BMX races are held on circuits of around 350m, including an 8-metre high starting ramp with a gate at the top, jumps, banked corners and other obstacles.

Qualifying - Tokyo 2020

Qualification to secure spots at the Olympic Games is based around the number of qualifying points earned in the 2 years prior to the Games, at the UCI World Cups, World Championships and other qualifying events, or major races designated by the UCI.

COMPETITION at Tokyo 2020

Competition runs 30-31 July 2020, for both men and women, at the Ariake Urban Sports Park.  It will involve elimination rounds for 24 men and 24 women through to a grand final for men and women.

Eight riders compete in each quarter-finals, with the top four qualifying for the next round. There are two medal events: Men’s and Women’s individual.

Riders will contest quarterfinals, held over three runs, with points awarded according to places. The top four riders in each heat with the lowest points score after three runs will advance to the semifinals.

The semifinals are held over three runs, with the top four riders from each heat with the lowest score advancing to the final. The final is held over a single run.

What to watch out for:

Riders placing in the top four placings in each race for their best chance to progress through each phase.

The Stars of Cycling

The Olympic Games draw the best in professional riders with the likes of Niek Kimmann  of Netherlands, France's Joris Daudet and Sylvain Andre, and David Graf of Switzerland.

New Zealand’s only Olympic medal was Sarah Walker's silver medal at the 2012 London games.

Did you know?

Bicycle motocross (BMX) started in the late 1970s in California, around the time that motocross became a popular sport in the USA.

BMX is a recent cycling discipline for the Olympics debuting in the 2008 Beijing games where Maris Stromberg of Lativa took Gold at this debut event and repeated it again at the 2012 London games. Likewise there is a dual Gold medalist in the women with Mariana Pajon of Colombia winning the Gold at 2012 London and again in 2016 Rio de Janerio.

NZ Olympic Medals

SILVER - 2012 London Women’s BMX - Sarah Walker

BMX Terminology

Berm: A banked corner.

Holeshot: Taking the lead position out of the starting gate and going into the first turn.

Manual: The act of riding on the back wheel without pedaling.

Moto: A single race heat.

Rhythm Section: A series of jumps or rollers back to back on a track that pose as an obstacle.

Roller: An obstacle on a track that is rolled over as opposed to being jumped.

Tabletop: A jump on a track that is completely level or flat all the way across it from the lip to the landing.

Time Trial/Seeding: A race in which riders start individually and race against the clock.

Transition: The curved part of the ramp.


1817 - First bicycle introduced as a mode of transport in Germany.

1970s -Off-road mountain biking began about the same time as BMX, now both Olympic cycling disciplines.

2008 - BMX racing was added to the Olympic programme in Beijing.

2012 - Women competed in the same full programme with the same number of events as men for the first time at the London Olympic Games.

2020 - BMX racing will have the same number of riders across male and females, with the transfer of 8 places from the men to the women.

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Cycling - BMX Games History