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Maris Strombergs Debuts BMX Sculpture

July 7, 2016 by · Comments Off 

marisBMXNEWS

It is widely known that Maris Strombergs is one of the best riders our sport of BMX racing will ever see. Maris, at 29 years old, has a trophy case filled with European championships, NBL titles, a USA BMX title, two World Champion jerseys, and two Olympic Gold Medals. Strombergs is a true Latvian hero, being the only male Olympic Gold medalist in BMX Racing, and the only athlete from the Baltic Republic to earn two Olympic Gold medals. When the champ arrived back for a visit to his home town of Valmiera, thousands lined the streets, giving him a hero’s welcome. To make his mark even more profound, the citizens of Valmiera dedicated a sculpture in his honor.

Maris posted a picture of the sculpture stating what an honor it is to have a sculpture in his hometown:

The detail put into the sculpture is truly amazing. From the stem, to the tire tread there wasn’t a single shortcut taken on the bike-art. The video below shows a lot more shots of the bike, despite being in Strombergs’ native tongue of Latvian. The end clip also shows ‘the Machine’ winning his third gold medal in Latvian Olympic Games.

If you look closely the bottom of the #81 plate does have a little room on it. As many know Maris is in great form right now, heading into his third Olympic Games. The entire country of Latvia (2.013 million people) is going to be tuned to the BMX event in Rio, hoping he can add another Olympic logo to that numberplate. Only time will tell how he finishes, but history can repeat itself, and again.

Links

NEW MARIS STROMBERGS WEBSITE

ODI Building A Champion Ep2: Maris

July 6, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Building a Champion, Episode 2: Maris

In the second episode in their “Building a Champion” series, ODI brings us to the track with Maris Strombergs to hear his view on race day pressure and expectations. And while his situation is unique in BMX history (as the only Olympic Gold Medalist our sport has known), a much of what he says Read more

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





BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Gillette World Sport Spotlights Strombergs

April 5, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Maris on Gillette World Sport

World Sport is a YouTube channel supported by Gillette razors, and highlights top athletes in a variety of sports.

This week, they posted up a four and a half minute video with Maris Strombergs, where he explains the ins and outs of BMX racing, and why the sport is so compelling for him.

The irony of Maris’ scruff in the Gillette video was not lost on us, and we were halfway expecting the video to close out with Maris executing a clean, close shave with their top-of-the-line Proglide. Alas, it did not happen and the champ’s chinny-chin-chin stayed well-whiskered.



Great job in the video Maris! Appearances like this help to present our sport to the uninitiated, and does much to create new fans.

Links

Free Agent Bicycles Website

Maris Strombergs on Twitter






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

Machine Language

April 4, 2015 by · Comments Off 

ODI Machine Grips

In BMX Racing very few pros have signature parts. When we look into sister cycling disciplines, product catalogs are loaded with signature – everything. Although there may not be many signature race parts, when possible it is always cool to show support to your favorite pros on your bike. One of our favorite signature parts at the BMX News Global Command Center are the Maris Strombergs ODI “Machine” lock on grips.

It’s no secret that ODI lock-on grips are the number one grips of the pros. In fact, we went back and counted the grips on the Elite Men in Phoenix, and the majority ran some type of ODI grip. Our test rider referred to “The Machine” grip “an updated ruffian”. The star details plastered throughout the grip not only looks cool, but they also feel great and seem to really stop the “forward/backward” movement of your wrist while riding.

The larger “The Machine” imprint on the grip can be positioned near your fingertips, to allow for extra hand-traction, without sacrificing comfort. The flangeless design is guaranteed to make your front end look clean, and the slightly-larger diameter of the grip makes it perfect for those with larger hands. We give the Machine Grip five stars.

Links

ODI “Machine” Grips

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

Maris Strombergs Signs Co Deal with Speedline

February 7, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Maris Strombergs Signs Speedline Co-Deal

With Maris out of the country for the first race of the 2014 season, there was some question as to whether he would be back in the Free Agent colors this year. Turns out, he will be, and will also add a long-term co-sponsorship deal with Bill Ryan’s Speedline Components brand.

Maris will run the full compliment of Speedline products, including their carbon fork, which The Machine regards as “tasty” (yuk, yuk).

Maris told BMX News, in a release:

“I chose Speedline parts because I have always liked their stuff. It’s top quality, light weight and great looking. I’m excited and looking forward being a part of making the Speedline brand bigger and better.”

Bill Ryan was beaming with stoke on the Maris deal, and told us:

“We are honored to have Maris– the ultimate champion, and a great guy off the track– joining us in the Speedline Family. He brings a unique talent and experience that will help our company grow, and continue building the best in BMX.”

Aside from running the current products, Maris will be working with Bill & co. to develop some special Speedline / Strombergs “Gold Medal Edition” products.

Maris’ 2014 sponsor lineup includes Free Agent, Rockstar Energy, and now Speedline Components.

The deal is expected to run up to, and including the 2016 Olympic Games, where Maris is expected to compete for this third-in-a-row BMX Gold Medal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Congrats to both long-time friends of BMX News!

Links

Speedline Components Website

Free Agent BMX Website





BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Free Agent Team Report: Fresno

October 7, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Team Free Agent wins in Fresno
By @RobertRiofrio

Fresno Redline Cup For the second year in a row Fresno, California was the host for the Redline Cup West. It is also the second year Fresno hosted a pro series event. Dale Holmes, Cristian Becerine, and two-time gold medalist Maris Strombergs loaded up the Freeagent/Rockstar van and made their way to the Central Valley for the race weekend.

The facility in Fresno’s Woodward Park is a BMX rider’s dream. Riders will never find themselves getting bored in this place. Aside from the track the facility has a pump track, a section that includes 40 + table tops, and a dirt jumping section. This year the Fresno crew made some changes to the track. The most noticeable change was on the second straight. Much to the delight of the pros the pro set had a bigger first jump and the doubles were stretched out.

Maris Strombergs – The Latvian heart throb was back to his gold medal form in his motos on Saturday. Taking a 2,1,2. Maris drew an outside Lane in the first AA main. Not a problem for the Olympian as he won the battle to the first turn and held it to the finish line. In the second main Maris had the favorable lane one and used it to his advantage, rocketing out of the first turn in the lead and taking the win. The Machine had some problems in the third main and finished with a fourth place. A 1,1,4 proved to be low points for the day putting him on top of the box.

Sunday morning started off great for Maris, with a win in the first moto. His semi was little more dramatic than he would have liked, as he unclipped down the first straight. He made up more ground than a F16 at supersonic speed and pushed himself at the line into the main event.

In the first main Maris snapped out of the gate charging for the first turn narrowly missing out on the holeshot money, and finished up the race with a second place. The second main was a great battle between Maris and Sam Willoughby. Maris lead from the start, however it was Willoughby with the push at the line and the win. The third main saw Maris take the holeshot and lead the race from start to finish. A 2,2,1 was a enough to give him the win for the day.

Cristian Becerine – Big C took his AA experience and Free Agent Limo right to the front in the first Vet Pro main on Saturday. The second main was a carbon copy of the first main with Big C winning by several bike lengths. In the third mainm Cristian completed the hat trick and took home the overall win for the day. Cristian picked up where he left off the day and won the first two Vet Pro mains. He completed the weekend sweep by winning the final main making it a perfect weekend. Big C has put himself in great position to defend his Vet Pro title.

Dale Holmes – The UK legend is newly reclassified to the Am ranks and having a blast on his old school flat pedals. On top of his team manager duties, Mr. Holmes has been racking up wins from Louisville to Chula in the 41 and over expert class. In Fresno Dale kept up his winning ways and dominated the older expert class both days.

Links

Free Agent BMX Website


Watch for more from Team Free Agent in two weeks at the Disney Cup in Orlando, FL.

Golf Pros

September 9, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Nhlapo, Long, Strombergs and Gareth Swanepoel

After his Day Two win in Louisville, Maris Strombergs tweeted last week that he picked up a new set of golf clubs. That teed-up the idea for a pro-down on the local links on the off-weekend.

Sifiso Nhlapo, Nic Long, Maris and pro Motocrosser Gareth Swanepoel parked their whips and picked up the woods. No word on whether these big dogs caught any birdies or eagles on the outing.

These guys clean up pretty well.

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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