What’s new for the 2013 BMX season?

What’s new for the 2013 BMX season?

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Elite racing

We’ve been looking at ways of making elite level racing more attractive to riders and to spectators.  For rounds 2-9 in 2013, we’ll be trialling a similar system to the A Pro and AA pro categories, except both classes will race together in the Moto and knock out stages before breaking out for two finals.   At round 1 only, both categories will race separately.

A category called ‘Championship Men’ will replace junior men as junior was restricted to riders in their 17th and 18th years.  The new category is aimed at any rider aged 17 or over (over 30’s are eligible as well) looking to race at a higher level, or they may be looking to use Championship as a stepping stone to Elite.

How will it work?

  • The top 8 combined Elite & Championship riders will race the Elite final, so if Championship riders are amongst the top 8 riders overall going into the final stage, then those riders will get to race the Elite final.   The 8th (or more) placed Elite rider would have their final position taken by the Championship rider(s).
  • The top 8 Championship riders who haven’t qualified for the Elite final will qualify for their own final. Only Championship riders will compete in the Championship final.

A separate British BMX Series standings table will be published for both Championship and Elite.

The top 8 riders in both categories will compete for prize money. Both categories will compete in the Time Trial on Saturday as one category. Prize money will be on offer for the top 3 in the TT.  The TT will be a separate competition and will not count for points or seeding positions.

A rider in their 15th or 16th year who wishes to race in Championship (men or women) or Elite, they may apply for dispensation direct to British Cycling.

If you don’t already have a UCI career number, riders competing in Championship or Elite may apply for a UK career number via: bmx@britishcycling.org.uk.  Riders cannot take their 2012 series standing from a challenge category to a Championship/Elite category.  If you have not requested a career number or do not have a 2012 Elite standing, then you must use the last 3 digits of your British Cycling membership number.

Elite riders will race black numbers on a white plate. Championship riders will race white numbers on a black plate.

Supercross racing at round 1

Last year’s Supercross series was open to all.  This year’s Saturday evening race at Round 1 is UCI registered, so this does mean that if you compete as a junior or elite on Saturday evening, you are tied in to racing junior or elite internationally during 2013.  If you finish in a UCI point scoring position, then you are also tied into this level of racing for a 12 month period, as UCI points last 12 months.  For this event, the top 8 riders in each category will score UCI points.

This is important for any rider considering stepping down to challenge level at the 2014 world championships.  The date for the 2014 World Championship entries opening is unknown, but if you are considering stepping down, then do not compete in a junior/elite UCI event from May 2013.

World Challenge Championship qualification

Riders wishing to qualify for the 2014 World Challenge Championships will do so by racing in a combination of events, including the British BMX Series, regional series and international events.  A rider’s British Cycling ranking will determine whether you qualify, which for 2013 will be a rider’s best 12 point scores.  The points table is listed in appendix 4 of the 2013 BMX rule book.

Most riders will get two bites of the cherry to qualify, but if you are one of the riders moving into a new multi-year category in 2014, then you will need to qualify in 2014.  For example, if you are born in 1969, then you’ll be in 40-44 cruiser this year and 45+ next year, so you will need to qualify in 2014. The same scenario could occur in all cruiser categories and 17-24, 25-29 and 30+ men.

If a rider does not take up their spot on the 2014 team, the spot will not be offered to the next rider in the rankings.  If you don’t qualify by right, then you will need to apply for dispensation by a set date in 2014.

A rider competing in the elite men category domestically (not internationally) may still qualify for a Challenge category in the world championships.  If you are competing in elite men and wish to race Challenge at the world championships, then please let British Cycling know as you will need an appropriate age based licence rather than an elite licence.

Full 2013 qualification information will be published prior to round 1 of the British BMX Series.  2014 qualification cannot have dates set until registration and jersey order deadlines are known.  Jersey designs have also changed for 2013, which means that the 2012 world championships jersey cannot be used at a world championships from 2013.

Elite teams

New for 2013 are elite team competitions.  In 2013, any team that has at least one championship or elite rider on their roster will be entered into the elite team competition (even if the majority of the team are Challenge category riders).  From 2014, the minimum number of elite and/or championship riders will rise to two.

The British Championships in August also doubles up as the club championships, so a reward for the top elite teams will also be introduced. There will be club, team and elite team standings at the British BMX Series and the British Championships.

Team and club areas

Most trackside spots at the outdoor events will be taken by clubs, although the host club will allocate a trackside space for sponsors.  If a sponsor does not take up their allocation, then an Elite team would be next in line

No club will be allowed more than 6m of trackside space and only the clubs with the most riders competing at national level will be allowed to take up their maximum allocation. This has been a necessary measure due to the increasing amount of gazebos, clubs and riders. Garden style tents are not allowed trackside, it must be a clean, robust gazebo that will be pinned or tied to the ground.  Gazebos will preferably be branded with the club logo or name for aesthetical reasons and to aid identification.

The host clubs will contact all affiliated BMX clubs and teams by email around 4 weeks prior to their event.  Please do not hassle the club for space, as space should not be allocated on a first come first served basis. If you wish to sponsor an individual event to secure trackside space, then you may contact the club in advance.

Standings and rankings

A standing is what you gain from competing in a series.  A ranking is what you gain when finishing in a point scoring position in a regional, national or international event. British Cycling Rankings can be found on the side bar from the BMX homepage: www.britishcycling.org.uk/bmx

Moving up between categories

Rather than restricting riders that can move up to the top two from the British BMX Series, any young rider can apply to: bmx@britishcycling.org.uk to move up a category.  The BMX Commission will then make the decision on whether that application is accepted.  For 2013 only, the top two from 2012 do not have to apply.

A rider moving up in the British BMX Series will also have to race the same category at the British Championships.

If a rider moves up, they will not have their licence category changed.  This is to ensure that the rider that moves up is not unfairly disadvantaged in qualifying for the World Championships.  For example, a 9 year old racing in the 10’s in 2013, will retain is 9 year old licence and will also score British Cycling Ranking Points as a 9 year old.

Series categories

The17-24 and 25-29 men will be merged and run as 17-29 Men in 2013.  30-34 and 35-39 Cruiser will be merged and run as 30-39 Cruiser.  All four categories will still be recognised in the British Cycling National Rankings for world championship qualification purposes. Riders with a series standing in the following 2012 categories may need to have an X after their plate number if it clashes: 17-24 men and 30-34 cruiser.

Access to the British BMX Series

For 2014, any new rider to BMX must first have gained points at regional level in 2013.  This is not a measure to reduce numbers, it is to ensure that riders learn their trade at regional level first.


British Cycling will provide a yearly BMX handbook to all riders who attend national events.  The handbook replaces the event programme and will cover everything you need to know.  The handbook will be available at the national rounds from round 2.