available from Reuters:
Madill’s Sydney back garden is pretty big as his plaything is the first Olympic-sized BMX track in Australia. The track features an 8m-high start ramp - plastered with a Red Bull logo, not something that will be allowed in Beijing - and identical humps to the ones that will feature on the Beijing course.
Australia’s Olympic squad won’t be selected until May but with Madill currently leading the world ranking points for Australia he’s a dead cert for selection…especially as he’s sharing his back garden track with fellow BMXers in the Oz team.
“I’m happy for people to come out and check it out and have a bit of a ride (but) I mean, I get to ride it every day so it’s a lot more of an advantage for me than them coming once or twice a month,” said Madill.
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Sunday night’s auction at the Fisher Expo also raised £2k for Jason McIntyre fund via Braveheart
Fisher Outdoor is currently staging its annual trade-only Expo at the Edgbaston cricket stadium in Birmingham. The event started on Sunday and was a star-studded affair, with guests including former pro roadie Sean Kelly; trackie Craig Maclean; MTBers Will Longden and Steve Peat; and Cycling Weekly columnist Michael Hutchinson.
Martin Murray was also at the show. Murray is the brother of Stephen Murray, the US-based British BMXer injured last year in America. The presence of Martin Murray at a charity auction, held Sunday night at the Jury’s Inn in central Birmingham, helped to get Brit bike shops to dig deep for the variety of items in the after-dinner auction. These items included signed jerseys and ride sessions with Steve Peat.
Commentators Anthony McCrossan and Brian Smith were auctioneers for the evening and they kept the bids flowing.
A signed Sean Kelly jersey raised £2000. A Stay Strong iPod nano customised by Muc Off to benefit the Stephen Murray fund raised £400. A mystery prize raised £1200 (it turned out to be six month’s worth of credit from Fisher Outdoor).
In total, the auction raised £17,000, £2000 of which went to the family of Jason McIntyre via the roadie Braveheart fund. Scottish champion cyclist McIntyre was killed by a driver last week near his home in Fort William.
Last year Fisher donated $5000 to Murray’s fund thanks to Fisher employee, and trials rider, Martin Hawes.
The BMX star stunned the track cycling world in March by joining up with Victoria Pendleton to win the Women’s 500m Team Sprint World Title. At the UCI BMX World Championships held in Canada over the weekend, Shanaze Reade won the senior women’s event by quite some margin. She was previously world champ at the junior level. She’s now the surefire favourite for BMX Olympic Gold next year.
This is her first year as a senior rider.
Here’s a video of Shanaze and Victoria Pendleton on the podium:
1. Shanaze READE (GBR)
2. Sarah WALKER (NZL)
3. Jana HORAKOVA (CZE)
4. Cyrielle CONVERT (FRA)
5. Willy KANIS (NED)
6. Amelie DESPEAUX (FRA)
7. Anne-Caroline CHAUSSON (FRA)
8. Laetitia LE CORGUILLE (FRA)
There’s a WMV video file of the final here. Go to Samedi, elite women.
Natasha Khan - aka Bat for Lashes - has today been nominated for the Nationwide Mercury Prize, one of the top music awards in the UK. Likened to Joanna Newsom (but without the harp) and Bjork (but without the Icelandic twang), singer-songwriter Khan has a rather wonderful BMX-themed music video for her single ‘What’s a girl to do?’
BMXers in animal masks appear from behind Khan as she rides along. The video was shot in Wokingham. The bunny character looks a bit like Frank the Bunny from freaky US movie Donnie Darko.
Boy, were those BMXers clever to clap in time to the music. In fact, the timings were altered in post-production. And the way the animal BMXers ‘disappear’ behind Khan is also a bit of digital trickery. Mind you, great vid, SFX or no SFX.
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