BMW kings to young bikers: Join world meets

WORLD BMX champions Jorge “Viki” Gomez and Matthias Dandois encouraged potential Filipino riders to start young and join international competitions if they want to excel in their chosen sport.

Gomez and Dandois are in the country in a week-long visit with Italian rider Vittorio Brumotti.

Gomez, Dandois and Brumotti are in the country to showcase their skills at the Philbike Expo 2015, which will run from Oct. 2 to 4 at the SMX Convention Center of the Mall of Asia.

“I started out young, at age 14. I had a cheap BMX bike. I saw a group riders who were into slalom,” said Gomez in relating his experience to a group of BMX enthusiasts last Tuesday.

Gomez said he turned professional at 19, and went on to win several titles.

He was hailed as the no. 1 flatlander of the year by his fellow pros in the recent Rde BMX Nora Cup Awards 2015.

Dandois, meanwhile, said exposing Filipino BMX enthusiasts to international competitions will give them a chance to excel in the world stage.

“It’s important for them to join international competitions, like in Japan and Singapore. Then, when they come back here in the Philippines, they can share their experience,” said Dandois.

Dandois, a Frenchman, said he first got into street riding. In 2002, he dabbled into the flatland style at 13.

He was recognized as the best in the world in 2008, claiming titles in the Dew Tour, Bike Days, Astrolabe, Revolkon and at the O’Marisquino.

This year, he also had podium finishes in competitions held in the United States.

Brumotti has been joining competitions in 2011. He does his tricks on a part-time basis, since he is a journalist by profession back in Italy, where he also appears in TV shows.

The Philbike Expo is the country’s first and largest trade and consumer show dedicated to the promotion for the development on cycling.

It’s now on its second year, according to project director Eve Geslani.

Last year, the event was held at the World Trade Center, which had overwhelming response from the biking community, the reason why it was held at a bigger venue this year.

“It had an overwhelming response. The community wanted it bigger. So we had it here SMX with three world-class athletes. How we got here, I really don’t know. But we owe it to the passion of cycling community in the Philippines,” said Geslani.               

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