August 20, 2013 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
Dan’s Comp has their whole posse of pedal pushers en route to Louisville next week. On Thursday, start the weekend off right by joining in on their two-hour clinic from 10AM-Noon. That is two hours of track time with an all-star lineup, including Weston Pope, Matt Pohlkamp, Colombian National Team coach, and Dan’s USA Factory flyer, German Medina, and Olympic Gold Medalist Mariana Pajon. Plus, if you were not sold yet…it’s FREE!
February 15, 2013 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
Submitted by George Costa
The start of the 2013 USA BMX factory team competition got underway in Reno, NV for the season opener. Answer/Rennen was in attendance and ready to make its mark on the upcoming season. Many of our off-season recruits were in attendance and the future looks bright for our squad. The team came away from the weekend with a solid fourth place on Sunday and, more importantly, a 230pt score. The level of factory team competition has been raised this year and with new teams in the mix it will be more important than ever to obtain these high scores.
Stop number two for the squad was the USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals in Louisville KY. This race, held indoors, at the Kentucky Exposition Center, replaced Morristown, and many did not know what to expect. The race did not disappoint, with 286 motos of action- packed racing. The tight track made for some great berm warfare, with Answer/Rennen coming out on top in all instances. This event had some breakout performances by the riders that resulted in a Sunday win, with a score of 244 pts.
Read below to see what your favorite rider has been up to
9X Brandon Crain went into Reno with a new training plan, drive and determination. Birthdays play such a factor in these young ages. The freshly turned 9 yr didn’t let that phase him scoring back to back 2nd place finishes in one of the biggest classes of the weekend. Look for big things out of the smallest Answer/Rennen rider this year.
10X Gavin Freewalt – Had some solid laps on both cruiser and 20″ but did not hit the podium in Louisville. Being the the first race of the year, this was a tune-up event for the G-Man. He knows where he is at and where he has to go.
12X Markwane Billingsley debut race for A/R was Louisville KY and he did not disappoint. On Saturday he was having the ultimate come from behind charge after unclipping out of the gate in his semi. From 8th he quickly moved his way through the pack one by one till he was in 4th. Markwane must have heard his Michigan fan club going crazy and he continued to try to pass people. Unfortunately he washed out in the last turn ending his chance for his first main with the team. Sunday was a different story as he scored a solid third place finish in 12X.
13X Erik Meyer– after scoring a third place finish in 13-14 open in Louisville on Saturday, Erik had a terrible crash breaking his wrist. He will be out for 12 weeks, but the Midwest Muscle is in good spirits, and will be ready to get after it when he returns to the track.
15X Cam Moore had an amazing showing in Jr Devo, beating the year-older Collin Hudson. This race had everyone on their feet cheering. On Sunday in 15X he went to score a big 2nd place finish in a huge rider count class.
16X Justin Knapper went out to Reno ready to redeem himself in the 16X class. After many hot laps and one crash, he dislocated his shoulder on Saturday night and his weekend was over. Apparently, he needs to dislocate his shoulder more often cause in just three short weeks, Justin dominated every race he entered in Louisville. He went on to sweep 16X both days and became the second A/R rider to make quick work of Collin Hudson.
17-18X Derik Bergh made his A/R debut in Reno, and we were impressed to see him make a statement out there. His Sunday performance helped the team get fourth place in competition. Come Louisville along with his dad they packed up their truck and drove off from their Igloo in Fergus Falls, MN to make the 15-hour hike from the frozen tundra. Living in arctic temperatures doesn’t seem to phase Derik one bit, as he was leading laps all weekend, and made the 17-18x main both days. Battling for the lead in Saturday’s main with the USA BMX national #1 amateur is a great way to start the weekend off. Unfortunately, he lost grip in the first turn and went down. On Sunday he hard-charged from gate 8 to take third for the day and help the team win the factory competition.
19-27X Niles Austin was in both Reno and Louisville and his maturity and skill showed through as he went on to score three 2nd place finishes and a third across the two weekends. This kind of riding provides huge points to the team’s success. Still, second isn’t good enough for him, so watch for him on top of the box very soon.
21-25 Cru Jeremy Knapper showed up to Louisville ready to murder his competition. On Sunday he did just that taking the win in 21-25 cruiser with ease.
28-35X Justin Wike was in Reno and this year remembered to show up for all four mains he made. He annihilated the competition not only in 28-35X but Open also. So much so, that we hear NAG 1 in this class is on a mission to duck any race Justin is at.
41+ Shawn Diprete (top) was in Reno and Louisville but the real story for him comes from Reno. After destroying his cruiser class and 20 Shawn started feeling really sick and I received a call at 3AM asking me to remove him from the team sheet for Sunday. Once sheets are submitted there’s no way to change that so I proceeded to ask him to skip cruiser altogether and first round of class and try to get as much rest as possible. He goes up for second round and transfers to the semi, then wins the semi and finally wins the main. Thats called being a team player right there folks, had he not done this we wouldn’t have scored the 230 pts for Sunday.
8G Tara Klein was in Reno and, after losing her crank arm off the back of their car on the way to the race, she quickly regrouped to score a respectable third and fourth.
10G Jamie McHenry’s debut race for A/R was in KY and being a bit nervous she quickly got used to the new bikes and proceeded to score a second and fourth in class/cruiser on Sunday.
11G Bailey Brannen was in Louisville and if every track was 1 ft shorter she raced on she would go undefeated. Straight deuces for Bailey in 11G after leading those mains to almost the bitter end. She is very determined and will get back on it soon
14G Abby MacLeod was in Louisville with more drive and determination than ever. Having freshly turned 14G you’d think she would be at a disadvantage but to the contrary she went on to score back to back 2nd place finishes in 14G
A-Pro Max Egdorf’s first race of the season was Louisville and, while he didn’t get the results he was looking for, by Sunday he started looking like that A-Pro who took second at the grands. Good thing we delivered the team’s G-Form impact protection this weekend. The elbow pads came in handy when last turn berm warfare commenced. Who would have known that G-Form elbow pads can take out a Mini Cooper. For those who don’t know Max’s longtime nickname is “elbows out.”
A-Pro Austin Loebe was in Reno but there wasn’t much to report on. Apparently living the dream in California meant a lot of sitting around and not much training. He returned to his home state of Delaware where there is nothing to do but train. Austin redeemed himself in Louisville leading many laps, and impressed everyone by riding the way we know he can. Austin did get smashed three times by a Mini Cooper before he returned the favor to the little guy on Sunday. Even with takeouts, Austin was able to stay on the podium both days getting a 3rd and 2nd in the very aggressive A-Pro class.
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February 11, 2013 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
It was an action-packed weekend of racing, as the third stop on the 2013 USA BMX National Tour touched down in the Derby City. It’s hard not to love Louisville: lots of great BMX memories here, easy to get in and out of town, hotels close to the venue, and solid, neighborhood-joint pizza, just a phone call away (Spinelli’s…bookmark it!).
The last time we were in town during the Winter months was for the 2009 NBL Christmas Classic. That race was shoe-horned into the “Broadbent Arena” at the Kentucky Exposition Center, and was generally not very pleasant. We were over-the-moon stoked to learn that NBL was bringing the Classic to Columbus–or anywhere other than the Broadbent Arena for 2010.
This year’s USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals would be in the said-to-be-larger Freedom Hall. Truth be told, it did not feel all that much larger than the Broadbent–though we’re sure someone could/will point to blueprints that say otherwise. The reality is that the KEC, as a whole, is an awkward setting for a BMX race. Parking was $36 for three days, which is their standard rate for all events, but we thought was testing the limits for a BMX crowd. Some had the option to ride the shuttle provided by some of the close-in hotels– a nice bonus that effectively shaved $12/nt off their room rate.
There was no team pit space, so the social factor of strolling around and seeing friends was pretty-much nonexistent, as everyone adjourned to the arena seats (or back to the room) after locking their bikes in the provided bike lockup area, out back.
This was the first year at the KEC for USA BMX, so we anticipate many of the creature discomforts will be addressed for next year. Louisville loves BMX, and we know they want what we want: the best possible BMX race.
For its part, the track was wedged in to the floor space available. It was a similar theme to all the other indoor stops on the tour, aside from the Grands. People are always going to complain about the indoor tracks–like death and taxes. Of course, the truth is everyone has to ride the same track. Once racing got underway, you saw passing on the straightaways as well as the turns, which is a good sign–on any track.
The last turn gave the most ominous first impression, with its tight radius and wall ride-esque facing. There was a heaping helping of drama there, especially in Sunday’s mains, where even the younger girls classes were riding the comp “high and over.”
Billy Allen and his crew did a great job of keeping the track in shape during the weekend. The dirt was not exactly awesome–mixed heavily with wood chips and some kind of moss-like protomatter that was neither dirt, nor wood. Like trying to make snowballs out of oatmeal and ice chips. Still, they held it together til the last main crossed the line.
The Bluegrass Nationals brought 286 motos on Saturday and 268 on Sunday. Lots of teams made the trip, looking for beefy rider counts. Donavon Long’s Haro/Promax team won the Factory honors on Saturday, George Costa made it out of Boston just ahead of the blizzard of 2013. His Answer/Rennen team rained on the parade of all the other Factory Teams on Sunday, turning in the top sheet.
Louisville was the last race before the Elite season starts up at the Winter Nationals in Phoenix. And we were impressed, as we were in Reno, with the level of stoke the crowd exhibited for the 23 A Pros who made the trip. This was Justin Posey’s Pro class debut, and he raced it like an ace. In fact, he WAS an ace, winning every lap both days–the first day for Dan’s Comp, and the second for his Collegiate team, Marian University. The USA Cycling Collegiate BMX Championships are being run alongside the Winter Nationals. You have to like JP’s chances at the title, if you saw him race this weekend.
We are going to have more on the Bluegrass Nationals Tuesday morning, including a Photo Trophy Dash. Leading up to that, give a gander to the photo galleries from the race.