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Practice, Preps and Pep Talks editors really know their stuff! Today we share another great article from Mike Carruth.

Day two leading-up to racing at the 2017 UCI BMX World Championships got underway on Monday. Day one went smooth, until the weather dealt a wild card to the schedule.

Team USA got it’s Sunday practice in, but two of the later groups were rained out, as a wicked thunderstorm kicked up in the mid-afternoon. The Monday practice schedule was rejiggered, and the two groups that missed out on Sunday got in early on Monday, and then later in the day.

The Sunday storm put the expo area on spin cycle, tossing tents and soaking staff, and later pulling the power plug on parts of Rock Hill, which included the Wintrop Coliseum, site of the Team USA all-rider meeting.

Meanwhile BMXers from all over the world flooded into area stores, buying up provisions for race day: bottled water, sandwich supplies, ice, and every-manner of other accompaniment you can imagine. When they talk about “economic impact” of an event as large as this, you get a real sense of that by watching tables of hungry diners at the Outback, or full carts at the local grocery store, or “No Vacancy” signs on hotel-after-hotel.

I lucked out by the Sunday reschedule of the team meeting; I was driving here during the time it was originally scheduled, but got to see the event, in full, this afternoon, when it started at around 2:10PM.

Winthrop University Coliseum is an honest-to-goodness basketball stadium (college-level), and fully-half of its capacity was jammed with Team USA riders and their families.

USA BMX COO, John David kicked-off the festivities with an introduction of the dozens-deep support staff, brought in to make sure all 1000+ members of the team are well-cared-for.

Chris Luna spoke about some of the do’s and don’ts of UCI racing—which is different than many of us are used to. Some great tips in his briefing that will keep American riders on the right side of the rules.

Rock Hill Mayor Doug Echols addressed the audience, with words of support from the home town crowd. And Carley Young gave a well-executed pep-talk to rally the excitement, and get everyone’s focus and stoke aligned just-right.

Once the meeting was adjourned, the staff staged-up a team photo (above), so those of use in the media, and every parent with a smart phone had a chance to capture this epic, unprecedented crowd—all in one place, all wearing a singular jersey “TEAM USA!”

Later in the afternoon, after practice was concluded, we learned of a change to the program for Tuesday’s Cruiser racing.

The Event Management team is aware that weather patterns are forecast that will interrupt racing and could cause danger to riders.

Likewise, a combination of very high temperatures and humidity greatly increases the likelihood of heat-related injuries for all participants, including event and team staff, riders, and the public.

For the safety of riders and staff a decision has been made to amend the format for racing of the Cruiser categories on Tuesday 25 July.

Riders will compete over two (2) Motos, then move to the qualifiers and the main final.

This change will reduce the length of racing and the time at the venue, so that the racing is finished prior to the forecasted storms and adverse weather patterns and so that everyone is less exposed to the possibility of heat related injuries.

For the future day’s events of the 20 inch categories, a decision will be made each evening for the following day of racing once the updated weather forecasting information is made available. A decision on the format for the following days racing will be communicated via a communique to the Team Managers.

Be assured this decision was not taken lightly and has been made in the interests of safety for all.

The race format for the Cruiser categories will consist of two (2) Motos then progressing to the qualifiers and the main final.

Norm McCann
BMX Secretary
UCI Aigle, Switzerland

Tuesday’s Cruiser racing has 1024 entries, to be run in 150 motos. The largest class is 40-44, with 107 riders.Racing gets underway at 8:00AM Eastern time, and our estimate is that it will be concluded by 1:30PM.

Stick with News throughout the week for more from the 2017 UCI BMX World Championships.

—Mike Carruth


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