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Recap and Photo Galleries: 2015 Music City Nats

May 26, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Recap of the 2015 USA BMX Music City Nationals

Music City BMX is as familiar as an old friend, and just as much fun to be around. The seven-hour Southbound trip is no-biggie by now, with strategic Starbucks and Chipotle stops along I-65 getting permanent pinpoint status in the BMX Newsteam map app.

This year’s race would be a tad-different, in that it was splitting a square on the national schedule with the USA BMX Spring Nationals in Albuquerque. Last year, News drove out to ABQ, then kicked-it in a few fleabag motels in Texas before showing up in Nashville on Weds (thankfully, no fleas tagged along).

Still, even with 160-some motos of Westerners rippin it up in the Duke City, the competition, the moto-count and the stoke-factor was high in Nashville, from the first practice gate on Friday, til the last “See Ya in Raytown” on Sunday. 302 motos on the sheets for day one, which included 40 motos of USA Cycling “Challenge” class races for qualifying into the 2015 UCI Worlds in Belgium.

That was also something different about the 2015 installment of this race. In previous years, the “USA Cycling National Championships” was the co-star at one race or another, including Albuquerque last year. This year, with the split-schedule and new way of selecting qualifiers (main makers in ABQ and Nashville, instead of the 16 in the semis at a single race), the USA Cycling aspect was downgraded to a “Worlds Qualifier” and not a “National Championship.” Thus, there were more than a few folks who won their Challenge class on Saturday, combed their hair, maybe took a blast of Binaca, getting ready for their podium moment to receive their “USA” champion’s jersey and medallion–only to receive clarification that such was the difference between “Worlds Qualifier” and “National Championship.” Here’s a Music City Nationals trophy, if you want it. Ideally, the worlds qualifiers for the USA would be decided by year-end NAG standings, if UCI would get with the program and just run our age classes (haha).

As the season unfolds, this is the race where we start to see riders aging-up and training-up for their new class–and it’s always interesting to see who makes the step up without missing a beat, and who needs to go back to the sprint spot and squat rack more often. We also get to see new stars emerging after the former hotshoes move on.

Elite Men had 37 riders and Elite Women had 13 for Friday night’s pre-race pro show. Most of the heavies were in the house, with the exception of a few notables like Sam Willoughby (back in Australia for a bit), many of the South Americans (in Chile for the UCI Continental Championships), Marc Willers, Barry Nobles and Caroline Buchanan (taking some R&R in Lake Havasu). After the anomaly of an all-American podium on Friday night in Ventura, Nashville’s Elite podiums had their own anomaly– ending up exactly the same, for both classes, both days. More on that below.

Here are some highlights from the weekend:

Top Photo, Left: First Round in the Friday Pro Show, Alise put her Redline out front, and kept it there all weekend long, with a full-pop of aces in motos and both mains.

On her wins in Nashville, Alise told News:

I am really happy with the weekend! I have always loved the Nashville track and wanted to have some good riding again after a couple of sub-par performances the last couple of finals I’ve been in. It felt good to let it all out, have clean laps, and be out front all weekend with my dad, family and lots of support watching. Not to mention, I have never won the day of this national where guitars were handed out, so I was pretty set on getting it this year!

Picturesque Hamilton Creek Park, adjacent to Music City BMXRace Day, 6:45AM Saturday. All calm over Percy Priest Lake, in the Hamilton Creek Section. A great view, that’s only about 500 feet from the last turn of Music City BMX. This expanse has served as camping, parking and a cooling-off place for countless BMXers over the years, and is one of the “amenities” that make the Music City Nationals one of the must-attend races on the USA BMX Nationals Schedule.

J Percy Priest Dam in Nashville, TNSpeaking of Percy Priest Lake, the J. Percy Priest Dam is the namesake of the lake, named after a US congressman from Tennessee. Completed in 1968, it generates 28 MW of electrical power (enough to power about 21,000 homes).

New USA BMX Operations RigUSA BMX debuted their new “Big Red” operations trailer at the 2015 Music City Nationals. The original, now dubbed “Old Blue” was the first big rig in BMX racing, and served the ABA, then USA BMX, well for more than a decade. Old Blue will stay in service, tending to the Western races on the schedule, while Big Red will zip around East of the Mississippi. The new rig, formerly on the NASCAR circuit as a Sprint Communications simulator, has upgraded-everything to smooth-out raceday operations for the riders, and speed the set-up and teardown process for the USA BMX crew.

Kelsey Van Ogle at the 2015 USA BMX Music City NationalsKelsey Van Ogle, “KVO” to her loyal subjects, has been rippin in a major way since turning pro this year. Nashville was her third and fourth podium of her Elite career, with third both days. Hard to believe she is puttin a hurt on the pros, at 16 years old. That’s Kristen Bobb on KVO’s port side.

BMX News Coverage of the 2015 USA BMX Music City NationalsThose Hostile Industries dudes bring a show on the track, and on the sidelines. Break Dance level: 10

Max Egdorf at the 2015 USA BMX Music City NationalsFirst round of A-Pro on Saturday. Answer Rennen rockstar, Max Egdorf whips it to the hard-inside, as Phil Delizia (814) plots a line to the heart of the “big push” part of the Music City first turn.

BMX News 2015 race coverage sponsored by Dan’s Comp
BMX News Race Coverage is Sponsored by Dan's Comp

Graydon "The Ladies Man" Hutchinson at the 2015 USA BMX Music City NationalsGraydon “The Ladies Man” Hutchinson had his fresh-new Kuwahara cruiser on the front-side all weekend long in 10 Cruiser, posting a double-win for his new sponsor.

Stephani Morin at the 2015 USA BMX Music City NationalsStar BMX Products hotshoe, Stephani Morin has been training-up lately for the big battles in 14G. Double deuces in the hefty class (to SSquared show-stopper, Kate Deters on Saturday, and Supercross jammer, Anna Johnson, on Sunday). She also got the W in 13-14 GCruiser on Saturday, and another win in 17-29 Women’s Cruiser Challenge Class in the World’s Qualifier on Saturday. Pretty good weekend!

Charlie Golwyn at the 2015 USA BMX Music City NationalsHere’s Charlie Golwyn, truckin on the new Epik Carbon rims, which were the talk of the track in Nashville this weekend. As if Charlie didn’t have enough factory-flav goin on.

Derik Bergh at the 2015 USA BMX Music City NationalsAnswer/Ssquared had a full compliment of stars on the sheets in the Music City. Derik Bergh blazed a trail to a second on Saturday (behind Menardo Simon), and a capital-W-win on Sunday.

Cameron Moore at the 2015 USA BMX Music City NationalsSome golden-hour photo flair with the Golden Boy of 17-18x, Cameron Moore. Double aces on the weekend for the Haro/Promax set.

Saturday Night Pro Main at the 2015 USA BMX Music City NationalsSaturday Night Special: Joris Daudet noses into the lead over the first-turn mountain in the Elite Men Main Event. Friday and Saturday podiums were exactly the same with Joris on top, and Anthony Dean and Connor Fields in the two-three podium spots. A Chase BMX sweep!

BMX News coverage of the 2015 USA BMX Music City NationalsMusic City BMX brought an epic light show to the The Friday Night Pre-Race Pro Show, with a rollout for both Elite Women and Elite Men. The hospitality extended by the Music City BMX crew was present in every-aspect of the race weekend. This is the case every year, but we never stop appreciating it. Regarding the rollouts, we gotta say, it’s always better when Elite Women gets to take one as well as the guys. Both classes are “Elite” after all, and it only makes sense to equal it up.

Santiago Marin at the 2015 USA BMX Music City NationalsWe’ve been used to hearing Santiago Marin getting lead-rider calls for amateur motos and mains for plenty of years. In Nashville, Santi tore it up in A-Pro, and landed atop the podium on Saturday, getting one of four autographed guitars as a podium prize, in addition to some USA BMX cash. Kenny Gustafson got the A-Pro win on Sunday.

Gavin Freewalt at the 2015 USA BMX Music City NationalsThe G-Man, Gavin Freewalt, put in some serious office hours in the Music City. Double wins on Saturday (13 Challenge Boys and 12x), and 11-12 Open / 12x wins on Sunday give G the BMX News In-N-Out Burger “Double Double” award for the Music City Nationals. Though, being a Chicagoan, maybe it’ll be Portillo’s instead! #bestburger

Kyle McRory at the 2015 USA BMX Music City NationalsKyle McRory from Pittsburgh has been turning some impressive laps lately. Dude just got a brand new Troy Lee kit for Nashville, when disaster struck, first round on Friday. Here’s how Kyle told it on social media:

“First moto of the weekend I got a thorn in my tire and tried racing on a flat, and ended up with a broken bone in my shoulder, ac separation, bad concussion, fractured sternum, badly bruised hip and possibly broken ribs as well as a few other things. Guess I learned my lesson.”

Wishing Kyle a quick recovery from that laundry-list of injuries.

The Return of Mr. Bill to the Music City
Nashville has been a favorite stop on the national tour for decades. The NBL Grands was held there in 1983, and the track had tons of huge nationals over the years. Back for the first time since 1991, Billy Griggs brought his new-era game to the new-era track. Of course, sometimes you bite the bear, and sometimes the bear bites you. Here’s what Billy told us about his weekend:

Billy Griggs at the 2015 USA BMX Music City NationalsIt was truly a “memory lane” experience. The walkways through the trees in the pit area were just as I remembered. And the lake, I literally felt 14 again.

The first time I was there was 1983 for the NBL Grands, then all the Murray World Cups. The last trip there was as a AA Pro, in 1991.

Fast-forward 24 years, and the track was slightly intimidating the first couple laps. The pure speed and size of the lips on the first straight were something I have not done since I have been racing again, if ever before.

But the first lap at full speed, I hit them clean and was completely stoked on how it felt to go that fast, and that big, at 46 years old. The whole layout was well thought out and surface was awesome.

In the Saturday main, I jumped the double out of the first turn and manualed the step but miss-timed dropping my front wheel and hit the face of the second half of the jump. At that point, I was along for the ride and hit the deck pretty hard.

Fortunately I didn’t do any major damage but pretty much needed a crane to get out of bed Sunday morning.

Giving-away a win by making a huge mistake like that is pretty much the worst way to lose one.

Sunday, I backed down on trying to go as fast as possible and just focus on clean laps. The track certainly demanded respect. I was able to pull out the win and hopefully save a little face for the “rookie” mistake I made on Saturday.

It’s amazing what race adrenaline and being extremely-motivated to forget about a major on-track error can do to block out some pain.

LUKE SEGAL AT THE 2015 USA BMX MUSIC CITY NATIONALSLuke Segal was back from deployment for the US Military, just long enough to hit up the Music City Nationals. Luke shipped out soon after the last main crossed the line, but not before taking his new Staats Bloodline scoot to twin-wins in 36-40 Cruiser, and double-deuces in 36-40 Expert.

Closing it Out

The “butcher’s bill” listed a couple of 40-minute-plus breaks in the racing action on Saturday to tend to injured riders, and many more reporting concussions, a few miles worth of road rash, and some bruised egos all added to the tally. Our thoughts are always with those who had to take a trip to the ER to get checked out, some of whom we saw back at the track on Sunday doing just-fine.

A Big BMX News thanks to Tommy Jacobs, Thomas Petillo, Dustin McGregor, Tim & Carrie Strange and all the Music City crew for their help and hospitality for all of us who made the trip. Though it’s a thankless job at times, let us be among those saying “Thank You!”

Our next race will be the 2015 USA BMX Midwest Nationals (unless we succumb to the itch to go to Raytown on June 6). Check out the photo galleries from Nashville 2015 below.

Photo Galleries

2015 Music City Nationals Photos – Friday

2015 Music City Nationals Photos – Saturday

2015 Music City Nationals Photos – Sunday

UPDATE:

DannyD’s Videos From the Music City Nationals





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Kuwahara Adds Hutchinson Family

May 20, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Hutchinson Kuwahara Pickup

Just-ahead of the Music City Nationals, Kuwahara has a hot-tip on some hotshoe pickups. The Hutchinson family of Ohio. Three riders, and a dialed-in dad who has managed a successful team before (Liberty BMX), all showing up in the Kuwa-colors in Nashville.

Here’s a little bit on the Hutchinson fam:

Graydon (10x) has been racing just under three years and has made a name for himself on the local and National circuit. His passion for racing has earned him multiple State titles, Gold Cup plates, and most recently NAG #5. When he’s not carving berms and clearing big doubles, he plays hockey, baseball, and other competitive sports.

Myles “The Boss” (8x) is the fun-loving kid of the family who is just out to have a great time with his friends and family at the track. Make no mistake, when he’s in race mode, he can pull some big moves, landing him on five national podiums last year.

Laura, a hockey player by trade, took a try at the new Hutch family sport. A year and a half later, she would finish NAG #3 in 31-35 Ladies Cruiser. Laura was out for most of the 2014 season having her 1st baby, Alise Hutchinson who arrived on Christmas eve.

Gray “Big Hutch” is a retired, Active Duty Soldier, who manages his family’s BMX fun. He’s a USA BMX Certified Coach and spent last year as TM of Liberty BMX, taking the team to the National #2 Trophy Team spot. Gray has a long history of riding bikes from racing, to ramps and street riding.

Factory Kuwahara Team Manager, Kelly Daniels told News:
“With a growing contingent on the East Coast, the Hutch’s were a logical choice. You can bet Kuwahara will be running some serious team sheets back-East.”

The BMX News Nikons will be sharply-focused on the Hutchinsons in Nashville, so keep an eye on the story and photo coverage for more on this story.

Links

Kuwahara BMX Website





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