2016 Gator Nationals set for Feb. 19-21 at Oldsmar’s BMX Supercross track

The 2016 USA BMX Gator Nationals is set for Feb. 19-21 at Oldsmar's BMX Supercross track on Tampa Road.

The 2016 USA BMX Gator Nationals is set for Feb. 19-21 at Oldsmar’s BMX Supercross track.

When the City of Oldsmar hosted the 2015 USA BMX Gator Nationals at its Canal Park Supercross track last October, many officials and race attendees roundly praised the newly renovated complex.

In fact, USA BMX president John David declared the Tampa Road facility “the finest BMX track in the world.”

Now, thanks to a scheduling change, the city will get to showcase it’s $2 million crown jewel again next month, as the 2016 Gator Nationals is set for the weekend of February 19 through 21.

And thanks to the Olympic-level quality of the track, and the event’s close proximity of the Summer Games, which are taking place in Rio in August, city officials expect an even larger crowd this time around.

Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis at the 2015 Gator Nationals in October.

Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis at the 2015 Gator Nationals in October.

“Although we had 23 countries, 38 states and over 1,000 riders at the October Gator Nationals, we anticipate having even more, because now it’s going to be a three-day event,” Mayor Doug Bevis said during the January 9 Oldsmar City Council meeting.

“Plus now, we really are in the home stretch to qualifying for the Olympics in Rio,” he added. “So we’re going to get a lot of Olympians here, so that’s exciting.”

While the quick turnaround could have been daunting for officials who worked feverishly to complete the project in time for the October grand opening, the four month break was enough time to tie up loose ends, including placing a special protective coating on the track surface.

Today, officials say the track is ready for the influx of thousands of riders who will be flying in from all around the world to take advantage of the facility’s Olympic-level, 20-foot-high main hill.

A flyer for the USA BMX 2016 Gator Nationals event at the Oldsmar BMX Supercross track.

A flyer for the USA BMX 2016 Gator Nationals event, which takes place the weekend of Feb. 19-21 at Oldsmar’s BMX Supercross track, located at 3120 Tampa Road.

In fact, some teams have already come to town to start practicing, and Mayor Bevis encouraged fans to stop at the facility to check out the world-class competitors.

“Currently, the Latvian team is here practicing through the end of March, and…they have Maris Strombergs, who is the Olympic Gold medalist from 2018 and 2012,” the mayor announced on January 19.

“Typically you can walk by, when the Dutch national team was here, the track was open and they’re very sociable and they don’t mind talking to you taking pictures,” he added. “So if you have young kids, it might be interesting.”

If you go:
What: 2016 USA BMX Supercosss Series Gator Nationals event
When: Friday, Feb. 19 – Sunday, Feb. 21
Where: Oldsmar BMX Supercross track, 3120 Tampa Rd. (Canal Park)
Details: The 2016 Gator Nationals event will feature more than 1,000 riders from all over the world competing in world-class races, including the USA Cycling Elite National Championship Race, which is set for Sunday. Food, live entertainment and merchandise vendors will be on site throughout the weekend.
Cost: Free admission; parking, $10.00/day; $25/weekend; $40/weekend RV pass
Info: usabmx.com; oldsmarbmx.com

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