The UCI BMX World Championships are coming to Birmingham in 2012 for what organisers promise will be the biggest and best BMX show in 2012.
Following a period of priority access for British Cycling members, tickets are now on general sale (from 1 December) at www.bmxworldchamps.co.uk. The event, which takes place at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena NIA from May 24-27, will host over 2,000 riders from across the world, including Olympic GB hopefuls Shanaze Reade and Liam Phillips who will be gunning for world titles in their last major outings before the Games.
The event will showcase four days of BMX Racing with two different standards of rider competing, including an elite racing ‘Championships’ competition and the amateur ‘Challenge’ class. This event will be the final opportunity for elite athletes to secure points to count towards qualification to the London 2012 Olympics.
Whilst tickets can be bought across the whole Championships, the organisers have packed most of the finals into two showcase nights of racing and entertainment. ‘Challenge’ class finals and elite time trials will be the focal point of the Friday evening, whilst Saturday night will see the Elite Championship finals, where the World’s best riders will race elbow to elbow for the honour of wearing the rainbow stripes of World Champion for the next twelve months.
A BMX Racing track will be built from scratch in the NIA over just one week leading into the competition, building dirt jumps and trails to replicate an outside BMX track, with capacity to seat an audience of over 4,000 spectators.
Three times winner of the UCI BMX World Championships Shanaze Reade said: “I’m looking forward to coming to Birmingham to compete in May. 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 next year.”
Councillor Martin Mullaney, Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, said: “With the amazing new Birmingham BMX Track opening earlier this year, BMX is a growing sport in the city, so I’m looking forward to welcoming the top stars in the world to the NIA.
“Coming just weeks before BMX features in the Olympics, this is yet another major event to further enhance Birmingham’s reputation as a sporting city.”
Jonny Clay, Event Director for the UCI BMX World Championships said: "The 2012 BMX World Champs is the latest in a string of major events that British Cycling has successfully bid for in recent years. We've already seen the impact of the event here in Birmingham with the creation of the new International BMX facility at Perry Park as part of the legacy of the event and as the event draws closer we're looking forward to giving many more people the chance to participate in and watch the sport of BMX."
UK Sport Events Consultant, Rebecca Edser, said: “UK Sport is thrilled to be supporting the UCI BMX World Championships in Birmingham through our National Lottery funded events programme. This event represents a fantastic opportunity for British athletes to compete on home soil ahead of the London Olympics, as well as providing the final chance for athletes to pick up vital qualification points for the Games.
“Staging world class sporting events in the UK ahead of 2012 is invaluable and UK Sport is committed to delivering the most comprehensive programme of major sporting events ever staged by an Olympic and Paralympic host nation.”
Almost 3,000 people participate in BMX in the UK, and there are around 70 BMX tracks in use. BMX in Birmingham was put firmly on the map earlier this year, with a new state-of-the-art BMX track built at Perry Park, hosting the European Championships in June and is open to the public outside of club events.
To get tickets for the UCI BMX World Championships go to www.bmxworldchamps.co.uk
Family passes (two adults, two children) range from £56-£66 and an adult ticket is priced between £21-£25 for the Friday and Saturday evenings.