WHAT is the best way to prepare athletes to have the power of muscle cars and fine handling skills? Bring them to Bathurst to train on a world-class track.
Next February the Bathurst BMX track will play host to rounds three and four of the UCI BMX World Cup, an event which will lure the best riders from across the globe as they hunt for coveted Olympic qualifying points.
That is why Bathurst's Adam Carey, coach of the Thai BMX team, decided to bring his riders to the city.
Though they may lack the experience of some of the riders they will face here come the World Cup, they will have the benefit of Bathurst track knowledge.
"We are just doing some testing and trying to make use of the Bathurst facility as much as possible to prepare for the two World Cup rounds next year. With Olympic points being really heavily guarded at the World Cups, getting the results on some decent tracks has proved really difficult," Carey said.
"Australia having rounds is hopefully very beneficial to Australia, but with Thailand being so close, I thought it best to try and get them here for some decent time on the track and do a decent camp.
"It's very valuable, track familiarisation is key. It's like you see the car drivers who do Mount Panorama for the first time compared to the the guys who have done hundreds of laps.
"You are going to see around the top 300 riders in the world bidding for Olympic points all here and ready to rock and roll, so any chance these athletes can get to familiarise themselves with the Bathurst track, it's very valuable."
Carey, who's team has been here since October 30, will also spend time at Shepparton where the opening two rounds of the 2020 World Cup will be staged.
While he knows a training camp is very different to competition and that developing the Thai riders is a process which requires patience, BMX and cycling as a whole has strong support in that country.
"BMX in Thailand has been around for a little while, obviously with an athlete making it [to Olympics] in 2016 helped and they've wanted to invest heavily in cycling right across the board. The king is actually a very big fan of cycling," he said.
"It's a very big program, the budget is very big ... these BMX athletes that are here working for the government of Thailand with cycling being their job. It's a phenomenal outcome.
"There's a long term development plan. BMX is one of those sports where it takes a long time to get all of those aspects together.
"There's the physiological side, so we have to be like muscle cars - big engines lots of horse power - but then we have to have the finer controls for racing in groups and tight packs and moving at speeds of up to 70 kilometres an hour.
"So we have a long term plan for the Olympics in 2024 to try and get as many qualification spots as possible."
Carey, who has been in the Thai coaching role for 10 months, says he is still learning himself, but is enjoying the challenge.