When the start gate drops, eight racers will stomp hard on their pedals for a chance at the lead heading into the first jump or turn. The coveted "inside line" might help advance the racer who gets it first but it could be a power rider who pedals into the lead from the outside. Racers must keep their bikes low to the ground if they want to keep up their momentum and this will be difficult given the terrain typical of a national level course.
"A traditional track will have a start that's probably 8-10 feet tall, not too steep and then it can have any combination of obstacles in the first straightaway," said Randy Stumpfhauser (GT Bikes), four-time UCI BMX World Champion (cruiser class). "It could be a roller, a step-up jump or a tabletop. I would say that a traditional track has a lot more pedaling; power has a lot to do with it and getting to the first corner is 80 percent of the race."
News Alert! Sea Otter's BMX event will now be one of six state qualifiers in the Golden State BMX Championship Series! Earning a spot on the 2008 Olympic team would be a rare prize for any of the BMX racers expected to attend Sea Otter, especially given the level competition in the U.S. and the very real shot at a gold medal for the U.S. BMX team.
"They've been talking about it for years and years and now we're like 'Wow it really happened!'" said Stumpfhauser. "This is exciting because USA Cycling has been getting behind us a lot with a lot of support. Our talent pool is so deep in the United States that whoever makes the team will have a chance at winning the gold medal."