How to Race Like an Olympic Medalist

US Olympic Medalist Jill Kintner is one of the most prolific women’s passer in the history of Womens BMX racing and it ultimately won her a medal at the Olympics. Her Coach, Greg Romero sits down with Jill and reveals the mindset needed for a women or any BMX racer to attempt and execute passes when you need to make something happen.

Jill Kintner- Greg Romero BMX
Jill putting the swoop on in an Olympic Qualifier.
What is your mindset on passing?
I sort of enjoyed being in the back of the pack and hunting people down when I raced BMX. It was a fun game to me. People who win every race unchallenged miss this vital skill, so it’s hard to develop this instinct.
Jill KIntner - Greg Romero BMX
Jill and Coach Greg Romero fine tuning strategy two weeks out from leaving to the Olympic Games.
Does passing happen instinctively?
Yeah for sure, it’s about seizing the right opportunity. Being within striking distance is key to make it stick. It’s not cool to hit someone on purpose and make them crash, so just understanding where someone in front of you is going to carry their momentum will help make an instinctive decision. Reading the rider applies to a lot of passes. Following doesn’t really work for passing either, get creative.
IMG_2691
Jill Kinter and Coach Greg Romero going over race strategy at the Olympics. They spoke about lane choice, riders habits and how it the race was going to develop- the plan worked!
What do you look for in passing someone? 
I look for an opening and enough space to pass as clean as possible. 
Jill Kintner - BMX Coach Greg Romero
One of the many sessions on the 2008 OTC Beijing Replica.
Do you plan ahead?
Yeah for sure. Study motocross- they set the guy up 2-3 turns ahead. My advantage over the competition is being able to corner with the proper mechanics-Mostly leaning the bike, proper traction, looking ahead, and balance.
Jill Kintner Medal Ceremony
Hard but smart work pays off. Jill enjoying the medal ceremony in Beijing.
Any other tips?
Using the whole track is also key; the very end of a berm sometimes has a nice backside to pump and if you stay as high as you can on the exit, the straight can be faster, so edges can make a difference. Cutting a bit inside on some of those paved turns is also a good one. There is so much traction, you can cut off a lot of distance while holding the same speed . Olympics were a prime example in time trials where the fastest riders had the most direct and smooth lines. Tenths add up.