This past weekend we were able to attend The 2011 Crown-Haitai Seoul International BMX Competition.
The event is put on by the Korean Cycling federation with hopes to not only have some of the worlds best BMX Elite riders showcase their skills in Korea, but help develop the Korean BMX movement/racing program. The event was live on ESPN Korea with the main goal of the event to help further expand the sport of BMX in Korea, the event was truly successful in doing just that.
32 men and 6 Women were in attendance. Top riders like Glenn Van De Wetering & Lieke Klaus (Netherlands) Masahiro Sampeo & Akifumi Sakamoto (Japan) Edzus Treimanis (Latvia) Arminas Kazlauskis & Vilma Rimsaite (Lithuania) Lilian Goux, Francky Gagnu (France) Darryn Goodwin, Jon Geck (Australia) all decided to attend and have a blast at the race.
All these riders were here to fight out for the huge Pro purse, with $6000 for 1st in Elite men and $3000 for the top spot in Elite Women. Over $20,000 prize money was on the line for the riders who made the main event.
The track itself was quite different from almost any other BMX track in the world. At the start, a Pro gate met the riders atop a small but steep hill and from there on out, the track was like no other. More reminiscent of a skate park, the entire track was made of concrete. The jumps were slight peaky, steep landings on some and small in stature, but the layout of the track challenged the riders to adjust their riding style to the different layout. The turns may have been the trickiest part of the track, as there was just one small area of transition that could be railed, while the rest was more adequately descried as a cement wedge. It took tremendous skill for a pass to be made in the turns and the riders rode gingerly around them. 3 turns lead you to a tough and tight whoop section just before the finish line. The track overall was rated fun by the riders. It’s so different from traditional tracks, but that in part is what made it fun.
The format was simple, a time trial to seat riders for the motos, then onto head to head racing action with 3 motos, semis, and then the main event. The women dropped 1 and had a main event that raced just like the result. In the men, the lap was lead by Edzus all the way to the last turn, where Joey stalked him, set him up and then passed him out of the last turn and took the big win.
This great event is slated to go on once again next year and it looks to be bigger and better.
Men’s Top 3
1- Joey Bradford – $6000
2- Edzus Treimanis – $3000
3- Darryn Goodwin – $1000
Women Top 3
1- Vilma RIMSAITÉ – $3000
2- Kim Hayashi – $1500
3- Lieke Klaus – $1000