“It’s a great facility that will allow us to send a strong BMX contingent to the Olympics in 2008.” Victoria will host the 2007 UCI BMX World Championship, the last world-class event before the BMX sport makes its debut at the 2008 Olympics.
Over 2500 athletes from 40 nations will compete at the UCI BMX World Championships July 26-29, 2007. The development and unveiling of a world-class track in Victoria is a great opportunity for Victoria and the Canadian athletes. The event will showcase both Victoria and the sport of BMX and will potentially generate $16 million in direct and indirect economic activity.
According to Samantha Cools, five-time UCI BMX World champion, the new track is world class and will be a good learning tool for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. “It’s hard and challenging, but it’s going to be fun,” said Cools. Riding the track today was a bit nerve racking, said Christine Miller. “It’s a hard track, but we need to step up and prove that we’re World’s material.” Miller, 19, is confident about the upcoming World Championships because the Canadian team has a home track advantage. “It’s pretty cool. This is our track for training for the Worlds.” Tanya Dubnicoff, Canada’s national BMX coach, said riding the track today gave the team a huge advantage. “There’s not enough money in the world that could give the team this kind of advantage,” she said.
Pre-riding the track mentally prepares the team and allows them to get their bearings. The team will take advantage of the track by training on it every other week. Overall the team was impressed with the layout and quality of the track. It’s smooth, fairly large and has nice short jumps. Although construction of the track began in October and recommenced two months ago after a wet winter delay, the design has been in the works for almost two years, said Daryll Michell, the track’s contractor and a previous BMX World participant. The track consists of 5000 yards of material and 200 tons of asphalt.