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Thursday, July 10, 2014
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Published: Friday, 8/9/2013

Toledo to host top BMX series

BY MARK MONROE
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

The nation’s fastest amateur bicycle racers will compete in Toledo this weekend at the USA BMX Buckeye Nationals.

Nearly 1,000 bicycle racers ages 2 to 70-plus will participate in the event at Toledo Speedway today, Saturday, and Sunday.

The riders from across the United States and Canada will compete in the Bicycle Motocross Racing (BMX) series. It is the 22nd stop in a 30-race national series.

The BMX racers will compete over the three days to win awards, as well as to accumulate points toward the year-end USA BMX national championships.

Ron Drager, owner of Toledo Speedway, credited Brad Moore for bringing the event to northwest Ohio. Moore operates the BMX track at the speedway, which holds races on a weekly basis and has upgraded its facilities in preparation for the national event.

“This is a huge event not only for Toledo Speedway, but for the city of Toledo,” Drager said. “We are extremely proud of the effort that Brad Moore and his group have put forth in order to secure this national event.”

The BMX track is located on the grounds of Toledo Speedway on Benore Road. Admission for all three days is free, but there is a charge for parking.

On Saturday, racing will kick off with the “Strider” bike class, for 2, 3, 4, and 5-year-olds. Bikers as young as 20-months-old will race a shortened section of the track on pedal-less push bikes. On the other end of the spectrum, 30, 40, 50, and 60-year-olds will compete in the larger-wheeled classes.

The main action will feature the top amateur boys in the expert ranks who will vie for national championship points. Among the stars to watch will be Spencer Cole, a 12-year-old from Beavercreek, Ohio, who is ranked No. 14 in the nation. Cole will be the favorite to win his expert age group. A win both days will keep Cole in the hunt for the No. 1 plate, which is decided in November in Tulsa, Okla.

Event officials said BMX Racing has received a boost since becoming an Olympic sport. They also said the economic impact of the event is estimated to bring millions of dollars to the local economy.

The track is located on the west end of the grounds of Toledo Speedway, a paved oval track for race cars.

For more information about the event, go to ToledoSpeedwayBMX.com or USABMX.com.

Contact Mark Monroe at: mmonroe@theblade.com, 419-724-6354 or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.



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