UCI Cycling World Championships: home motivation for BMX Racers Whyte and Shriever

Winning a UCI World Championships title on home soil is always a dream.

In 2023, BMX Racing athletes from Great Britain have a very real chance of making that dream a reality.

This year, the BMX Racing World Championships will be contested at the Glasgow BMX Centre as part of the inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships taking place in Glasgow and across Scotland from 3 to 13 August.

In the Men Elite competition, the British have a title favourite in Kye Whyte: after second place in 2022 and silver at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, the rider from Peckham will rely on the home crowds to push him towards the top step of the podium in Glasgow.

In 2021, Niek Kimmann (NED) managed victory in front of his home crowd at Papendal, Netherlands, while last year Simon Marquart (SUI) destroyed the French party in Nantes, France.

The Brits also have a home favourite in the Women Elite competition in Olympic Champion and 2021 UCI World Champion Bethany Shriever. The defending UCI World Champion from the USA, Felicia Stancil, will have to ride to the occasion to keep the rainbow jersey on her shoulders for another year. UCI ranking leader and 2018 UCI World Champion Laura Smulders (NED) has her mind set on just one thing; finishing #1… but the same also goes for a seriously fast Zoé Claessens (SUI), silver medallist in Nantes last year.

In the youth categories, some 65 athletes have signed up to race for the Men Junior title with 33 female athletes going for the Women Junior title.

The relatively new Under 23 category has grown in popularity and will be a tough one to win, with 56 racers in Men U23 and 26 in Women U23.

Glasgow track’s new rhythm

The track at the Glasgow BMX Centre on the west side of the city has undergone some modifications since the UCI BMX Racing World Cup held there last year. A new rhythm will need to be found on the sections that have been slightly scaled down, but that leave enough scope for the skilled racers.

Before Elite racing gets underway, Challenge riders will take to the track from 6-9 August. Two practice days for the Championship categories will be followed by the racing on 12-13 August, the final weekend of the UCI Cycling World Championships.