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Coffee With Jonas: Sean Gaian

August 12, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Coffee With Jonas: Sean Gaian

Jonas Harmon joins News today for the first in a series of “Coffee With Jonas” interviews with top riders, industry-folk and newsmakers across the BMX landscape.

I sat down with Factory GT rider Sean Gaian to get a little insight to what makes him tick, how his season is going so far, and overcoming mental and physical boundaries. Sean is one of the most exciting riders to watch on the track and personally one of the best to be around off the track. He is a man of very few words, always letting his riding do the talking. Here we talk about the 2014 Worlds and the season thus far.

Ten questions with GT pilot Sean Gaian

2013 was a great year for you. What was your goal for 2014, and how was your season leading into World Champs?

The goal of the season was just to finish off strong with my Jr. career and be in a good place to break into the Elite class next year. The year started off slow; however, things have been going very well recently despite the broken wrist in Berlin.

You broke your wrist in Berlin at the World Cup and had surgery the week after. How was your mental state coming off that surgery?

Coming off my wrist surgery I was definitely a little worried about being able to make the recovery in time for world champs, but as it progressed the first few weeks I felt better and better about it. I was really mostly worried about injuring it again before the race.

Was there a strategy behind keeping the surgery on the down-low?
I tried keeping the injury private, not to keep it from people but more of a way to focus on myself. With the injury already setting me back from worlds, I just wanted to focus on my rehab and preparation with no distractions. I didn’t want to focus on the problem but more on the solution.

Whats your coffee of choice?
Cafe Latte, hands down!!

Sean Gaian at the 2014 UCI BMX World Championships
Recap the 2014 Worlds
Worlds was a great race given the circumstances. I fell short of the podium on time trial day with a fourth. Race day was a struggle with the wrist getting pretty sore by the finals, but I was happy to make it out with a second place on race day. Overall the whole trip was a lot of fun!
Photo by Tristan Kohut, via Facebook

Comparatively speaking, you’re smaller than a good portion of the Jr. Men but one of the fiercest competitors in the class. Explain your state of mind when you gate up.

On the gate, I don’t view myself as any different than the other guys. I just worry about myself and make sure I give the best possible effort I can. That just means I have different strengths. My motto has always been ‘I may be smaller, but that’s just less weight I have to get moving out of the gate.’

What’s your favorite thing outside of BMX?
I really like hanging out with my two dogs. They are always the highlight of when I come back from a trip.

Future plans?

I try not to plan too far ahead, but I will definitely continue on racing Elite Men while working part-time to get my business degree.

Any good guilty pleasures?
I would say Oreo cookie shakes late at night. I always have a craving for one of those!!

Any shout-outs and where can people find you?
Big thanks to GT Bicycles and all of our great co-sponsors for making this dream a reality and getting me to where I am today, my coach James Herrera for always being in my corner, and also a huge thanks to my parents, Big Tommy and Sandy, for providing me with years and years of support. You can follow me on Instagram @sgaian, Twitter @sgaian77, and check out my athlete page on Facebook for updates!!

Coffe With Jonas: Jonas Harmon and Sean Gaian
Jonas and Sean, via Sean’s Instagram.

Links

GT BMX Website

Sean Gaian on Instagram

Sean Gaian on Twitter

Jonas Harmon on Twitter





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Recap: 2013 UCI BMX Worlds – Part I

July 28, 2013 by · Comments Off 

BMX Racing News - Sean Gaian wins Jr. Men
With so much to report, we figured it would be more digestible for us to put out a two-part recap for the UCI World Championships, which unfolded Saturday and Sunday, after the Challenge classes were finished.

This was a break from the ordinary, in that Friday – Saturday are traditionally the “Championship” (Elite) class days, then the event finishes up with cruiser on Sunday.

But, in Auckland, the track had to be reconfigured for the Junior and Elite classes. The Vector Arena was not big enough to accommodate the side-by-side hill configuration we have seen the past few years, and the side-by-side straightaways.

Their solution was ingenious–after Challenge racing was finished, they would “jack-up” the hill from the 6-metre challenge height, to the 8-metre Championship (Supercross) height. Transformers, eat your heart out!

Here, now, the Juniors:

Junior Women

With only 16 entries, we would not see much of the Junior Women in Auckland. Rachel Jones had the fastest Time Trial lap in the qualifying round, with a 26.315. Reigning World Champion, Felicia Stancil finished the first run third with a 26.430. But when the Superfinal came, it was all Fly’n Felicia, with her winning time of 26.133.

On Sunday, Felicia aced-up on the three rounds of motos, and positioned herself for the oh-so-important lane choice that would guarantee an inside gate for the main event. That would be the next time we’d see them.

In the other group Sarah Sailer of Germany was also holding three aces into the main event. Sailer got third in the Superfinal on Saturday, and would start the main from lane four (just to the left of Shay Glynn).

When the gate dropped, Russian Natalia Suvorova was out of gate six with a good pop, but so was the World Champ in lane one. Suvorova held second down the first straight, but had Kiwi Hannah Sarten edging under her on the inside, and Domenica Gonzalez on the outside. Just then, Shay Glynn lit up the after burners and blasted inside from the back of the pack, and pulled off a spectacular sixth-to-second pass to lock in just behind Felicia.

Sarten gave up the spot for the moment, but fought to gain it back down the second straight. Shay is tough as nails, and held her position with an iron grip. Felicia was well-away by the third straight, but the silver was still a battle. Shay opened up a bit of a lead, but Hannah closed the gap on the last straight. At the line Felicia was the winner, and it was a photo finish for second.

Shay Glynn Photo Finish at 2013 UCI BMX World Championships
Moments later, we’d see Shay got it by inches (centimeters?). Great racing and great heart!

Here’s the video of the main event:

Results
Felicia Stancil (USA)
Shayona Glynn (USA)
Hannah Sarten (NZL)
Domenica Gonzalez (ECU)
Viviana van Hees (NED)
Yerlin Castillo (VEN)
Natalia Suvorova (RUS)
Sarah Sailer (GER)

Junior Men

A total of 61 riders on the sheets for the Junior Men, so we’d see more of them than their better-looking counterparts. Niek Kimmann from The Netherlands would turn the top qualifying time in the Time Trial, with a 23.495. During the early qualifying, some of the names we were watching here at the BMX News command center were Sean Gaian (5th), Hunter Pelham (7th), Bryce Betts (12th), Maliek Byndloss (15th), Cole Tesar (18th) and Alden Volle (26th).

With eight slots in the Superfinal, Gaian and Pelham would be the only Americans in the next round. Sean ended up with second in the final lap, behind France’s Romain Mahieu. Mahieu (who also won the title last year) turned a lap time of 23.367. Gaian’s time was 23.529. Hunter ended the day in fourth.

Through Friday’s motos, only Mahieu and Gonzalo Molina from Argentina had a triple-ace day going into the quarters. All the Americans were moving on to the evening show.

Quarters
In the quarters, the first three racks made it through clean–no crashes, which was a pretty amazing feat, if you look at the Championship classes as a whole. In the fourth group, Latvian Kristens Krigers came in to turn one a little too hot, and high-sided, taking three with him. High-shiners in the quarters were Mahieu, Betts, Gaian, Byndloss, and Molina. Hunter Pelham was leading the fourth group (was ahead of the first turn dust-up), but unclipped in the last straight. He lost the lead, but pumped his way home, one footed, to get the last qual spot, just ahead of Alden Volle. Amidou Mir got the win that time.

Semis

The first semi had a hassle-free trip, with Mir, Max Cairns of Australia, Mahieu and Byndloss all making it through. Maliek seemed to unclip, or have a tiny bit of trouble in the second turn, but was able to hold off Cristobal Palominos from Chile for the final qual spot.

The second semi would not be so lucky in terms of a smooth-move to the main event. Hunter Pelham was starting from Lane 8, which was a very tough placement on this track. Betts was out of lane three, and Gaian from one. Sean had the first straight more wired than any other rider out there, and was quick to the lead. Molina and Jeremy Rencurel of France were bunched up just behind. Hunter made it from the far outside to in-the-mix, and skied into turn one. It would have paid off nicely, but it put him in a bad position, and he was pushed high on the turn–so high, that his back wheel went over the top, and he skidded around the berm, but kept it on two wheels. Betts was down on the way into turn one. Qualifiers were: Gaian, Molina, Rencurel and Tristyn Kronk of Australia.

Main

The video tells it best.

Some points of interest:

Sean Gain had it from the drop, even with casing into turn two. Nice work Seany-Sean! Molina also rode a hella-strong race.

Rencurel (who will finish third) is in gate 6, and is in sixth-place into the first turn. He keeps fighting, and vectors to the inside in prep for turn two, where he airs it out and passes two to put himself on the podium.

Byndloss won the photo finish with Cairns for fifth.

Results
Sean Gaian (USA)
Gonzalo Molina (ARG)
Jeremy Rencurel (FRA)
Romain Mahieu (FRA)
Maliek Byndloss (USA)
Max Cairns (AUS)
Tritsyn Kronk (AUS)
Amidou Mir (FRA)

Links

BMX News Coverage of Elite Women

BMX News Coverage of Elite Men

NZ Worlds Shake ‘em In the Up Finals

July 28, 2013 by · Comments Off 

BMX News - 2013 UCI BMX World Championships

After a pins and needles day of racing in Auckland, New Zealand, BMX sorted out its World Champions Sunday afternoon, New Zealand time.

BMX News will bring you the full report Sunday Afternoon, US Time, but before we get arms around that big story, here are the punchline finishers.

2013 UCI BMX World Championships, Auckland, New Zealand

Results

Elite Women (Top Left)
Caroline Buchanan (AUS) (Center)
Lauren Reynolds (AUS) (Left)
Manon Valentino (FRA) (Right)

Elite Men (Top Right)
Liam Phillips (GBR)
Marc Willers (NZL)
Luis Brethauer (GER)


13_junior

Junior Women
Felicia Stancil (USA) (Center)
Shayona Glynn (USA) (Left)
Hannah Sarten (NZL) (Right)

Junior Men
Sean Gaian (USA)
Gonzalo Molina (ARG)
Jeremy Rencurel (FRA)

Congrats to the podium finishers! It was a way-crazy day of racing, and we will bring you a more detailed re-cap Sunday afternoon.





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J&R Bicycles Jumps In With Jr. Devo Support

March 25, 2012 by · Comments Off 

J&R Bicycles Jr. Devo Sponsorship

On January 25, BMX News brought you details, and a podcast, on a hot new sponsorship deal of the USA Cycling Junior Development Program by BMX Racing Group’s Chase BMX, and Tioga BMX. Now, USAC is proud to add J&R Bicycles to the mix, via a special jersey program, for the top points earner in the boys and girls classes in the USAC/USA BMX Jr. Devo series.

These jerseys will carry a special “captain” designation (ala NFL team captains), recognizing them as the captain of their “class” at the camp (see main photo).

USA Cycling BMX Junior Development on BMX News

The one-year sponsorship will debut its first jersey at the Jr. Development camp that starts the day after next week’s Mega-race weekend in Chula Vista (camp dates: April 2-7). The first to wear the “J&R Captain’s Jersey” will be Sean Gaian and Shaelen Reno, based on points earned at the first six races of this Jr. Devo “series” (Last year’s Chula Vista, Disney Cup, and President’s Cup/Race Of Champions…and Reno, Guthrie and Oldsmar in 2012). There will be three more camps in calendar 2012 (see link below for the specifics).

J&R owner, Kirk Morrison said, in the official release: “It’s important to give back to the sport…We like being involved in all levels of BMX racing. From the local program, to the state level, to national and international. It is also fun to be a part of the next step for these aspiring Supercross riders!”

BMX News will be in Chula Vista, starting on Thursday, and will do our best to get you the first-photos of Sean and Shaelen in their slick new USA jerseys.

Links

USA Cycling BMX Jr. Development Page

J&R Bicycles

Podcast: Chase BMX and Tioga BMX Sponsor Jr. Devo.





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Megawatt GT Factory Team Emerges

January 8, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Felicia Stancil among four joining GT Factory

Nothing official from the company yet, but over the weekend, the ABA posted the coming roster for GT’s 2012 Factory Team on their Facebook Page. Here’s how it breaks down:

(Ages at the 2012 Grands)

Jack Kelly – 9X
Sophia Foresta – 13G
Sean Gaian – 16X
Felicia Stancil – 17G
Jordan Miranda – 18X
Jonas Harmon – 31X
Steve Spencer – 45X
Eric Rupe – 47X
Mike Day – Elite Men
Corben Sharrah – Elite Men

Quite a roster for the first USA BMX season. Watch for early photos of the new Am crew from the USA BMX Silver Dollar Nationals next weekend!

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