Swelling Numbers Make ABA Opener Swell

January 17, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Josh Klatman of Crupi BMX at the 2011 ABA Opener

Like most businesses, BMX Racing has its ups and downs in the numbers department. Industry insiders often point out that our sport is on a seven or eight year “cycle” (no pun intended). Most agree that, based on that theory, we should be coming in to a period of plenty in 2011-2012.

ABA’s 2011 National season opener saw the moto count jump by 16 motos over the 2010 installment, but more important than that number were the new faces in attendance. Easterners who literally had their Easternness tattooed on their arm (*cough*JohnnyCulbreth*cough*) were showing up in the Biggest Little City for a Big Ol’ BMX rumble–and all evidence was that their hopes were fully realized. A fresh crop of people are interacting with the series in a way not seen before–and that’s a very encouraging sign for the sport as a whole.

As much as the racing action, Reno is probably the biggest “See and Be Seen” race of the year, apart from the Grands (and perhaps the Chula Vista, SX in recent years). This is the place where you see familiar faces in new colors (this time, Corben Sharrah in GT, Marc WIllers running his Speed kit for the first time, and Brooke Crain, who announced her Haro deal a matter of days before the first gate dropped). Danny C and Stephanie B were Supercross mounted, and rockin the Chicago-based Dance Factory colors (along with the Jackal and Dennison Smith, who were already in the jersey at the Grands). Also suited up in an unfamiliar wrapper were the IPOT hotshoes, who have transformed into Siamese-twin factory teams for Speed and Intense.

The Women
On the track, Elite and Jr. Women were won both days by Dominique Daniels and Brooke Crain (above), respectively. Amanda Geving went 1-1-1 in her motos both days, and crossed the stripe in the main with a fourth on day one, and a second on day two. Ashley Verhagen made the podium in Elite both days, with twin thirds. Arielle Martin was aboard her new custom-paint Intense, and ended up second on Saturday, but saw the softer side of turn three and ended up in the clods, resulting in an 8th place main finish.

Lots of people wishin’ and wonderin’ about the return of Alise Post following her leg injury just before the Grands (healing up…can’t rush Mother Nature. Happy B-Day, Alise who is celebrating her 20th on 1/17 with her teammate, Denzel Stein who was born on the exact same day, in 1991). Whispers round the campfire say that her first race back *might* be the Winternationals, mid-March.

Jr. Men
The new owners of the Jr. Men Class are large and in charge. Where the 2010 winners of the class were Connor Fields and Corben Sharrah, it was Rusty Nesvig (rockin the Intense Factory colors) and Lain Van Ogle who dusted the class in 1-2 fashion both days this go-round. And what of last year’s Jr. Men Champs? Connor was a no-show in Reno this year, and Corben was in his new GT kit, placing second in Elite Men on Saturday.

Elite Men

Elite Men saw the triumphant return, from injury, of two of our three podiumed-Olympians–Donny Robinson and Mike Day (Maris Strombergs remains on the injured reserve list, after his wrist injury at the Grands–all indications that he is healing nice…and slow). Both had a couple winning laps each for the weekend, and dR thrilled the fans with a spot on the first 2011 Podium of the ABA season. Mday365 made the semis on Saturday, but a seventh landed him on the wrong side of the fence for the main. Also back from injury was Bubba Harris, whom we saw in his then-new Supercross uniform for 15 seconds at the Disney Cup before a first turn wreck sidelined him for the balance of 2010. Unfortunately, his whip may see more time on the hooks in the garage after he mildly re-injured the same wrist in Sunday’s Elite warmup. “Will we see him at Supercamp in Indiana this weekend?” is the question on all Midwestern BMXers’ lips.

Jason Rogers is back in plain wrap…and was, by all accounts, on fire both days in Reno, aboard a neon green Redman with no stickers. Jason took double fours on the weekend. Speaking of the hard eight, Cristian Becerine ended up with a snowman in his Sunday semi, with a ball-up that gave him a chauffeured ride to the ER with a separated shoulder (Free Agent Teammate Stephen Larralde blazed the trail for that injury in Saturday’s 28-35Ex main, when he ended up with the same pain and suffering, compliments of the same part of the track).

With the new ABA National Number One Pro sitting out the season opener, it was up to Denzel Stein to rep Redline in (People’s) Champ fashion. Sam is recharging his atomic batteries to full, and will be showboatin the uno for the first time in Oldsmar. Ol’ #26 hit the podium on Sunday with a third, and made the main on day one with a seven.

Sunday’s main was the most exciting and suspenseful of the lot. It was a fairly even start, with Stein and Kyle Bennett hitting the first jump first through the middle, and Gavin Lubbe (now on Psychopath) inches behind, on the far outside. Nic Long was in lane two and Corben was in lane one, both about even, and way-in-the-mix as of the first jump. Corben got edged out after the first jump, and rode the chalk a bit, but still entered turn one “fourth-ish,” drifting high.

The late-turn one order was solidly KB, Long and Stein, with Rogers in the four spot. Bubba was hanging in the back of the pack, but blasted a hi-low early in turn one, and came out in fifth. Bub seemed to lose a pedal exiting the turn, because he slowed down, and Corben ran into him, setting up a pile-on that brought Gavin and dR to the dirt as well. Bubba stayed on two wheels, and had a boatride for fifth from that point on.

Meanwhile, the front of the pack was thundering toward, then into, turn two, no change in the order. Out of the last turn, it looked like a lock for Butter, as he had a bike length on Nic just as the last straight was starting. Hard to say whether this was the moment Nic hit the nitrous, or KB started running low on rocket fuel, because within two seconds of the end of turn three, Nic scooted even, then past Kyle for a “final feet” victory, reminiscent of his amazing fifth-to-first win at the Chula Vista SX last September (regarded by many as the most exciting BMX main event in recent memory). So, at the line, it was Nic, Kyle and Denzel on the podium. A big thanks to Tony Hoffman for posting the video.

The Silver Dollar Nationals “Lightning Round”

*The Rennen-Intense Factory Team came west, and dominated the team sheet game, with twin wins. They also picked up a check for a G-note for their 2010 team finish. It’s clear these guys are making a serious charge for the cup in 2011. Shawn DiPrete (above) scored two aces in 36-40 Cruiser, and a fifth and a third in 36-40 Expert (“Physics class” was back in session as Al Roybal topped the Experts both days–a little Shawn-Al humor left over from the X-Mas Classic).

*The new GT uniform has the guys running Fox pants, and a return to a custom factory jersey (Yay!).

* As indicated for a week or so before the race, Steen Cisar was on-property, in a Nema uniform, gussied up with Redman logos and, of course, a Redman bike.

* This being the first race with the random-gate-for-all, things seemed to go well, but there were still those who longed for the “Clayton-cadence.” Some complained the day seemed to “drag on.” Math Test: If 590 motos, and a guesstimated 200 post-moto qualifiers had an average 2.5-second “random start” delay on each gate drop… how much longer would the race take to run, versus one run with the old cadence? (*answer at the end of the article). People will likely get used to it after the first couple races.

* Corey Reid, Josh Study and Mike McGonigle are said to be the new Felt/Alius trio.

* Shannon Troglia, former driver-of-the-Winnebago at Haro did not survive a round of layoffs at the company in late 2010, but has gotten together with Bill Ryan & co at Supercross to work their raceday operations. Watch BMX News in the coming days for a more robust release.

* Speaking of Supercross, Dan’s Comp set, Alden Volle, Scott Moreland and Weston Pope will be running Envys. Scott reclassed to amateur for 2011, and should make a splash in his way-stacked class.

* Props to DK doer, Tommy Zula, for getting a maiden-voyage win in A-Pro on Saturday. It’s gotta feel pretty good topping the podium while the proverbial ink’s still wet on your pro card. Way to go Tommy!

A big thanks to Pat Nugent of for his help with the above photos. Pat came home with some great shots, so go check out his galleries using the links below.

Saturday Gallery on

Sunday Gallery on

—Mike Carruth

“Math Test” answer: about 33 Minutes

Motel 6 Leaving the Light On For ABA BMXers

January 7, 2011 by · Comments Off 


The first national BMX sanction to announce a coast-to-coast lodging deal, the ABA announced today that they will partner up with Motel 6 for the 2011 season. Here’s the release, as obtained by BMXNEWS earlier today.

Motel 6, known for offering a clean, comfortable room and a great service for the lowest price of any national chain, and the American Bicycle Association (ABA), have announced a partnership for 2011.  The partnership, among other things, will provide a special discount to all members of the American Bicycle Association.

“We are delighted to announce our partnership with Motel 6,” stated ABA CEO, B.A. Anderson.  “We know that our membership has been staying with Motel 6, and now they will get a 10% discount.”  With over 1,000 properties around the United States and Canada, Motel 6 will become another option for travelers when attending ABA Nationals or other ABA races.  In addition, members will benefit when traveling for pleasure or business when staying at Motel 6.  “With over 70 properties located within 15 miles of the 27 Nationals on the current schedule and the lowest rates of any national chain, our partnership with Motel 6 is one that brings added value to our members,” continued Anderson.  

“Motel 6 is proud to support ABA and its members by offering a discount at all our locations in North America,” stated Olivier Poirot, CEO of Accor North America, Motel 6 & Studio 6.  “We look forward to a successful partnership with ABA as we continue to welcome its members during their competitive and leisure travels.”

The American Bicycle Association has worked closely with the local sports commissions and visitors centers at all of the 2011 national locations to provide a list of accommodations for each of the national stops.  The ABA will continue to utilize these properties but now will offer Motel 6 as an additional option.  Motel 6 will have a list of all Motel 6 properties in close proximity to the nationals on a special Motel 6 /ABA web page.  Members using this booking tool or the ABA account number will save 10%.

Click Here to access the Motel 6 / ABA web page. Members will be provided with a special number to utilize when making reservations.  Stay tuned.