The world’s best BMX athletes descend on London’s Olympic Park this week for the third stop of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup series. Almost 160 Elite Riders have signed up for the event, which kicks off today (Friday 19 August) with finals on Saturday, including South Africa’s Teagan O’Keeffe.
Teagan flew to London from her home base at the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland, where she has been training with her coach Thomas Alliers. Located in the north of the Olympic Park in Stratford in east London, the new BMX Track is approximately 450m long and features an eight-metre high ramp at the start, followed by jumps, bumps and tightly banked corners. The BMX Track will host both the men and women’s Olympic BMX competitions next summer, with a total of 48 riders competing for two gold medals.
Although this weekend’s racing is part of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup series, it also forms an integral part of the ‘London Prepares’ series, which allows the London 2012 Organising Committee to test crucial aspects of its operations ahead of the Games.
With less than a year to go to the start of 2012 London Olympic Games the riders are all anxious to get on this track – for the first time ever, the track features the ‘Oakley Underground’ – a 15m long tunnel that is part of the women’s 2nd straight, and the ‘Red Bull Box Jump’ – a challenging feature on the men’s straight.
Despite breaking her fingers in a training session at the World Cycling Centre last week due to the start gate malfunctioning, Teagan is feeling strong and ready to race. Teagan will return home to South Africa for a 2-week vacation after the race and then heads off to the USA to race another Supercross Event in Chula Vista.
BMX made its spectacular Olympic debut in 2008 and met with immediate worldwide public success. It is now one of the fastest growing Olympic disciplines.