Bathurst’s new BMX track is longer, steeper, faster and better than other tracks.
That was the word among competitors at the Bathurst RSL Open held over two days on the weekend as the city’s highly anticipated $1.5 million track at the Bathurst Bike Park was opened.
The track passed its first big test as more than 600 competitors ranging in age from five to 65 put it through its paces in a breathtaking display of speed and skill.
The track was opened on Saturday by Bathurst mayor Gary Rush, who said the launch was a celebration of what can be achieved in regional NSW.
He said Bathurst Regional Council took the opportunity to create a local piece of sporting infrastructure and turn it into a means of driving economic development.
“We invested $1.5 million into a world class international specified facility which will reap instant economic development rewards,” Cr Rush said.
“The National Championships next month is likely to attract three-and-a-half thousand participants and is likely to bring 10,000 to 12,000 visitors to Bathurst, which will contribute in excess of $10 million to the local economy.”
Cr Rush said the new track is a testament to those who dreamed it, those who inspired it, those who made it happen and those who built it.
Bathurst BMX Club president Michael Breen was over the moon about how smoothly the weekend went.
“The people from BMX Australia are very happy,” he said.
“It was certainly a good test ahead of the Nationals in February/March.”
Competitors travelled from as far afield as the Northern Territory, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Canberra to try out the new track in the lead-up to the week-long National Championships.
“The buzz in the BMX world is huge. So much excitement has been generated,” Mr Breen said.
Cr Greg Westman, who is a member of the Bathurst BMX Club, was beaming yesterday.
“It is fantastic to have such a big crowd for our opening event,” he said.
Cr Westman said he was pleased to see people from all parts of the country come to Bathurst for the event, along with an international rider from Japan and one from New Zealand.
“We’ve still got a few things, like landscaping, to take care of, but our first event went very well,” Cr Westman said.
He said he was looking forward to taking to the new track himself.
“The switchback is probably the most challenging section because it is totally unlike anywhere else and people are really enjoying that,” he said.