December 30, 2013 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
We had some great stories to report in 2013. BMX Racing is going in a positive direction, and everything that happened this year points to a bigger-and-badder year ahead in 2014.
We took some time, during our Christmas-week hiatus, to look back at every story we posted this year. BMX News brought the community hundreds-upon-hundreds of newsworthy stories, over 10,000 curated photos and 25-hours of podcast interviews. Our 2014 plan steps up that game considerably, and we are charging our batteries already for the season opener in Reno in two weeks.
Of all the stories we published in 2013, we picked the 12 that we felt were most important in the BMX Racing world (presented in chronological order. All links will open in a new window).
Mike had been at the helm of the USA Cycling BMX program since the dawning of the Olympic Era (2007), and took the decision with grace saying, in a farewell email to friends “I ultimately failed to bring home an Olympic medal for the United States in 2012. These are the harsh realities that come with this job and I want to wish my successor all the best leading up to 2016.”
On the same day, Jamie Staff assumed the new role of “Director of BMX,” and told BMX News “My sincerest thanks go out to Mike King for all the hard work, mentorship, friendship and direction he’s provided over the years. Mike’s tireless efforts and leadership have placed our US BMX program on an incredibly solid foundation from which to build upon.”
Two days later, Jamie was our guest on the Announcers Tower Podcast (link below), where he outlined his plans for Team USA in 2013, and beyond. A major accomplishment of the program in 2013 was Connor Fields’ win of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup title.
In October, Mike joined Vee Tire Co. as Tire Development Manager and Brand Ambassador.
Following the 2011 demise of GO211, there had not been a solid provider for streaming USA BMX nationals. Tampa, FL based Health & Wellness Channel struck a deal with USA BMX in the spring, and by Albuquerque, we were enjoying the live coverage in our bunny slippers at home. Three months to the day after reporting the launch of the program, HWC suddenly pulled the plug, showing a “farewell” message to viewers immediately following the Buckeye Nationals coverage. USA BMX self-produced the Grand National streaming, via YouTube live, and it was a big hit with fans. We are optimistic that we may see more races streamed in the new year (though no official word on that).
On Day Three of the Music City Nationals in Nashville, the pros were angered by the fact that their checks for the previous two days did not match the published payout table USA BMX had published in the rulebook. USA BMX assured them it would be addressed in the days following the race, but the entire of Elite Men and Women’s classes walked off in a spectacle display along the fenceline, receiving high-fives from fans as they walked back to the pits (most thought it was a new “meet the fans” initiative, but word spread quickly, as USA BMX officials dropped a number of empty gates to make the race official).
It was a rare moment when all BMX racing pros stood together against the sanction, a display of solidarity which had not been seen at any point in the history of the sport. In the days following the race, all payments were made good to the riders, as was promised before the walk-out. Feelings on both sides were healing for the balance of the season.
Home to the top brands in BMX Racing for years, VSI Products, parent to Intense BMX, Speedco and Sinz announced they would be leaving the BMX market, as of June 30. Aside from being a major shock to the industry, this move left Elite riders Brian Kirkham, Arielle Martin, Dominique Daniels and Kory Cook without a sponsor in the middle of the season. Kirkham would announce his retirement after South Park, Dominique would continue in her Grand Canyon University jersey, aboard another frame, and Arielle and Kory would join Toby Henderson’s Promax brand for the balance of 2013. Arielle would also retire before the end of the season.
“KuwaHowie,” as Bob Osborn once called him in BMX Action magazine was one of the most important figures in the early days of the BMX industry. His “Everything Bicycles” was one of the first, and definitely the most prominent BMX-centric wholesale distributor in the world at the time. Howie brought Kuwahara Bicycles to the United States, and worked with Steven Spielberg to put Elliott on a (Kuwahara) BMX Bike in the 1982 blockbuster “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.” Howie was an amazing person, and generous mentor to countless members of the BMX and bicycle industries. He was 74 years young.
With the media coverage surrounding veteran NFL players coming forward to say they had been adversely affected by repeated hits to the head during their careers, many sports were taking a fresh look at how their athletes were affected as well. Jay Fraga from Massachusetts took the lead in investigating his own BMX-related concussions, following a series of injuries over the past several years. He appeared on our Announcers Tower Live show to talk about what he learned. Boston University is at the forefront of this research, and Jay has become our defacto expert on the topic. On October 8, the PBS series “Frontline” debuted a two-hour episode entitled “League of Denial,” documenting the NFL case.
With the countdown-to-Rio clock already running, the International Olympic Committee set its sights on the 2020 Games, and awarded them to Tokyo, Japan. Tokyo hosted the 1964 games, and won the bid for a 21st century games over Madrid and Istanbul. The bid package included artist renderings of the BMX venue (above), and puts BMX Racing in the middle of the action, just as it was in London. With an on-going nuclear crisis following the April 2011 earthquake, critics have expressed concerns that Fukushima (less than 200 miles to the North) may pose a safety risk to the Tokyo Games.
One of the qualities that makes a great athlete–whether in BMX or otherwise–is “heart.” Arielle Martin is an athlete who has exhibited an incredible amount of heart in her career. An indefatigable competitor, AMV15 suffered injuries which kept her out of the 2008 Olympics. Then in 2012– after earning a spot on the London 2012 team, she was struck-down by a life-threatening crash just hours before leaving for London. Still, she came back. After recovering from her September 2012 injury, Arielle was back on the bike in time for the Winter Nationals. The Podcast we recorded with her in October covers all her reasons for retiring after the last Supercross race of 2013, and is worth another listen. Today, Arielle is a big part of the USA Cycling BMX coaching staff, and we will be hearing more from her, in her new role, very soon.
The 2013 USA BMX Grand National would be the richest-cash weekend in the history of BMX Racing. The AA Pro champ would hoist a $20,000 check, with the top Pro Women taking home $5,000. Sam Willoughby and Mariana Pajon would be the recipients of the top-title prize money.
With an astonishing 20 AA Pro wins, 13 of which were consecutive, Sam Willoughby was the absolute ruler of the top class in 2013. This was Sam’s third title in four years, and we’re sure he is getting ready to make a run at title #4, which would tie him with legends Pete Loncarevich and Gary Ellis for most ABA/USA BMX titles won.
When motos were posted at the hotel, after the Friday night Race Of Champions was over, word spread fast that the 2013 USA BMX Grand National would be the largest BMX race of all time–at 712 motos and approximately 4,040 entries. The USA BMX crew ran the race with Swiss-watch precision, and had us out of the building by 3:30PM on day one (for the first round), and just shy of 9:30PM on Sunday. Some predicted Sunday would go as late as 1AM.
Just prior to the Christmas break, USA BMX announced that the long-standing $5 per class pre-registration discount would be replaced in 2014 by a $5 per class discount for staying at USA BMX host hotels. The initiative, dubbed “Stay To Save” would also bring with it a new online booking capability. In our story, BMX News did a “Quick Check” on the new system, and found that riders racing one bike for two days in Reno, as one example, would save $34 by booking through the Stay To Save program. Still, there was major outcry from families who camp, or prefer to stay at other-than-host-hotels.
As we end 2013, we would like to thank all of you who have made the work involved in writing, and shooting, and planning, and recording content for this website worth every second of it. We greatly appreciate the messages of support throughout the year, and the personal interaction we enjoy with so many of you at the races.
We also want to offer sincere thanks to all of our advertisers for making what we bring to the BMX Racing community possible. Without all of you, our coverage would not be possible. We emphasize that to everyone reading, and encourage you to support those who support our efforts.
We wish all of you a happy, safe and prosperous New Year, in your BMX endeavors, and otherwise.
December 2, 2013 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
It was an amazing evening of BMX in Tulsa Saturday night, as the fastest BMXers in the world came together to settle accounts on the 2013 season. Points were tight for Pro Women and Vet Pro, but the Men’s title was on lock after Sam Willoughby’s win on Friday.
Laced into the Pro action was the NAG 5 Challenge, which brings the top five riders in several NAG classes together for an all-out shootout that takes age group segmentation out of the equation and puts them all together. Two classes: Boys and Girls, and a $2500 money purse for each group ($800 to the winner).
And for between-the-racing entertainment, USA BMX brought dirt jumping back to the program, with an invitation to the DK dirt jump team of Drew Bezanson, Mike Verga and ???. Barry Nobles helped the guys dial-in the single-line course, and even joined in the fun when he did not make it to the AA semi.
The racing was absolutely off-the chain, and we will have the full report on that with our Grands 2013 recap, posted on Wednesday.
But we wanted to clear some of the photo logjam we have going on by posting the gallery from Saturday night now, so you could enjoy some of the visuals from the evening in advance of the story.
November 28, 2013 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
Great day of action-packed practice at the 2013 USA BMX Grand National. News was on the infield for a while, getting the prime photo angles dialed for tomorrow’s Race Of Champions. Consensus on the Grands Track is that it is one of the best in years, with a great mix of jammin jumps and solid straightaways.
We ended up with some great shots from the day, and sliced our vegetarian turkey in the room, in order to get ‘em processed and posted before lights out.
Tomorrow, with 500+ motos, it’s gonna be a long day, and there will be lots of photos to post, so keep it here on News for hundreds of free photo downloads, and details on what’s happening from gate to stripe.
November 28, 2013 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
Whether you are hip deep in the action at the Expo Center in Tulsa, or watching the races from your comfy chair back home, the fun-for-all Fantasy BMX Team Sheet Game will give you a team of six to cheer for Saturday Night.
Choose one rider in each of the six classes (NAG 5 Boys, NAG 5 Girls, AA Pro, Pro Women, Vet Pro and A Pro), or mix and match riders from the same class to dial in your best sheet. Only the six Saturday Night main events above will be scored.
How it Works:
Enter your team by completing the form below. You can enter as few as four riders, and as many as six. All will be scored. Be sure to complete all fields in the form for the entires you are selecting (Your information, as well as Name and Class).
This is more a “for the glory” type game, but we’re awarding some mystery prizes down to fifth place. Play for the fun, and be stoked by the bonus prize, if you win one.
Official rules, as well as NAG 5 Entry Link is at the bottom of this post.
A big thanks to Lisa Motley and Matt Calvin for their help in putting the game together!
* One sheet submission per email address
* Ties will be broken, first by the “Tie Breaker” number at the bottom of the form, then (if necessary) by determining the earliest sheet submitted.
* Scoring: Only main event finishers will be scored. Places 1-8 will be scored as follows:
Plus one point for each rider in their respecitve class.
* Sheets must be submitted by 8:30AM Saturday, November 30. SHEETS SUBMITTED AFTER 8:30AM WILL BE VOIDED, even if they are accepted by the system.
* Once a sheet is submitted, it cannot be edited.
* Results will be posted on BMXNEWS.COM Sunday Morning
* Technical glitch, or incomplete sheet voids all play. Any sheet may be voided at the judges’ discretion, for any reason.
* Decision of the judges is final
* Have fun!
Pro entires will not be final until Motos are Posted, but pick your favorites, or the underdogs you know and love.
November 24, 2013 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
In team news so secret, a wig and shades were required, BMX News has learned that Tim Dinger will be rockin with Smilin Bill Ryan and the Supercross squad, as of The Grands.
Among the favoriteist pros you know, Dinger says the following about the new ride:
Super-stoked to be with the SX crew. Having back-to-back surgeries last year made it a little difficult to get riding again, but I am finally back in the gym, and getting some strength back in my leg. Hopefully Kenth will show me some of his top secret training tips to get me back in the mix.
Supercross has always been at the forefront of innovation, and I am looking forward to being a part of that. Big thanks to Bill for giving me the opportunity, Ray and Matt at Fly Racing for always keeping me fresh, George at Rennen for the best gears out there, Jake at Industry Nine for the best wheels I have ever owned, and Hawk Racing. Looking forward to 2014 and beyond.
Well-said, for sure!
For his part, Bill Ryan is over-the-moon to add Dinger to the Supercross Family, and told News:
We were not necessarily looking to add a new Vet Pro to the Family– Kenth is still racing, though he did go into a self-induced retirement to become a USAC Coach for the next crop of US Olympic Athletes (first Cat 1 Certified Cycling Coach out of New Mexico).
But Dinger is special–a perfect fit, really. The Supercross BMX Family, is often accused of being a Circus– a few cards short of a full deck… and, well, if you know Dinger, you know that he fits our profile perfectly.
He likes to have fun, loves to ride, and takes his racing and training dead-serious. We’re a perfect match.
All that, and the fact that Dinger has been friends with the Supercross BMX Family for over a decade– back when he rode a Supercross UL while riding for the IDC BMX team as an A-Pro.
Help us welcome Tim to the Supercross Family, and be sure to watch for him throwing down some signature style while going for the win in Vet Pro, starting this weekend at the 2013 USA BMX Grand National!
Welcome Home Tim… Welcome home!
Pictured above, the very vehicle Dinger will be aboard on Tulsa time.
It’s always great to see how team things come together. Congrats to Bill and Tim on a wing-ding of a pedal-pairing.
November 22, 2013 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
Burlin Harris and the SuperCamp rig are heading to Tulsa packin a big deal for the 2014 season.
Local programs across the country love it when SuperCamp comes to town. Sometimes they touch down for only a day, other times it’s two days or even the four-day summer camp they run in the West and Midwest.
We have seen a ton of parents over the years invest in the “season pass,” which gets your rider in the gate at any/all of the regularly-scheduled camps on the schedule. The investment pays big dividends on raceday, and saves a lot of “shoulda, coulda, woulda” on the long ride home.
Enrolling in the camps individually, look for the four-day camps to tip the scales at $350ish, the two day camps at $100 per, and the single day camps at $35ea. But, as a season pass holder, you can jam with Bubba and the boys as much as you want for $500 for the whole season.
Now for that “Grands Special:” Sign up in Tulsa (or before, if the urge overwhelms you), and get the season pass for only $300. Major savings on a big part of your 2014 training toolbox.
Download the PDF below for more info on the 2014 stops on the tour, and the
November 21, 2013 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
Thursday at the Grands is all about walking the massive expanse of the Expo Center, catching up with old friends and ripping some gates over at Pro Gate to keep the skills razor sharp before Friday’s ROC. Well, that and your 30 minutes of practice at some point.
This year, Pro Gate is stepping up to put some “Set-em-up” in your Thursday downtime.
Sign up for one of our two FREE gate clinics on Thursday. We are doing two in order to accommodate practice times for all ages.
10:00AM – 11:00AM
Mariana Pajon – 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist
German Medina – Coach, Colombian National Team
Greg Hill – Former Top Pro and Owner of GHP BMX.
3:30PM – 4:30PM
Felicia Stancil – Factory GT
Tyler Whitfield – Factory Ssquared-Answer
Registration is free, but spots are limited. Register using the link below to assure yourself a spot.
November 12, 2013 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
USA BMX announced today that the total prize money up for grabs in Tulsa would top $125,000, making it the richest weekend in the history of BMX Racing.
The season-end payout has been doubled, giving the winner a $20,000 payday (2-10 below). Top of Pro Women will get $5,000 for the season win.
Based on the number of AA pros signed up at press time, the purse looks like it will be $14,000 ($4,000 for first). And that’s not the end of it. If 36 or more AAs show up, that number gets bumped-up again, to $20,000 total, with $7,000 for the winner.
Women will split a $4,000 purse with $1200 for first.
The Answer Holeshot Award ends its first season back with double-stuff for the Saturday race–$500 for AA and Women. ROC on Friday will payout $250 each for A Pro, Vet, Women and AA.
Oh, and the NAG-Fivers get in on the ka-ching thing too. A $5,000 purse will be split evenly with $2500 each for boys and girls alike. This is the first year the NAG 5 gets a money purse instead of prizes.
AA-PRO – $14,000 total purse*
*Based on number of registered riders. 26 to 35 AA-Pros. Maximum payout, with 36 or more AA-pros will be a $20k purse, with $7,000 for the winner.
PRO WOMEN – $4,000 total purse
Based on 16 or fewer registered riders
FACTORY TEAM – $10,000
BIKE SHOP TEAM – $5,000
Holeshot Winner of 1st main, all weekend.
Brought to you by Answer Products.
$250 ROC AA-pro
$250 ROC A-pro
$250 ROC Womens Pro
$250 ROC Vet Pro
$500 GRANDS AA-pro
$500 GRANDS Womens Pro
$2500 – Boys
$2500 – Girls
It’s great to see USA BMX stepping up the money game for the fiercest and fastest in the world. The action starts in a little less than two weeks, as the highways and jet routes of North America will be jammed with thousands of BMXers heading in to Tulsa town.
Our coverage starts Wednesday, so keep it here for story, photos and scoops all weekend long.
*High-denomination bills above are obviously shown for illustrative purposes only
November 10, 2013 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
With 16 days til we leave for Tulsa, thousands of BMXers are training up for the biggest race of the year (and likely, the biggest BMX race of all time). As sprints, squats and starts are happening from South Beach to Squamish, USA BMX is prepping a show for the fans that will surely be one for the history books.
Part of that special stuff is a Saturday Night Spectacular where the 2013 USA BMX Pro titles will be decided and, laced into the action, the much-anticipated Golden Crank Awards will be announced.
Voting started early last month, and ended just as the last of the Trick Or Treat candy was handed out on October 31. Since then, the data crunchers in Arizona have been hard at work to tally tens of thousands of votes that came in from licensed USA BMXers of all ages.
When it all boiled down to gravy, they ended up with the winners in each of the four classes (Pro, Rookie Pro, Bike and Team). To get the anticipatory adrenaline going, the top five in each class were released.
(Listed alphabetically, links will open in a new window)
Connor Fields – Chase BMX
Nic Long – Haro
Alise Post – Redline
Carley Young – Kid DynaMite
Sam Willoughby – Redline
Dani George – Supercross BMX
Josh Klatman – Redline
Austin Loebe – Answer – Rennen
Justin Posey – Dan’s Comp
Tanner Sebesta – Ssquared – Answer
Answer – Rennen
Ssquared – Answer
OK, so now you know if your picks made the final cut. Get those signs made for when you’re in the stands. Our cameras want to see hundreds of ‘em waiving! And if your pick didn’t make it, time to line up behind one of the 20 who did–kind of like after your team busts out in the regular season, and you have to back someone for the playoffs.
Our 2013 USA BMX Grand National coverage starts Tuesday, November 26, and continues at maximum wattage til the final photo of the final main is posted. Keep it here!
Download the PDF below for the info on the 2013 USA BMX Grand National (including practice times and event schedule)
*Links added by BMX News to highlight BMX News advertisers
October 28, 2013 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
With over 15,000 entries qualified for next month’s 2013 USA BMX Race of Champions, the post-turkey-day giddy-up promises to be gobble-gobble-great.
USA BMX released the full list of invitees, which we have for you at the link below.
Riders qualified to the ROC via their state series, and it gives a great opportunity to get some pre-Grands track time under race conditions. That, and the chance for one of the coveted ROC plates.
Top: Profile’s Chandler Denton at the 2012 USA BMX Race of Champions