American Bicycle Association Races To Be Televised
The American Bicycle Association and NBC Universal Sports have announced an exclusive four-year agreement to televise ABA events and the 2009 UCI Continental events.
The ABA is experiencing steady growth in membership and will continue growing and building upon the great success of BMX racing’s 2008 Olympic debut. The ABA and NBC Universal Sports will deliver over 20 hours of programming per year for the next four years to an ever growing NBC Universal Sports audience of over 40 million homes.
With BMX emerging as the newest Olympic action sport in 2008, and with the American’s claiming three of the first six BMX Olympic medals ever awarded, the ABA is poised for tremendous growth leading up to the 2012 Olympics in London.
The televised race series will focus on the UCI events to be hosted at the following, Feb. 20-22, ABA Gator Nationals UCI/PRO, Oldsmar, Fla.; March 6-8, ABA Winter Nationals UCI/PRO, Phoenix, Ariz; March 20-22, ABA Super Nationals & USA Champs UCI-USAC, Desoto, Tex; June 12-14, ABA First State Nationals UCI/PRO Milford, Del.; and June 19-21, ABA Midwest Nationals UCI/PRO. Rockford, Ill..
“It has been a pleasure to work with the ABA staff on the organization and execution of the 2009 UCI event calendar,” said Steve Johnson, CEO of USA Cycling. “These events represent the top level of international BMX racing in America and are a critical link in our athlete development pipeline. “USA Cycling is very pleased to be involved with such a progressive organization to bring international-level BMX racing to the United States. The ABA has been dedicated to the sport of BMX racing for more than 32 years, and has a clear vision of the future. With this type of exposure for BMX racing in America, I’m confident that the ABA will continue to assist in the development of world-class athletes who eventually represent the United States in international competition around the globe.”
“We are very excited to expose the sport of BMX racing to NBC Universal’s 40 million homes. This agreement will continue to fuel the growth we have experienced since Beijing,” said B.A. Anderson, American Bicycle Association’s Chief Executive Officer.
“The ABA has dedicated over 32 years to BMX racing and now that we are an Olympic sport we have a responsibility to our members and the country to make sure that our athletes are the best in the world,” Anderson added.
The ABA is also pleased announce that Hyper Bicycles has signed on as Title Sponsor of the first UCI Continental event to take place this weekend in Guthrie, Okla. “Exposure is key for growing our sport,” said Clay Goldsmid, owner of Hyper Bicycles. “Getting the thrills and spills of BMX racing into the living rooms of America is a very exciting prospect. We think this could be a monumental step for the future of BMX. We’re excited to have this opportunity to team-up with the ABA and NBC Universal Sports to be a part of it,” Goldsmid continued.
“On the heels of such an amazing debut for BMX Racing in the 2008 Olympic Games, I am so grateful that ABA BMX, along with NBC, will be allowing many more kids and parents to witness what an all-around great sport BMX Racing is,” stated 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist Donny Robinson. “As a racer, what more can I ask for than a four year televised series? This is unprecedented in BMX Racing and will allow the public to be involved and follow all the pressure-filled qualifications leading up to the London 2012 Games.”
Among the Elite competitors who will be contending the 2009 ABA/UCi race series is the BMX Gold medalist and current World Champion from Latvia, Maris Stromsberg, who has recently moved to the U.S. to put in a full season and chase after a National Championship in the hardest BMX series in the World.
USA’s Silver and Bronze medalists at Beijing,Mike Day of Lancaster, Calif. and Donny Robinson of Napa, Calif. will be among the many Americans out to defend their country’s honor.
Other riders to watch for are the reigning ABA No.1 Pro are Kahlon Young from Australia; Argentinian Olympian Christian Bercerine; and New Zealand Olympian Marc Willers.
The American Bicycle Association, formed in 1977 and headquartered in Chandler, Ariz., is the sanctioning body of BMX. The ABA organizes BMX racing for boys, girls and adults, nationwide and Canada.
With 60,000 active members, 274 racing facilities and a 27 event-national race schedule, ABA is the largest promoter of action sports.
For additional press information about ABA, the sport of BMX, ABA events or professional racers, call Shannon Gillette at 480-961-1903.
To find races in your area or view the national event schedule, visit www.ababmx.com .