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Answer/Rennen Factory Team – 2014 Recap

December 31, 2014 by  

George Costa accepts the 2014 Golden Crank Award

By George Costa
Another year has come and gone. Looking back, 2014 has literally flown by. So many miles traveled by every member of Answer/Rennen, and so many races logged for our exceptional riders. The team competed in 33 national events and our riders competed in over 400 national races in 2014. We capped-off this season by being repeat factory team winners of the grand nationals (2nd largest BMX race in history). All of this effort has culminated and allowed us to finish the season as the #3 factory teams in what was undoubtedly one of the hardest factory team seasons to date.

Answer/Rennen started out as a USA BMX factory team just three short years ago. In that time, we have competed at the very highest level of the sport. Twice now, we have been graced with winning the Golden Crank “Team of the Year” award, a testament that our “Presence” in the race community is greatly felt. There are so many people to thank for the existence of the team as it stands today. Without their support and contributions we could not continue to live the dream.

Special thanks goes out to: John Sawyer and Ryan Birk (SSquared/Answer); Pete and Kai (Tioga); Matt and Sabrina (Time2Shine); Ray Hudson (Fly Racing); Mike (Crit); Matt, Jay, Jim (Pedros); Joanna (Gform); Enos (Base Brooklyn)

And most of all I would like to thank all the Answer/Rennen riders past and present.

—George


Grands Rider Recap

By Glenn Knapper

Rayce Costa (3 Strider) & Evan Okey (4 Strider) – Our two Strider riders headed to the track Saturday afternoon to start the weekend off with some fast laps. Rayce was seen making moves in the turns that his dad was heard saying “Were did he learn that from”, on his way to a first place in the 3yr old class. Evan was also seen putting the “foot to the metal” and was taking the track on like his big brother, but when the dust cleared Evan walked away with a much-deserved second place in the 4yr old class. When you see the smiles on their faces coming back with their trophies, how could that not motivate the rest of the team?

Brandon Crain  at the 2014 USA BMX Grand National
^^Brandon Crain (10X) – The “Birdman” came to Tulsa on a mission to turn the NAG 5 on his bike to a NAG 1 and not only did he do it on one bike but he decided to do it on both! Brandon has been training hard all year and it showed in his mains with impressive wins on both bikes. Look for Brandon to be out front in 2015 looking to defend his titles.

Jack Kelly  at the 2014 USA BMX Grand National
^^Jack Kelly (11X) – The “Cannonball” came and conquered, it’s that simple. Jack had a strong showing in 11-12 Open with a 2nd to the mostly older rider’s. After clearing the Open from his mind, Jack focused on class and went out and conquered the class to retain his NAG 1 standing for another year.

Bailey Brannen at the 2014 USA BMX Grand National
^^Bailey Brannen (13G) – I’m not sure if Bailey has a nickname but “The Beast” would be my choice after this weekend of racing, she was very impressive all weekend working her way through her rounds to make the main on both bikes. After a strong showing in cruiser with a 4th place finish, Bailey turned her focused to class. After a powerful first straight, Bailey got tied up going into the first turn and ended her day with a crash, but she brushed herself off and finished the track. Look out 2015!

Markwane Billingsley at the 2014 USA BMX Grand National
^^Markwane Billingsley (14X) – One of the most improved rider’s this season on the Answer/Rennen team has to be “Scooter”, he has been making a name for himself this year as a contender in the 14X class. Markwane slowly worked his way into both mains and finished the year off with a 1st in open and a 3rd in class. Look out 2015, Markwane will be training hard and going fast…

Abby MacLeod (15G) – One of the toughest girl classes in my opinion has to be the 15-16 class and making the main, especially at the Grands is a chore in itself. Abby was working hard in her qualifiers but came up short in her quarter to end her weekend. Watch for her to be training hard this winter and seeing her in the mix for the 2015 season.

Erik Meyer (15X) – I think every time I see Erik he is not only taller but faster. Erik has slowly been working his way back into the mix after a couple of bad accidents the past few years has put him on the mend more than racing. Watching Erik this weekend has showed me that he is only a few short steps away from being one of the top riders in the 15X class. Coming up just a few feet short in his semi left Erik watching from the sidelines for the mains, with his determination I believe this will be the last time he will be watching from the stands.

Cameron Moore at the 2014 USA BMX Grand National
^^Cameron Moore (16X) – The “Dirt Devil” came to the Grands to get back into the swing of things after taking most of the race season off after surgery on his ankle back in June. After having some strong laps in his qualifiers that dreaded 5th place semi finish bug bit and left Cameron watching the mains from the stands. Watch for Cameron to be working hard on getting his ankle back into full strength for the 2015.

Justin Knapper (18X) – After some bad luck on Saturday with coming unclipped and crashing in the first round, Justin started Sunday out by putting the bad Saturday behind him and working his way through qualifiers in class and open, but a freak crash in his class 1Ž4 qualifier left him taking a visit to the local Urgent Care and leaving him watching from the sidelines. Building on his fast laps on Sunday, Justin will be working hard over the winter to move past the 2014 season and will be a force to reckon with in 2015. Heal up soon Justin.

Derik Bergh at the 2014 USA BMX Grand National
^^Derik Bergh (19X) – His new nickname should be “Mr. Grands” because since coming to the team in 2013 Derik has been tearing the Grands tracks up. The 2014 Grands was no exception with strong laps after strong laps the bright neon Ssquared frame was seen out front consistently. With some last straight power, Derik was able to finish 1st in open but running out of track in class left him with the 2nd for the day. Look for Derik to be heading out West to escape the harsh Minnesota winter and get some training in for the 2015 season.

Jeremy Knapper at the 2014 USA BMX Grand National
^^Jeremy Knapper (23C) – One of the hardest working riders on the team, Jeremy has not only provided help to the riders on the team but also goes out and tears up the track on his cruiser. With the main event coming down between two riders and Jeremy having the dreaded gate 8, he put everything he had into the final lap in 2014 but came up short in his bid to retain his title with a 2nd place finish. Already working hard getting ready for 2015, you can bet he will be seen out front again at a National near you.

Pat Parker (33X) – Coming into the Grands, Pat dug out his cruiser and decided to give it a go on both bikes and it proved to be a good thing. With some good laps under his belt in qualifying, Pat was able to make his way into the cruiser main and finish with a respectable 6th after a tie up down the 3rd straight. Class didn’t go as he had hoped with a jam up in the first turn in his semi left Pat on the outside looking in. Look for him to be back to top form going into the 2015 season.

David Maltezos at the 2014 USA BMX Grand National
^^Dave Maltezos (37X) – Davey might be the smallest guy in his class but he definitely has the biggest heart, he always amazes me with his racing. There are only two things that could have gone wrong for Davey this weekend, one would be a crash and the other would be a bobble down the first straight. Both of those scenarios happened to put him out in his semi on cruiser and the other in class during his main after getting that dreaded gate 8, but he battled back to finish 2nd for the weekend. With the heart of a giant you will see Davey back next year to take a shot at that NAG 1 plate.

George Costa (Owner & TM–Top Photo) – Winning the Golden Crank Team of the Year two years in a row says something not only about the team but also its manager, not only is George a great team manager but he is also a friend to not only his rider’s but the parents also. We are grateful of the time and effort he puts into all his riders…Thank you

Team Parents – I do these race reports for the riders, but behind every rider is a parent/parents who are a pit crew, a cheerleader or just a shoulder to lean on after a bad race. The parents under the Answer/Rennen tent are some of the greatest people I have ever had the privilege to meet. They make all the rider’s feel like part of something special and that’s because they all are. My hat goes off to all the parents on the team…you are a great group.

Team Sponsors – We are so grateful for our 2014 sponsors, without your support we wouldn’t be able to do what we do so well… Answer BMX, Rennen Design Group, Ssquared Bicycles, Tioga BMX, G-Cog, Crit BMX, Fly Racing, Time2Shine, G-Form, Base Brooklyn and Pedro’s.

Welcome – We also wanted to take a moment and welcome all the new riders coming onto the team for the new season…2015 is looking good for the Answer/Rennen team. Here’s a look at our 2015 Factory jerseys.

2015 Answer Rennen Factory Team Jersey

Links

Answer BMX Website

Rennen Design Group Website

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