It's not easy organising an event these days. The Dutch BMX Race championships were brought back from a 2-day happening with 700-1000 entries, to a one-day event with 150 athletes in the top classes. No crowd was allowed access. Everyone had to sign a waiver to prove they weren't ill and wearing a mouth mask as well as keeping 1,5m distance was mandatory. Add a bit of rain from time to time and you would think it was a horrible day at the BMX track. But guess what, it wasn't
For some racers it was the first race of the year, and it's probably the only one this year. At least the only one with a title on the line. Just being together at an actual race is what people had missed. The vibe was positive and a lot of catching up was done.
Without a doubt the people at Papendal are a professional bunch. When they called for a press conference and we received the invite, it was time to get up early on the Sunday and head towards Arnhem for the showdown. At 9am, the big room at Hotel Papendal was filled with interested people. A wild guesstimate would say 70 people showed up indicating that it was time for BMX fans to come together after not much happening over the past 5 months. People from the city, the fastest BMX Racers from the Netherlands and the organizing committee of the 2021 UCI World Champs to be held at Papendal, explained the importance of the event and the struggles that Covid-19 is bringing in getting the job done.
Due to the current pneumonia epidemic (Covid-19) linked to the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) must announce that the next two rounds of the 2020 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup which were to take place in Manchester (Great Britain) on 18 and 19 April and in Papendal, Netherlands, on 2 and 3 May, will not take place on the scheduled dates. In line with its recommendations made last Sunday to organisers from countries identified at risk by health authorities, the UCI is fully supportive of the decisions taken by the British and Dutch organising committees to postpone the events based on directives adopted by their governments to counter the spread of the virus.
The European BMX Cup, the UCI BMX SX World Cup competitions and the Framed Festival at Papendal are canceled. Papendal has decided this after intensive consultation with the UEC, the UCI and other parties involved. This decision is inevitable due to the current corona crisis. The UEC European Cup would take place on April 25 and 26, followed by the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup and the Framed Festival from May 1 to 3. The corona crisis is gripping the entire world, developments are rapidly following each other, which entails an uncertain time for everyone. It is currently unclear how this crisis will develop in the near future.
The measures taken in the Netherlands, but also by other countries to prevent the spread of the virus, mean that we are forced to discontinue our preparations for the BMX competitions and the Framed Festival. Think of public life that is quiet in different countries, riders who cannot train because training locations are closed and borders that are closed so that one cannot travel.
Jochem Schellens, director Papendal: “This is a decision we take with pain in our hearts, but at the same time we have no other choice. We must put the safety and health of athletes, staff, crew, volunteers, spectators and other stakeholders first. It is not responsible at this time to bring together thousands of (international) racers and visitors. In addition, we have a social responsibility to take.
Bas de Bever, national coach of the national BMX selection, leaves the KNWU at the end of this year. De Bever has been working for the KNWU since 2003.National coach Bas de Bever has been through three Olympic cycles during his 15-year employment. The Olympic Games in Beijing (2008), London (2012) and Rio de Janeiro (2016). Under his wing, many successes have been achieved, such as national, European and world titles, World Cup podium and overall victory. At the Olympic level the bronze medal of Laura Smulders (London, 2012) and silver medal of Jelle van Gorkom (Rio de Janeiro, 2016).
Bas de Bever: "Coaching is a fantastic profession, it is great to be able to give athletes direction in their development through knowledge transfer. Because you work with people, it is also a complex subject in which you are juggling with many factors on an individual level to allow the athlete to develop in the right way in the pursuit of his / her goals. This is also the challenge for me, but also gives me the necessary stress over time. In this course you will also deal with factors that lie outside your core business (coaching). I noticed that especially these factors gave me (after 15 years) too much negative energy and disturbed the balance for a long time in a way that this was also taking its toll on a personal level. I have written a fantastic chapter in my own 'book of life' in these 15 years. I will regularly read this chapter with great pleasure. My feeling says that now is the time for a new chapter. "
The UCI BMX Supercross World Cup, which was held for the eighth time at Papendal on 5 and 6 May 2018, has been voted 'best event' of the UCI BMX World Cup series for the second year in a row. This was determined by the international cycling federation UCI, the media, sponsors and international riders and coaches. This is the third time that the BMX World Cup at Papendal is voted the best event of the year, after the editions in 2013 and 2017. This year, the UCI praises, among other things, the quality of the track, the good organization and the atmosphere around the event.
Jochem Schellens, director Papendal: "We are honored with this award, it is very special that we