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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

BMX news & racing round-up for March 12, 2007

Edited by Greg Johnson

BMX riders power to the front

Eventual winner Jared Graves takes it easy
Photo ©: Renee Junga
(Click for larger image)

Some 13 of Australia's leading elite male and female BMX riders took part in a high performance camp in Adelaide recently. Leading riders Khalen Young and Jared Graves were among those that took part in the seven day camp, while 2005 World Junior BMX Champion Nicole Callisto sat out following knee surgery.

In addition to training sessions on the track and in the gym, the squad also tried some yoga. The serious side however was the testing of speed, acceleration and power. The speed and acceleration test was a 40 metre sprint from a standing start through light gates and included some SRM testing.

Australia's BMX High Performance Coach Sean Dwight was pleased with results from the tests, with the power outputs taken recording between 23-25 watts per kilo.

"The group's average speed [over the 40 metre sprint] was lower than last year's, so that's good," Dwight said. "Three or four riders impressed with their results."

"Now we have at least four guys - Young, Graves, Luke Madill and Michael Robinson - who were between 4.5 and 4.7 seconds. They are good results by world standards," added Dwight.

"If riders can do those times they have potential to win overseas. Basically, it tells us they could lead any BMX race in the world with that result."

Both Young and Graves have shown fast first straights in most of the recent national and state events.

Dwight explained that it is not always the test results that win races though: "Now they have to work on the other areas like track craft and the mental aspects and pull it all together. Being fast is only one of many things a BMX rider needs to win."

X-Games pulls BMX Dirt from 2007 lineup

X-Games organiser ESPN has announced that BMX Dirt - better known as dirt jumping - will not feature in this year's Summer Games. The announcement comes as the event's organiser's take the covers off the events that will make up this year's games.

BMX Dirt has featured in the X-Games lineup for the past 12 years, but has been pushed aside in the 2007 roster in favour of a women's surfing contest. It's not all bad news for BMX though, with organisers announcing the addition of BMX Big Air to the roster.

"In the tradition of progression, adding women's surfing and BMX Big Air is a perfect fit and will highlight the best athletes in the world competing on the biggest stage in the world," said Ron Semiao, ESPN's senior vice president.

The BMX Big Air competition will feature BMX athletes riding down the Big Air ramp from a 60- or 80-foot roll in, choosing to launch over a 50- or 70-foot gap, landing and continuing into a 27-foot quarter pipe.

2007 BMXMasters location announced

BMXMasters has announced the 24th running of its annual event will be held in Cologne, Germany, in July. The third Suzuki BMXMasters will be held at Cologne Youthpark from July 20-22 and will see over 400 of the world's best BMX riders battle it out in five different disciplines - street, mini-ramp, vert, flatland and dirt.

Each discipline will have amateur, master and pro classes. In addition, the Suzuki BMXMasters will once again support the involvement of girls in BMX, with Girls' flatland and street disciplines.

Over three days €30,000 in prize money will be on offer with additional entertainment will come in the form of best trick and night jumping competitions.

Graves takes two on the trot

By Richard McLachlan in Auckland, New Zealand

New Zealand watched as Jared Graves (Toowoomba) took his second consecutive UCI Pacific Oceania Ranking Series victory on the weekend at the Papakura BMX track in Auckland. Coming from lane eight, Graves took the lead down the first straight and out of the first turn again where he stayed for the remainder of the race. Graves win follows on from the victory he took last in the Canberra UCI round.

Following in second place was sole Kiwi finalist Marc Willers. The New Zealand rider broke away from the pack in pursuit of Graves after the second turn, chased by Luke Madill (Penrith) who finished in third.

Graves' latest victory extends his lead at the top of the elite men's rankings for the Oceania Series. Fellow Australian Khalen Young (Campbelltown) holds second place in the standings, trailing Graves by eight points. Willers' second place position at the weekend's round boosts him from seventh into fifth in the overall rankings.

For the full report and results from the eighth Pacific Oceania Ranking Series round in New Zealand, click here.

Australia seeks female 'hummingbirds'

The National Talent Identification and Development Program of the Australian Sports Commission is searching for fast and agile women from BMX, motocross, and go-karting backgrounds who live in the ACT, Tasmania, or Queensland, are between the ages of 16 and 27 and want to become the next 'hummingbirds' of Australian Cycling. Project Hummingbird, as its been dubbed by the organisation, aims to develop future athletes to race competitively on an international level.

Why the name "Project Hummingbird"? Hummingbirds are extreme aerobic athletes of the flying variety. When these birds are young, they are very fast and agile. As the bird matures, its quickness is maintained as their aerobic capacity is developed. Hummingbirds boast the highest aerobic capacity of all living animals.

Those with a background in sports that require fast and agile movements and a good endurance base with lots of power and motivation to improve, should attend a one-day test or log test results by April 6, 2007. For more information, visit and click the Project Hummingbird link.

Cranfield joins winning Formula

Krystal Cranfield
Photo ©: Team Formula
(Click for larger image)

Team Formula has announced the signing of Australian national elite women champion Krystal Cranfield. The three time Australian national champion joins a small but accomplished team of riders including Brenden Abel, Cameron Cole and Mark Stagg.

The skilled Cranfield has six Queensland state titles and seven central Queensland crowns to her name.

Cranfield, a member of the Australian high performance team, has just taken delivery of the Formula Solution Pro she will ride in 2007.

Both Cranfield and Abel are hard at work preparing to defend their Australian titles at the upcoming championships. Abel is the current Australian series leader in the 15 Boys class and is also a member of the National Talent Identification & Development Squad (NTIDS) coached by Australian BMX legend and national junior coach Wade Bootes.

Kuwahara announce Eliminator BMX deal

BMX manufacturer Kuwarhara has announced it has joined forces with Eliminator BMX Racing Team for the 2007 season. Kuwarhara will be the outfit's official bike sponsor and as such will supply its riders with Laserlite and 2KZ frames for this season.

Kuwahara began making its way back into the US racing scene at the end of last year. Eliminator Racing is one of a few teams that will be sponsored by Kuwahara Bicycles this season.

Action Sports Depot signs Arielle Martin

Action Sports Depot has signed leading American BMX rider Arielle Martin for 2007.

"I have always wanted to assist Arielle more with her goals in BMX, but now I am in a position to offer her a contract and have her as our team's girl pro," explained Action Sports Depot's president Bruce Mayer. "I, along with the rest of the Action Sports Depot team, am very excited about the addition."

Along with her BMX career, Martin is a full time student at Brigham Young University where she is completing a Bachelor of Science/Exercise Science.

Martin is hoping to be back in top shape by June's US BMX National championships, after undergoing knee surgery following a crash at the NBL Christmas Classic last December.

BAWLS announce sponsored riders for '07

Energy drink BAWLS Guarana has announced it will sponsor three American National Bicycle League riders in 2007. Bawls, which is also the NBL's official energy drink, has closed deals to support the series' elite riders Matt Pohlkamp and Rachel Smith in addition to expert rider Tony Lehman.

"BAWLS Guarana is thrilled to sponsor Matt, Rachel and Tony for our first BMX season," said BAWLS CEO Hoby Buppert. "They have been racing for a long time and continue to get better every year. We are definitely proud that they will wear our colors!"

The sponsorship deals with the three riders are effective immediately and will carry through to the end of the 2007 season.

"I'm really excited to ride for BAWLS Guarana," said Pohlkamp, who is ranked in among the top five in the series. "BAWLS took the initiative to sponsor the NBL and it's awesome to receive the support for the sport that we love."

The trio will be given exclusive custom BAWLS Guarana helmets painted by DB Customs. The blue and chrome helmets, unveiled last week at the Lake Mead Nationals, are painted to resemble a BAWLS Guarana can.

Red Bull announce world first slopestyle event

Red Bull has announced it will sponsor the world's first BMX Slopestyle contest, which will be held in Newton Abbot, England from June 15 - 16 and will be known as 'Empire of Dirt'. The format, which is loosely based around snowboarding's slopestyle contests, combines influences from each of the BMX styles, with organisers dubbing it: "one unholy new discipline guaranteed to challenge the very best on the planet."

"The aim of the Empire of Dirt is to bring together all different aspects of BMX in one contest: to really challenge the rider's versatility," says event organiser Kye Forte. "We also want to make the week surrounding the event totally memorable - both for the riding, and the social scene - putting Devon on the global BMX map."

The Empire of Dirt course is expected to take one month to build using thousands of tons of dirt and will feature a dirt superpipe, double jumps, and technical street obstacles, including rails, boxes and wall rides.

Some 35 of the world's best all-round riders have been invited to participate in the event which has a 10,000 pound prize purse on offer.

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(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2007)