World class track puts Gladstone on BMX map
GLADSTONE'S new "world class" BMX track was officially opened at the weekend - and to celebrate local celebrities strapped on their gloves and helmets for a special race.
An early afternoon storm tested the Harbour City BMX facility with a massive downpour delaying racing for just over an hour.
The club hosted round one of three of the BMXQ 2019 State Development Series on Saturday, but not before the thrills and spills of a celebrity race which featured local politicians, councillors and business people.
Despite an early crash at the bottom of the starting ramp, every rider got through the race unscathed, albeit with no time records under threat.
Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher won the race ahead of Michael Newton in second and Gladstone Region councillors Desley O'Grady in third.
The event was also attended by US Olympic and World Champion BMX rider Connor Fields, who described the facility as "world class".
"The track's awesome here in Gladstone, it's that perfect balance between being challenging but not being over the top hard," he said.
"It's world class, it's right up there with the best tracks in America and Europe and all over the world.
"I got to experience a Queensland rain shower and now it's hot and humid, so it's been fun and I'm just along for the ride."
The facility was built with the help of $400,000 in funding from the Queensland Government's Works for Queensland Grants.
The new track is the first of what's hoped to be more upgrades, to allow the club to host state and national championships.
"This track has been made to an Australian standard, so next level we're trying to get to is state championships," state member Glenn Butcher said.
"We've got riders coming from all over Australia just to have a look at the track and it's not even fully finished yet.
"If we can deliver this sort of infrastructure, that attracts people to our community and huge sporting events just like this."