Members of Germany’s national BMX Freestyle team have just spent four days at the UCI World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland, honing their skills on the centre’s BMX Freestyle Park.
Opened in 2019, the park is at the disposal of teams and National Federations wishing to train on an international-standard facility.
For German BMX Freestyle coach Tobias Wicke, it was a fairly easy choice: “We’re in difficult times (with the Covid-19 pandemic) and we were looking for a place where we could ride our bikes on good ramps in a safe country,” he explained. “The World Cycling Centre has a UCI World Cup-standard park and we could drive here so it was a good choice.”
The athletes split their time between the BMX Freestyle Park and the WCC gym where they worked on physical conditioning and weights.
Most of the German athletes who trained at the UCI WCC from 20 to 23 August have considerable experience at European and world level. The team includes Lara Lessmann, who is ranked number 2 in the UCI Elite Women rankings and who participated in the inauguration of the UCI WCC Park last November.
Coping with the lack of competitions and the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games – to feature BMX Freestyle Park for the first time - has not been easy, as their coach confirms: “They haven’t been able to see each other much, but they have been working hard to get everything together. They have had more time to get into shape and learn new tricks… but they are riders and they want to compete,” says Wicke who, after more than 20 years as an athlete and with several world titles to his name, can understand their frustration.
From Aigle they travelled further south, to Cadenazzo in Switzerland’s Ticino region, to train on the Park that hosted last year’s European Championships where Germany enjoyed several top-10 placings including second for Lara Lessmann.
“Two parks in one country, it is perfect for us.” concludes Wicke.
The UCI World Cycling Centre is an Olympic training centre offering excellent training conditions for all cycling’s Olympic disciplines (road, track, mountain bike, BMX Racing and BMX Freestyle) as well as for cyclo-cross. National Federations that choose to train with their teams in Aigle also benefit from the UCI WCC’s velodrome, fully-equipped gym, Wattbikes, restaurant and an accommodation centre.