The International Cycling Union (UCI) BMX Supercross World Cup season is set to begin in Manchester this weekend, giving all participants an opportunity to score valuable Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification points in two separate races.
Round one of action at the English city’s revamped indoor track is due to be held tomorrow and will be followed by round two on Sunday (April 28).
France lead the Olympic qualification ranking in the men’s category with the United States second and the Netherlands third.
In the women’s field, it is the US on top with the Netherlands second and Russia third.
Among the names to look out for in the men’s competition in Manchester is the Netherlands' Niek Kimmann, the UCI individual ranking leader who has picked up several early-season wins.
Last year’s UCI world champion Sylvain André will also be aiming for a strong performance having recently won the French Cup.
Joris Daudet joins André in representing France in Manchester, even though he races and lives in the US.
Others looking to make their mark will be home favourites Kyle Evans and Kye Whyte, Switzerland’s David Graf, the US’s Corben Sharrah, the Netherlands’ Joris Harmsen and Australia’s Kai Sakakibara.
Russia, the Netherlands and the US are bringing really quick female riders to the British Cycling compound.
Among them are Dutchwomen Laura Smulders, the 2018 UCI world champion who has dominated the European races so far, and Judy Baauw.
They will up against the likes of Americans Alise Willoughby and Felicia Stancil, Russians Natalia Afremova and Yaroslava Bondarenko, Australia’s Saya Sakakibara and Colombia’s Mariana Pajón.
Also likely to be in contention for success are Britain’s Bethany Shriever and Denmark’s Simone Christensen.