BMX Champions train on World Cycling Centre’s new Supercross track
Construction on the indoor track for the 2014 UCI BMX World Championships gets under way in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, today. In the meantime, teams from Brazil, Colombia and New Zealand are acclimatising to Europe at the World Cycling Centre (WCC) in Aigle, Switzerland.
The prestigious Colombian contingent includes Olympic Champion and reigning time trial World Champion Mariana Pajón, Olympic bronze medallist Carlos Oquendo and 2012 Juniors World Champion Carlos Ramirez, a former trainee at the WCC.
They are sharing the new Supercross track at the WCC with the centre’s own BMX athletes, a six-strong Brazilian contingent and New Zealand’s high performance team that includes Olympic silver medallist Sarah Walker, silver medallist at last year’s World Championships Mark Willers, and Junior World bronze medallist Hannah Sarten.
“This is the biggest track I have ever ridden,” said Walker from the top of the eight-metre start ramp. “It will definitely raise the level of riding for men and women. It’s good to come here and ride a challenging track. After this, it should be fairly straight forward to adjust to the smaller indoor track in Rotterdam,” added the Kiwi athlete whose 2013 season was blighted by crashes and broken bones.
2014 has been a luckier year so far and the Olympic silver medallist has her eyes firmly set on Rio2016: “I feel like I’m improving. I am stronger than I was at the Olympics and I have the same speed. I know I can go faster and I am looking at all the details that can help me do that.”
The New Zealanders have regularly carried out training camps at the WCC over the years, and BikeNZ BMX Coach Ryan Hollows explains that his national high performance team is looking for a European training base in the lead-up to Rio: “We heard about the new track being built and we definitely made the right decision to come over. It’s a really nice track!”
The Brazilian, Colombian and New Zealand athletes will remain training in Aigle until the beginning of next week when they head to Rotterdam for the 2014 UCI BMX World Championships.