As registration for BMX teams approaches, the Union Cycliste Internationale emphasises the advantages of applying for the UCI BMX Team label.
UCI BMX Teams are granted special rights at all rounds of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup, in line with the benefits awarded to national teams. These advantages, among others, include online registration, access for team staff to the field of play, rights to a team tent and parking, plus two sporting accreditations during the UCI BMX World Championships.
Traditionally, most BMX athletes performing at the highest level have ridden for their national team, often leaving those who do not make the national squad to rely on structures without the same benefits.
“Being part of a UCI BMX Team can be an opportunity for riders who participate at World Cup events without the direct support of their national teams,” explains UCI BMX Coordinator Kevin MacCuish. “This team system is aimed primarily at our World Cup events, which provide the main opportunities to qualify for the World Championships and Olympic Games.”
Frank Smulders is Team Manager of Netherlands-registered UCI BMX Team, Team TVE Sport. His riders for the coming season are daughters Laura and Merel (respectively 2018 UCI World Champion and runner-up) Ian van Heugten, Stef van Doren and Wouter Segers.
Registering as a UCI BMX Team since the system was introduced in 2017 Smulders is unconditionally in favour of the initiative which allows his team staff access to the competition venue: “It is important for our riders to have the people they are used to working with in the team area. The coach is at the heart of the event, providing professional support on the spot. Being an official UCI Team also brings a more professional status. Everyone takes us seriously. “
He added that the system of UCI BMX Teams could help the development of the sport: “Most countries only have one development team and national team to help riders grow into world-class athletes. Those who do not make that team do not have much chance of making it to the top.”
He said that by setting up his team, he was able to provide a second possibility for young riders to develop and aim, for example, for the Olympic Games.
“It created more opportunities for riders in the Netherlands.”
Kevin MacCuish emphasised that there were no performance or participation criteria for becoming a UCI BMX Team.
Registration for UCI BMX Teams runs from 26th November 2018 to 15th January 2019. For more information contact: [email protected].