STRONG wind conditions caused havoc for organisers of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup on the weekend, with the event also marred by a crash in which a rider was critically injured.
The series saw riders coming from all over the world to participate, with one of those participants, Australian Olympic hopeful, Kai Sakakibara suffering serious head injuries in a crash on Saturday morning. The champion rider crashed at the third round of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup after clipping another rider's wheel on the second corner of the track.
Sakakibara was assessed and treated onsite for head injuries by paramedics and a doctor, before he was taken to Canberra Hospital by a NSW Ambulance helicopter in a critical but stable condition, with his family requesting privacy following the incident.
Windy conditions also caused chaos with strong winds forcing the cancellation of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup on Sunday.
Mayor of Bathurst, Cr Bobby Bourke, said everyone's thoughts were with Mr Sakakibara and his family, and said despite the crash and the windy conditions, many positives came out of the event.
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"The wind wasn't good at all, it was a major concern, but rider safety is paramount."
Despite the delays over the weekend, Cr Bourke said all the state titles managed to be held, it was the world titles which were cancelled.
Cr Bourke said a lot of work went into preparing for the event, and it won't be the last time the city sees an event of this calibre being held here.
"It's a world class track, that (world class events) is what it was built for.
"If the Olympics ever come to Australia again we'd like to think we'd be the point for BMX riding."
Cr Bourke said the event had also been a major economic boost to the city, which had been flooded with visitors in town as competitors or spectators.
"These people all came into the city spending money in restaurants, shops and cafes.
"These people aren't just here for the racing, they came and had a good look around the city."
Cr Bourke said the event attracted some of the world's best riders, with Bathurst the second city to host a BMX World Cup event. The World Cup sees teams from 35 countries compete for qualification in the 2020 Olympics.