The countdown has started! In three days one of the world’s largest BMX festivals will open in the K√∂lner Jugendpark: from July 13-15, the Cathedral City on the Rhine will again be the pilgrimage site for the international BMX scene. Around 500 pros and amateurs from 45 nations will ride for three days in the disciplines of Dirt, Park, Street, Flatland and Vert, and, along with the expected 15,000 fans, turn the contest grounds at the Zoo Bridge in K√∂ln-Mulheim into the Mecca of BMX sport.
The youngest participants come directly from Cologne. Luzie Ronkholz is 10 years old and starts as one of 23 BMX Girls in the official BMX Freestyle championships. Also from Cologne is Evan Brandes, who as an 11-year-old amateur will mix it up with his mainly much older colleagues. German pros Markus Reuss (Wuppertal) and Sergej Geier (Cologne) will take on international top riders Harry Main (Great Britain), Pat Casey, Anthony Napolitan, Kyle Baldock and Brett Banasiewich (all USA), Leandro Moreira (Brazil), Adam Kun (Hungary), and Jan Valenta and Michael Beran (both Czech Republic).
Germany will have the largest team at the official IBMXFF World Championship, with more than 150 riders, followed by Great Britian (55), Czech Republic and the motherland of BMX sports, the USA (28). The oldest participant is German veteran Michal Veit of Sprockh√∂vel, who is 59 years old.
But in order for the 253 pros, 224 amateurs and 23 girls to go for the trophies in spectacular competitions, there have been three weeks of hard work in the K√∂lner Jugendpark. ‚ÄěAgain this year we have come up with unique BMX courses for the different disciplines,‚Äú explained Stephan Prantl, who together with his experienced team has put on the world-renowned BMX contests in his hometown for 28 years.
‚ÄěWhether on earth and clay, or on asphalt, wood and cement ‚Äď here they will ride on various surfaces. That makes our event unique. The participants appreciate that and present the audience and media with spectacular action on all three days.‚Äú
Every wholesaler would be happy to have the purchase order for building materials for the 2012 BMX Worlds. One specialist firm alone has handled the 18 cubic meters of wood and nine cubic meters cement for the Street and Park course in the middle of the competition area. Uncountable numbers of screws and nails, and 200 liters of paint are in addition to the 430 square meters of wood covering, which allow the BMX acrobats to perform their breathtaking tricks high in the air. 600 cubic meters of earth have been delivered under the Zoo Bridge. Two earthmovers worked around the clock for several days to build the six-meter tall ramps for the Dirt discipline. For the Flatland surface, 120 panels were laid for a total of 375 square meters on the field in the northern part of the Jugendpark.
There is more than just pro and amateur sport being offered on the week of July 13-15. The BMX Worlds offer its visitors a colorful program with lots of action and party music in the evenings. Friday night will see the opening party in the Gloria Theater in Cologne, with the Djs ‚ÄěDisco Dogs‚Äú. The next day, Saturday evening,the international BMX scene will meet at the Abenteuerhallen Kalk to watch the ‚ÄěTeam Rhythmusgymnastik‚Äú. And on Saturday afternoon, be sure to catch the legendary Freestyle show team of BMX legend Bob Haro with former stars from the 1980s at the Jugendpark.
The Weekend Ticket (Friday to Sunday) is available beforehand for 25 Euros. Entry for Friday is eight Euros. Saturday and Sunday cost 10 Euros each. Childre up to 100cm tall are allowed in free.
By FAT BMX Magazine