2019 Silver Dollar National Recap

January 15, 2019 by · Comments Off 

BMX News Recap of the 2019 USA BMX Silver Dollar Nationals

It has became a tradition for racers around the nation to pack their new uniforms in their suitcases and roll them into the South Point Casino on the second weekend of January. Just 47 days after the Grands, riders have secured their new sponsorships and have a chance for a fresh start. While some are hoping to carry momentum from last year, others are excited to get a full system reboot. No matter the previous circumstances however going into this event everyone is tied for amateur number one.

first jumpRacing at South Point has given-birth to a whole new term in our sport; “short track racing.” And a short track it was, with six rollers, two step ups, and one triple for the entire track. USA BMX does it’s best to keep things fair however, as you can see with the slanted first jump. When asking riders they mentioned the inside was more challenging than the outside, but they were still able to go over it without missing a pedal. Many riders were even pedaling all the way over the triple into the turn, not stopping once down the first straight.

warm up
The Las Vegas National plays host to many amenities that make the race special. Not only can you walk straight from a South Point hotel room to the track, there is a fully covered warm up area connected to the back of staging. From the first to last gate drop this area is swarming with riders warming up and cooling down on their outrageously tall seat posts.

bar track viewWhile it can be pretty peaceful watching the races in the saloon, it isn’t always the same on the track. The tight course makes for intense racing which often leads to drama. THRODWN’s Matt Wilcox and Robby Patterson were the center of drama all weekend. Matt opened the season with a banger, high-lowing Robby in the second turn and holding him off as he slid out in the last turn trying to catch back up. Day two Robby got the best of Matt who rolled in for the second. To break the weekend tie-breaker Robby took the early lead, all the way until the last turn when Matt went for the win. Both ended up crashing inside of the turn taking down other riders with them while Shaun Chandler of Tuscon carefully rolled around the top of the berm to steal the win away. After the move some words were exchanged in the turn, which continued at the finish line. Track official Chris Luna was between the two to make sure nothing further happened, as there is clear animosity between the two. It will be interesting to watch the battle for 26-35x supremacy for the rest of the season.

ronniekimAmateur number one rider Ronnie Kim was on hand racing open, cruiser, and class. Although he still had the white w1 on his plate, it was apparent how he earned the elusive Amateur title last year. Of the nine main events Ronnie entered, he crossed the finish line first every single time. Ronnie mentioned that he did not make his AM1 plate yet, but he planned on running the black background later in the year.

remix wheelsIt looks like Remix is making a large push for some marketshare in 2019 and beyond. News just broke that Brooke Crain has signed a co-sponsorship with Remix BMX. The wheel company was set up all weekend showing off their carbon and aluminum wheelsets. They also had Brooke Crain and Rachel Jones in-booth, signing autographs and talking with fans.

Al Roybal was apart of a small crew of the new Factory Answer team. The always-smiling racer was showing off their new black gear with flo logos. You will notice that the gear actually features a “retro” logo dating back to the early 2000′s. After finishing third in 46-50 expert Roybal mentioned that Answer planned on incorporating their retro logo back onto some future parts. Stay tuned to NEWS for updates.

race fast uniformSpeaking of new teams, Patrick Coo made his debut on “RACE FAST”. The team has a reported laid back atmosphere that all the riders seemed to praise. Patrick definitely-did “race fast” all weekend as well taking home two out of three 16x victories including an impressive lane 8 win on Saturday.

dream teamThe first Las Vegas national isn’t just about *factory* riders showing off their new jerseys though. Jameson Forrest is a nine year old expert and graduate of Donny Robinson’s BMX Racing League in Napa. Although he did not qualify into the main events he still had a blast and quoted the “best part was being here with his friends”. Jameson was also seen handing out the first place trophy slips on Sunday.

gaerne shoesThe American distributor for Gaerne shoes (GIZMO GEAR) is from Las Vegas. They are known to bring a bunch of shoes into the arena and had screaming below-retail sales on all lines of shoes ranging from $60, up to $300.

usa bmx shirtsIn addition to Garne, USA BMX was set up as usual selling not only the event shirt but also various BMX-related merch. The first race of the year also always has the infamous “$10 table” where you could buy last year’s shirts at a large discount.

Alpha debuted their new gear at the Grands, which “popped” under the arena lights. The unique colorway is modeled here by Jake Brown. Alpha started the year off great with a team sheet win on Friday, really showing they are a contender for the national title.

Bay Area BMXers was another team to show off their new gear. The bright color way stood out on the track especially on top riders like Gaige Gomolicke who took home both a 10 cruiser and 10 expert win. London Johnson shown modeling the gear is definitely a rider to watch this season though. London was seen at Northbay BMX less than two years ago racing in a football helmet. Now he goes into the 2019 season NAG 4, with an 36-40 expert Grands win under his belt. Unfortunately his weekend was riddled with crashes, but the season is long and there are plenty of races left. Look for London to continue to progress this year.

The WiaWis cutout bike was on display right as you entered the arena. The distinct display is a definite eyecatcher and shows off the true craftsmanship put into a carbon frame. Some may still say steel is real but carbon is quicker!

Zack Van Kammen won Pro Open at the 2019 Silver Dollar NationalsOn the pro side of things Zack Van Kammen made his debut on Factory THRODOWN and looked about as fast as one could go on this small track. Zack was on the podium all three days, taking wins on Friday and Sunday. The Bad Boy, Billy Russel won pro open on Saturday with Zack taking third (Alan Hudson was second).

jake plateOverall racing was tight and exciting at the Silver Dollar Nationals. It is always exciting to see riders take to the track in their new gear, and the mains are always electric. All of the riders have a seemingly new spark with a hope for better outcomes in the new year. The track may not be exceptional (owing to limited floor space in the arena), but the crew at USA BMX definitely do all they can do to make the race the best it can be. There is not a better crew in the world that could run as many races as they do flawlessly throughout the weekend. As for me, it’s always nice to visit with old friends and relive my many years lining up behind the gate trying to achieve goals. The South Point is a great home for the USA BMX season opener and it’s apparent it won’t change locations soon. If you have not been to this national I encourage you to spend a day or two after to enjoy the great city of Las Vegas.

—Bryce Betts


2019 Silver Dollar Nationals – Results