BMX racing puts the pedal down

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BMX racing puts the pedal down

Korea’s first international bicycle motocross competition will start Saturday at Gwangnaru Hangang Park, organizers of the 2010 Crown-Haitai International BMX Competition announced at the Seoul Plaza Hotel yesterday morning.

The competition is the first Union Cycliste Internationale-sponsored event in Korea and it will feature two categories: racing and freestyle. A total of 100 competitors including 2008 Beijing Olympic gold-medalist Maris Strombergs of Latvia and the 2006 BMX World Championships winner Javier Colombo of Argentina are set to compete in the event. Jang Jae-woon, a former mountain bike competitor, and former cyclist Seo Ik-soon will compete in the race category.

“When taking into account the size of the competition and the quality of talent, it doesn’t pale in comparison to the World Cup competitions,” stated Jang Joon-won, a trainer on the national cycling team.

“We will use this competition to prepare for the Gwangzhou Asian Games.”

BMX racing was included at the 2008 Beijing Olympics for the first time.

The racing portion of the competition consists of eight competitors racing on an unpaved course with obstacles. The freestyle portion features riders doing various tricks. Competitors are judged on the difficulties of the jumps, artistic merit and execution of the moves.

The organizers are offering a total of $35,000 (42 million won) in cash prizes.

By Lee Jung-chan [jason@joongang.co.kr]
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