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Recap and Photos: 2017 Music City Nats

May 31, 2017 by  

Joris Daudet Doubles-up in Nashville

Our annual trip to Nashville is one we look forward to all year long. It has all the boxes checked for making long-lasting memories for riders, parents, sponsors and media-folk.

A legendary track, modernized in both shaping and racing surface; a picturesque park setting, with on-site camping right by the water; staff who are all tried-and-true BMXers, and also posessed of that special Southern Hospitality to make us all feel as welcome as-can-be. And, of course, one of the best photo angles in all of USA BMX into the first turn. I actually had to monitor my shooting there, else I may have come away with 250 shots of the same angle.

This was the first three-day national of 2017, set after some other races in the region (Atlanta and Minnesota), and before the Summer onslaught. In eyeballing the results, we noticed a lot of hotshoes held-off on racing Open at this one. Maybe that is a factor of the expense of three days of age class racing, or maybe it’s something else—hard to say.

Moto-count wise, the three days posted 211, 255 and 221 on the boards (fence). That’s smack-dab in the BMX News “sweet spot” of 200-250 for a national, that gets you out of the parking lot early enough to not have to eat gas station roller grill hot dogs for dinner, and get enough sleep to lay down the ponies in prime fashion the next day. Nothing worse than chasing a sleep deficit when you need to be at your best.

This was the sixth stop of the 2017 USA BMX Pro Series. Elite turnout was kinda-thin, with 9 and 10 for the Women and 16 for the men, both days. Again, placement on the calendar may have played a role, with the race happening just-after the back-to-back UCI World Cup races in Europe, a big Pro-Am in Canada this weekend, a few injuries keeping riders home, and some “intangible” factors. A-Pro had 19 and 17, and Vet had nine both days.

Still, all the top-class action was pulse-quickening, and brought fans to the fenceline to cheer for their faves. It was awesome to see five of the Dutch National team make an appearance; the USA BMX crowd doesn’t get to see them all that often, and they really added some spice to the proverbial soup.

TOP PHOTO: Joris Daudet has the heat for a three-peat in the USA BMX title chase. He has declared his intention to get there and, from this mid-season view, it’s lookin pretty good for him to get there, with a double-up in Nashville.

BMX News 2017 race coverage sponsored by Dan’s Comp
BMX News Race Coverage is Sponsored by Dan's Comp

Weather or Not
If you have been to the Music City Nationals more than once, you know that it almost-always rains at least one of the days. The track leadership took a big step in 2016, and skim-coated the track—which allows for racing in all-kinds of weather.

For the 2017 installment, Friday was picture-perfect. Clear blue skies and temps in the low to mid 80s (with a heaping-helping of hometown humidity). Saturday started out a bit sketchy, but cleared up for a while, with intermittant sprinkles, that let-loose just as the pro mains were starting up (which were a the start of the amateur semis). Most of the Saturday mains were run under ominous conditions and some downpours. Sunday was dreary, and treated the crowd to showers out of nowhere, then sun, then more gloom.

Photo Recap
Below are some prime picks of our pics from the race. Those who know News, know we don’t usually shoot in the rain (scarred for life after one particular race where the lens on our Nikon looked like a fishbowl, with half-height water). We got a full-spread on Friday, and a few frames on Saturday. Check the links below for free mid-res image downloads, via PhotosArePosted.com.

Music City BMX in Nashville, TNThe fastest (non SX) first straight in USA BMX Racing. The Music City crew had the track groomed to perfection for the national. Last year’s rebuild has settled-in nicely, and the skim-coat racing surface made for non-stop, no-slop race action, even when the skies got drippy throughout Saturday and Sunday’s event.

Twan van Gendt of the Dutch National Team out of turn one on FridayOrange Crush! Five members of the Dutch National Team touched down in the Music City for two days of American-style mixin-it-up. As fate would have it, all-five are in this first-round rack on Friday. Twan van Gendt up front, with Niek Kimmann (313), Dave van der Burg (192), Jelle van Gorkom and Niels Bensink in the mix.

Brayden Vititow - Winner of the Throdwn "Factory For a Weekend" contestBrayden Vititow won the Throdwn “Factory For a Weekend” contest by creating a video promoting his local track (Black Mountain BMX), and earning the most likes, shares and views of all entries. Brayden got the full-factory treatment, as promised, with a brand new Throdwn bike, factory uniform, and all the trimmings. News will have a video recap of his experience next week, so keep an eye out for that. Meanwhile, check out his video (link will open in a new window).

Richie Dey of Factory profileRichie Dey rocked the Profile Racing ride to 17-20 Cruiser wins on Friday and Sunday, and main event appearances all three days, including a second in 17-18x on Friday.

Jason Carnes of Berm AcademyJason Carnes had the Berm Academy rig in Nashville, which served as a central pit for many of the pros, as it has for most of the pro races this year. Hard to say if he is telling a knee-slapping, laugh-until-you-cry story from the road here, or if some of the plentiful Music City no-see-ums are mounting an attack.

Olijuwon Davis won Pro Open on Friday and A-Pro on Saturday at the 2017 USA BMX Music City NationalsOlijuwon Davis loves what he does and does what he loves. Top of the Pro Open class on Friday, then an A-Pro win on Saturday. Cameron Moore turned an impressive lap in Sunday’s main event to book the win, with Cole Tesar in second and OD in third.

Robert Raymonde at the 2017 USA BMX Music City NationalsRobert Raymonde is tougher than a bull driving a Sherman tank. He had a bad wreck last month and was in the hospital for several days, had surgery, and after about three weeks of recovery, flew from So Cal to Nashville to make all three mains in 51-55 Cruiser. Good to see you back on the track, Rob!

Markwane Billingsley and Kamren Larsen at the 2017 USA BMX Music City NationalsBNA Air Traffic Control had to be alerted for this flyby. Markwane Billingsley and Kamren Larsen getting “Blue Angels” close into turn one. Larsen had a great weekend in the Music City, with three wins in 17-18 Expert.

Peter Choat at the 2017 USA BMX Music City NationalsPeter Choat ruled 12x at the Music City Nats, with aces-across all three days. Full Tilt was lookin good on the track, as a whole in Nashville, with a team sheet shut-out in the hotly-contested Factory Team category. That is a pretty-tough-do, indeed. The team was well-rested between rounds, in the posh new trailer they pulled in to town. Glass doors, air conditioning, and on-board video gaming.

Keely Kortman at the 2017 USA BMX Music City NationalsElite Women had nine riders on Friday and 10 on Saturday. A pleasing performance by this pair on Saturday. Keely Kortman (472) and Shealen Reno (10), in that order behind the double-up of Alise Post. On Friday, Dani George and Heather Collman joined Alise on the podium.

Alise Post at the 2017 USA BMX Music City NationalsSpeaking of Alise, she skipped the UCI SX races in Europe earlier this month, and kept it low-flame until Nashville, where she lit it up in a big way, and scored twin-wins on the weekend. But props have to go out to Dani George for getting the Answer Holeshot award on Friday, with a turn one move that put her in the lead at just-the-right-time.

BMX News 2017 race coverage sponsored by Dan’s Comp
BMX News Race Coverage is Sponsored by Dan's Comp

Bobby Dellert at the 2017 USA BMX Music City NationalsBobby Dellert is getting used to his 2017 Ssquared ride just-fine. He laid down some great laps in Nashville, and topped 16x on Saturday. Backing up to Friday, he was down the order a bit, with a fifth, but come Sunday, he was locked in to a second place finish, behind the National #1 Amateur, Throdwn’s Jesse Welch. The Phenom split the wins on Friday/Sunday.

Tyler Smith at the 2017 USA BMX Music City NationalsAfter Atlanta, Tyler Smith traded in his Haro/Promax kit for a new one of the Factory Answer flavor. He made two out of three 19-27x mains in Nashville. Billy Russell was the man to beat in the class this weekend, though, with aces-across all three mains. He was going so fast, we didn’t even get a photo of him. Well done, Billy!

Alise Post adds Broski Sound to the programIf you know your history on pro number plates, you know they sometimes slip some inside jokes into the mix, along with the standard fare of sponsor logos. Alise Post was rockin “Broski” on hers in Nashville. And just as we started to track her down to find out what it all meant, we happened upon the Promax pit setup, where we spied a sweet counter display, featuring the Silver Medalist…well…on display.

Alise Post adds Broski Sound to her programHere’s what Alise told News about the new sponsor:

After years of working with JBL Audio, I recently moved forward with another audio company in Broski Sound. This is a smaller company with lower-end options of headphones, and I think it’s a great fit for both me and the BMX market. All of the headphones are wireless which is great for training, and I think the affordability of them make them an awesome option for really anyone, but especially kids traveling all over and running around the track. They’re quality and function meet our needs.

I met the owner of Broski through Chula Vista BMX. His son races out there and he also sponsors Tyler Brown’s 316 Racing team. It’s cool working with them because they’re motivated in their industry but are also big fans of BMX and have really taken it on board and are supporting it.

I’m honored they wanted to work with me and put my face on their packaging, to promote me, their brand, and the entire sport of BMX to the outside world, through their headphones. I’m a big fan of “support those who support you,” and I look forward to a long future with Broski Sound.

Alise is on-point with her assessment; we saw some $20 bills in the hands of AP11 fans waving at the Promax pit peeps, who then referred them over to a tent by concessions, where they were being sold. More to come on the product in the coming weeks.

On The Way Out
We had a solid seven-hour drive, back to the 312 to ponder the weekend in Nashville. It really was a great trip, that lived up to the anticipation. The pit vibe was chill, and we had a lot of time to talk BMX with friends. The Rock Hill Worlds are high on everyone’s mind right now–whether training for the race, or parents making their preps to make it a trip to remember.

Our next race will be the 2017 USA BMX Midwest Nationals in Rockford–which is equally anticipated here at the BMX News Global Command Center, since it is at one of our local tracks.

As we sign it off, check out the photo galleries, linked below.

—Mike Carruth

Links

2017 Music City Nationals Friday Photos

2017 Music City Nationals Saturday Photos




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