Olympic hopefuls race for spot on Team USA in Sarasota

They ride for the thrill, the speed, and the love of BMX racing. 

Connor Fields came to Sarasota from Las Vegas when he was 11. Now 27, he's been racing the USA BMX circuit for nearly 20 years and is one of the top BMX racers in the world. 

Fields took gold in BMX racing's Olympic debut in Rio. 

This weekend during the GoPro Sunshine State Nationals at Sarasota BMX he hopes to clinch a spot in the 2020 games in Tokyo.

"A couple of good results this weekend will do good with building the momentum and tracking in the right direction for the Olympics next year," he told FOX 13.

More than 300 racers will compete at Sarasota BMX. Going on 43 years, it's the oldest continuously-running BMX track in America. 

"The track is the perfect balance of being challenging, but not over-the-top difficult," said Fields. 

Riders range in ages from toddler to retiree - one of the largest mixes of professional and amateur riders. 

"This is a really important race for a lot of the riders who are trying to close that last-minute gap in points and catch up to the leaders," said Gork Barrett with USA BMX. 

"It's crazy to think that the little kids, 2-year-olds on balance bikes are racing at the same facility and tracks as the Olympic-caliber athletes. That’s something unique that we do and a unique experience that we do. It's cool to see the future and inspire the next generation," said two-time Olympian Alise Willoughby.

Races will be held Saturday, Oct. 19 at noon and Sunday, Oct. 20 at 8 a.m. Sarasota BMX is located at 1500 North Tuttle Avenue in Sarasota. Parking is $10. 
For more information visit www.usabmx.com.