When the storm hit at the 2015 UCI BMX World Championships in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium, it was time to improvise quickly. Racing conditions were far from optimal and the campsite was cleared due to the risk of falling trees. The race was shortened, and the 5-metre hill was used: but in the end we got to see the UCI World Champions crowned and that was the reason everyone had come. Niek Kimmann (NED) and Stefany Hernandez (VEN) grabbed the Elite titles in 2015 with Kimmann making it a back-to-back success after winning the Junior UCI World Championships in Rotterdam the previous year. It was a big moment for BMX on the track at Circuit-Zolder, which will also provide the stage for our next event.
With the Challenge classes included, the 2019 UCI World Championships will be the biggest race in BMX history. The hunt for the rainbow jersey is on. Last year’s Elite UCI World Champions Sylvain André (FRA) and Laura Smulders (NED) are hoping to repeat their victories, while Junior UCI World Champion Leo Garoyan (FRA) wants to emulate Kimmann’s feat from 2015. 2018 UCI Junior Women’s World Champion Indy Scheepers (NED) gets to race the Junior class once again and will defend her title tooth and nail.
Marc Wauters, Cycling Manager Circuit Zolder & Sportive spoke about the sport of BMX and in particular, organising the UCI BMX World Championships: “To become a BMX rider, you need dedication, focus and a sense of sacrifice. I had all that during my cycling career and I still have it now I’m sportive director/cycling manager. You need to work hard to reach the top. And the same goes when organising a top event. All the links have to work together, or the chain breaks and you lose.”
The organising team will prepare everything to produce a smooth-running event, and make some more BMX history.
With her victory in Baku, Azerbaijan, last year, defending Elite Women’s UCI World Champion Laura Smulders knows what it takes to win. She has already prepared herself for the big race in Zolder, and we caught a few words with her. She won the 2019 National BMX title and the 2019 European title so it’s not hard to guess that Smulders would like to add another UCI World title to that…
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