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USAC BMX Elite Championship: Hi-Amps, Low-Drag

May 19, 2013 by · Comments Off 

2013 USA Cycling BMX Champion Nic Long

If you have been to a big race in Chula Vista before, you know the electricity of race day. We wrote about it more than once, where the “business” of BMX Supercross is about to be transacted on the track, and there is no time for idle chatter.

This weekend’s USA Cycling BMX Elite National Championships was a break from the gunfighter-serious tone, as 36 riders and a hundred or so spectators turned up to see who would run the striped-sleeve for the next year.

The striped sleeve is really the only public-facing proof of the title. This is a one-off race that happens once a year. The only place the #1 plate earned here can be run is at this race next year. There is no prize money and no series points (though the race did bestow UCI points, albeit the lowest classification). That said, a title is a title, and for those riders who have title bonuses written into their contracts, the chance of grabbing that bonus, plus another title for the resume was more than enough reason to show up.

The race was scheduled to begin at 11AM, and podium awards were to end at 1PM, which was almost exactly how it went down. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, with temps in the mid-70s, bright sun and a shallow breeze (which must have felt like a 747 jet blast to some of the less-experienced riders on the Beijing track).

In all, the gate dropped only 23 times, which is usually about how many photos we get of the Elite classes in the first round alone at most nationals. The pressure was on for the photogs as well as the pedal-pilots. It went SO fast, in fact, that it was tough to keep up with tweets and notes. Here are some of the highlights, and a link to our 81-photo gallery.

Maliek Byndloss 2013 USA Cycling BMX Jr. Men Champion

Maliek Byndloss had a mixed-bag weekend in North Carolina, but was out to show what it’s all about in Chula Vista. From this first Jr. Men Lap, it looked like it was going to be his day. Took the motos in 1-1-2 (Whitfield got him third round).

Justin Posey of Dan's Comp at the 2013 USA Cycling BMX Championships

Posey made it back from a strong showing in Argentina to come out sizzlin in the first round. An unfortunate semi would keep him out of the main this time.

Patrick Coo of Factory Hyper 11x  watching the Elites

After the USAC race, the gate started dropping on the State Qualifier “upstairs” at Chula Vista BMX. The big hill race pulled some spectators over. Patrick Coo, Hyper’s 11x sensation, was suited up and ready for duty, but first some inspiration from the big dogs.

Connor Fields looked great all day for Chase BMX

It was hard not to consider Connor Fields the odds-on favorite to retain the title. Coming off a straight-aces weekend in Argentina, and then aces-across for the four laps leading up to the main in Chula Vista. Here’s the third straight of the second round, leading Barry Nobles, David Herman, et. al.

The Beijing-replica BMX Supercross track at the US Olympic Training Center Chula Vista

The place that is usually the VIP area was the hang-around spot for most of the riders and their families. The vibe was like a very-intense local race, run with USA BMX precision and professionalism, but pretty much everyone there knew each other.

Shealen Reno takin her Hyper into turn two at the USA Cycling BMX National Championships

Junior Women had two riders: Shealen Reno and Shay Glynn. Even though they were combined with the Elites, they would get their own title and podium, based on how they scored in the overall (the junior who was first, among the elites would get the Junior title). Second round action in turn two.

Tyler Brown - Factory GT and Track Operator of Chula Vista BMX

Tyler Brown was in civilian clothes, as opposed to his GT Factory kit for the National Championships. Why? As Track Operator of Chula Vista BMX, he was the guy in charge of making sure the state race happening upstairs would go off without a hitch. He made the responsible decision to get the track and all the supporting pieces in place for the big crowd that would be showing up just as he would have otherwise been gating up for first round.

Nic Long in the Semis at the USA Cycling BMX National Championships

Elite Men Semi #2: Nic has a comfy lead, with Posey about to boost it in the two-spot. By the stripe, JP’s second place hold on a main event slot would be chipped away, til he ultimately got “nicked” by Nick Koehler in the final feet for the final qual spot.

Maliek Byndloss leads the Jr. Men Main Event for Ssquared

Jr. Men Main Event. Byndloss through the middle, and out to an early lead. Whitfield (closest to camera) gave a brief challenge for a podium spot in the first turn, but the outside lines proved better this trip. Podium was Maliek Byndloss (Ssquared), Alden Volle (Dan’s Comp) and Hunter Pelham (Haro/Promax).

Alise Post and Arielle Martin go 1-2 in USA Cycling BMX Elite Championships

With only five riders between Elite Women and Junior Women, they combined AND also had to run total points–so we only got to see them three times (as opposed to six for Elite men, who had semis and a main). Alise Post had two wins going into the third round, so it was looking pretty solid for her keeping the red white & blue sleeve. Arielle, the same, with 2-2, for an ultimate 1-1-1 and 2-2-2, respectively. Shealen got the third, overall, but for the Elite podium, Brooke and Dani George tied with 13 points….

Factory Supercross is stoked for Dani George, earning the third place podium spot.

…Brooke was initially called onto the podium as third place, but then it was discovered that Dani finished ahead of Brooke third round, giving her the tie-breaker.

BMX Racing News - Nic Long leading the Elite Men main event at the 2013 USA Cycling BMX National Championship

Elite Men Main: Down the second straight, Nic opened up a solid margin on Connor and the rest of the pack. It got close at the entrance to the last straight, and Nic held the lead to capture the Stars & Stripes sleeve for the next year.

Next time we’ll see these guys and gals will be in two weeks in Nashville, where the USA Cycling Amateur National Championships will run alongside the USA BMX Music City Nationals (also a UCI Elite race).

2013 USA Cycling BMX Elite Championships – Results

*Links will open in separate window, so feel free to check ‘em out–you won’t lose your place!

Junior Men – Total Riders = 10
1 MALIEK BYNDLOSS, FACTORY SSQUARED, CAPE CORAL, FL
2 ALDEN VOLLE, DAN’S COMP, PENRYN, CA
3 HUNTER PELHAM, HARO/PROMAX, CONROE, TX
4 SHANE HARLOW, FULLERTON BIKES, MORENO VALLEY, CA
5 LAYNE GAINER, FBN/SUPERCROSS, WAUCONDA, IL
6 SEAN GAIAN, FACTORY GT, SANTEE, CA
7 TYLER WHITFIELD, FACTORY SSQUARED/ANSWER, ROCKFORD, IL
8 COLE TESAR, FACTORY FELT/SC ACTIONSP, HUNTERSVILLE, NC

Junior Women – Total Riders = 2
1 SHEALEN RENO, HYPER BICYCLES, PLANO, TX
2 SHAY GLYNN, PROFILE / MONSTER, NORCO, CA

Overall Women – Total Riders = 7
1 ALISE POST, REDLINE, SAINT CLOUD, MN
2 ARIELLE MARTIN, INTENSE, SPANAWAY, WA
3 SHEALEN RENO, HYPER BICYCLES, PLANO, TX
4 BROOKE CRAIN, HARO, VISALIA, CA
5 DANI GEORGE, FACTORY SUPERCROSS BMX, PALMDALE, CA
6 SHAY GLYNN, PROFILE / MONSTER, NORCO, CA
7 SHELBY STACY, ANSWER/PROFILE/SSQUARED, BAKERSFIELD, CA

Elite Women – Total Riders = 5
1 ALISE POST, REDLINE, SAINT CLOUD, MN
2 ARIELLE MARTIN, INTENSE, SPANAWAY, WA
5 DANI GEORGE, FACTORY SUPERCROSS BMX, PALMDALE, CA
4 BROOKE CRAIN, HARO, VISALIA, CA
5 SHELBY STACY, ANSWER/PROFILE/SSQUARED, BAKERSFIELD, CA

Elite Men – Total Riders = 19
1 NIC LONG, HARO, LAKESIDE, CA
2 CONNOR FIELDS, CHASE BMX, HENDERSON, NV
3 JARED GARCIA, SPEEDLINE/SUPERCROSS, VICTORVILLE, CA
4 BARRY NOBLES, DK BICYCLES, WETUMPKA, AL
5 CORBEN SHARRAH, HARO, TUCSON, AZ
6 A.J. HIATT, ANARCHYBMX.COM, FRESNO, CA
7 NICK KOEHLER, FACTORY GT, TUSTIN, CA
8 ALEX ANTHONY, DIAMONDBACK/DOTFIT/FLY, SANTA CLARITA, CA

*Links added by BMX News to highlight companies who are also BMX News advertisers

Photos

USA Cycling BMX Elite Championships Photo Gallery





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Saturday: USA Cycling BMX Elite Championships

May 16, 2013 by · Comments Off 

BMX Racing News - Connor Fields defends his national title in Chula Vista

Last year, the USA Cycling BMX Elite Championships was run on Sunday, the day after the Chula Vista SX. That weekend had three “big draw” events happening all at once–a USA BMX National, the USA Cycling National Amateur Championships (qualifying gateway to the world championships), and the UCI BMX Supercross. The Elite race, on Sunday was a fairly lonely place, running at the same time as Day Two of the USA BMX National. It was almost (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) too much BMX happening for one weekend.

This year, it will be a much different setting, with the Elite race running as a stand-alone event–no national, no SX, no Am championships (Ams will race in Nashville two weeks from now). It will be kind of an interesting experiment, in that it elevates the Elites, having their own exclusive stage to show their stuff on the “Beijing” track. I’m not sure if they put out promo to attract spectators, but I expect it to feel like a more-rider version of the Olympic Trials, but likely without all the fanfare (friends, family, industry folk, and in-the-know San Diego locals ringing the fences).

The Olympic Trials only had eight riders, whereas this one will have 37 (according to Thursday’s entry list), making it the highest-amperage “local” race in the history of mankind (scheduled run tine: two hours). If the BMX News jet wasn’t in for an oil change, we could be back in Chicago, in time for dinner.

It is scheduled this way out of necessity, really, since the Elites need a supercross track to do their thing, and the Am race had a scheduled “move” after being in Chula for two years. Chances are about 100% this race will be back on the same weekend as the ams in future years, run on one of the “dual hill” facilities currently under construction/discussion.

This weekend’s preliminary list shows 19 Elite Men, 11 Junior Men, five Elite Women and two Junior Women (Women will likely be combined, unless more signed up by the cut-off. USAC awards a title to the first “Elite” and the first “Junior” to cross the line, regardless of how they actually place in the main).

Apart from the title, itself, the Elites will be racing for the right to wear the “flag-sleeve” on the left side of their jersey, which is oh-so-cool, especially since the only place they can run the #1 plate they earn is at this race, next year.

The 2012 defending champs (Connor Fields, Nick Koehler, Alise Post and Dani George) are all scheduled to appear, but Nick and Dani are Elite now, so we’ll have two new Junior Champions, however it shakes out.

BMX News will be hopping a big bird westbound to bring you the story and photos on Saturday night, so be sure to check in here. We’ll also be tweeting the as-they-happen happenings from the infield, so follow @bmxnews for the early scoop.

Check out the link at the bottom for the link to the preliminary entry list.

—Mike Carruth

Above: Connor Fields leads at the 2012 USA Cycling BMX Elite National Championships

Links

USA Cycling BMX Elite Championships Entries

Follow @bmxnews on Twitter





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