Top

Photos: Oldsmar 2018

February 26, 2018 by · Comments Off 

Photos: 2018 USA BMX Gator Nationals

It was a trio of races on the dual hills of Oldsmar BMX, as the second pro series stop unfolded on Friday/Saturday, with the 2018 USA Cycling BMX Elite National Championships on Sunday. All this, while some sizzlin amateur action kept the crowd wowed from the first rack to the last. Read more

2016 BMX News Photo Galleries

January 2, 2017 by · Comments Off 

All BMX News 2016 Photo Galleries

The complete collection of our 2016 photo galleries, all in one place. 2016 was one of the most newsworthy years in recent memory for BMX Racing, and BMX News was on-scene to cover much of it. You’ll see a plussed-up presence at the 2017 races, both here in the US, and via our network of contributors Read more

Photos: 2016 USA BMX Lone Star Nats

April 4, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Photo Galleries: 2016 USA BMX Lone Star Nationals

Every Spring, when we set the GPS toward Texas, the weather can be everything from sunny and 80s to cloudy with a chance of meatballs (which is what we got in 2013, with golfball-sized hail on Saturday morning in Desoto). Oh, and it snowed in 2012. For the 2016 schedule, the long-standing Super Nationals was moved from the Metroplex to the Capital City of Austin, and renamed as the Lone Star Nationals– an old time favorite in ABA lore.

Friday opened to a powerful thunderstorm that tossed factory row, and left dozens of Ez-Ups twisted and topless. Racing was delayed by three hours as the cold, soaking rain and cutting winds blew through, but the track stood up to all the moisture very well, thanks to the slurry top coat that was applied. Saturday and Sunday were the real prizes in the weather department, with brilliant-blue skies, and cool-breeze temps in the upper 70s/lower 8s.

This was a pro series race, but Elite turnout was expectedly low, with only 11 men on the sheets for Saturday’s race. Elite Women had more, with 16, and A-Pro was the big one among pros, with 24 on Saturday. The balance of the Elite talent pool was in, or en route to Manchester UK for stop #2 of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup.

We’ll see this a few more times in 2016, as the normal stock of Elites are off in the far-reaches, getting ready for, or recovering from one of the UCI SX races, the UCI Worlds, or the Olympic Games. Things will likely return to normal after August, when we slam-dunk the final two pro races of 2016 (Louisville and Lake Perris), then head for TUlsa.

Amateur-wise, the three-day Lone Star Nationals had some impressive talent on the boards, with 193 motos on Saturday (157 on Friday, and somewhere in the 170s for Sunday, if memory serves).

We will have the full recap of the weekend’s action tomorrow (Tuesday), but as a tasty appetizer to Tuesday, here are the three photo galleries from the 2016 Lone Star Nationals (click the image to visit the gallery, in a new window).

BMX News 2016 race coverage sponsored by Dan’s Comp
BMX News Race Coverage is Sponsored by Dan's Comp

Friday Gallery
Friday Photo Gallery: 2016 USA BMX Lone Star Nationals

Saturday Gallery
Saturday Photo Gallery: 2016 USA BMX Lone Star Nationals

Sunday Gallery
Sunday Photo Gallery: 2016 USA BMX Lone Star Nationals

Check back for the full recap from the 2016 USA BMX Lone Star Nationals.





BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Reader Letter: Where’s My Photo?

February 28, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Out of focus BMX racing photo

I saw you take a photo of my son on Saturday in Louisvile, but you didn’t post it. Why? It’s true, he is not a factory rider or a well-known national rider, but you should post all the photos you take, not only the ones of the factory kids.
–LM, Michigan

Thanks for writing, LM. We came back from Louisville with about 250 usable photos, which is a bit fewer than we normally would get for a two-day race. Usually, we get 200-250 per day.

In that above statement is the key to your question–”useable” photos. Despite the amazing technological advances digital photography have brought, there are still photos in every set that are, for a variety of reasons, deleted as “rejects.” Sometimes, the primary subject of the image is out of focus (as above), sometimes, the lighting is wrong, sometimes the rider is not in the perfect position–all of those reasons, and more, can go in to deleting a photo between the camera and posting it on the website.

Apart from those “technical” reasons, we post ALL the useable photos we take. Things like who the rider’s sponsor is*, being a novice, not being a factory rider, or other reasons along those lines are not considered when deciding what photos to include in the photo gallery from a certain race. We value ALL riders, and if we get a great shot of someone, it matters-not who they are and who they are (or aren’t) sponsored by.

We added an asterisk* above on a rider’s sponsor not being a reason for us excluding them from the posted photo set. In some very-rare cases, we will hold back photos of riders sponsored by certain companies–but ONLY if those companies have used our photos without permission. There have been a few times where companies have downloaded our images, then used them in advertisements for their products, without permission. We asked them not to do it again, and they did. So, the only remedy we have is to exclude that company from our photo sets. They can’t boost photos they don’t have, afterall. That said, there are only two companies on that list at the moment, and no photos were excluded for that purpose in Louisville.

We will also exclude photos from the posted set if the rider is not running his full race kit (including number plate) in practice. No point in posting if it isn’t full-kit.

Chances are, in Louisville, it was just bad focus or maybe a sneeze, mid-shot, that suddenly mis-framed your rider. I’m sure we’ll get him next time. Thanks again for writing your letter, and being a BMX News reader.

—Mike Carruth

Send Your Letter:
BMX News reader letters can be sent to letters@bmxnews.com. If we use yours, we’ll send you a BMX News T-Shirt.

Links

Photo Gallery: Day One 2016 Bluegrass Nationals

Photo Gallery: Day Two 2016 Bluegrass Nationals





BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Viva La Season Opener: 2016 Silver Dollar Nationals

January 13, 2016 by · Comments Off 

bmxnewsvegas16_1Story and Photos By Bryce Betts and Mike Carruth

The 41-day off season between the 2015 Grands and the 2016 opener in Las Vegas was a welcomed respite for BMX families from sea to shining sea. It gave us all some time at home with non-BMX family, a chance to tear the bike down and, for some, build it up fresh for a new sponsor. Here at the BMX News Global Command Center, we sent the Nikons for their annual physical, replaced some war-torn accessories, and actually got to unpack the go-bag, still holding remnants from last year’s Vegas opener. Good times…ready to do it all again!

As we always do, the BMX faithful come back together at the appointed place and time, but with new numbers on rider plates, some in new colors, already with eyes on that final lap, 321 days later in Tulsa. The new season is a blank canvas on Friday, and by Sunday it has some of the outlines of how the final picture will look. New friendships, new rivalries, secret plans starting to make their way public, and some new rules in the rulebook (more on that later this week) to enhance team competition, among other tweaks.

Vegas was the start of a five-race-in-a-row tear for BMX News, and we hope you’ll be keeping it here all season long for every bit of the Dan’s Comp race coverage.

Here are the highlights from the Silver Dollar Nationals, as well as links to the photo galleries and race results.

BMXNEWS16vegas2Elite Vendetta’s Jim Nelson is known as the “school bus,” and he took his class to school both days, with lead-rider calls in the 41-45 cruiser and expert classes. Nelson has always been known for sheer power, but after tuning-up his turning and manualing, he is becoming hard to beat. This showed on the results page, as Jim landed on the top step three out of four times, just-missing the win in Sunday’s expert main to his teammate, Charles Robinson.

bmxnews16vegas3Danny Ashbrook took home twin wins in 36-40 intermediate. Otherwise known as “Chicken Wing,” the Hesperia BMX rider flapped his wings in Intermediate for the last time, truckin and cluckin into the Expert class with the Sunday win. Danny also won mixed open on Sunday, and made his cruiser main both days.

bmxnews16vegas4Ssquared riders were out front all weekend, and 17-18x was no exception. Justin Richmond and Dustin Hammond swapped positions all weekend, each taking home first and second place scores.

bmxnews16vegas13Before mains on Saturday, Harry Leary surprised his longtime GF, Patty Mac Monagle at the finish line by proposing. Patty said YES!” into the microphone, sharing the moment with a thousand or so of their closes BMX friends. Big congrats to the happy couple.

Sophia Foresta at the 2016 USA BMX Silver Dollar NationalsFocus, confidence, drive and grace-under-fire. Here’s Sophia Foresta, out for a Saturday spin behind her new #1 Amateur Girl plate. No others in the shot means the lead was too big to capture anyone else. Chalk-up double wins in 15-16G in the 2016 GT kit.

bmxnews16vegas5Answer Rennen’s A-Pro Derik Bergh looked strong all weekend long. Despite holeshotting and leading nearly ever lap, Derik left sin spin city without a large check. In Saturday’s main, Derik lead the first main into turn two and slid out, completely mixing up the points. Derik stayed consistent after his crash finishing second behind Jacob Abbe (who won the overall) in the following two mains, allowing him to finish third. Sunday in motos Bergh was back to his usual up-front form, but come semi time a wheelie out of gate one caused him to get tangled in the back of the pack, ultimately leading to a small crash in the last turn.

bmxnews16vegas6The rider who always came through when it mattered was definitely Josh Klatman. As expected from a two-time Amateur Number one, he rode consistently every lap, and took his RRP Gates-backed Supercross to a second Saturday, and a 1-1-1 win on Sunday.

BMX News 2016 race coverage sponsored by Dan’s Comp
BMX News Race Coverage is Sponsored by Dan's Comp

bmxnews16vegas7Brandon Crain is an amazing rider. The 12-year old Answer-Rennen rocket ended up with a double-double, winning every main event in 11-12 open, and 12 expert. Brandon has a style and riding ability far above his age, making him a barrel of fun to watch, no matter the size of his lead.

bmxnews16vegas8Corey Salas came onto the scene fast last year, and quickly replaced his blank uniform with a factory Supercross kit. Bill Ryan found himself a great addition to the team, who has continued to improve and always keeps a positive attitude, much like the other factory Supercross riders. Corey had some tough luck crashing in the Saturday 19-27x semi, which was eventually won by Justin Knapper. The crash didn’t phase Salas, however, as he took home a win wire-to-wire on Sunday.

bmxnews16vegas9Box Components recently added a roster of amateur talent for the 2016 season, including 8G flyer, Danica Anderson. Lil Avalanche had a great weekend, flyin the new Box jersey, and getting a double-double in 7-8 mixed open and 8 Girls.

bmxnews16vegas10One nice aspect of the national at SouthPoint is that it makes it easy to bring the whole family. The usual dirt and gravel grounds are replaced with a nice clean arena (small as it may be), attached to all the amenities you’d expect from a full-on resort. Yess BMX VP, Renny Husada took full advantage of this with his son, Jay. They had a great time, not only watching races, but also enjoying the pool, movie theater, and bowling alley.

bmxnews16vegas11With the BMX off season being so short, many teams are yet to unveil their 2016 uniforms. J&R bicycles had some riders in their 2015 gear, and their new recruits in the 2016 white and black TLD kit. We will look for all the riders to be in new uniforms at the Winter Nationals in Phoenix next month.

bmxnews2016vegas12Bryce Batten looked strong all weekend in his debut for the Factory Ssquared squad. Unfortunately for the new NAG 1, he and Markwane Billingsley tangled both days–in turn one on Saturday, and in turn two on Sunday. Bryce’s crash on Sunday was “the crash of the weekend,” sending him over the berm, right into a metal barricade, folding himself over the top of it at full speed. BB hit so hard he bent the metal fence, and was ultimately sent off on a stretcher. One video of the Sunday wreck has over 70,000 views and hundreds of spirited comments. Luckily, he is okay after the gnarly crash and keeping it positive, post-race. Despite the rough start to the year, we’re sure to see big wins in the coming races from Bryce.

bmxnews16vegas12Kevin Pauls showed exactly why he has the gold Box rider plate with a large number one on it this weekend. The Haro-Promax rider dominated all weekend, taking home two wins in open, and two wins in 16x.

bmxnews16vegas14A close-up shot for some close-order racing. It’s always razor-close at SouthPoint, which makes the racing fun to watch, and call out your faves. And the battle between Eric Sweets, and ‘TP’ Todd Parry was arguably the best battle of the weekend. Sweets would holeshot each lap, and try as hard as he could to hold off the highly experienced Parry. On Saturday, Todd got the best of Eric in both mains, making clean passes. On Sunday, TP also won cruiser, but the last-race-of-the-weekend, 46 and over Expert main was the exciting race to watch. Sweets led into the second turn, where TP went for the high low, but it didn’t quite work. They went into the last turn neck and neck, and both ended up going down, sequentially more riders crashed into them, and it left an all out, post-crash dash to the stripe. David Gattis ended up taking the win, while TP took home second, and Joe Blatchford finished third, running his bike in. Sweets stayed on the ground longer than the others, and finished sixth, but should be alright.

Closing Thoughts
It’s always exciting to see elbow-to-elbow race action, but it’s never pleasant to see riders getting hurt. We like it best when we see one without the other, and we know it’s a very thin line between the two.

Many riders left the SouthPoint happy, while others were simply looking forward to the rest of the season, taking lessons-learned back to their training days between now and the next trip. One thing that remains consistent with all the riders is that they know this is only the beginning, and the USA BMX season is a long one. We look forward to the rest of the season, and will continue our on-scene race coverage in Tulsa.

Be sure to visit the links below for the Silver Dollar Nationals photo galleries.

Links

Photos: Silver Dollar Nats – Saturday

Photos: Silver Dollar Nats – Sunday

2016 Silver Dollar Nationals Results (USABMX.COM)





BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

2015 USA BMX Grands Pro Photo Galleries

December 2, 2015 by · Comments Off 

2015 Grands Pro Photo Galleries

As work continues on our full Grands re-cap and processing over a thousand photos from last week, we thought y’all would enjoy some prime pics of the pro racing action from Friday and Saturday, as well as the practice and autograph sessions on Thursday that lit the fuse on this historic weekend of BMX Racing in Tulsa.

By now, you have likely heard that the three titles went to Joris Daudet, Alise Post and Cristian Becerine, but these galleries will give you some perspective on how the motos and single-elimination quals went down before the big three main event laps in each class that decided the titles.

Alise had a healthy points lead going in, and cinched-up her silver cup with Friday’s win. The Saturday night Pro Women’s racing was still sizzlin, even with the title already decided. But in AA and Vet, it was down to the main events. Joris and Cristian each went aces-across in those mains to seal the deal.

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

Cristian Becerine at the 2015 USA BMX Grand NationalA big BMX News congrats to our new top pros on making it through a 2015 season that saw SX racing become part of the program for the Elites, and a couple quick names new-on-the-sheets in Vet.

We will be posting more today, so keep an eye on News for the am galleries as well as a wrap-up Podcast coming later tonight.

Links

Thursday Pro Practice Gallery

Friday Pro Racing Photo Gallery

Saturday Pro Finals Photo Gallery





BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

All Louisville Photos Posted!

September 7, 2015 by · Comments Off 

2015 Derby City Nationals Photo Galleries

While the 2015 USA BMX Derby City Nationals would go in the books as one of the warmest races in a while, it was also super-heated on the track. The competition was thick, from the first a-Pro rack on Friday to the last 46-Over Expert main on Sunday.

Nearly 100 Eastern Division Championship jerseys were awarded, as also took place in Reno for the Western Division Championships. There was a high-stoke for the riders, as they got to take their spot atop the USA BMX podium for a photo comemmorating the occasion.

BMX News was in the house from Thursday morning, and came back with some great photos and stories to tell from the race. As we hit the road back to HQ, check out the photo galleries, along with our always-free image downloads.

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

Thursday Photos
Derik Bergh at the 2015 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

Friday Photos
Anna Johnson at the 2015 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

Saturday Photos
BMX News Coverage of  the 2015 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

Sunday Photos
Tyler Whitfield at the 2015 USA BMX Derby City Nationals






BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

All Photo Galleries: 2015 Super Nationals

March 30, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Photo Galleries from the 2015 Super Nationals

After a perfect-weather weekend of racing in Desoto, Texas, BMX News is Google-Mapping our way back to Chicago today, capping-off a 12-day road trip that also included the Carolina Nationals in Rock Hill.

We used the extra time between Read more

Recap: 2015 USA BMX Winter Nationals

February 23, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Recap: 2015 USA BMX Winter Nationals

The USA BMX Winter Nationals are always one of the biggest races of the year. Two years ago, we were here for the pro opener, and it was packed to the rafters. Last year: no pro race, but still a hefty am crowd on the boards.

This year, owing to a standing-ovation track rebuild, two UCI Elite races (using the new Friday/Saturday format), and a break in the action in out-West national racing for a month and a half, the swarm was on at Black Mountain BMX. It was plenty-big but, mercifully, not the 400+ moto behemouth some were forcasting. Saturday’s race tipped the scales at 328 motos, and Sunday’s at 289–manageable, to be sure. But we were still out of the parking lot at 5PM on Sunday, and grateful it wasn’t 7PM.

If you read our recap of Friday night, you got a little taste of our pre-Saturday say on the new pro format, so we’ll save you those syllables. Truth be told, the new format is not very popular among anyone except the pros, who would rather gargle Draino than get up at 5:30 on Sunday morning to pack, eat and be at the track for the 7:45 warm-up. It’ll be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

When you score all the aspects of the weekend: Track, vibe, race action, weather, and the “intangibles” that make a good race great, this one had it handled. The “stars” of the 2015 season are starting to emerge, after four races in the books–and it’s refreshing to see more than just the usual suspects up top. Usual suspects are great; they work super-hard to stay there, but it adds something special to see some battles too.

The photos tell the story well, so here is the photo re-cap:

Top photo: Overview of the first straight (complete with A-Pro action), great weather, obligatory cactus background, and plentiful cheering fans. This shot is about 900 of the proverbial 1000 words that sums up the 2015 Winter Nationals.

Summer Welsh sings at the 2015 USA BMX Winter Nationals

13-Year old Summer Welsh belted out a spirited rendition of the National Anthem on Friday evening to open Winter Nationals weekend.

Jena Sagendorf won Felicia Stancil's Bike

Felicia Stancil ran a “win my bike” contest on Social Media, whereby she would give her fully-tricked-out 2014 GT Carbon. Jena Sagendorf was the lucky winner, as repost #1000 out of more than 1300 entries.

Alise Post and Brooke Crain at the 2015 USA BMX Winter Nationals

We have a feeling Alise and Brooke are going to be just as close on the track as they are off the track this season. The Best-buddies were bottom-bracket-to-bottom-bracket a bunch of times in Phoenix. Alise finished the weekend with two wins on the fresh 2015 leaderboard. Brooke was second both days, and it was Elke Van Hoof and Carlie Ferree who occupied the three-step on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Peter Choat at the 2015 USA BMX Winter Nationals

It’s Pistol Pete Choat, terror of the ten-year olds. Pete just signed on to the coming-on-strong Full-Tilt Bike Co. team (which now also counts Florida fast-guy Raul Gomez and Cannonball Jack Kelly on the roster). Winter Nats score for Peter: a 3 and a 2 in class, and an 8 and a Win in Cruiser on Sat, Sunday. Justin York got the 10x win both days. The moto sheets list “none” as sponsor. Our guess is: it will not stay that way for long.

Maynard Peel at the 2015 USA BMX Winter nationals

Maynard Peel was back Stateside after some time back home in his native New Zealand. Coming to Phoenix was just like home: Summer in February. He got the 15x win both days, and second both days in 15-16 open (to Kevin Pauls, then Bubba Gonzales). This shot was characteristic of the leads he was stretching out all weekend.

Greg Hill at the 2015 USA BMX Winter Nationals

While Greg Hill is no longer dashing for cash in the pro class, as he was 30 years ago, but the on-the-bike intensity he made famous is still at full amperage. Here’s GH blazing out of turn one Saturday. What none of us knew, but he probably did, is that he’d be first at the stripe in Saturday night’s 46-over expert main event.

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

Carlie Ferree at the 2015 USA BMX Winter Nationals

Carlie Ferree goofin in the Haro/Promax pit between pro rounds on Saturday. She didn’t skip a beat in making the transition from top-hand am to putting her feet on a pro podium the first weekend out. Third on Saturday.

Connor Fields at the 2015 USA BMX Winter Nationals

After Sam’s dramatic exit from the mix in Friday’s semi, the main was Connor’s to win or lose. He won it, with Nic Long in Second and Corben Sharrah in third. Saturday was looking goood for CF11 as well, until some first-straight turbulence in the main took him off-the-pace and onto a seventh place finish.

Anthony Dean at the 2015 USA BMX Winter Nationals

This started out as a good shot, but it went out of focus in the split second it took to push the button, and ended up in the “delete” pile. Woefully-out-of focus or not, this one frame tells the story of the Saturday Elite Men main event better than anything we had. Just above, we mentioned the turbulance on the first straight of the Saturday main. Sam, Joris and Connor all bumped (in some order), giving Anthony Dean all the daylight he needed to hit the Answer Holeshot pole first. He led it to the last turn, when Sam laid-down some kind of super-move that some said had his tires OVER Anthony’s as the two entered the turn (we didn’t see it, but it sounded cool). Sam took the win, and Jared the Jet Garcia (85) slipped by near the stripe for the second. Anthony took home the Answer Holeshot cash.

Leo Hile at the 2015 USA BMX Winter Nationals

Leo Hile and Patrick Coo split the 12x gold in Phoenix, with Leo taking 11-12 open both days as well.

Jesse Welch at the 2015 USA BMX Winter Nationals

Jesse Welch is back from his broken arm at the Grands, and looking fast as ever. Second to Bryant White in class and open on Saturday; a win in Open and third in class on Sunday (to White and Hunter Brown). Cool coincidence he ended up National 64, so two Haro stars be running the six-four.

Hunter Pelham at the 2015 USA BMX Winter Nationals

The 30-rider-thick A-Pro class on Sunday was a battle royale every trip. The whole weekend, really, with an awesome Main event Saturday night. On Day 2, Hunter Pelham put together three solid laps to top his first pro podium since turning-up in Vegas. Jordan Miranda was second overall and Tyler Whitfield was third. On Saturday night, it was Matt Furlan, Vic Behm and Collin Hudson topping the 36-rider class.

Scott Moreland at the 2015 USA BMX Winter Nationals

After a 45-minute break while EMTs cared for a rider who went down on the third straight in the 36-40 main, DiPrete and Scotty Moreland were ready to do the do. Shawn led to this exact point, when Scott swooped under and took over the lead to the stripe. Scott Felt was third. On Saturday, it was Jason Carnes with the win, Moreland with second and Jim Nelson with third. (Update: The “downed rider” mentioned above, Brandon Benton, is reported by friends to be “fine” after the crash).

Mika Synegal at the 2015 USA BMX Winter Nationals

Mika Synegal was riding at, or just-over his head in Sunday’s main event. With beast-mode fully-engaged, dude almost laid it down a few times in trying to catch Sergio Cabanillas on the second and third straights. Incredible intensity, and a treat to see this kind of “fight” in a five-year old. He made the pass and took home a Saturday-Sunday double in 5-under expert. Keep Mika’s name on your radar!

Cameron Moore at the 2015 USA BMX Winter Nationals

Cameron Moore gets our “Double Double” award for the Winter Nationals, taking home the gold in 17-18x and 17-20 open both days. Take a gander at the results, and all the guys he had to beat to make that happen, and you will be just as impressed as we were. As the “Double Double” award winner, Cam gets a $20 gift card to In-N-Out Burger to chow-down on his next trip Westward. Jacob Abbe (3) and Josh Banuelos (middle) took the second and third on Sunday (as Justin Knapper and Ryan Zinzow are on an “over the berm” trajectory).

Shawn DiPrete at the 2015 USA BMX Winter Nationals

The mains had a fair share of crashes, and that carried-through to the very-end. As 41-45 expert (second to last main of the weekend) was racing down the fourth straight, race offcials shut them down due to a downed rider entering the turn (you can see the officials on the track getting ready to route them or shut them down). DiPrete was leading, with Al Roybal in second when the shut-down call was made. On the re-run, the eight did a pump lap which just-happened to finish the way it was positioned to finish in the first place.

It was a great, albeit very long trip to Phoenix. We always enjoy coming to this one, both for the packed-class action on the track, seeing West Coast friends, and (some years) the pro opener. This year’s trip definitely did not disappoint.

A BIG BMX News thank you to Debbie Kelley, Chris Knapp, Traci Batten, Don Fisher and the rest of the Black Mountain crew, and to the USA BMX National crew for always doing what they do with a smile, and making it feel like home, whatever zip code we’re in.

Our next scheduled race is the 2015 USA BMX Carolina Nationals, and series-debut of the North American Supercross Series in Rock Hill, SC. That is March 20-22, and also includes the USA Cycling Elite National Championships (Friday), and the UCI North American Continental Championships (Sunday). We may hit the Cajun Nationals, if we get the jones for a 30-hour round-trip car trip (last year, we were in the car longer than we were in town).

Take a look at all-three of the full Photo Galleries from the Winter Nationals:

Photo Galleries

2015 Winter Nationals Photo Gallery – Friday Elites

2015 Winter Nationals Photo Gallery – Saturday Elites/Ams

2015 Winter Nationals Photo Gallery – Sunday

2015 USA BMX Winter Nationals – Results





BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Fields and Post Plus-Up Friday Night Format

February 21, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Connor Fields wins Day 1 in Phoenix

The new Friday-Saturday format for pro racing debuted at the Winter Nationals. It was interesting, exciting and a bit frustrating, all at once. With 53 Elite Men and 21 Elite Women on the hill, there’s no question that it brought an element of “show” to the normally-ho-hum Friday night pre-race.

This was an especially-large pre-race—about as large as last week’s national in Florida, at 150ish motos. As a result, it went til 10:15PM. Add in getting some food, maybe a shower to wash the Black Mountain off of you, and it was Midnight before lights out. That’s a tough Friday night, considering Saturday is likely to go late, too.

By the time Connor Fields hit the finish line on his winning pro main lap, most of the parking lot had emptied out– but about 25% of the crowd stayed behind to see every last lap, the munchkins and the mighty, alike, do their thing.

Of course there was some incredible race action between the first pro gate of the night and the last.

Elite Women had a few new faces, with Shay Glynn, Carlie Ferree, Kelsey Van Ogle, and Rachel Mydock. But there is no question that the Old Guard is still well in charge of the class, with Alise Post and Brooke Crain getting tons of lead rider calls from the tower.

Rachel Mydock at the 2015 USA BMX Winter Nationals
First-time Elite Mydock (above) did win the very-first Elite lap of the 2015 season, however, which is one of those “moments-in-history” things. Ferree was toward the front in more than a few laps as well, so we are looking for her to make some big moves as she gets settled in.

In the single-lap UCI main event, it was Alise, Brooke and Belgian Elke Van Hoof to stand on the new-for-2015 USA BMX podium.

Elite Men had some heartbreak mixed in with the action. Some good lead changes down the fourth straight of the long Black Mountain track. Justin Posey had 1-1-1 going in to the quarterfinals, but missed getting to the gate on time, later telling News:

“I never heard them announce ‘Pros to Staging.’ I only heard the first quarter being announced, from the pits. Tough lesson, for sure.”

Sam Willoughby was atomic all evening long, and it looked like he could very-well get the first win of 2015 on Friday night. Of course, Connor Fields was also having a great evening.

When the two met in the semis. It was the unstoppable force versus the immovable object. Both came out of the middle, with Connor in gate 4 and Sam in 5. They were closer than peas & carrots when they went into turn one at Warp 9. Hard to say what happened next, even with the benefit of G-Mo’s awesome video sequence of the situation (below). Both stars, super-close. Looked to us as though Sam just landed funny off the jump leading into turn one–while others said it was a lean-in battle. Whatever it was, it took Sam down to the dirt, and left Connor an open track ahead to do his business.

The wreck took down three of the eight riders, and Sam had an injury to his hand–no word on how bad, but he is racing on Saturday, so .

After all-but-the-expert mains of the pre-race, the two Elite mains ran, with the aforementioned finish of Post, Crain and Van Hoof on the podium for the women, and for the men, Connor had an awesome lap, but was pressed by Nic Long and Corben Sharrah. This was the first time in quite a while we had an all-American Elite Men’s podium.

Alise Post Wins on Day 1 of 2015 Winter Nationals

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

A Little Ditty on the New Format
As we were driving back to the hotel, we had a few minutes to pause and reflect on the new Friday night pro format. There were some bright spots to it–some “pros,” if you will, on the pros/cons list. But there were some aspects that were not as good as the traditional Sat/Sun format.

Time will tell if the gravitational-pull of the pros can lift the Friday night pre-race up to the next strata, and make it something families will want to stick around til 9 or 10 at night to see. Or if the Friday night pre-race pulls the pros down to it’s level of being a lower-wattage opener to the more important racing on Saturday and Sunday. Will the magnetic-poles of BMX stardom flip, making less-expensive-to-sponsor A-Pros more attractive, since they can race at every national, AND might be inclined to race all three days at Elite races; versus the much more limited exposure of the Elites?

The Elites need elevation. They need BETTER exposure to the families who buy the bikes and parts that allow the industry to fund pros. Seeing them race in the shadows, then disappear into the deep-darkness of the pits til next round may not be the way to accomplish that.

From an audience perspective, not everyone is in town yet on Friday night–hence the reason for Saturday sign-ups and practice. It was strange seeing the Elite mains running at 10 at night, with 75% of the people who were there for the first gate already gone.

With the pros now out of the picture (and presumably on their way home) on Sunday, arguably half that facetime opportunity to meet fans is gone. Will this prove to be an unfortunate culture shift for the sport, or a new age of making “Elite” more elite, through scarcity?

—Mike Carruth

BMX News will have more from Black Mountain BMX as Day One of the 2015 USA BMX Winternationals gets under way. meanwhile, take a gander at our photo gallery from the Friday night pro race.

Links

Photo Gallery 2015 Winter Nationals Elite Day 1


Comments





BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Next Page »

Bottom