8 June 2018

UCI BMX World Championships: Challenge racing draws to a close

In the run-up to the Elite UCI BMX World Championships, 1500 athletes from 43 countries competed in the amateur Challenge classes at the BMX Velo Park in Baku, Azerbaijan.

After three days of competition in categories ranging from 5-6 years to 50+, Team USA gathered the most gold medals with a total of eight, including that of Tyler Brown in the Masters class. Brown barely had time to pull on his rainbow jersey before returning to his role of USA Cycling assistant coach for the country’s Junior and Elite delegation. The Netherlands scored the most Challenge class medals in total (19) with seven gold, six silver and six bronze. France, Australia and Great Britain also looked strong winning 15,14 and nine medals respectively.

UCI President David Lappartient attended the event, which he described as a significant international sporting tournament. Already the theatre of BMX racing at the 2015 European Games, the recently rebuilt track, built by ProTracks of France, received excellent reviews from riders and spectators. This confirms the UCI’s philosophy of developing tracks which promote excellent racing along their entire length, with minimal risk.

Friday June 8th will see the motos for the Junior and Elite classes followed by the final rounds on Saturday. Current UCI BMX Elite World Champions Alise Willoughby (USA) and Corben Sharrah (USA) are ready to take on the world in a bid to repeat their Rock Hill 2017 victories… but they face stiff competition in the race for the rainbow jersey.