Birmingham hosts of UCI World BMX Championships

By on 25/05/2012 in Cabinet, Deputy Leader, News

With the start of the 2012 Olympic BMX finals just 75 days away, fans of the sport from around the world will have their eyes on Birmingham, host city for the 2012 UCI World BMX Championships.

Team GB medal hopefuls British Cycling's Shanaze Reade and Liam Phillips will be leading the way at the four-day event, taking place in Birmingham city centre, at the NIA (National Indoor Arena) taking place from Thursday 24 to Sunday 27 May.

The UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) predict that the competition will mean an estimated £16m coming into the Birmingham local economy over the course of the championships.

Birmingham City Council deputy leader Councillor Ian Ward said: “We are delighted to be the host of the 2012 UCI World BMX Championships right here at our outstanding facilities in the National Indoor Arena.

“Birmingham is buzzing with world class BMX riders competing for the final time to secure qualification points to represent their country at the 2012 Olympics.

“For spectators it is an opportunity to see BMX riding at an unparalleled level, with competitors of different ages coming to Birmingham to win medals.

“It is also an opportunity for me to say a big thankyou to the event organisers and the network of Birmingham volunteers.  Without their help we would not be able to host such a prestigious event.”

Abe Schneider, President of the UCI BMX Commission, said: “Birmingham is the ideal host city for our 2012 World Championships as it is a city with a long and celebrated cycling history, boasts fantastic facilities and support.

“As host city, Birmingham is playing an integral role in the living legacy of BMX racing, helping to grow the interest in the sport around the world.

“We have 2,500 riders from 42 countries competing at this event, and having the event in Birmingham marks our first return to UK soil since 1996, (when they were held in Brighton).

“Birmingham is only a short train journey from the venue where riders will be competing in August for Olympic gold medals, so riders and teams will be getting a taste of the Olympic atmosphere as they compete.”

Birmingham staging the championships is the culmination of a programme of investment in the sport of BMX that began when Birmingham City Council, UK Sport and British Cycling joined together in 2009 to bid for the honour of hosting the event.

This is a wide-ranging event encompassing different bikes (Standard and Cruiser), different standards of rider (Championships and Challenge), and different age categories, from aged 5 through to 45 and over. The impressive track was built in just six days.

Great Britain Cycling Team Olympian Shanaze Reade, said: “It's fantastic that Birmingham is hosting the World Championships and taking another World Championships title would be great preparation before the Olympics. I'm really excited about competing in my home country at major competitions twice this year.”

Birmingham also proudly boats a purpose built BMX track in Perry Park, which is the city's legacy facility due to the requirement to have an International standard venue.

The track has already hosted two rounds of the UEC BMX European Championships. The track is now run by Birmingham BMX Club, and with over 400 members it is already the largest BMX club in the UK.

Notes to editors

Ends
Media Contact:
lawrence_vos @birmingham.gov.uk or 0121 303 4835 (Friday only)

For more information visit about the UCI 2012 World BMX Championships visit:

Website: http://www.bmxworldchamps.com

For more information about 2012 Olympic BMX events visit:

Website: http://www.london2012.com/cycling-bmx/index.html

For more information about Birmingham's build up to the 2012 Olympic Games visit:

Website: www.birmingham2012.co.uk

For more information about becoming a Birmingham sports volunteer visit:

Website: www.birminghamourgames.co.uk

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