The Best Places to Race Pump Track in 2023
After the incredible showdown last year in Chile with Niels Bensink (NED) and Christa von Niederhäusern (SUI) taking home the rainbow jerseys in Santiago, the 2023 season promises yet another thrilling ride as the best pump track riders in the world line up to battle it out for the first place on the podium.
Niels Bensink on track in Chile to claim the rainbow stripes in 2022 Photo: Dan Griffiths
This time around the Velosolutions Pump Track in Neuquén, Argentina, will play host to the 2023 UCI Pump Track World Championships on 18 November. With around 16 to 20 qualifiers lined up for the 2023 season, the stage is set for epic battles on a global level with a qualifier win that gets you all expenses paid trip to Neuquén. Here are the best places to race pump track in April and May.
Paris, Texas USA
Bonjour, Y'all. The quaint little town in North Eastern Texas, Paris is all set for 2023 with the down home hospitality the South is known for and is sure to be on the menu again. Covering an area of 15,000 square feet, the Pump Track Paris is located on a two-acre lot at the Love Civic Center, also home to the world-famous Eiffel Tower with the Red Cowboy Hat. The track has features like no other – Texas-style! Shades, benches and spectator areas make this a one-of-a-kind experience.
Featuring one of the longest Velosolutions Pump Tracks in the world at 425m with 14 berms and an adjacent jump line and kids’ track guaranteeing all round riding fun to the max. That’s a lot of pumping! Located in the scenic Valley Magic Shangzhu, which offers a variety of outdoor activities, including a climbing tower, a giant labyrinth, giant pandas and a selection of picturesque gardens.
The picturesque Bavarian town on the edge of the Alps never fails to captivate visitors, framed by imposing high mountain peaks and an idyllic lake landscape. Füssen’s historical Old Town towers over the banks of the River Lech and it’s the ideal starting point for trips to the royal castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. The park features a skate area with a bowl, street plaza, mini ramp with a kids pump track and a jumpline. The main pump track covers an area of 900m2 and is set up to make for a fast and technical ride come race day.
Middelkerke, Belgium Photo: Benny Proot
The seaside resort of Middelkerke plays host to the Belgium Qualifier for 2023 and the newly constructed Krokodiel Urban Sport Park is sure to be one of the largest urban fun zones in Europe. The main pump track is 294m in length and will provide a challenging ride, testing skill and endurance to the max on race day with a kids track, several wallrides, jump track, 3 bowls and skate elements providing additional entertainment.
If you’re expecting Hawick (pronounced something like Hoick, possibly Hoyck) to be like most other Scottish Border settlements, think again. Quaint and rural with a small-town atmosphere and steeped in history since circa the 12th century? Yes, but we’re here to race, and it will be a special one. Their Velosolutions Pump Track is 304m in total length and the largest pump track facility in Scotland, that’s 6 tennis courts worth of pump track, technical and is set to make for some fine racing on 21 May for the UK Qualifier.
Saint-Laurent de la Salanque, France
It sure is good to be back in France, it's the first French Pump Track Qualifier since 2019 in Lyon and it could not be a better location! Located 19 kilometers northeast of Perpignan, the beautiful town of Saint-Laurent de la Salanque is situated in the heart of Northern Catalonia surrounded by the sea and the mountains. Their pump track is 235m in total length and race ready for what is sure to be a qualifier featuring some of the world’s finest pump track riders.
Vittoria Bike Park, Italy
The 50.000m2 Vittoria Park is situated close to Milan, Italy, with more than 4 km of tracks including different road and gravel surfaces, a replica of Strade Bianche gravel, a Paris-Roubaix cobble stone section, mountain bike features like stone gardens, roots and rock sections, drop offs up to 1,35 m, a 380 m jump line with banked corners, as well as a pump track which fits all UCI standards to host qualifier events, a jump training air bag and a skills-and-tricks area. That’s a mouthful. Some of our best qualifiers have been on Italian soil and we can pretty much guarantee that this one will not disappoint.
Head over to the brand new website pumptrackworldchampionships.com for registration and more information. Switzerland, Sweden, South Africa, Nepal, Chile, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Canada East and more are all busy lining up for the September to October period before we head to Argentina in November for the final battle for the 2023 rainbow stripes.
Vineta Petersone takes home the bronze medal in Chile Photo: Dan Griffiths