Young Prepares to Defend BMX World Cup Lead in Beijing 

August 15, 2007
The road riders aren't the only cyclists heading to Beijing this week. An eight strong Australian team will line up for the second round of the BMX Supercross World Cup being staged on the Olympic BMX track. BMX makes its Olympic debut next year and this will be the only time riders will be able to ride the track prior to the Olympic Games. The event also marks the introduction of a women's class (open class Elite Women/Junior Women) to the BMX Supercross World Cup Series. The Australian team is:

? Jared Graves (Toowoomba, Qld ? 16/12/1982)

? Billy Jolliffe (Erina, NSW ? 06/12/1986)\

? Kamakazi (Jimboomba, QLD ? 08/03/1981)

? Luke Madill (Cranebrook, NSW ? 28/05/1980)

? Khalen Young (St Helens Park, NSW ? 20/11/1984)

? Tanya Bailey (Mariginiup, WA - 15/03/1981)

? Nicole Callisto (Beechboro, WA ? 12/11/1987)

? Melissa Mankowski (Moranbah, QLD ? 25/08/1988)

West Australia Khalen Young goes into the men's event as the Series leader after his win in the opening round in April in Madrid. Last month he continued his good form with a silver medal at the World Championships in Canada and is currently ranked number five in the world. However Young has been unable to train for the past week after coming down with the flu.

"I'm flying to Beijing tomorrow but I've been in bed with the flu all week," said Young from his American training base. "But that was the same preparation I had for the worlds and that worked out okay.

"Hopefully if I rest up I can come back fresh for Beijing."

The BMX riders will face a new challenge in Beijing with the International Cycling Union (UCI) testing the introduction of random starts. In the past the BMX riders have lined up at the start house and known exactly when the gate will release allowing some to 'slingshot' from the line.

"This random start will be a bit different but we're pros so we have to roll with the punches," said Young. "Normally we'd know when the gate will drop and can preload but now the gate might drop at anytime between one and six seconds."

Officials have said if the trial goes well the rule will change but, although he currently uses the slingshot technique, Young says he'll just have to adapt.

The BMX track was completed on the 5th June and is located in the Shijingshan District in West Beijing. The bowl-shaped Laoshan BMX Venue covers an area of 1.98 hectares, has a floor space of 3,399 square meters and contains seating for around 3400 people. Construction of the venue involved a search for the soil with the right proportion of sand and excellent permeability. After comparing as many as 14 samples 6,000-8,000 cubic metres of soil from Dong'erqi Village in the Changping District of Beijing was used.

"I've been told that after the first turn the course really opens up with some big jumps and that really suits me," said Young.

Cycling Australia website