The world’s best BMX racers are headed to Bathurst in 2020.
The NSW Central West city will host a round of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in February 2020.
It will be the first time a World Cup round has been held in Australia and is a massive coup for Bathurst Regional Council which built the city’s new $1.5 million BMX track to host the national titles in 2016.
Shepparton will also host a round of the UCI World Cup for elite men and women racers, and the events will serve as qualifiying rounds for Australian riders hoping to make the team for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
READ MORE: BMX is a growth sport for Bathurst’s females
Bathurst BMX Club president Michael Breen said hosting the World Cup round would be a major boost for the sport locally.
“It’s unbelievable news for Bathurst and the region,” Mr Breen said.
“It’s a credit to the foresight Bathurst Regional Council had in building this facility and justifies what they’ve spent on it.
“This event will put Bathurst on the map and ensure we will be known for something other than the Supercars.”
Mr Breen said the Bathurst track had hosted seven state events and two national events since opening in 2016 but the goal had always been to bring an international event to the city.
Plans are under way to build a clubhouse at the track and it’s hoped international teams will use the track for training in the lead-up to the World Cup round.
The club has also upgraded the timing system at the track which measures riders’ reaction times out of the gates and through different sections of the circuit to better tailor their training.
Mayor Graeme Hanger also welcomed the news.
“For Bathurst and Shepparton to host rounds of the UCI World Cup, the first time the event has been brought to Australia, is a huge coup for both our communities,” he said.
“Bathurst invested in the construction of a world class BMX facility.
“This announcement is an endorsement of the quality of the infrastructure we have as well as the city’s ability to host major events.”
Cycling Australia CEO Steve Drake said his organisation was very excited to see two BMX World Cup rounds in Australia.
“Without the support and encouragement of Bathurst Regional Council and Greater Shepparton City Council, events like this wouldn't be possible,” he said.
“We're also excited that these events will be used as a qualifier for BMX riders in the lead-up to Tokyo 2020."
BMX Australia CEO Martin Shaw said bringing the World Cup to Australia was a shot in the arm for the sport in this country.
READ MORE: Pappas gets hooked on BMX
“It is something our community can be very proud of,” he said.
“The efforts of Bathurst Regional Council and Greater Shepparton City Council to procure these world-class events is to be applauded and a just reward for the investment they have made in their wonderful facilities.”
Mr Breen said it was estimated the 2016 national titles injected between $10-$12 million into the Bathurst economy and he expected a World Cup round would bring even more.