USAC Crowns 2017 Elite Champs
The annual USA Cycling BMX Elite Nationals Championships were held Friday, alongside the second of four Team USA World Championship qualifiers, and the Carolina Nationals pre-race.
Like most of these USA-only events, the Elite portion of the program was not packed with rack after rack of household name stars. Instead, one rack of Women, two racks of men, and one rack of Junior Men (which is an improvement, since we did not have any Junior classes at all last year, partially owing to the USA BMX rule at the time that said if you race Junior Elite, you are immediately turned up to A-Pro. This year, the rule was relaxed, and we had a gate of Junior Men.
Junior Men, by the way, was the race of the day, as Bryce Batten and Kamren Larsen battled the last half of the track. Bryce led it to turn two, but Kam came in and put the swoop down, taking the lead into the third straight.
BB jumped into the last turn, which gave him some nose room into the last turn, and he took every-bit of it to come up roses, and on to the stripe for his first title win in a championship class. We’ll be waiting for the next one in about 110 days or so, right back here in Rock Hill.
There was no Junior Womens class, so the only Junior Woman—Sophia Foresta—was combined with the Elites, however received her own podium award and “stars & bars” jersey.
In the Elite classes, Reigning Champ, Connor Fields was coming off an ankle injury sufferend in Oldsmar, and said, in a post-race interview, that he only recently started walking on the injured ankle again, and the trip to Rock Hill to defend his title was one of last minute decision, based on how he felt at the time.
Corben Sharrah—who had held the USAC title before, had gate two, next to Connor, and got out to a nice lead early on, and held it all the way home. Jared the Jet Garcia was riding strong all day, and had a slammin lap in the main, with second place.
In the Elite Women, Alise was sitting on six USAC wins—every year since they started running it off the SX hill in, maybe 2011, (check us on that). Her seventh running down the SX hill would work out the same as the previous six, with a win taken wire to wire.
Felicia Stancil is edging her way back to the front of the pack, after an injury/illness took her out for substantially all of last season. Felicia ended up second at the USAC Nationals, and Dani George was third.
Here are the podium finishes, via USA Cycling’s website.
2017 BMX News race coverage sponsored by Dan’s Comp
1. Sophia Foresta – GT Bicycles
1. Bryce Batten – Factory Throdwn
2. Kamren Larsen – USA Cycling Devo
3. Brady Kincheloe – Powers Bike Shop
1. Alise Post – Troy Lee/Klean Athlete/Promax/GW
2. Felicia Stancil – GT Bicycles
3. Dani George – Dale Holmes Racing
1. Corben Sharrah – Daylight Cycles
2. Jared Garcia – Box Components
3. Connor Fields – Chase BMX
Top photo by Traci Batten. Thanks Traci!