Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Olympic BMX

BMX Track: All you need to know about the venue for one of the Games newest sports



The 400-metre circuit is located next to the Velodrome, and will host two-days of BMX cycling action from today.
Location: In the north of the Olympic Park
Capacity: 6,000
Sport: BMX Cycling
First event: Men's and women's seeding phase (Aug 8)

  • BMX made its debut at the Olympic Games in Beijing four years ago
  • The track will be available to the community after the Games
  • Schedule: BMX: Aug 8 - Aug 10
  • Okay, so yet another Olympics related post. BMX racing is not only a nostalgic part of childhood for us Gen X’ers and Y’ers, its the newest sport to be added to the Olympics – making its debut this week in Beijing.

    I really wouldn’t be surprised that the so-far-terrible Channel 7 Olympic coverage to completely ignore this sport – but they really shouldn’t. Why? because we have 5 Australians competing in the BMX events.

    We’re hoping to see Jared Graves (who came 2nd in the 2008 World BMX Supercross) and probably-not-his-birthname, Kamikazi (who was a semi-finalist in the 2008 BMX World Championship) make it into the finals. In which case we are almost guaranteed some live coverage on TV. And not to mention we’d love to see them thrash the Americans, who are expected to dominate the in these BMX events.




    Shanaze Reade from England is also tipped for the gold medal.

    The basics

    The BMX races at London 2012 will be held on a short outdoor track, with the riders starting on an 8m-high ramp. Each race lasts around 40 seconds.

    BMX 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. Bikes need to be strong enough to endure the wear and tear from the jarring landings after jumps, yet light enough to remain fast and competitive.

    Competition format

    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.

    From here, 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.


    Officials include inspectors, who ensure that all bikes conform to International Federation regulations, start and finish officials, and race officials, who are stationed along the course and ensure riders adhere to all rules and regulations.

    Keys to success

    BMX riding is fast and furious and riders must be daring and fearless. Although short, the track is demanding and the winning riders must be able to beat the field and stay out of trouble. 

    Breaking the rules

    The race officials are on the lookout for any infringements, such as deliberately interfering with another 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. 


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