More than 1,200 BMX riders expected in Oldsmar for 2018 Gator Nationals this weekend

More than 1,500 American and international riders and their teams are expected in Oldsmar this weekend for the 2018 Gator Nationals starting on Friday, Feb. 23 and running through Sunday, Feb. 25.

More than 1,200 American and international BMX riders, including many former Olympians, are expected to descend on the Oldsmar Sports Complex this weekend for the 2018 USA BMX Gator Nationals.

The event, which starts Friday, Feb. 23 and runs through Sunday, Feb. 25, typically features some of the best riders in the world competing at the city’s world-class Supercross track.

In fact, Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis pointed out during Tuesday’s City Council meeting that both the men’s and women’s gold medalists in the 2016 Olympics won at Gator Nationals a few months before heading to Rio.

“The cover photo for my Facebook page is me with Mariana Pajon, the Gold medalist from Colombia, after she won at the 2016 Gator Nationals,” Bevis said during the City Council meeting Tuesday night.

“And the men’s Gold medalist, Connor Fields, also won here before he went to Rio. So that’s pretty cool.”

Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis talks to TEAM USA rider Connor Fields during the 2016 Gator Nationals.

According to officials, Oldsmar’s BMX track has hosted the Gator Nationals since 2002, and it has grown with BMX as it developed into an official Olympic sport.

The 2018 event will feature three days of practices and races, and Sunday will offer the USA Cycling Elite National Championship for US riders competing for a spot on the 2018 USA Team to ride for their country at this year’s UCI BMX World Championship.

While Bevis noted they are still recovering from hosting the New York Red Bulls soccer club on the refurbished fields at the Tampa Road complex earlier this month, he said the city’s team will be ready for the influx of BMX fans and competitors over the weekend.

“We might be a little tired, but we’ll be ready!” he said.

If you go:

  • What: 2018 USA BMX Gator Nationals at the Oldsmar BMX Track
  • Where: Oldsmar Sports Complex, 3120 Tampa Road
  • When: Friday, February 23rd (Race Time: 2pm); Saturday, February 24 (Race Time: 12pm); Sunday, February 25 (Race Time: 8am)
  • Cost: Admission – FREE; Food/Drink & Vendors will be on site.
  • PARKING: Limited spaces will be able at the Oldsmar Sports Complex for Gator Nationals. If available, parking is $10/day or $25/weekend. FREE PARK & RIDE with PSTA: Through a partnership with the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) a FREE Park & Ride Shuttle will be available throughout the weekend. The shuttle will run Friday, Feb. 23 from 7:30am-7pm, Saturday, Feb. 24 from 6am-7pm and Sunday, Feb. 25 from 7am-3pm. Pick-up and drop-off is every 30 minutes. The general public can park in the east parking lot by City Hall, located at 100 State St. W. Other sites include the Town Center area along St. Petersburg Drive East and by the Hampton Inn & Suites on Tampa Road. Call the PSTA InfoLine at 727-540-1900 for more information.

    This Google map shows the locations of the free park and ride shuttle stops being offered for this weekend’s 2018 Gator Nationals event at the oldsmar Sports Complex. (City of Oldsmar)

    FREE Parking Shuttle at Curlew Creek Elementary School Free parking will also be available at Curlew Creek Elementary School, located at 3030 Curlew Rd. in Palm Harbor. NOTE: Approximately 90 spots will be available on a first come-first serve basis. Gates will open and close at these designated dates/times: Saturday, February 24, 7am—Sunday, February 25, 7am—3pm (If vehicle is left, it will be locked behind the gates with no access)

  • Info: Visit the City of Oldsmar’s website, the Oldsmar BMX website, or the special Facebook page dedicated to the 2018 Gator Nationals for more detailed information.

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