Derby City Nats Battle Hurricane Harvey

September 6, 2017 by  

2017 Derby City Nats Elite Podium
The annual Derby City Nationals in Louisville are set smack-dab in hurricane season, on Labor Day weekend. For some of you joining our program, already in progress, this is a “legacy” event that was once the NBL Grand National. If you’re new-to-the-game, people can tell you all about it (where you at, Henry Sarria?).

In the USA BMX era, it’s a three-day event that draws riders from all corners of the American BMX kingdom, to engage in berm warfare on one of the classic tracks in the system.

In that first year of the Derby City Nationals (2012), Hurricane Isaac zipped up the Gulf of Mexico, and into the interior of the United States, dumping generous amounts of wind and rain on Louisville.

This year, Hurricane Harvey (by then, Tropical Storm Harvey), ravaged Texas, then started North, with Louisville dead-center in his path.

Ugh! Enough of the weather report. But, it was necessary to talk about the weather, since it played a starring role in how the race happened.

Harvey was forecasted for days-before to sit right-atop the Derby City, and dump buckets from Thursday night til early Saturday morning. And that is precisely what he did.

USA BMX did a great job of making interested BMXers aware of what was happening, via frequent Facebook posts, along with the time the next update would occur. That clear-communication helped everyone, both in the pits, in the hotels, and at home, to know what was happening, and when to check-in again.

The 11AM update on Friday said: “Friday, Day 1 of the Derby City Nationals has been canceled due to tropical storm Harvey.”

Alongside that news, came an update on the Elite racing for the weekend.

“Due to today’s unprecedented weather cancellation, USA BMX will add UCI Elite (Men & Women) racing to Sunday of the Black Jack Nationals on October 15, 2017.” So, there will be three days of Elite racing in Reno.

BMXLIVE.TV shot the following video, interviewing some of the top Elite riders, following that announcement:

Saturday’s program was delayed by about 90 minutes, and the first gate dropped around 1:30PM (with the pros running off the small hill).

The track surface had been tarped for a couple days, in anticipation of the storm, but runoff seeped under.

Throughout Saturday practice—which ran from 10:00AM-1:20PM, the riders helped roll it in. Still, by race time, there were soft spots, with major ruts along the way—especially in the second straight—but the race was running on the new schedule, just the same.

Though the covered and soil-tac’d racing surface was somewhat-stable, outside the fence, it was a squishy and muddy setting for anyone heading to staging, which was to be expected.

Here are the Elite main events (thanks to BMXLIVE.TV):

Elite Women Final

Elite Men Final

2017 Derby City Nationals Elite Podium

Elite Women
Alise Post – Promax/GW/TLD
Dani George – Dale Holmes Racing
Zoe Fleming – Haro/Promax

Elite Men
Joris Daudet – Chase Bicycles
Josh McLean – Yess BMX Australia
Kyle Evans – British Cycling


After the cloudy Saturday start, the later amateur main events, and all of Sunday’s race progeam were run in-the-dry, with sun poking through.

Everyone hates these foul-weather races as they’re happening…BUT, once you come out the other side, there is a common bond that is shared by all who braved the elements, and it becomes one of those BIG races in the long-list BMX memories.

We have had our fill of “bonding” races this year, with SO many rainy days. Our next race is Reno, with three-days-full of indoor Elite Racing.

In the meantime, check the USA BMX Photo Gallery.


2017 Derby City Nationals Photo Gallery

2017 Derby City Nationals Results