New Springdale bike park to host international cycling championship

by Nancy Peevy ( 460 views 

The Red Bull Pump Track World Championship Final, an international cycling event, will be held on Oct. 13 at the new Runway Bike Park at The Jones Center, Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse announced Tuesday (June 5).

Sprouse made the announcement at the groundbreaking of the 2.75-acre bike park in Springdale. When completed in September, the venue will include the Velosolutions Pump Track at The Runway Skills Park, which will be the nation’s largest pump track, according to a news release from The Jones Center.

Twenty-one events around the world will qualify riders for the pump track championship final which will take place on the new Velosolutions Pump Track.

“We are both excited and honored to partner with Velosolutions and Red Bull to bring this inaugural event to Northwest Arkansas where riders will have the opportunity to compete for the World Championship Final and experience some of North America’s finest trails,” said Mike Gilbert, Jones Trust Chief Operating Officer.

Pump tracks combine rolling jumps with banked turns and allow riders to gain momentum and attack the track as fast as possible, according to the release. The Jones Center pump track will offer cyclists of all skill levels – beginner, intermediate and experienced – a place where they can improve their skills.

“The new pump track… will be a great addition to our community,” Sprouse said in a statement. “At the heart of Northwest Arkansas, Springdale is a destination for visitors looking for great amenities. With the opening of the pump track, and the subsequent events in this location, Springdale will only benefit from the increased tourism and international interest.”

The pump track will “form part of The Jones Center’s continued efforts to encourage sporting excellence and help to make cycling and action sports a part of their development programs,” the release said.

The planned park will offer three skill development lines, the pump track, a children’s bicycle playground and pavilion.

Along with offering mountain bikers and outdoor enthusiasts access to options for a healthy lifestyle, the release said, the park’s programming will also provide access to programs to help area youth measure their progress and gain confidence necessary to adapt to the wide variety of trails in Northwest Arkansas.

Jones Trust purchased the property for $250,000 in November 2016. The Walton Family Foundation of Bentonville has given $1.1 million toward the project, according to the trust.

Speakers at the groundbreaking event Tuesday included Sprouse, Karen Minkel, Walton Family Foundation home region program director, Ed Clifford, CEO of the Jones Trust/The Jones Center and Mike Gilbert, COO of the Jones Trust/The Jones Center.