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London 2012: Bluffer’s guide to BMX
BMX (Bicycle Motocross) will make only its second appearance at the Olympic Games, following its debut in Beijing.
It’s a fast, daredevil event with riders needing strength, power, flexibility and nerves of steel to succeed.
Venue: BMX track, Olympic Park
Date: 8-10 August
Wheelie: Lifting the front wheel off the ground, or riding on the rear wheel only, usually with some combination of pulling on the handlebars, pedaling harder and balance.
Doubles or whoops: The bump or undulations in the track. Doubles is two in a row.
Holeshot: The rider who is first through the first turn
Manual: To ride on the rear wheel without pedalling, typically over the top section of jumps.
Berm: A banked corner
Bunny hop: To lift both wheels off the ground by crouching down and then exploding upward, pulling the bike with you.
There will only be 16 women competing, and riders will race in groups of eight. In order to avoid the top seeds all being in the same heat, riders must do one lap of the course to determine their seeding.
The top two riders from the first three heats will then progress to the semi-finals. A three-run semi, sees the top four riders semi progress to the final medal winning race.
The outdoor dirt track begins with riders on top of an 8m high ramp. Riders then tackle bumps, jumps and tight banked corners as they race for around 40 seconds per round.
One to watch
Shanaze Reade (pictured) – the GB rider from Crewe will be looking to put the disappointment of Beijing behind her as she goes for gold in London.
At the last Olympics, aged just 19, she went in as the world champion and favourite to win. But when she found herself in second place in the final approaching the last bend she went for a last ditch attempt at gold and found herself crashing to the ground, and coming home without a medal.
Look out out for reigning world champion Magalie Pottier and number one UCI ranked rider Caroline Buchanan of Australia, who is also the time trial world champion.
Who’s the gold medal favourite?
Following the recent world championships which saw both Shanaze Reade and Caroline Buchanan crash, it’s got to be Magalie Pottier.
Who to follow on twitter…
BMX Olympic fact
After the Games the BMX track will be open to the public as part of the Velopark in the Olympic Park.
The Women’s Sports Magazine
Photo credit: Flickr British Cycling