It was on the brand new track in Jössefors, Arvika, that the Swedish round of the Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championship Qualifier race was decided last Sunday the 19th of September. 25 excited and eager racers battled it out for the prestigious win and the opportunity to go to the big final in Lisbon in October. It was a heater of a race with plenty of fast racers from an astonishing five different countries, pushing the level of riding through the roof - the final rounds of the competition so tight and intense it kept both racers and the crowd on their toes. In the end, it was Swedish BMX racer Oskar Kindblom and Latvian BMX racer Vineta Pētersone who kept it consistently pinned and grabbed the top step of the podium.
Today the Urban Sportpark in Eindhoven was all about Red Bull UCI Pump Track. The race has recently come under the UCI flag. This allows the winner of the World Final to wear the rainbow jersey for a year. This year, the women's Olympic medal winner Merel Smulders won gold. Frenchman Eddy Clerté won gold in the men's race. Red Bull UCI Pump Track is a unique competition because different cycling disciplines come together. For example, MTB riders cycled against BMX riders and freestylers took part in the Pump Track and vice versa.
The winners: The top four of both the men's and women's have qualified for Red Bull UCI Pumptrack World Championships Final. The following riders have qualified:
Pump Tracks are all the craze. Instead of leaving it up to the users to figure out what to do with it, Red Bull, in association with Velosolutions, have set up a worldwide qualification system for the World Championships which will be held in Lisbon, Portugal mid October. Litterally tons of qualifying events worldwide have taken place already and on Saturday 18 September it was Holland's turn to find out who would go to the Red Bull UCI Pump Track World's next month. These qualifiers are open for any rider (17+) to enter and with time running out, Eddy Clerté took the Dutch opportunity to try qualify for the big one in Portugal 16-17 October 2021.
It's a big mix with BMX as well as MTB riders setting a time at the beginning of the race. The goal is to set a time fast enough to make it to the top 32. There's a second opportunity to if you could not set a quick enough time in your first run. Once the 32 fastest riders are selected, it's a head-to-head system afterwards where the first place qualifier races the rider who qualified in 32nd, number 2 races number 31, etc. After each phase half of the riders make it to the next round until 2 are left for the final race of the day.
This was the first Pump Track race I've visited and I was wondering how the start of the time trial and the start of the head-to-head phases would go. In fact, there is no starting gate, and the riders all have their chains on the bike. Basically it's a rolling start where you can gain as much speed as you like