The USA BMX national circuit returns to Chula Vista’s U.S. Olympic Training Center Friday through Sunday (Sept. 27-29) for the latest stop on its 30-race series.
This year’s event has been renamed the Hall of Fame Nationals and will bring in some of the country’s fastest amateur bicycle racers, top pros and Olympians from last years’ London Summer Games.
More than 1,300 amateur competitors from 28 states are expected to compete in the three-day event on the OTC’s smaller amateur track while pros and Olympians will complete Saturday in the UCI Supercross on the London-replica course.
BMX bicycle racers — ages 2 to 70-plus — from all around the country will compete to win awards as well as to accumulate points in their age classes toward the year-end USA BMX national championship title. The Chula Vista BMX track is a 1,100- foot-long dirt track that is made up of banked turns and massive jumps.
“USA BMX loves coming back to Chula Vista,” explained John David, COO at USA BMX. “Being around the Olympic Training Center is a great way to give our participants a feel for what it’s like to become an Olympic athlete. Of course, our riders and their families also enjoy all of San Diego’s attractions and amenities.”â€¨
On Saturday, racing will kick off at 10 a.m. with the Strider bike class for 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-year olds. Youngsters as young as 20 months old have been seen racing a shortened section of the track on these pedal-less push bikes. At the other end of the spectrum, there will be plenty of parents and grandparents competing in the larger-wheeled classes for 30-, 40-, 50- and 60-plus-year olds.
Many of these competitors in the older age groups were a part of the sport’s beginnings back in the early 1970s.
However, thanks in part to the exposure that BMX Racing has received since becoming an Olympic sport in 2008, many riders have just discovered BMX racing for the first time. This is a big part of what makes BMX racing a true family sport where mothers and fathers are able to compete along with their sons and daughters, David noted.
On Saturday evening after all of the amateur racing has wrapped up, USA BMX and the OTC will host the annual National BMX Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Five legends in the sport of BMX will join the 110 members who have been inducted in to the Hall of Fame since 1985.
Pioneer racer Rob Fehd, 1980s racing legend Billy Griggs, BMXer-turned-mountain biker Leigh Donovan, freestyler Ron Wilkerson and NBL founder George Esser comprise this year’s inductees. The Olympic Training Center is the full-time host of the National BMX museum, which is open to the public year-round.
HALL of FAME NATIONAL SCHEDULE
The USA BMX Hall of Fame Nationals will be held Sept. 27 - 29. There is no spectator admission. However, there will be a charge for parking.
Chula Vista BMX is located at the main entrance of the U.S. Olympic Training Center - 2800 Olympic Parkway Chula Vista.
Friday, Sept. 27: Action begins on Friday at noon with practice throughout the day and racing starting at 5 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 28: Practice continues in the morning and national racing kicks off promptly at 10 a.m. with Strider (balance bike) racing for ages 2-4, followed by the first rounds of pro racing.
Following the Hall of Fame nationals, the UCI Supercross will take place on the OTC’s London Olympic-replica track. More than 100 Elite athletes and many of the 2012 Olympians will be racing for the UCI World Cup title. Gates open at 12:30 p.m. and racing begins at 2 p.m. This is a ticketed event.
Following the UCI Supercross, 400 attendees will flood in to the Olympic Training Center courtyard for the sold-out BMX Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Festivities on the red-carpet entrance begin at 6:30 p.m., with the first Inductions beginning at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 29: Racing continues on the amateur track, kicking off at 8 a.m., with the main events starting at approximately 10:30 a.m.
America’s fastest amateur athletes are all expected to compete at the Hall of Fame Nationals.
As the largest extreme sport in the nation, BMX racing is full of non-stop action. Up to eight riders speed down the starting hill, maneuvering over dirt obstacles and around banked turns in hopes of winning a four-foot tall first place trophy.
On average, each race is a 35-second sprint, with full contact, close-knit racing and — sometimes — thrilling crashes and victories.
Saturday, Sept. 28
12:30-1:15 p.m. - autograph session
1:20-1:45 p.m. - warm-ups Elite women
1:50-2:15 p.m. - warm-ups Elite men
2:30-2:40 - rider introduction
2:40-4:20 p.m. - Elite men quarterfinals first through third rounds; Elite women quarterfinals first through third rounds
4:25-4:40 - Elite men quarterfinals
4:45-4:50 - Elite women quarterfinals
4:50-4:55 - Elite men semifinals
5:05-5:10 - Elite women final
5:10-5:15 - Elite men final
5:20-5:30 - awards ceremony