Olympic hopefuls Shanaze Reade and Liam Phillips are competing at four-day event

BMX World Championships begin today in Birmingham

2,000 BMX riders are heading to Birmingham from today (Thursday May 24th) to take part in the UCI BMX World Championships at the National Indoor Arena (NIA).

The four-day event will see Olympic GB hopefuls Shanaze Reade and Liam Phillips competing in their last event before the London 2012 Olympics.

A BMX Racing track has been built from scratch in the NIA in just one week, featuring dirt jumps and trails to replicate an outside BMX track, with capacity to seat an audience of over 4,000 on each of the four days of racing. Over 8,000 pallets and 3,000 tonnes of dirt have been sourced to construct the track from local suppliers.

Fiat has been announced as the official sponsor and vehicle supplier of the 2012 UCI BMX World Championships in Birmingham.

Three times winner of the UCI BMX World Championships Shanaze Reade enthused: “It’s fantastic that Birmingham is hosting the World Championships and taking another World Championships title would be great preparation before the Olympics. I’m really excited about competing in my home country at major competitions twice this year.”

Two different standards of rider will compete, including an elite racing ‘Championships’ competition and the amateur ‘Challenge’ class.

Jonny Clay, Event Director for the UCI BMX World Championships commented: "The 2012 BMX World Championships is the latest in a string of major events that British Cycling has successfully bid for in recent years. We can already see the legacy of the event here in Birmingham with the creation of the new International BMX facility at Perry Park. It’s really exciting that the World Championships are in Birmingham this year, only months before the Olympics.”

Assistant Director of Sport & Events at Birmingham City Council Steve Hollingworth added: "In what is a huge year for the sport of BMX, hosting the BMX World Championships is yet another major event to further enhance Birmingham’s reputation as a World Class Sporting City. The sport of BMX is rapidly growing in popularity in the city and the legacy of the BMX World Championships can be appreciated with the newly built Birmingham BMX Track at Perry Park which opened last year.”

www.bmxworldchamps.com; @BMXWorlds.

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