The inclusion of BMX racing in the 2008 Olympic Games wasn?t a popular decision with many in the cycling world, but there?s little doubt that this new event is going to provide some of the Games? most stunning footage.
To run BMX as part of the Olympic schedule two other cycling events had to be dropped; it was the men?s kilometre time trial and women?s 500m time trial that eventually got the axe.
There was an outcry when this was announced, not least from Scotland as reigning Olympic Kilo champ Chris Hoy saw his cherished event pulled out from under his feet with just the swish of a silver plated pen on paper.
Just who decided to drop the two events remains unclear as the Union Cycliste International (UCI) blame the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the IOC blame the UCI.
Hoy has now moved on, and in the four-year interim period between Olympic Games has become Keirin and sprint world champion. When I put it to him that the kilo losing it?s Olympic status was the best thing that ever happened to him he laughed, saying; ?maybe you?re right!?
Had the event not been dropped, Hoy may never have applied himself to learning the nuances and tricks of the trade common in the more combatitive sprint events. And had they not been dropped, we wouldn?t get a race like this?.
The Supermoto course the riders will race on come August 20 features a huge 20 metre start ramp, 30ft jumps, 8ft step ups and near vertical berms for the riders to tackle whilst sprinting flat out.
The racing will be unlike anything else in the Games, and the best bit is, the Great Britain team has the red hot favourite for the women?s race in Shanaze Reade.
The 19 year old from Crewe is two-time world champion and was junior champion before that. As a junior she had to race against older men in order to get sufficient competition. She won the world title on the Beijing track earlier this year, and the test event on the track last year. Both times she was up against all her challengers for the Olympic title.
Roll on August 20.
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Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling when channel surfing in 1989 and happening across the greatest ever edition of the Tour de France. He's been a Greg LeMond fan ever since. He started racing in 1995 when moving to university in North Wales gave him more time to train and some amazing roads to train on. He raced domestically for several years, riding everything from Surrey leagues to time trials, track and even a few Premier Calendars. In 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium with the Kingsnorth International Wheelers.
Since working for Cycling Weekly he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He can still be seen at his club's evening races through the summer but he still hasn't completed the CW5000 challenge!
SIMON IS CURRENTLY RIDING
Road bike: Pinarello K8S with Shimano Dura Ace
TT bike: Specialized Venge road bike with FFWD wheels and Easton Attack TT bars
Gravel bike: N/A
Training bike: Rourke custom hand made with Reynolds 853 steel
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