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More champs for SA

Three more world champions have confirmed they’ll be racing at Round Two of the 2009 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup, presented by Swatch in Pietermaritzburg next week.

Recently crowned 2009 world champions, Sarah Walker of New Zealand (Elite women), Sam Willoughby of Australia (Junior men) and Mariana Pajo of Columbia (Junior women) will join current Elite men’s world champion, Donny Robinson of the United States on the high-profile start list.

Also confirmed to be racing in Pietermaritzburg is Mike Day of the United States, silver medallist at both the 2009 World Championships and the 2008 Olympic Games.

The UCI BMX Supercross World Cup is the world’s most prestigious BMX Racing series, open only to Junior and Elite racers. The Pietermaritzburg leg marks the debut of high profile international BMX Racing in South Africa, and is a prelude to the 2010 UCI BMX World Championships, which will also be held in the same cycling-friendly city.

Besides offering valuable International Cycling Union rankings points and a healthy prize purse, the Pietermaritzburg event next week marks the start of the allocation of qualification points for the 2012 London Olympic Games, which has been a strong draw card for many top riders.

The closing date for entries is Friday 14 August. The full entry list will be published on the event website:

ÔÇ£It’s a long way for many of these riders to travel, but it’s going to make for a fantastic spectacle,ÔÇØ said Event Director, Alec Lenferna.

ÔÇ£To witness the world’s best BMX racers up close really is a unique experience and a widely appealing one as the races are just over half a minute long each and full of action. We’ve heard a big contingent of BMX fans from Gauteng are travelling to the event and expect good support as usual from cycling fans in Pietermaritzburg and Durban.ÔÇØ

The event takes place from 20-22 August at the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg. It’s free to watch practice on Thursday 20, but racing on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 will cost R20 per person. There will be secure parking at R10 per car.