USA BMX apologizes to its Members & Fans
USA BMX is a world-class organization who holds itself to the highest standard in BMX racing; from enforcing the rules of racing to membership services. With that said, I want to apologize to every BMX race fan who had to witness the pro walk-off this past weekend. This entire episode was a miscommunication on our behalf.
When the announcement was made at the beginning of the year about the increased pro payout, it was, unfortunately, not explained correctly. The guaranteed increased year-end payout and the increased per-race payout was based on the UCI purses being lower at UCI events. With the significant expenses involved with running a UCI event, the mandatory minimum payout is what made the UCI events work within the entire pro budget. Unfortunately, these races were erroneously included on the increased pro pay announcement, which is what led to the protest. There was never any intention to deceive the riders, it was a simply a case of miscommunication.
Obviously, we value our Elite riders and, as such, USA BMX will do as we have for 35 years and do what we say we will do. We stated in a press release that all Pro series events would receive the much higher USA BMX purse, and we plan to honor that. Checks will immediately be sent to those Pro riders to make up the difference.
The Elite riders were told on the back of the hill that this issue would be resolved as soon as we got back to the office, and they were given one of my senior staff member’s cell phone number in case they had any questions. It is unfortunate that there was not enough trust from the pros that USA BMX would resolve this issue, and I am disappointed that the Elite riders chose to walk off. Many of them are riders I watched grow up racing BMX, while others were simply caught up in something they didn’t understand. Based on the facts, this is the decision that would have been reached regardless of the pros decision to walk-off.
Again, I apologize to all of the race fans who didn’t get to watch their favorite Elite riders race Sunday in Nashville. Fortunately, the A Pro, Vet Pro, Women Junior and Men Junior classes all put on exciting main events for attendees and livestream web viewers. In the future, I will make sure that all aspects of pro racing expenses are more closely scrutinized and publicized to avoid any confusion.
–Bernard A. Anderson
President & CEO
USA BMX / The American Bicycle