Olympics 2008: Laoshan Bicycle Moto Cross (BMX) Venue

Thursday, 21st August 2008 by

Today sees the finals of the first ever Olympic Bicycle Moto Cross competition which takes place here at the Laoshan Bicycle Motocros Venue in Beijing. BMX racing is brand new to these Olympics, and races take just over 30 seconds round a winding and bumpy 400m-long course.

Um... yes, those of you paying attention will notice that despite Google updating their Beijing coverage, the updates don't appear to have extended this far, so the actually very cool looking course is only visible as a rough clearing at this time.

However, the US team needed to practice for this event, and the course they had built at the United States Olympic Training Center, California, is visible1. So, despite no two BMX courses being exactly the same, we get a pretty good idea of what the Chinese one might look like from above.

The dark semi-circles are actually huge tarmac corners that in Beijing yesterday saw several dramatic spills and collisions. World Champion and GB gold-medal hope Shanaze Reade (19) crashed quite hard on the first corner, but still managed to qualify for today's finals on her second run2.

There is actually a 3D model of the Beijing course visible in Google Earth, for anyone who wishes to get a closer look at the exact layout of the course!

Thanks to VGT.

  1. It seems the Olympic football hockey team were practicing at the time! ↩︎

  2. Coverage begins on the BBC in about 30 minutes time here in the UK (2am), and will all be over by the time most of us are up in the morning! ↩︎