Australia's top BMX riders have had the chance to experience the Beijing Olympic Games BMX track without having to leave their home nation. Top male BMX rider Luke Madill has built a full size version of the Olympic track in his backyard in Penrith, Sydney.
Some of Australia's top riders having been practicing on the replica track, including Jared Graves, Kamakazi, Melissa Mankowski and Rachel Bracken. The track will undoubtedly give the Australian team an edge heading into the August Games, where BMX will make its Olympic debut.
"It's narrower than the Beijing track, so it can't fit as many people on it at once," Madill said. "The hill's the same height and angle, and the jumps are in the same position. The hill is eight metres high, which is the standard height for BMX now."
The track was constructed at the suggestion of Madill's personal sponsor Red Bull. "They asked what would be the best way to get me to the Olympics," he said. "They have been very supportive of me."
While the Australian riders are expected to hold a camp training at the new track in Madill's backyard soon, Madill says they won't be there all the time. Instead Madill will use the track, which is one of only four of its type in the world, to focus on his own Olympic preparations.
"They won't be out here all the time, though," he said. "This is a definite advantage for me."