The highest-level BMX event in Asia has successfully qualified as a precursor to the Tokyo Olympic Games, which is expected to have far-reaching effects in promoting BMX development in China.
The event, the 2018 Qiansen Trophy BMX Racing C1, will be held Sept 15 in Aohan Banner of Chifeng city, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, as announced at a news conference in Beijing on Saturday.
BMX, which was added to the 2020 Games by the IOC in August 2016, is still in its infancy in China.
“Having this event join Olympic precursor events will no doubt improve China’s competitiveness in BMX and encourage more people to participate,” said Song Lishan, chairman of Qiansen Group, the operator of the event.
The two athletes ranked No 1 in the world — Ander Sylvain in the men’s sport and Laura Smulders in the women’s — have entered their names for the competition, along with six other athletes among the global top 10.
The meadowy host city of Aohan will be an appealling spot for cycling with its BMX International Arena, the one and only Olympic-grade racing track in China, which has also become a training ground for the Chinese national team.
The 2018 Qiansen Trophy UCI C1 Cyclocross Event set to take place Sept 2 in Aohan will further boost the city’s attraction as a cycling spot. Nearly 100 professional athletes from more than 20 countries will take part in the event.
Cycling is experiencing a boom in China. Since 2014, Beijing’s scenic Yanqing county has hosted the Beijing International Cycle Expo and Beijing Cycling Festival every year, aiming to promote the sound development of the bicycle industry and advocate healthy and eco-friendly bicycle culture.
Roughly 80,000 cyclists pedal through Yanqing on an annual basis, drawn by the 75 percent forest cover of the area, which aspires to become a national cycling hot spot.
Fengfeng of Hebei province hopes to follow in its footsteps, as the city will hold the 2018 International Cycling Cultural Festival from Sept 5 to 6. It centers on the Cyclocross Grand Prix championship on Sept 6 and combines a brand expo exhibition, sales, competitions and carnivals with the event.