Competitors from 26 countries and close to 3,000 spectators filled Shepparton Sport City Precinct over the weekend to cheer on the world’s best BMX riders as they kick off their Olympic qualifying campaigns.
The track was dominated by Australian riders Anthony Dean, Izaac Kennedy and Saya Sakakibara who placed on Saturday’s round one. As well as an impressive feat from honouree Aussie Alise Willoughby from the USA, wife of Australian BMX icon Sam Willoughby, who came away in first position both days.
From the 3,000 spectators who attended it is estimated, more than half of the attendance travelled from out of the region, interstate and internationally for the world class event.
In addition to the BMX Supercross World Cup BMX Australia hosted a round of its National Series on Friday night with over 350 riders and their support crew getting a taste of the BMX action.
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Councillor Seema Abdullah said the events’ success is a testament to Greater Shepparton’s state-of-the-art facilities reinforcing the tourism industry.
“The UCI BMX Supercross World Cup was an exciting opportunity to showcase all Greater Shepparton has to offer, including our world class BMX track as well as our accommodation, restaurants and eating establishments and locally-owned businesses,” Cr Abdullah said.
“The ability to hold an international event here highlights the benefits of providing quality infrastructure within our region, with an estimated $1 million generated in our region’s economy.”
The weekend excitement didn’t stop at the BMX Track. The Bikes and Bites festival, held on Saturday night at Victoria Park Lake, saw 4,000 people celebrate the calibre of cycling in our region. The festival included freestyle skate park demonstrations from Rampfest, as well as live music performed by the Jessica Lorriane and JB & Me.
“Thank you to our many local businesses who were involved in the festival and worked through the extraordinary weather to put on an amazing community event which brought so many people together,” Cr Abdullah said.
“We are thrilled with the thousands of visitors who attended the weekend’s festivities, and hope this event will further cement Greater Shepparton’s position as a major sporting and events destination of regional Australia.
“Congratulations to all the riders this weekend, especially to our Australian riders who placed within the top five. We hope to see you at this year’s Olympic Games.
“The feedback from the weekend has been extremely positive as Greater Shepparton was showcased right around the world and we hope the events success will lead to more large scale event opportunities for the region in the future.”
This weekend will see rounds three and four of the World Cup series take place in Bathurst. For more information head to www.bmxworldcup.com
For full race results visit www.bmx-results.com