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BMX Gold for Pajon and Fields!!

August 20, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Connor Fields and Mariana Pajon Win BMX Gold in Rio

Since BMX racing’s Olympic debut in 2008, riders around the world have been dreaming of competing at the pinnacle of the sport. Few riders have had the chance to make this dream a reality, and even fewer have had the fairy-tale ending on the medal stand.

Today there were six more medals up for grabs, and a chance for any of the 32 men and women in the program to notch their name into the BMX history books for eternity. The stands were full. The stage was set, and now its up to the riders to perform and the magic to happen.

Yes, we kind of gave it away with the above headline and photo, but unless you have been runnin deep cover, or on the International Space Station (actually, they have Internet, so just deep cover), you know that the 2016 Olympic BMX Medalists have been decided.

But just like any great movie, the final punchline is one thing…the “how it all came together” flashback is where the real “story” is. So, settle in…it’s about to get good.

Elite Women Semifinals
Recap By Bryce Betts

Run One

Group 1
ew-semi-1.1The nerves were high, and the stakes were higher as the women loaded into the gate for their first of three Semifinal rounds. As the camera panned past the riders, and neared lane 1 the crowd continued to get louder. Once they introduced Mariana Pajon the crowd erupted, likely giving some additional nerves to the riders. It didn’t faze the veterans however, as Pajon rocketed out of the gate and jumped the first straight so much lower than Hernandez and Post. After Pajon jumped into the first turn, the race was over, as Mariana was bike lengths ahead. Christensen followed Post around the track til the last turn, where Hernandez made a great move pushing her up, and also allowing Alise Post to follow past the Denmark rider.

Group 2
ew-semi-1.2The gate dropped and it seemed like Crain had the snap, but it was Caroline who held onto it thanks to an inside lane pick. Crain and Buchanan were the only two to jump the triple into the first turn, and Crain took some nice pedals down the backside but it wasn’t enough to get ahead of Buchanan. Brooke was trying everything to get around Caroline, but while trailing Caroline’s back wheel she lost sight of blocking the defending Bronze medalist and Smulders managed to push Brooke up in the last turn and slot her back to third.

Run Two

Group 1
ew-semi-2.1After the first round of motos the riders were finding their position in the semi, but many didn’t want to settle if they were outside of the top 4. In the second round Alise Post had a much better first straight, and had a slight edge on Mariana. Pajon’s inside position allowed her to stay in front, but Alise continued to apply the pressure, all the way to the finish. The real battle was for third and on however, as the racing was as tight as possible. Hernandez was in third, and slid out on the green paint crashing into 4th place Christensen, with only Manon Valentino (a close fifth into last turn) dodging and finishing third, and Gaby Diaz going from last to fourth while Carr and van Benthem were tangled up with the downed riders. If the Olympics has proven one thing in the past eight years, it is supreme unpredictability! This was just another example of that.

Group 2
ew-semi-2.2.1Moto two was down the ramp and once again the American rider got a better gate. Brooke Crain missed the triple into the first turn, but still got ahead of Buchanan, causing Caroline to back off into the first turn. This made room for Smulders and Bondarenko, to slot into the two and three slots. The top four seemed to stay consistent the whole lap, but Smulders made a last straight move past Brooke Crain yet again to edge her out and take the win. Unfortunately for the Brazilian rider, Carnaval, she crashed with Reynolds and is having a similar games to Rezende.

Run Three

Group 1
ew-semi-3.1The points are settled for the top seeds, but it is still important to get lane pick. Just thirty minutes after last moto, the women loaded up for their last shot to get into the final. Mariana and Alise were a dead heat into the first and second turns. Alise got pushed wide though, and Hernandez ended up making a move down the third straight giving her second place and AP11 the third. For every bummed rider in the semis, there is a happy rider however. France’s only rider left in the semi finals, Valentino made it on to the final much to the delight of her very BMX-proud country.

Group 2
The first half of the main was set, with Pajon, Post, Hernandez, and Valentino. We were one gate start and 34.67 seconds away from filling the rest of the gate. Smulders had a great gate, and Crain followed close. Belgian VanHoof finished third, The big surprise was Caroline Buchanan, who ended up coming up way short on the first two jumps, which appeared to move her bars way forward in Chicago style.

ew-semi-3.2She then went on to crash into Bondarenko’s back wheel in the first turn. It was up to watching how Bondarenko finished to see if Caroline’s dreams would end. Unfortunately for Caroline, Bondarenko finished fifth, making it a tie in points which, with the better finish, would allow the youngest rider in the Games to advance into the final.

It can’t be overstated how big a deal this was. Caroline was on the top of many picks, even above Mariana, in some cases–and now she was out. Naturally, she was heartbroken and the tears were hard to watch.

Elite Women Final

Before we could process what happened in the semis, the main event was already loading up in the gate. There was a lot of heat on the inside, with Pajon in one, Smulders in two, Crain in three, and Post in four. And just-like-that four years of waiting, training and visualizing the Olympic final was down to the starter’s command and a cadence.

ew-final-2Smulders seemed to have the snap, but Alise was up there as well. Brooke Crain didn’t get the starts she was having all day, and the French rider of Valentino did a front flip into the first turn similar to Nic Long’s in practice.

ew-final-3It was all Pajon out of turn one. Mariana was chased down by a hungry Alise Post, followed by Hernandez and defending bronze medalist Laura Smulders. Smulders had been making moves at the end of the track all day so we were looking for her to make something happen. Hernandez made a slight mistake in the third straight, and the Dutch rider was catching-up quick. Unfortunately, Smulders went down in the last turn, ending her quest for a second medal. Brooke Crain rode by for the gut-wrenching fourth place, ahead of Russia’s Bondarenko, but behind Hernandez.

The stands seemed to be nearly 50% Colombian, and as you can imagine the crowd was erupting all the way until the medal ceremony. Mariana is now etched into BMX history along side Maris as the only BMXers who have earned two (gold) medals at the Olympic Games.

The Silver medal for Alise also marks the best BMX result by a U.S. woman in the Olympics, and was America’s 4th medal in history. Alise and Mariana have been swapping 1-2 positions since before they were pro, and the NewsTeam feels like their dominance on the world stage won’t stop any time soon.

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

Elite Men Semifinals
Recap By Mike Carruth

Run One

Group 1
mens-semi-1.1In the gate for the first semi, we had (from the outside in heat 1): Luis Brethauer (GER), David Graf (SUI), Jelle van Gorkom (NED), Carlos Ramirez (COL), Carlos Oquendo (COL), Corben Sharrah (USA), Nic Long (USA) and Anthony Dean (AUS).

Down the hill, and down the first straight in an instant, van Gorkom had the lead for a moment, with Graf on the way outside, and Dean a pedal or two off the pace. Into turn one, Dean dropped in off the triple, and took the lead with van Gorkom and Long in trail. Down the second straight, the Colombian, Ramirez came through the left and took up third. Out of turn two, Oquendo edged up into the fourth spot…and that’s how it would finish. Dean, van Gorkom, Ramirez and Oquendo.

Group 2
Lining up for the second semi group: Trent Jones (NZL), Niek Kimmann (NED), Jefferson Milano (VEN), Tory Nyhaug (CAN), Connor Fields (USA), Gonzalo Molina (ARG), Twan van Gendt (NED), Sam Willoughby (AUS).

mens-semi-1.2Molina had a terrible start, and almost lost it down the ramp. Connor and Sam were fork to fork the whole way down the first straight, but Sam took the lead into turn one, and down the second straight. van Gendt came out of the turn in second, but Connor made up the ground by the time the pack reached turn two. Connor nosed into the lead for a split second in the early part of the third straight, but Sam held the lead all the way home, with Connor in second, then Jones and Kimmann. Milano crashed in the last turn, but was up pretty quick.

Run Two

Group 1
mens-semi-2.1Second verse, same as the first: Dean hit turn one first. (Not to self: lobby HARD for scrambling Olympic Qtrs and Semis next time). This time it was Corben who would take up second place and Ramirez into turn two. The group got around clean, and at the stripe it was Dean, Sharrah, Ramirez and Oquendo (who came back from sixth in the second turn to finish fourth).

Group 2
mens-semi-2.2Willoughby and Fields were well-away into the first turn, with Nyhaug in the hunt. Trent Jones had a moment of trouble, as it looked like he almost lost control of the front end on the exit of turn one. Molina took up third into to turn two, and the Dutchies were behind him. Jones and Milano crashed in turn two. At the stripe it was Willoughby, Fields, Nyhaug and Molina.

Jones got a flat on the landing into the turn. The on-air commentator on the NBC stream was into micro-analysis of the tire pressure, having said both days that the riders are riding 90PSI here, but on dirt they ride 60PSI. That was good times for the Twitterverse.

Run Three (10:45)

Group 1
mens-semi-3.1As the third and final run was climbing the hill, you have to know that five or six of these guys were turning the math wheels pretty hard. Dean didn’t have much addition to do, with a 1-1, but van Gorkom (8pts) and Long (10pts) both needed a “simple addition” solution for round three. A +1 would be ideal, but a +2 or +3 might get it done too.

On the entry into turn one, Nic bonked the third peak on the triple pretty hard, but still came down the mountain in second to Dean. Oquendo wrecked in the latter part of the turn, taking graf with him. Into turn two it was Dean, Long and van Gorkom with a close fourth place battle between Brethauer and Sharrah. Corben put a lock on fourth place down the third straight, and Ramirez spun into the ground in the last turn making the final four all-but assured this lap. It ended up thus: Dean, Long, van Gorkom and Sharrah.

Main Event Qualifiers From Group One:
Anthony Dean, Jelle van Gorkom, Carlos Ramirez and Nic Long.

Nic and Corben tied on points–at 12 apiece– but Nic’s better finish in round three gave him the main event qual spot. The difference between Anthony Dean’s 3 points and Jelle van Gorkom’s second place qualifying points: 11 was a stark reminder of both how dominant Dean was both days of the Games, and how competitive it was down the roster.

Group 2
mens-semi-2.2Final gate drop before it is for all the medals. As in previous trips, Willoughby was in charge into turn one, and this time it was van Gendt on the outside and Nyhaug nosing in to the inside. Fields did not have a very good trip over the triple, pumping it instead of boosting it as he had before. The Con-man fell back to sixth out of turn one, after Kimmann and Molina slipped in on the inside.

Into turn two, and all the way home, it was Willoughby, Kimmann, Nyhaug and van Gendt. Then Molina and Fields.

Main Event Qualifiers From Group Two:
Sam Willoughby, Connor Fields, Niek Kimmann, and Tory Nyhaug

Elite Men Final

Mariana’s repeat Gold was still sending waves of joy through the mostly-Colombian crowd as the Men climbed the Rio hill for the last time. The one where it all counts.

From the outside, the 2016 Olympic BMX main event was: Niek Kimmann, Carlos Ramirez, Connor Fields, Tory Nyhaug, Jelle van Gorkom, Nic Long, Anthony Dean and Sam Willoughby.

mens-final-1Over the first jump, Connor had a slight wheel lead on Sam, but Nic got a couple solid cranks in, and by the entry to turn one, it was Nic and Connor. In the apex of turn one, it was Long, Fields and Willoughby.

mens-final-2The two Americans stayed closer than hot dogs and mustard into the third straight, when Connor began to surge. Every backside gave him a little more margin, and 3/4 the way to turn three, he had a solid lead. Long was under pressure in the middle from Ramirez on his right and van Gorkom on his left. Jelle rode the extreme inside and pushed Nic high enough on the turn that it left the door open for Ramirez to get himself in there too.

Down the last straight it was Fields all the way, followed by van Gorkom and a fierce battle for the final medal, between Long and Ramirez. For us, here in the BMX News Global Command Center, it was like that moment in Rocky IV, when Rocky was chopping down Drago with body blow after body blow. Adrian screams “You’re gonna do it!” That was the mood here as Connor made it the last few rollers, and past the finish line. Popcorn flew, and it was an awesome moment for all of us (oh yeah, for him too, we’re sure).

16rio-men-photo-finishIn the seconds after Nic and Carlos crossed the line, it was thought that they tied in a dead-heat and would both receive a medal. Not sure how long it took to officially make the decision, but within a couple minutes, they showed the official Omega time “photo finish”, on the live stream, and it was clear that Carlos had edged Nic out by an inch or two. We were bummed for Nic; he rode a helluva race. One of the papers back in Colombia posted a cool infographic telling the tale of Carlos’ main event lap (link will open in a new window)

The focus was now on Connor Fields, and watching him celebrate at the finish line, with the American Flag draped around him, and hugs and high-fives all-around.

We were SO anxious to see the medal ceremony, with the American Flag hoisted to the highest, and “The Star Spangled Banner” played. But, the NBC live stream cut the feed just at the end of the women’s ceremony, so we never got to see Connor get his medal. But we sure know he got it!

—Mike Carruth

Final Results

Elite Women
Mariana Pajon (COL) – 34.093
Alise Post (USA) – 34.435
Stefany Hernandez (VEN) – 34.755
Brooke Crain (USA)
Yaroslava Bondarenko (RUS)
Elke VanHoof (BEL)
Laura Smulders (NED)
Manon Valentino (FRA)

Elite Men
Connor Fields (USA) – 34.642
Jelle van Gorkom (NED) – 35.316
Carlos Ramirez (COL) – 35.517
Nic Long (USA) – 35.522
Tory Nyhaug (CAN)
Sam Willoughby (AUS)
Niek Kimmann (NED)
Anthony Dean (AUS)





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Recap: 2015 UCI World Cup – Rock Hill

September 28, 2015 by · Comments Off 

2015 UCI BMX SX World Cup Rock Hill

The UCI BMX Supercross World Cup series concluded its 2015 season last weekend. As in the previous four seasons, the finale was set here, in the United States. However, UNLIKE those previous years, the finale was not held at the US Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista but, instead, at the Novant Health BMX Supercross facility in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Hosting World Cup races, big USA BMX Nationals, and marquis events like the 2017 UCI BMX World Championships was one of the key ingredients in getting the multimillion dollar facility built.

And while it was the first World Cup race for the facility, the first SX race happened in March, when it hosted the three-race weekend of the USA Cycling Elite National Championships (along with the USA BMX Carolina Nationals). Saturday was the series opener for the USA BMX North American SX Series, and UCI North American Continental Championships on Sunday.

Between 2009 and 2014, ABA/USA BMX acted as promoter of Chula Vista, and ran a national, plus the Hall Of Fame dinner and ceremony alongside the event to bolster spectator numbers. This year, The City of Rock Hill served as promoter of the event.

In fact, by our calculations, this was the first BMX race in seven years, on US soil, with no involvement by one of the US sanctioning bodies (last time was reportedly the Salt Lake SX in 2008).

The Turnout
Rock Hill had 153 riders on the startlist (109 Men and 44 Women), from 26 countries. This was slightly-larger than last year’s Chula Vista finale, which had 142 riders from 24 countries. (Note: all stats via UCI’s bmx-results.com website)

Several national federations, and some familiar Americanos, set up shop in Rock Hill immediately after the Argentina World Cup to get used to the track, and the slightly-different starting hill.

2015 UCI BMX SX World Cup - Rock Hill FansSpectator-wise, the stands were about half-full on Saturday. The dreary weather sure didn’t help those numbers, as BMX families from two hours away and closer tended to stay home and watch it in the comfort of their living room, or home computers on bmxlive.tv. That said, the free parking and VERY approachable ticket price ($10 for adults, $5 for kids and seniors–for the weekend) showed that Rock Hill was serious about making it an easy-do for BMX families and local neighbors alike. And many of both turned up.

City officials BMX News spoke to after the race pegged the paid attendance at around 2,250 over the two days of the event. Not bad at all, though on the canvas of such a large facility, it looked less-so.

The Track
When we made the trip to Rock Hill in March, it had the original racing surface, with Soiltac as a sealer. That surface had some technical problems from day one, and ended up being rather “flaky” (flaking off in sections). Between March and the World Cup, the city got down to business on a full do-over of the surface, replacing the strictly-Soiltac topper with a “Slurry” surface (below).

2015 UCI BMX SX World Cup - Rock Hill Surface

What, exactly is “slurry?” It was described like this, in a post on Vintage last week:


Think like a “stucco” on the track.

Slurry is a process of using soiltac mixed with clean soil, in a cement mixer, then squeegeed on the track.

This has been done in Florida for half a decade or more depending on who you ask… It makes the track hard and weather resistant.

The slurry top coat was so successful that it permitted regular-pace racing by the top elite riders in the world, with almost-constant rain for three days straight. Wowza!

Groundskeepers from the City of Rock HillThe City of Rock Hill maintained the track’s surface at every break with an army of broom-wielding groundskeepers to clear any standing water.

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

The Title
uci-bmx-2015-awards
After Argentina, the stage was set for a battle royale, with cheese, of deciding the 2015 UCI BMX World Cup Champion. This is kind of an “un-title,” as BMX titles go, in that it does not bestow any special number plate or jersey for the champs to run next year, but does carry serious respect in SX circles for the top finishers.

In Elite Women, Mariana Pajon, Alise Post and Stefany Hernandez all had a shot at it going in, with 740, 710 and 680 points, respectively. Caroline Buchanan was trailing with 625 points, but there were plenty of if/then scenarios on how any of these four could triumph–especially with the wild card of the weather tossed into the mix. All four made the main, so the big lap would determine the season’s overall champ.

In Elite Men, Liam Philips (GBR) and Niek Kimmann (NED) had a close contest as well, with 121 points separating them going in (with 856 and 735 points, respectively). Both made the main event, which meant Liam had the title by 10 points, even with a win by Niek and an 8th by Liam.

Friday

In the World Cup format, the top eight women and top 16 men in points are automatically qualified to the “big show” on Saturday. The rest (36 women and 93 men, in this case) battled it out in three qualifying motos on Friday to determine the top 24 and 64, respectively, in this-size field, who would join the top contenders.

Collin Hudson at the 2015 UCI BMX World Cup - Rock HillJunior Elite riders race with the Elites at this level, and five of them qualified out.

Junior Women
Axelle Etienne (FRA) – 9th
Yaroslava Bondarenko (RUS) – 18th
Daina Tuchscherer (CAN) – 22nd

Junior Men
Collin Hudson (USA) – 10th (above)
Brandon Tehiko (AUS) – 40th

Time Trial Superfinals
After the qualifying motos, the Time Trial Superfinal is run to determine seeding and gate choice for Saturday. Each of the top eight and 16 run one solo lap.

Here are the winning time trial laps, put down by Mariana Pajon and Niek Kimmann

Elite Women

Elite Men

Race Day
Racing got underway promptly at 6PM, under cloudy skies, temps in the mid 60s, with a steady mix of mist and soaking rain falling all day, and into the racing program. Fortunately, the wind was not a big factor–one blessing in an otherwise-angry weather day.

The familiar voice of Pete Dylewski was joined on the webcast by Marc Willers to add some color to the show, as well as a rider’s unique perspective on what was happening out there.

Motos Mariana Pajon at the 2015 UCI BMX World Cup - Rock HillIn Elite Women, Mariana, Caroline and Alise all came through three rounds with 1-1-1 apiece. The three aforementioned juniors did not make it beyond this stage, but were joined on the Saturday night sidelines by some long-standing stars, including Laetitia leCorguille (2008 Olympic Silver Medalist, and 2012 Olympic Finalist), 2012 Olympians Lauren Reynolds and Aneta Hladakova, 2008 main maker Gabriela Diaz, and 2012 finalist Magalie Pottier, among other names you would know.

Connor Fields at the 2015 UCI BMX World Cup - Rock HillIn the men’s qualifiers, only Connor Fields came through unscathed with three points. Closest behind him were four-pointers Niek Kimmann (2-1-1), Trent Jones (1-2-1) and Maris Strombergs (1-1-2). The two junior men were out after the qualifying rounds as well. Dutch Army members Twan van Gendt and Raymon van der Biezen were both DNS in Saturday’s motos, after qualifying through on Friday.

Men’s Quarterfinals
Like any single-elimination round, the men’s quarters was the point at which the crowd came alive for their favorites, shrugging-off their soak and amping-up their stoke.

Here are the four quarterfinals (an embed of the full BMXLIVE.TV show is at the bottom of this page. iOS users, forward to 13:08 of the full show to see the Men’s Quarters).

Semis
Elite Women (starting at 32:07 in main show)

Elite Men (51:00 in main show)

Obviously a big moment of the evening, to see Sam and Nic out of the main event.

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

Finals
The rain started at a near-downpour pace just as the riders were climbing the hill for the main events. That didn’t mean much for the straightaways, but the turns were another matter. They were slick all night long, and the deluge greeting these last 16 in the turns may-just have an impact on how the win of the day, and indeed how the Women’s title would be decided. Let’s watch:

Elite Women (1:03:07-1:07:49 in full show)

An incredible lap by Mariana Pajon, and a heartbreaking one for Alise Post. Mariana entered turn one fighting for third, and came out in second, behind Stefany Hernandez. That was enough to win the title, but the Gold medalist wanted all the wins the night had to offer, and pushed it at maximum warp, to the final millimeters, to get past Stefany at the line, with a razor-thin .088/sec margin.

Elite Men (1:13:18-1:18:26 in full show)

Call the kids into the room, call your local coach and anyone else you can think of…then watch this main event over and over again for a clinic on “never give up.” Tory Nyhaug, last down the hill, and in sixth down the second straight made an EPIC comeback in the last half of the track (owing, in part, to a wreck by Joris Daudet at the end of the third straight). Tory rallied hard on the last straight to go from fourth out of the last turn, to pass Amidou Mir, then nip Connor at the line for second! Maris owned it from the drop, and it was a King Kong lap for The Machine, who earlier said in an interview that he was back “to have some fun for a change.” Connor blitzed through spinning razor blades to stay up, and make it in for the third podium spot.

Post-Race
2015 Overall finishers at the 2015 UCI BMX World Cup - Rock Hill

Above, we have the 2015 overall finishers (Right to Left): Stefany Hernandez and Niek Kimmann (second); Mariana Pajon and Liam Phillips (Champions); Alise Post and Amidou Mir (third).

Mariana topped two podiums in Rock Hill–the win of the day, and the overall for the season. Liam Phillips was understandably stunned by his showing, even though he had a podium to headline as well, telling the post-race interview audience that he came unclipped right out the gate (first time in two years). We were thoroughly-impressed by his composure in that interview, considering what just went down. And, of course, the 2x Olympic Gold Medalist and reigning USA BMX #1 pro topped it off for the Elite Men win of the day.

Connor Fields presents his Jersey to US Service memberAfter the podium ceremony, Connor Fields, the top American finisher for the evening, presented his Team USA jersey from the race to Staff Sergeant Jeremy Beckett of the US Army.

Connor told News after the race

Staff Sergeant Beckett asked me for my autograph, and I couldn’t believe that this serviceman wanted my autograph. I gladly signed his hat then, after the podium, I found him again and took my jersey off right there, shook his hand, thanked him for his service and told him he was the true hero and I wouldn’t have a platform to perform on without men like him.

We could not agree more, Connor!

Next year, the UCI BMX SX World Cup series has five dates on the calendar. Argentina, Manchester and Papendal in March, April and May, respectively–then the Olympic break, and back to the USA for the final two stops in Rock Hill (Sept 24-25), and the finale at the soon-to-be-built Sarasota, FL facility on October 8-9.

All of the families News spoke to after the race agreed they would be coming back as spectators for next year’s event in Rock Hill, but also acknowledged that the World Cup isn’t quite the same as the traditional USA BMX program. “It’s the difference between watching a football game, and being in it,” said one dad. Nothing bad about that, obviously, just “different.”

A big BMX News thanks to the GSX staff and the many fine folks at the City of Rock Hill, especially Thad Fischer, Mike King, Laurie Helms and Katie Quinn, who all made our time there as productive and comfortable as possible–even in the face of tough conditions.

—Mike Carruth

Watch the full Webcast

Links

2015 Rock Hill SX – Friday Photo Gallery

2015 Rock Hill SX – Saturday Photo Gallery

Full Results – bmx-results.com





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UCI Names Two BMXers to Athlete Commission

June 14, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Donny Robinson and Mariana Pajon named to UCI Athlete Commission
Late Friday, UCI announced a 13-member “Athlete Commission,” in eight disciplines (shown below). The four Olympic disciplines (Road, Track, Mountain and BMX), as well as Para-Cycling in the Paralympics are represented by two representtives–one male and one female–each. Cyclocross, Trials and Indoor Cycling have one athlete representative each.

The BMX representitives on the newly-formed commission are 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist, Donny Robinson and 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, Mariana Pajon.

According to a UCI release, Commission members were elected “by their peers via an online procedure.”

In a release announcing the commission, last March, UCI stated, about the selection criteria for the commission:

The objectives of the UCI Athletes’ Commission are:
• To improve the riders’ training and racing conditions;
• To give riders the right to speak with a guarantee of being heard within the cycling family and its administration;
• To enable the UCI to obtain direct feedback from the riders;
• To reinforce the links between active or recently-retired riders and the UCI.

Looking at it from a laymen’s point of view, it’s tough to say what type of input UCI will be looking for from this commission, and what type of influence their input will have on competition. That said, it is a great-step forward toward the transparency that UCI President, Brian Cookson, said:

“This renewed Commission will operate as a true channel between riders and the UCI. Athletes will be able to promote their rights and duties in all disciplines while being informed of the decisions of our Federation.”

Of his appointment to the Commission, Donny Robinson told News:

It is an amazing honor and opportunity to have been named, alongside Mariana Pajon, as representative for BMX Racing on the UCI Athlete Commission.

Along with the other representatives overseeinging the interests of their disciplines, I hope to help further the safety, value and impact the current, and future generations BMX Racers will have.

I thank those who have given me this chance, and hope to use my years of experience within our wonderful sport to do some good.

Here is the full-list of Athlete-Commission members:

UCI Athlete Commission

The newly-formed Commission will meet in the fall of 2015, and the members will serve through 2017.

BMX News will have more on the goals and work of the Athletes’ Commission, especially as it applies to BMX Racing, as it unfolds.

Links

UCI Athletes’ Commission Release





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French Indoor Series – Tours

March 9, 2015 by · Comments Off 

French Indoor Series - Tours

The French indoor series rolled out the blue carpet in the City of Tours (about 150 miles South of Paris) this weekend. The event was back in town for the first time in nine years.

Here are the Elite Men and Elite Women’s main events.

Romain Mahieu (Chase BMX) had a great run from the outside, and even though it looked like Vincent Pelluard (in green) was going to get it, Mahieu edged ahead in the first turn. The blue racing surface was unusual, and the amount of pedaling/lack of speed held around turns reminded us of an 80s race (which, depending on your BMX politics could be a good thing or a bad thing–we’re split here in the BMX news Global Command Center).

There was little-to-no manualing happening in either class, which leads us to believe the surface may have been slow–like we sometimes encounter in the US. We harken back to one of the last NBL Christmas Classic races, where the racing surface was like crusty brown marshmallow and had about two inches of “give” under your tire. People were pumping with everything they had just to make it around.

In France, it appeared as though the Elite Women almost stalled-out in the last turn.

Elite Men Final



Results
1. Romain Mahieu
2. Romain Mayet
3. Vincent Pelluard
4. François Vidal
5. Quentin Caleyron
6. Thibaud Chauvin
7. Arnaud Chauvin
8. Jeremy Rencurel

Elite Women Final



Results
1. Mariana Pajon
2. Axelle Etienne
3. Laetitia le Corguillé
4. Magalie Pottier
5. Mathilde Hugot
6. Charlotte Devolder
7. Megane Lajmi
8. Manon Valentino

When there’s no doubt, share it out:


Links

2015 Tours Indoor – Full Results





Latest BMX Edits on bmxnews.com, Presented by Yess BMX

Mariana Pajon Wins in Veracruz

November 22, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Mariana Pajon Veracruz

The BMX events of the 2014 Central American and Caribbean games finished up today in Veracruz, Mexico. The Elite Women final had seven women in the gate–and some formidable talent, at that.

In the end, it was Mariana Pajon with the win, Stefany Hernandez from Venezuela in second and Dominique Daniels, racing for Puerto Rico with the third podium spot.

Here is a video of the main event, and following podium medal ceremony.

We are likely to see all three of those fast females next week in Tulsa for the 2014 USA BMX Grand National.

We’ll post up the Elite men vid later today.

Links

Full Results – Elite Women (PDF)





Latest BMX Edits on bmxnews.com, Presented by Yess BMX

Maris and Mariana Top Podium in Argentina

September 8, 2014 by · Comments Off 

2014 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup - Argentina

After the traditional summer layoff, the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup season started back up with a blaze into Santiago del Estero, Argentina.

With 121 men and 40 women on the start list, the attendance was marginally smaller on the men’s side (-6), and seven riders larger on the womens side than the 2013 stop.

Everyone interviewed, and updating via social media was talking up the amazing hospitality of the local crowd, and how welcome all the riders felt by the fans in this city of 244,000.

Everyone also celebrated how the track allowed these best of the best to go all-out on the pedals instead of having to hold back, for fear of over-jumping, as is the case both in Manchester, and at this year’s worlds in Rotterdam.

Alise Post at the 2014 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup Argentina
Alise Post, having just returned from an injury suffered on practice day in Manchester, was in top form going into Saturday’s qualifying rounds (which she had to race due to not having the series points to advance directly into the Superfinal). No biggie there, as Alise topped the field with a 1-1-1 in the day one motos. Gabi Diaz, racing with the home country crowd behind her, also turned a 1-1-1 in the motos on Saturday.

In mens qualifying, 48 of the 121 starters would advance to Sunday’s big show (making a total of 64, once you include the auto-qualified top 16). Tory Nyhaug, Federico Villegas and Jelle van Gorkom all turned straight aces in qualifying. All Americans who made the trip were on to Sunday’s racing.

In the Time Trial Superfinal, Mariana Pajon started second in the eight-rider field, and turned what she later called a near-perfect lap AT 34.394. Caroline Buchanan came close–still in the 34-second club, but crossed the line with 34.888. The Superfinal is winner-take-all, so it was Mariana for the win.

The 16-man Superfinal had a few more hotseat changes than the women (Yoshi Nagasako and Sylvain Andre. . .then Maris Strombergs kept it warm for six gate drops, until Connor Fields unseated him. Connor had it four more, until Liam Phillips–the points leader, and last dude to duel, came across for the win by .06 seconds.

Liam Phillips and mariana Pajon win the Time Trial Superfinal in Santiago del Estero, Argentina - bmxsx.com
As boring as time trial runs can be for us spectators, when there is a cliffhanger component like this, it bumps up the excitement for sure.

Race Day

Pete Dylewski and Javi Colombo
On the bmxlive.tv webcast, Pete Dylewski was joined by Argentina’s native son, Javi Colombo. There was a BMXer reunion Saturday Night, which was a who’s who of 1990s Argentine BMX–including fellow USA BMX Vet pro, Cristian Becerine.

Elite Men

Sunday qualifying saw a first-round digger by USA’s Jared Garcia, who then came back to win second round. Same for Federico Villegas, who also came back with a round-two win to keep his qualifying points on-point. Troy Nyhaug broke loose in the first turn of first round, and took Liam Phillips down to the street top. Liam’s bike flew up, and bounced off Anthony Dean, who inherited the lead. Dean looked so focused, it appeared as though he barely noticed the Yess logo on Liam’s downtube, flying by at eye level.

2014 UCI BMX World Cup - Argentina - Maris Strombergs
Maris was the only rider who came out of motos with three wins. Joris Daudet and Jelle van Gorkom both had 2-1-1. Coming out of the early rounds, Sean Gaian of the USA was the only Junior to advance. One big surprise was the no-qual of always-in-the-mix Twan van Gendt. He missed it by one point, after a second round wreck gave him 10-points.

Elite Women

Mariana and Alise were in the same moto, which made for some great racing. They went 1-1-1 and 2-2-2 on their way to the semis. In the second group, also two top names, in Laura Smulders and Caroline Buchanan. Laura got the win in the first and third round, and Caro had the second round ace.
14 Argentina Elite Women Qualifying Rounds
Third gate had some stars too (well, all four did, really), as Felicia Stancil and Brooke Crain took on Magalie Pottier, Dani George, Elke Vanhoof, Amanda Carr and two Brazilians. The first four qualified out in that order. Magalie took some time off the tour, but has come back strong. In the fourth group, Merle van Benthem went down hard, and was not able to make up the points deficit to move on to the semis.

Elite Men Quarterfinals

In the first quarter, Maris had the holeshot, with Anthony Dean taking up second into turn one. Jim Brown was third going into turn two, when Renato Rezende jumped into the inside…but Jim held the three-spot to the line, with Renato in the final qual spot.

Next up was Connor coming out of lane one. Into the first turn, it was the Con-Man, and Corben Sharrah, but Tory Nyhaug shot up the inside to take up the two-spot. Nagasako was down in turn one. Into turn two, Corben landed to the inside, pinching off the line of Gonzalo Molina, and giving Sylvain Andre an inside line to a qual spot, which is how it finished.

In the third rack, David Herman came out of gate six, and was down the first straight in the lead, with Jelle van Gorkom on his port side and Barry Nobles in third. That’s how it stood out of turn two, with Brazilian Rogerio Reis in the four-spot. Rogerio’s qual spot held to the last turn, when it looked like he had some trouble, and went wayyyy outside on the berm, letting Raymon van der Biezen in from sixth to the final qual spot.

Liam Phillips at the 2014 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup Argentina
In the final mens quarterfinal, it was Liam Phillips coming out of lane one, with Nic Long and Joris Daudet in the hunt. Into turn two, Joris over-jumped the second set, giving a go-ahead to Sean Gaian to take up the three-spot and Alfredo Campo the final qual slot. Joris was close behind, but not close enough to advance.

Semis

Elite Women
After the motos, the next time we’d see the Elite Woman battle it out was in the semifinals.

Mariana Pajon at the 2014 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup Argentina
In the first group, Stefany Hernandez was down on the latter part of the first straight (while even with the lead over the first jump), then got run over by Simone Christensen. The official call out of turn one had it Pajon, George and Crain. Into turn two, Brooke jumped in, and Caroline pumped in, giving Brooke about a half-a-bike advantage and the inside, with Dani on the bubble. That’s how it would finish.

The second Elite Women semi had Alise Post rockin out of lane one. Laura Smulders was in lane two and, on the way down, hesitated a bit, and fell back. Over the first set, Melinda McLeod had a wheel into the lead, but Alise got a great backside and, being on the inside, was in command as the pack raced into the first turn. Manon Valentino settled in behind Alise into turn two, with Magalie Pottier in third and McLeod in the bubble spot. That’s how it finished, and Magalie pumped a fist in the air to comemorate her spot in the main event after being away for a while

Elite Men
“Stacked to the rafters” would be a great way to size-up the first semi. Maris took lane one, Liam Phillips was in lane two, then Jelle van Gorkom and Tory Nyhaug. Past the ram was Sean Gaian, Jim Brown, Raymon van der Biezen and Sylvain Andre. Into turn one it was Strombergs, Phillips and Nyhaug, but Tory had a challenge on his left from van Gorkom. Nyhaug had the inside, and made the most of the real estate he controlled into turn two to solidify his spot–actually coming into the third straight even with Phillips. At the stripe, it was Strombergs, Phillips, Nyhaug and van Gorkom.

Connor Fields at the 2014 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup Argentina
The second semi could best be described as the “Team USA” semi. All five of the USA athletes who made the semis were in semi #2, with Connor Fields, David Herman, Barry Nobles, Nic Long and Corben Sharrah all vying for four spots against Anthony Dean, Renato Rezende and Alfredo Campo. Out of turn one, it was Fields, Dean and Herman…which is how it ended up into turn two, but Corben jumped to the inside in the four-spot. Into the third straight, the bubble spot was a three-abreast battle between Nobles, Sharrah and Rezende, and by the last turn, Renato had solidified the final qual spot.

Wowza! that was some off-the-chain racing. And the highest of the high-amperage competition was yet to come–in two main events.

BMX News 2014 race coverage sponsored by Dan’s Comp

BMX News Race Coverage is Sponsored by Dan's Comp

Main Events

Elite Women
BMX News Coverage of the 2014 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup Argentina
Alise was set up in lane one and Mariana lane two. Then Brooke Crain, Manon Valentino, Caroline Buchanan, Magalie Pottier, Melinda McLeod and Dani George. The gate dropped, and for a couple-three seconds, it was tough to see who would emerge in the lead. Heading into turn one, as the camera cut-away, it was very close with Pajon in the lead, Post on the inside and McLeod on the outside. The first turn, on-screen leaderboard had it Pajon, McLeod, Post– and in fourth, Velentino was on her way to crashing to the ground and, thankfully for those behind, drifting to the outside. To the end of the second straight, it was Mariana and Melinda…but Alise was on the hunt, and cut the turn sharp to the inside, coming up under McLeod and taking up the two-spot as the pack raced toward the third straight. Mariana was gone by this point–and would win, unless disaster struck. It didn’t, and the first three across the line were Pajon, Post and McLeod.

Elite Men
BMX News Coverage of the 2014 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup Argentina

Looking down the gate in the final gate of the weekend (from the inside) was: Connor Fields, Maris Strombergs, Anthony Dean, Liam Phillips, Tory Nyhaug, David Herman, Jelle van Gorkom and Renato Rezende. Down the hill, and for the entirety of the first straight, it was tough to see who would emerge with the lead–it was THAT close. Into turn one, Nyhaug had a half a wheel on Phillips and a full wheel on Strombergs, but that was a moment frozen in time (and captured by the official split-timer). Maris, the insider, took the pack deep into the crook of the turn and exited solidly in the lead. Liam and Tory battled for second down the length of the second straight, with Liam on the inside. Both jumped inside to the sharpest pivot point in turn two, but Liam got there a split-second earlier, and angled the 65 bike to own the postage stamp of real estate that would ultimately decide the balance of the podium. The pack left turn two as Strombergs, Phillips and Nyhaug. Liam made up some good ground on the third straight, and was stalking Maris closely for a possible lunge to the win at the stripe. The lunge came, but Maris held on to the lead by about half a wheel (top photo). The margin was .022/sec–less than the blink of an eye

In the post-race interview, Annalise said “Maris, you came back to the World Cup…to Berlin…you win; you come here, you win…what an amazing result.”

Maris: “Yeah, but I didn’t win the worlds. That made me feel a little sluggish, mentally, and I am happy I was able to bounce back here in Argentina.”

Post-Race

As the stands emptied out and everyone made their way to the podium presentation, the riders who were not standing on the box started packing up and saying their goodbyes. Only 18 days til we meet again–this time on Pacific time, in Chula Vista for the season finale. This year’s Chula race will be even more special than the others, since we will not be back there in 2015. Instead, the 2015 finale will be in Rock Hill, SC at the new Novant health BMX Supercross track.

Check the links below for official results from the Argentina race, and the bmxlive.tv YouTube Channel for video of the two finals.

—Mike Carruth

Thanks to Craig Dutton/GSX and BMX Brasil for the photos, via Facebook.

Links

Official BMX SX Results on BMX-RESULTS.COM

BMXLive.tv YouTube Channel

Brasil BMX on Facebook





BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Sorry Fellas, She’s Taken

April 22, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Mariana Pajon and VIncent Pelluard

While chompin down some Chipotle this afternoon, whizzing by the latest conspiracy theories and “How to get Ripped” sponsored posts on Facebook, we spied this status update by Mariana Pajon.

We can just feel the tears of thousands of BMXers who thought they might have a chance at dating the cutest-and-fastest Gold Medalist in the world. But, alas, you’ll have to get past Vincent Pelluard now.

We are now adding another “Couples Card” to the BMX News whiteboard that currently has Sam & Alise, Joris & Teagan, and Posey & Felicia.

Congrats to Mariana and Vincent, pictured here with a fan (via Facebook).

Podcast: Olijuwon Davis on Pro Gate Clinics

December 24, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Pro Gate Grands Clinic Podcast

The free clinics promoted by Pro Gate as last month’s USA BMX Grand National were very popular, with over 250 riders signed up for the two sessions. In the morning session, Mariana Pajon, German Medina and Greg Hill spent more than an hour with the kids, coaching them as they gated up on their form and other things that go in to getting rippin holeshots consistently.

In the afternoon, Tyler Whitfield and Olijuwon Davis rocked the house, Rockford style, with serious tips & tricks for over 100 attendees.

We caught up with OD to talk a little about how the clinics went, and get some tips on how you can give your self a gate clinic every day (both mentally, and on the bike).

Since recording the Podcast over the weekend, we learned that Olijuwon finished at the top of the A-Pro points chase for 2013. There is no title in that class, but we’re very happy for our buddy, nonetheless. Congrats, OD!

Here are some photos from the clinics



Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Listen To The Podcast Now:
Link
iPhone users: paste the link below in your phone’s browser
http://www.bmxnews.com/podcasts/at-086-olijuwon-davis-progate.mp3

Links

Pro Gate Junior Info Page

Doublecross Bikes website





Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

Sam and Mariana Triple Up at the Disney Cup

October 28, 2013 by · Comments Off 

2013 USA BMX Disney Cup Results

The seventh-annual Disney Cup Fall Nationals went down in Kissimmee, FL over the weekend. The race was moved back indoors this year, which drew fire from some–complete with all the old-favorite analogies that come with building arena tracks.

Strictly speaking, we were glad to see the race moved into a climate-stable venue–out of the reach of hurricanes and monsoon rains that have been visited upon the race at least twice in its seven-year history.

As the last chance for 2013 Amateur scores, the full-array of star power was on-scene to do battle, though we had a couple notables out this weekend. Felicia Stancil and Shay Glynn were in North Carolina for the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships. Tyler Whitfield won his Friday main at Disney, was listed as 8th in Saturday’s main, then flew to NC to catch up with the MTB race, where he finished 36th out of 54 in Dual Slalom (more on that race later today in “Quick Hits”). We think he may have had to no-show Saturday’s main to make his flight.

Lots of light on the Pro Women title chase. Dom Daniels is intent on defending her multi-year hold on the cup. But, it looks like Alise Post will be healthy and racing the Grands this year, bringing an element we have not had in the past two years. Alise was back in Minnesota this weekend, leaving the slicing and dicing to others til next month in Tulsa.

As an added bonus, Mariana Pajon has started a podium crystal collection of her own, adding three more to the shelf this weekend-sweeping the class for Dan’s Comp.

Brook Crain was also riding well in Orlando, with two seconds (Fri and Sun) and a third.

For her part, Dom got at least two of the Answer Holeshot awards on the weekend, but ended up with a second on Saturday and two thirds. We’re going to be watching the Women’s title chase closely, since it will be a close one.

The Men’s title chase, on the other hand, is a slightly more solidified situation. Sam Willoughby had a whopping 14 wins going into Disney, then swept the class with three more (with 30+ riders, so a trio of tasty paydays as well!).

Here are the top-class results














AA Pro
Friday
Sam Willoughby – Redline
David Herman – Free Agent
Connor Fields – Chase BMX
Joris Daudet – GT
Nic Long – Haro
Joey Bradford – Prophecy
Tanner Sebesta – SsquaredAnswer
Matt Cameron – Crupi
Saturday
Sam Willoughby – Redline
Corben Sharrah – Haro
Connor Fields – Chase BMX
Renato Rezende
Tory Nyhaug – Redline
David Herman – Free Agent
Anthony Dean – DK Bicycles
Maris Strombergs- Free Agent
Sunday
Sam Willoughby – Redline
David Herman – Free Agent
Nic Long – Haro
Matt Cameron – Crupi
Kory Cook – Promax
Denzel Stein – Redline
Riley Stair – Tangent
Anthony Dean – DK Bicycles
Pro Women
Friday
Mariana Pajon – Dan’s Comp
Brooke Crain – Haro
Dominique Daniels – GCU
Caroline Buchanan – DK Bicycles
Vilma Rimsaite
Amanda Geving – Yess BMX
Bianca Quinalha
Amelia Walsh – Yess BMX
Saturday
Mariana Pajon – Dan’s Comp
Dominique Daniels – GCU
Brooke Crain – Haro
Caroline Buchanan – DK Bicycles
Vilma Rimsaite
Teagan O’Keeffe
Amanda Geving – Yess BMX
Amelia Walsh – Yess BMX
Sunday
Mariana Pajon – Dan’s Comp
Brooke Crain – Haro
Dominique Daniels – GCU
Amanda Geving – Yess BMX
Caroline Buchanan – DK Bicycles
Shelby Stacy – Answer/Profile/Ssquared
Teagan O’Keeffe
Amanda Carr – Supercross
Vet Pro
Friday
Javier Colombo – SE Bikes
Person Pauletto
Alexander Rico
Matt Pohlkamp – Dan’s Comp
Larry Dardini – Ssquared/Answer/DStar
Domingos Lammoglia – J&R Bicycles
Bryan Elisabeth
Adam Treadwell – Black Box
Saturday
Cristian Becerine – Free Agent
Matt Pohlkamp – Dan’s Comp
Javier Colombo – SE Bikes
Bryan Meyer
Rocky Bertolini
Alexander Rico
Larry Dardini
Person Pauletto
Sunday
Cristian Becerine – Free Agent
Matt Pohlkamp – Dan’s Comp
Javier Colombo – SE Bikes
Alexander Rico
Tim Dinger
Domingos Lammoglia – J&R Bicycles
Adam Treadwell – Black Box
Bryan Elisabeth
A-Pro
Friday
Brandon McCoy – Morphine
Darryn Goodwyn – Stay Strong
Thomas Siinmaa
Dave Habicht
James Palmer – Yess BMX
Tony Favata – Star BMX Products
Ademir Junior
Justin Riddell – Redline/M1
Saturday
Thomas Siinmaa
Justin Ramsey
Darryn Goodwyn – Stay Strong
Ron Vega – TFS
Kyle McRory
Mike Caldwell – CCH Racing
Randall Neave – Standard Byke
Juan Marin
Sunday
Darryn Goodwyn – Stay Strong
Kyle McRory
Dave Habicht
Luke Hombsch
James Palmer – Yess BMX
Thomas Siinmaa
Dirk Winter

Mischa Partridge

Links

Full 2013 Disney Cup Results





Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

Photo Re-Cap: Derby City Nationals

September 4, 2013 by · Comments Off 

BMX Racing News - Kuwahara's Jeff Upshaw at Derby City Nationals

The 2013 USA BMX Derby City Nationals had everything a BMX aficionado could want: Three solid days of racing, a top-notch facility that was polished-up to a high shine by a dedicated local crew, a major turnout in the Elite classes for fence-gripping action, and a little weather drama to quicken the pulse.

The three days of racing also doubled as the as the Eastern Division Finals. Take your six best National scores to-date, plus the three from this weekend, and the one with the high points gets the special jersey, complete with podium presentation.

Temps were in the low 90s, and Moto counts were in the low to mid 200s (217, 256 and 222). The three-day races are always a different animal than the standard two-day fare. You have to leave a day early, and it takes you longer to recover–even for the folks who aren’t racing. Friday night goes late, Saturday starts at the normal National time (11:30), and there’s practice, so you get to the track early. And Sunday is also regular time (8AM). You’re chasing the sleep deficit all the way home. This one is better than most, because Monday’s a holiday, so you can catch up on the Zzzzs before resuming your daily life on Tuesday.

Friday’s race started around 2:15PM, and right away, it was clear this was going to be an awesome weekend of action. We had 28 A-Pros, 13 Vet pros, plus the four UCI classes (Junior and Elite Men and Women) all had enough riders to make a class. Since this was a UCI race, we were back to a one-main format for all three days.

This weekend will remain “The NBL Grands” for a whole bunch of people, for as long as they shall live. Only two years in the rearview, the image of that race is still big in BMX lore. Last year, people commented that it just did not feel as “alive” as the Grands weekend. With good reason, of course. This year, we have to say, the energy level was much higher than last year. The fenceline was filled much more than last year, and Factory/Vendor row had more to offer in the way of personalities and gotta-have-it merch. The high moto count from last year’s three-day was 199, this year it was 256, so people are still flocking to Louisville.

The Elite racing was intense, with three different winners in Elite Men among the three days. And we had three fierce competitors in Elite Women (Mariana, Alise and Dom) all with an eye on the top spot, sometimes in the same moto, which made for a great spectator experience.

We put together a photo re-cap of some of the key elements of the weekend. Also, links at the end to three days of individually-curated photos (about 500 in all).

Top: Uppy tripled-up in A-Pro at the Derby City Nats. Dude is looking like his old-self again, and his transfer to AA is about $800 from reality. Here is a little celebration style to start the weekend off right, just before the finish line in Friday’s main.

USA BMX Louisville Coverage on BMXNEWS.COM

The Derby City track was dressed up in its Friday-Saturday and Sunday best for the annual Derby City Nationals.

Erin Kowalski rides the ceremonial first lap at the Derby City Nationals

Badd & Co. 10G, Erin Kowalski, rides the ceremonial first lap for the National Anthem on Friday. Her father, Brian, was lost at sea off the Florida Keys a few weeks ago, after saving a friend’s son who got into trouble in the water. One account of the tragedy was carried by The Daily Mail in the UK.

BMX Racing: 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Mariana Pajon at the USA BMX Derby City Nationals

Mariana Pajon flew up from Colombia for the Derby City Nationals, and rung up two wins and a second in the title chase. The Gold Medalist was sitting #5 going in to Derby City, so these scores should bump her up a spot or two.

BMX Racing News - Kory Cook riding for Promax

This was Kory Cook’s first trip in his new Promax kit. Dude was hotter than we have seen him in a while on the new DK frame fitted-out with Promax parts. Kory told us he felt better on the track than he had in a long time, and it showed. Teammate Arielle Martin had a great weekend as well in her new kit, making all three main events, and scoring two second-place podium finishes (Sunday was a fifth).

Chandler Denton of Profile Racing - BMX Racing News

Seconds from disaster: Chandler Denton leading one of Friday’s 19-27x Semis into the second turn. A few ticks later, 2Chan was into the third straight, and blew up midway. No main on day one, but came back for a third on day two and a win on day three.

Payton Ridenour at the Derby City Nationals BMX Race

Friday and Sunday wins in 11G for Payton Ridenour, and a Snowman in the Saturday main (run on Sunday). We didn’t see it, but sounds like a crash ended the triple. She is having a great year, and the jumping looks great to our cameras.

BMX Racing with MCS Bicycles Petey Peters at USA BMX Louisville

Petey Peters said he never threw his leg over a cruiser in all these years of racing. But now that he’s “Old,” at 30, it felt like a good time. Final score: A second on Friday and a fourth on Sunday in in 26-30. made all three mains in 26-35x as well. We’re diggin the new MCS kit #factoryfresh

BMX Racing News - Felicia Stancil World Champion BMX Racer

It is pretty rare, indeed that someone gets ahead of Felicia Stancil in Junior Women these days. But this weekend, Domenica Azuero from Ecuador was “all over her action,” at least for the first part of the track. Of course, it’s how you cross the stripe that counts, and our Fly’n friend was first-times-three, for the division title, and the Top step all three days.

Hyper Bicycles Shealen Reno at USA BMX Louisville

When in doubt, air it out. Shealen Reno tore it up in 15-16 Girls, with wins on Friday and Sunday. The early morning Saturday mains on Sunday seemed to shuffle the cards for a lot of the Friday-Sunday winners. A fourth for her in the middle, with Elida Beeman on the top step. All that work on the SX tracks is sure showing up in Shealen’s skill set on the “small” tracks.

Dale Holmes racing the USA BMX Derby City Nationals

Multi-time UCI world champ, and Free Agent TM, Dale Holmes, was back on the track in Louisville, with a new shiny-new USA BMX Amateur card. Dale took second to Felt BMX flyer, Jeremy Thompson on Day One, and got the W in the day two main (took the trophy and everything!). For day three, it was time to fly, so Dale had to get the bike in the bag and roll up the Free Agent pit to get a big bird back home. Word is, we’ll see him on the moto sheets another time or two this year. Raul Gomez (Right) got the win on Sunday for MCS.

Muddy footprint in the Derby City BMX infield

“That’s one small step for man. One giant muddy shoe for Mrs. Carruth to work her magic on.” Infield, Saturday, after the first rain delay.

BMX Racing under stormy skis in Louisville, KY

Cool shot of Sean Gaian heading to a Junior Men win on Saturday, against some angry skies. 20 minutes after Sean crossed the line, folks were running for their lives as lightning, and a 10-hour long deluge started up. Hunter Pelham and Andrew Townsend are virtual identical twins in the Haro Promax kit. The key to solving the puzzle: Hunter is rockin the white shoes.

Lightning strikes in E.P. (Tom) Sawyer park

Electricity wants to go to ground. Here is the real-life lesson that you might have been snoozin’ through when they taught it in the classroom. Saturday, just after the Elite mains, the radar had a big ol red blob to the north. BMX News beat-feet out of the infield and was loading up the Newsmobile when “Crrrrrack! pop, pop, pop, pop” a bolt stripped a double-track into this tree, just behind vendor row. The SUV on the left had its electrical system fried out and had to be towed out of there. All humans escaped unharmed, if a little freaked out.

Team Ssquared Answer prepping home-cooked meals in the pit

Everything’s better with bacon. Marty Dzierbicki (pops of Johnny D) and Andy Deters (of Nick and Katie fame) set up a full-blown field kitchen for the Ssquared Answer team, cooking up an amazing array of yummy and race-minded treats for the riders and their families. Thanks goes to Answer Rennen for giving over some of their backyard to the top chefs’ efforts. This round: breakfast burritos on Sunday morning.

Sam WIlloughby has massive lead in USA BMX Pro Standings

Louisville’s Elite Men racing was as good as it gets. A packed field of 39, which included tons of Euro talent training up on US soil ahead of the Chula Vista SX later this month. Each of the three days had a different winner, with Connor Fields on day one, Maris Strombergs on day two, and this guy on day three. Willoughby has 14 wins on the year now, with the next five behind him having one apiece. Here’s a little Sunday Semi action into turn two.

Photo of Body Glove Surge Energy Shot on BMXNEWS.COM

Bob Deily and the Doublecross crew inked a sweet new sponsorship deal with Body Glove Surge–an all-natural energy shot. This report is officially powered by same.

Derby City volunteers getting props from USA BMX staff

The Derby City crew gettin some props before Sunday’s main events from USA BMX honchos Chris Luna (left) and John David. These folks pulled off amazing feats on an hourly basis, and had the track in race-ready condition after a 10-hour storm on Saturday night. Steamrollers to pack down muddy parking lots, and a round-the-clock TP watch on the bathrooms, to make sure all the everyone was a happy camper when it was time to do business off the track. We always love going to the Derby City Nationals–here’s why.

BMX Racer Maliek Byndloss of Cape Coral, FL

Maliek was the big man in Junior Men in Louisville, with wins on Friday and Saturday and a third on Sunday. Also aced-up on 17-18x on Friday and Sat, with a second to Sean Gaian on day three.

BMX News "Random" Shots

A few folks have asked over the past few months, why we include photos of random grass or dirt, or other haphazards in our prime, curated-to-the-max photo sets. In fact, we call these “randoms,” and they are snapped either by accident when tweeting, or when navigating infield obstacles. We dig ‘em, and often use them as background images for some of our graphics, and projects like this Pro Gate brochure. Turn one at Derby City BMX.

Crupi BMX phenom, Anna Johnson

Anna Johnson avalanched the 13 Girls and 13-14 Girls Cruiser class all three days.

The G-Man, Gavin Freewalt triples-up on cruiser at the Derby City Nationals

The G-Man, Gavin Freewalt held the pink slip on 10 Cruiser in Louisville, with wins all three days. Mason Meininger (on the inside) slipped past him just after this photo was snapped, in turn one of Sunday’s main (above), but G got busy down the third straight, and made tracks for the third win, and the Division Champ threads.

Jim Reilly was back on the mic in Louisville

We love us some Jim Reilly! Ol Jimbo has not been seen on the mic for a while, owing to a new day job. But he and Shawn Pischke did a great job keeping the fans entertained, and informed throughout the long, long weekend.


2013 USA BMX Derby City Nationals Photo Galleries

Friday Gallery Saturday Gallery Sunday Gallery

Links

2013 Derby City Nationals – Results (via USABMX.COM)





Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

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