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Vote in the March Photo Trophy Dash

April 1, 2013 by · Comments Off 

bmxnews.org Photo Trophy Dash for March 2013

March seemed like a long, LONG month. It started in Phoenix, with the USA BMX Winter Nationals. That was the season opener for the pros, and they turned out in droves to soak up some Southwestern sun, and spin the cranks for the first time since the Grands.

The very next week, we were off to see John Sawyer and his amazing facility in Oldsmar, FL for the USA BMX Gator Nationals. That was also the weekend for the first UCI race of 2013–the UCI BMX North American Continental Championships. Wow, that’s a mouthful.

Skip a week to get some laundry done, and we were back in the suitcase, destination: the big D–and by that, we mean Desoto. All manner of strangeness was visited upon the BMX faithful, as more than an inch of hailstones fell from the sky, and the anticipated balmy Texas temps were swapped-out with something more suiting the produce room at Costco.

A total of 7,500 miles on the toteboard for the month. Through it all, BMX News was there, snapping the shots that quicken the pulse, and bump the brands on the backs of the fastest BMXers in the known universe. Of the 1035 photos that made the cut from the three races, we took the past week to distill that über set down to 30, then 15, then a final gate-of-eight, to bring you the March 2013 Photo Trophy Dash.

Vote For Your Favorites

In the gate for the Photo Trophy Dash are our eight favorite shots from the month. Now you, the readers and fans, will pick the fairest of them all. Why these eight? Well, each had that little something extra. Maybe it was the lighting, exposure and composition of the shot; maybe it was the style on the rider; maybe it was repping awesome racing action. Whatever it was, it caused us to say “THAT is a killer shot!” from the moment we saw it on the monitor.

Cast a vote for your favorite by clicking through to the gallery page at the bottom of the page. The photo with the most Facebook likes at 12 Noon on Thursday, April 4 will win the trophy: A 30″ x 20″ canvas print of the winning shot.

But wait…there’s more!

Like the BMX News Facebook Page, and follow @bmxnow on Twitter, and we will choose one lucky liker of the winning image to win a Rennen Smart Sprint BMX Speedometer (a $90 value). Links are below to get that done, as well.

Here is the rollout for the BMX News March 2013 Photo Trophy Dash

Click Below to Vote for Ryan Zinzow of Ssquared/Answer

Vote for Ryan Zinzow in the BMX News Photo Trophy Dash

Click Below to Vote for Seth Michalowski of Badd & Company

Vote for Seth Michalowski in the BMX News Photo Trophy Dash

Click Below to Vote for Spencer Cole of DK Bicycles

Vote for Spencer Cole in the BMX News Photo Trophy Dash

Click Below to Vote for Alden Volle of Dan’s Comp

Vote for Alden Volle in the BMX News Photo Trophy Dash

Click Below to Vote for Donny Robinson of SE Bikes

Vote for Donny Robinson in the BMX News Photo Trophy Dash

Click Below to Vote for Brian Kirkham of Intense BMX

Vote for Brian Kirkham in the BMX News Photo Trophy Dash

Click Below to Vote for Alex Tougas of Yess BMX

Vote for Alex Tougas in the BMX News Photo Trophy Dash

Click Below to Vote for Corben Sharrah of Haro Bikes

Vote for Corben Sharrah in the BMX News Photo Trophy Dash

Links

Vote In The March Photo Trophy Dash

Like the BMX News Facebook Page

Follow @BMXNOW On Twitter

Check out Rennen Smart Sprint


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Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

Connor Fields Wins Sept. Photo Trophy Dash

October 7, 2012 by · Comments Off 

bmxnews.org Connor Fields wins September 2012 Trophy Dash

Last Monday, we posted the BMX News Photo Trophy Dash for September. It was a selection of eight of our best shots from the USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals in Louisville, over Labor Day Weekend.

About the Winning Photo

It was the Elite Men Semi on Saturday, and I was shooting the second straight. I got a solid shot of Connor in the lead, and then Willers and Tyler Brown battling for second. As they hit the pro set on the third straight, Connor had a sizable lead. Enough, in fact, that it reminded me, in an instant, of a photo I took four years earlier at the 2008 NBL Grands, where Connor destroyed his 15x main event.

I ran across the second straight, and hastily aimed and zoomed-in-full on the last turn, on the chance I could get a similar shot. I did not have the greatest lens to get a shot from that far away, but if the action was right, it almost wouldn’t matter. It was one of those rare moments, as a photographer, that as soon as you pressed the button, you knew you “got it.” It was not even necessary to look down at the screen on the camera (true confession: I did anyway).

Here is the shot from 2008:

Connor Fields leads the 15x main event at the 2008 NBL Grands

(LOL…this was a long time ago…pre-BMX News (for me), and pre-BMXNOW, when I was still tagging images with the Vintage logo)

This time around, Connor and his Chase BMX/Monster Energy ride got 416 votes on the image, which made it the winner by as wide a margin as in the image, itself.

We asked Connor to comment on the two photos.

First off, Mike let me say thank you for doing all that you do we all appreciate it. 2008 was really the first year I decided to take Bmx seriously and start training, and that was also the year the phantom-intense-ontrac team did the NBL series to take on Terry Sonners Dans Comp team. I ended up doubling at the NBL grands that year an this photo was taken during the 15 expert main event, I remember it was one of the best laps of my life.

Fast forward four years to 2012 and I’m racing at Louisville under the sanction “USABMX” and I had just returned from the Olympics 3 weeks before. Crazy. This semi was on day two if I recall correctly and we were all going for that all important gate selection in the final so I was pinning it all the way around the track. Ended up being a cool photo that brought back some memories. Thanks Mike and to everyone who voted.

Congrats, also, to the other finalists, who made the final eight, out of 355 photos shot in Louisville: Felicia Stancil (GT Bicycles), Lain van Ogle (Hyper Bicycles), Caroline Buchanan (Speedco Bicycles), Shan Hatfield (SE Bikes), Logan Collins (Diamond Back/Alius), Scott Moreland (Dan’s Comp) and Amanda Geving (MCS). View images in a new window.

For getting the most Facebook likes, Connor will receive a 30×20″ gallery-wrapped canvas of the winning image.

We also chose one lucky liker, at random, of the winning image to receive a $50 J&R gift card. That honor goes to Jakob Young of Portland, OR. Congrats, Jakob!

The next BMX News Photo Trophy Dash is scheduled to start October 30, and will include images from the Disney Cup–but only if we come back with eight exceptional photos.

Meanwhile, please use the links below to like the BMX News Facebook page, and follow @bmxnow on Twitter. That’s how we keep the ‘dashes dashin.

—Mike Carruth

History Lesson: What is a “Trophy Dash?”

For those of you not familiar with how a “trophy dash” works, it is a throwback to the days of old in BMX, when the top-class winners would line up one last time, at the end of all the mains, for one final lap to see who was the “champion of the day.” The guy (it was guys-only, back then) across the line first was the winner. One Trophy, winner take all, hence the name.

In fact, it was the 14-Over Trophy Dash at the 1978 Jag World Championships that determined the very first overall World Champion of BMX (Anthony Sewell). #throwbackthursdayonamonday

Please Like and Follow These:

Like the BMX NEWS Facebook Page

Follow @bmxnow on Twitter

Like the Photo Trophy Dash Page

Connor Fields on Twitter

Chase BMX Website


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Vote in the September Photo Trophy Dash

October 1, 2012 by · Comments Off 

BMX News Photo Trophy Dash - September 2012

It’s been a while since we had a Photo Trophy Dash, so when we came back with some really good stuff from Louisville, we decided to make it the the Trophy Dash of the month. Now’s your chance to head on over, like our BMX News Facebook page, follow @bmxnow on Twitter, and “like” the photo of your choice.

The rider with the most likes at Noon Central time on Friday, October 5 will receive a 30×20 canvas print of the winning image. And, one lucky liker of the winning photo will receive a $50 gift card from J&R Bicycles–but you have to be a liker of the BMX News Facebook page, AND a Twitter follower to claim the prize.

Here are the eight images in the virtual gate this go-round (in alphabetical order):

Caroline Buchanan – Speedco Bicycles
Vote for Caroline Buchanan of Speedco Bicycles in the BMX News Photo Trophy Dash

Logan Collins – Diamond Back/Alius
Vote for Logan Collins of Diamond Back/Alius in the BMX News Photo Trophy Dash

Connor Fields – Chase BMX/Monster Energy
Vote for Connor Fields - Chase BMX/Monster Energy in the BMX News Photo Trophy Dash

Amanda Geving – MCS Bicycles
Vote for Amanda Geving - MCS Bicycles in the BMX News Photo Trophy Dash

Shan Hatfield – SE Bikes
Vote for Shan Hatfield - SE Bikes in the BMX News Photo Trophy Dash

Scott Moreland – Dan's Comp
Vote for Scott Moreland - Dan's Comp in the bmxnews.org Photo Trophy Dash

Felicia Stancil – GT Bicycles
Vote for Felicia Stancil - GT Bicycles in the BMX News Photo Trophy Dash

Lain van Ogle – Hyper Bicycles
Vote for Lain van Ogle - Hyper Bicycles in the BMX News Photo Trophy Dash

OK, you have seen the candidates. Which one strikes you as the best of the lot, and why? Feel free to add your comments below, then head over to the gallery page (linked below) for the voting.

The winner will be announced on Monday, October 8.

Links

Photo Trophy Dash – September 2012 Voting Page

Like the BMX NEWS Facebook Page

Follow @bmxnow on Twitter


Comments


Editorial: Two-Moto Transfer at Tulsa 2012

September 30, 2012 by · Comments Off 

bmxnews.org Editorial USA BMX Grands

By Mike Carruth

I have stayed out of the debate on Vintage relating to this topic, largely because it doesn’t directly impact me from a racing point of view. However they race ‘em, I’ll be there to photograph it.

That said, I do have an opinion on the decision to make the 2012 USA BMX Grand National a two-moto-transfer race for the first time.

Since coming back to BMX in 2008, it seemed odd to me that the Grands was a three-moto race, when every other race during the year was two-moto-transfer. The case for keeping it three motos could be made a few ways: Tradition, better competition…and, yes, economics.

The race started in that format, back when, so it just kind of stayed that way. Let it be the only time when there is that extra chance at greatness. Yeah, I get it. You could write a good country western song about that.

Still, it shouldn’t be a “wait…there’s no Easter Bunny?!” moment when you learn that economics could plausibly play a role.

Looking at it from an economic perspective, the third moto on Sunday morn served a nice purpose in generating an extra night’s hotel stay and, perhaps, meal in a local restaurant. I’m not saying that WAS the reason for its existence, but it had a nice feng shui to it.

If it were two-motos-Saturday, 1/8s, 1/4s, etc on Sunday– people who did not qualify would likely pack up and start heading for home on Saturday night. So those hotel nights would be spent in Missouri, Texas, or whatever is North of Oklahoma on the way up to I-80…Kansas and such. Part of the reason why Tulsa is so hospitable to BMX is because of the economic boost we give the local economy for hotel nights, food and maybe a little Black Friday shopping by mom, where possible. Surely, everyone realizes that…right?

Plus, there is the whole issue of the Pro Spectacular when talking about why one moto on Saturday makes sense. Aside from the Chula Vista SX, the Pro Spectacular is the only opportunity BMXers get to see “the big show,” with the pros highlighted like we all say they should be. Running two sets of 600+ motos would put the last rack of the day across the line at about 7PM…then an hour to clear and reset the building…then the pros take the stage, and you’re out of there at 10:30-11PM. And you’re on a 6:30AM wake up call, to be back at 8AM for your 1/8 in cruiser or open. There was a LOT of grumbling about that last year (especially on SUnday Morning, as one might imagine).

This year, with an 8AM start, we should all be out of the building on Saturday by 3PM at the latest, then go chill at the hotel for a bit and come back, ready to see who will be the very first USA BMX #1 pros at 6PM.

Complainers gonna complain. That’s as old as the pyramids. Everybody has their theory on how “they would do it” (“I’d make the race start on Thanksgiving” says one voice “I’d drop the opens and Novices to get it done in one day” says another). But there are only a handful of people in the world who see the whole board on this thing. And every one of them have “USA BMX” business cards.

The responsibility USA BMX shoulders on an event of this scale is massive. They have dozens of constituencies to serve, and (try) to make happy. For every person complaining that they only get one lap on Saturday, there are two more complaining that (under a two-motos-on-Saturday format) they got out of the building at 11PM, and then had to be back at the arena at 8AM. And it’s dusty, and my pit is not in a good spot, and can I get an infield vest, and my bike is missing, and I forgot to use the correct sponsor on my registration, and you should think about dropping opens from this race next year, and my kid got cut off on the second straight…I want someone DQ’d, and someone just had a terrible accident in the mens room next to concessions.

I am, by no means, saying you should feel sorry for our friends. They’re pros, they do it all the time, and make it look easy. When you see it up close, you realize it is a carefully-orchestrated BMX-logistics ballet. Remember that old plumber’s adage: “Do your job right, nobody’s supposed to notice, but get it wrong, and everything gets full of (sewage).”

The voices demanding program changes like dropping opens and/or Novices from the Grands are simply not seeing it realistically. It’s like if you said, in passing, you were really busy with family next week, and I showed up and sat down at your dinner table Sunday night saying I had the solution.

“Don’t go to work Wednesday and Thursday. Problem solved!” I would declare.

“Well…am I still going to be paid for those two days off?,” you would legitimately ask.

“No. But this is really the best way.” I would say.

You would be right to throw a plate of spaghetti and meatballs at me.

Maybe there will be a time when Nationals (and, by extension, the Grands) are birthyear-gender-and-wheelsize-only affairs, to which you qualify, via the local program…but that’s another editorial.

Last year, the market decided that the ABA would be the sole organizing body for BMX Racing in North America. Period..like poimanent. With that role, we need to trust their expertise in running the program in a way that best serves the over-arching interest of everyone involved. Speak on it, with opinions, by all means. But try not to be in a huff when a decision is made that isn’t “how I would do it.”

It is impossible to get everyone to like any given decision. But this year’s format makes good sense–if you are going to have a 600+ moto race, and a Pro Spectacular, and provide people the opportunity to get enough sleep for the big day on Sunday, and all the other things that must be taken into account to make the event a success. At the same time, I respect the opinion that says “we want MORE racing, not less.” Growing pains are not always pleasant, but they are part of life.

See you in Tulsa…60 days and counting!

—Mike Carruth

Links

Discussion on VintageBMX.com

Dive in to Fly’s Jump Backpacks

August 27, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Fly Jump Backpack at jrbicycles.com

When it comes to representing your BMX roots in the halls of knowledge this fall, or at a particularly-hip workplace, Fly Racing has your back. Or, better-said, has good stuff FOR your back. The Fly Jump line of backpacks accommodates all the book knowledge you can pack in to it, and won’t leave you strapped for cash when you slip it over your favorite BMX T-Shirt.

The Jump Backpack has three zipper compartments (a “main room,” plus two front pockets), using mega-quality YKK zippers, that won’t jam while you’re jammin’. Plus, double-barrel elastic bottle holders on each side to keep you fully-loaded with your hydration of choice.

Three color choices fast-forward the fashion statement, from “basic black” to the oh-so-fitting “Wild” that makes you look fast, even when weighted-down with a week’s worth of due-tomorrow homework.

And, of course, it’s made by Fly Racing, so you know the quality is A+

Available at J&R Bicycles for $25.95

Use the links below for more information

BMX NEWS Product Spotlight - Fly Jump Backpacks at jrbicycles.com
^Fly Jump Backpack – Wild

BMXNEWS Product Spotlight - Fly Jump Backpacks at jrbicycles.com
^Fly Jump Backpack – Black

bmxnews.org Product Spotlight - Fly Racing Jump Backpacks at jrbicycles.com
^Fly Jump Backpack – White

Use discount code BMXSUMMER15 for 15% off orders over $50, bringing the Jump Backpack down to $22 and change!


bmxnews.org Product Spotlight is Presented by:

bmxnews.org Product Spotlight, Presented by J&R Bicycles

London Olympic BMX – Day 1 Start Lists

August 8, 2012 by · Comments Off 

London 2012 Olympic BMX Coverage - bmxnews.org

Only a few short hours until the first gate falls in London. Today, spectators and viewers around the world will see the Time Trial seeding runs. It may not make for the most riveting television, but it is an important component to the whole puzzle. Unlike the World Cup races, a rider’s result in the time trial will not eliminate anyone from competition tomorrow or Friday.
In Olympic competition, the Time Trial determines seeding of riders in the group competition rounds, and also determines the order of gate position selection (faster times get earlier picks).

2012 Olympic Games – London
Mens Time Trial Start List

(In order of Start)

Danny Caluag
Sifiso Nhlapo
Maik Baier
Kurt Pickard
Roger Rinderknecht
Emilio Falla
Liam Phillips
Arnaud Dubois
Manuel De Vecchi
Morten Therkildsen
Quentin Caleyron
Jelle Van Gorkom
Ernesto Pizzaro
Twan Van Gendt
Luis Brethauer
Rihards Veide
Khalen Young
Moana Moo Caille
Renato Rezende
Tory Nyhaug
Andres Jimenez
Edzus Treimanis
Nic Long
Carlos Oquendo
Raymon Van Der Biezen
Brian Kirkham
Maris Strombergs
David Herman
Marc Willers
Joris Daudet
Connor Fields
Sam Willoughby

2012 Olympic Games – London
Womens Time Trial Start List

(In order of Start)
Sandra Aleksejeva
Squel Stein
Shanaze Reade
Stefany Hernandez
Sarah Walker
Ramona Labounková
Laura Smulders
Aneta Hladikova
Vilma Rimsaite
Laetitia Le Corguille
Mariana Pajon
Alise Post
Lauren Reynolds
Brooke Crain
Caroline Buchanan
Magalie Pottier

Regardless of what you have seen posted on the internet as to the Air times of the BMX events, check your local time and station on the NBCOlympics.com website to be sure you don’t miss it.

Links

Olympic BMX TV Schedule

Olympic BMX – Day One Live Stream*

*Requires login and authentication via your cable provider.

Tristan Mitchell Wins Photo Trophy Dash/SLC

July 10, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Tristan Mitchell of J&R Bicycles Wins the Photo Trophy Dash

After six days of voting, Tristan Mitchell of Team J&R Bicycles has emerged as the winner of the BMX News Photo Trophy Dash/Salt Lake.

Tristan’s photo captured 254 of the 819 total votes cast. That means he will receive a 30×20″ gallery-wrapped canvas of the above image, compliments of bmxnews.org. Tristan, your canvas will ship via UPS in three weeks.

Here are the full results from the Salt Lake Photo Trophy Dash:

Tristan Mitchell – 254
Rusty Nesvig – 188
Alex Tougas – 141
Bryce Hocking – 72
Jonas Harmon – 70
Dom Daniels – 35
Marc Willers – 33
Donny Robinson – 26

Keep an eye out for the next Photo Trophy Dash, coming very soon!

Did You Win the J&R/TLD Helmet Giveaway?

May 14, 2012 by · Comments Off 

J&R Bicycles and Troy Lee Designs Helmet Giveaway

Troy Lee Designs is known for their quality and exceptional designs, the D3 carbon helmets are among hundreds of great products offered by Troy Lee that meet or exceeds rider expectations.

The one-month long promotion offered a chance for thousands of BMXers to win this one-of-a-kind helmet.  J&R Bicycles would like to thank all of our customers and participants who entered online along with Greg Skibel and Troy Lee Designs for their contributions. Stay tuned for future promotions at www.jrbicycles.com.

Oh yeah… The Winner of the Troy Lee Designs/J&R Bicycles Custom D3 helmet Give-A-Way is none other than Patty Richards of Ukiah, California.  Patty will receive a D3 Pinstripe helmet with custom J&R Bicycles graphics and personalized with their last name (if they so choose)

Support those that support the sport

J&R Bicycles

Troy Lee Designs

Fryin’ on Friday at the Winter Nats

April 21, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Deak Brown attacks the pro set at the USA BMX Winter Nationals

With temperatures in this high 90s for day one of the 2012 USA BMX Winter Nationals, most people were keeping low under a team tent, in the car with the AC cranked, or were back at the hotel. The brave souls who were standing in plain view were dipped in a candy coating of sunscreen, and the few who forgot it were candy apple red by the time pro practice stepped off. Tip: They sell sunscreen at the concession tent!

But no climate can put the kibosh on BMX News and our factory row stroll.

The earlier question we posed to the universe of “how will pro turnout be, given the proximity between to SX races” has now been answered. Tons of Elites out for practice yesterday. In fact, you could count the ones who were NOT there much faster than trying to go over the stars who were on-scene. Three we can call right from the get-go as taking the weekend off are Connor Fields, Arielle Martin and Brooke Crain. It’s been a tough few weeks, so you gots to look out for you. Enjoy the down time.

It’s hard to say who was “looking fast” because most riders were taking a quick first straight, then just cruising to get the flow of the Black Mountain landscape. It was hot enough, without taking hot laps when not absolutely necessary.

We were pleasantly surprised to see Felicia Stancil suited up, and in Elite practice. After a ballup in the semis of the Chula Vista Supercross, we thought she might be out for another few weeks nursing her wrist. But the GT wings will be Fly’n in both Junior Women and class.

The newly-rebuilt pro set was the talk of Elite practice. The first set features a MONSTER gap, reminiscent of an Evel Knievel Wide World Of Sports setup. Deak Brown was the first one we saw hit it, and WOWZA! it is a site to see. Bubba was also skyin’ it in a big way, and Jeremy Rommell sailed clear past the landing one lap, onto the flat-bottom. Tommy Zula could have been fined by the FAA for airspace incursion, that’s how high we’re talkin.

The set is a crowd pleaser, no question…but it has lots of elites asking: “Is it raceable?…do we really want to be taking chances on something like this in a year so critical?” There were rumors circulating they might not make it mandatory, or may just close it off completely. I gues we’ll see when today’s first gate drops around Noon. There is no doubt that if the first guy doesn’t make it, it’s going to get very messy as the “committed” guys, already on the way, try to figure out what to do, in a split-second.

Kenth Fallen is back in his Supercross uniform, and ready to mix it up with the Vet pros in Phoenix. Cristian Becerine will be going vet soon (Nashville is the latest, on when), but was out racing in the Pro class Friday night, taking second to Nic Long (Jake Peebles was third).

We spent some time hanging out in the Intense/Speedco trailer, and saw some trick new THE knee and elbow guards. The “soft pads” do not have a hard-cup, as previous generations did–but feature a material that “toughens up” on impact–giving the user 40% more protection than with plastic cup toppers. Tough to believe, we realize, but they did a little on-the-downlow demo for some of us onlookers, taking a hefty pedal wrench to Brian Schrimpf’s knee, Tony Soprano style. No post-demo limp on Brian, so that means they must work as described. Official word is a couple weeks off, but you heard it here first.

Norway SX winner Caroline Buchanan was on-course rockin some trick new clip shoes, courtesy of Riivo–a company based in City of Orange (CA) that specializes in custom cycling shoes for Road and other cycling disciplines. Caroline says the version she is running this weekend is stiffer than a road shoe, and “wonderfully narrow” (said with a pained grin). Fashion hurts, especially when it works.

Well, our 90-minutes til first gate alert just sounded, so we’re going to warp on the Friday Re-cap by reminding you to stay with BMX News all weekend for story and photo coverage…and follow us on Twitter @bmxnow.

Send us an “@message” if there’s anything you want to know from the race (“who won XX class” might be tough til after the race, but general questions are always appreciated).

Links

Winter Nationals Friday Photo Gallery

Follow @bmxnow on Twitter, for as-they-happen tweets from the infield and pits.

Norway is Sweet for Caroline

April 16, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Women's Report from Randaberg, Norway BMXSX on bmxnews.org

A fortnight after the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup series pulled up stakes, and headed to Randaberg, Norway, 39 globe-trotting gals (and four non-starters) made the hop over to the land better known for Sardines and Salmon, than for BMX.

The Norwegian hosts were awesome in every way–eager to showcase their country, and their hospitality, to hordes of two-wheeled happy campers. This extended to the track, itself, when a family-owned business turned out a multigenerational task-force to lay down thousands of paving bricks in the turns. The pavers were placed one by one, with surgical precision, all under the watchful eye of Elite Trax, and its master track builder, Tom Ritz.

Six American women tacked some mileage on their frequent-flyer accounts–including Brooke Crain, Arielle Martin, Amanda Carr, Shelby Stacy, Chula Vista SX Podium Bronzer, Amanda Geving, and fresh off her National Championship win in Chula Vista, Alise Post. All six made it out of Time Trials, into “The Big Show” on Saturday, where 3,000 locals kicked down some “Krones” to witness the first BMX SX event on their soil.

Four out of the six Americans made it into Friday’s Time Trial Superfinal (meaning they placed in the top 16 of top times), with Brooke Crain placing highest of the lot, with a third. Chula Vista Superfinal winner, Caroline Buchanan repeated her beat-the-clock beatdown, besting second place finisher Laëtitia Le Corguillé of France by a few blinks of an eye.

The Skinny on Shinny

British media darling, and GBR Oly Team shoe-in, Shanaze Reade was spotted on the property early Friday, and was on the start list for Time Trial day. But by the time the first gate dropped, she had become a DNS on the roster, indicating she pulled out of the weekend’s festivities. This did not go unnoticed, and she took some jabs on the Freecaster commentary by Pete D’s SX-day sidekick, Samantha Cools (who, we learned on-air, is quite pregnant–congrats!). No official word on the backstory that caused Shanaze to drop.

Lørdag (Saturday)

The traditional four-gates-of-eight were locked and loaded, with the first heat stacked with household names. Caroline Buchanan took the first trip with authority, with a pair of USA jerseys, owned by Alise Post and Amanda Carr in second and third, respectively.

Next up, it was Chula Vista podium topper, Magalie Pottier of France, who put the hurt on Manon Valentino and Gabriela Diaz of Argentina (along with other names like Merle vanBenthen (fourth), Lauren Reynolds (sixth), and Shelby Stacy (seventh)), with a decisive lap.

Sarah Walker was spotted walking about in Chula Vista, but opted out, citing a still-healing injury. In Randaberg, she was back on the bike, and doing battle with Chula Vista second-place finisher Laëtitia Le Corguillé. Laëtitia took the first round win, with Aneta Hladakova in the tré.

The final rack had Brook Crain out to an early lead, with Nederlander Laura Smulders in the chase, and Arielle Martin and Amanda Geving looking to make it a “USA, USA, USA” finish. Prospects for that improved down the second straight, when Laura had an unexpected appointment with the well-packed surface. The moto finished with the Team USA Trio of Crain, Martin, Geving.

After a break in the action, second round was queued up, and ready to rock.

First drop for round two, Alise was out to an early lead, but Caroline made up some serious ground by turn one, then made the pass down the second straight. That’s how it finished, with Lithuanian Vilma Rimsaite in for third.

Second rack ended up as a copy-paste of first round, but Valentino had a bit of an edge into turn one. Magalie is power personified on her Redline, and put the swoop on, to lead it from there. Lauren Reynolds was having some turn one trubs, and ended up on the pavers, as she had in the first round.

Sarah Walker was running her GoPro helmetcam backwards, whether as subconscious psych warfare, or so she and the Kiwi coaches could see what was happening on her six. Sarah and Laëtitia battled strongly to the mid point on the second straight, but after turn two, she opened up a lead on Sarah that would hold to the line. Laëtitia’s sis, Audrey, was in for third.

Final group in round two had it same as first time out, with USA x 3, Crain, Martin, Geving.

During this virtual break in the action between second and third round, we’d like to get on record as a firm supporter of scrambling the motos in SX. Naturally, there is seeding to consider, but for so many motos to go the same way (or close to it) all three rounds seems to be a place where the “show” could get a bump to the next level of awesomeness. So, put us down for a moto scramble, some on-track-toast and a large dose of adrenaline as our race day fare.

First pack of third round saw Alise fly to the front. She ran the table the whole trip, with Amanda Carr in for the dos, and Caroline cruisin in for third.

Manon Valentino had a pretty solid first straight in Norway, and was at the front again into turn one, where French teammate Pottier put the inside squeeze play on her again, and rallied to ink a 1-1-1 for the qualifying rounds. Manon was second, then Reynolds. van Benthem went down in the last turn, but was up after a minute or so after being checked out by the ace medical team. She rode across the line, and gave a wave (nicely camouflaging her obvious pain) to the applauding fans.

SEMIS

Sixteen in, eight out, just like every set of semis on God’s Green Earth. The first group had Alise Post on the inside, with Pottier next to her in gate two and Valentino in lane three. Gabriela Diaz in gate four, Caroline in the middle of the lineup, in five, then Carr, Rimsaite and Horakova.

Pottier and Post had the best starts of the bunch, but by the apex of the first jump Buchanan was edging to the lead. She would have held it too, but drifted to the outside in the first turn, and let a house full of guests in the door–namely Pottier and Post. We’re not sure how, but Valentino ended up coming from lane 3 at the start to the extreme outside into turn one, where she crashed to the ground, and took Jana Horakova down with her–prompting one Euro observer to say that “the most dangerous place to be on an SX track is behind Manon Valentino” (perhaps referencing the fact that she crashed in front of Felicia Stancil in Chula Vista’s semi as well).

Caroline rode the turn WAY high, and the pack exited turn one as Pottier, Post, Buchanan, Rimsaite. Vilma made up some ground on Caroline in the early moments of the second straight, and settled into third by turn two. Amanda Carr–who came down the hill in seventh place, was making lemonade out of her earlier lemons, and had potential to pose a challenge for Caroline’s bubble spot on the outside. It didn’t happen though, and the first half of the Women’s main was decided: Pottier, Post, Rinsaite, Buchanan.

The second semi had Brooke on the inside, Walker in two, then Geving, Romana Labounkova of the Czech Republic, Arielle, Laëtitia, Hladakova and Melinda McLeod of Australia. Laëtitia and Sarah were first to hit the lip of the first jump, and Brooke was, maybe, half a wheel back…but got pushed off the track briefly on the landing, and that scrubbed off a lot of her speed. That said, she was still in fourth, with a great vector to the inside that blasted her past the others. Arielle did not have a very good gate, and was seventh down the hill, but her polished pack-riding skills put her in a wheel to wheel duel for second, with Walker. All were chasing Laëtitia by this point, who had about a bike on them as they darted into the second straight.

Into, and out of turn two clean, the tote board had it as Le Corguillé, Martin, Walker and McLeod. Brooke was out of position by this point, having cased the landing on the first double in the second straight–but was still fighting hard to make up the ground.

And that would be the balance of the Elite Women’s main event: Le Corguillé, Martin, Walker and McLeod…with Brooke fighting back to within about two-tenths-of-a-second of the transfer spot.

MAIN EVENT

In the catbird seat after her semi win, Laëtitia chose the inside gate. Fanning out from there, we had Arielle, Magalie, Alise, Sarah, Caroline, Melinda McLeod and Vilma Rimsaite. After a “get-the-crowd-hyped” intro by GSX announcer Max Cluer, the gate dropped, and they were off.

Down the hill, and cleared of the first double, the pack was still closer than peas and carrots. Walker had a smidge of a lead, but not enough to start writing checks off of. Laëtitia, and Sarah hit the apex of the triple into turn one dead even–but this is where the drama was happening all day long, so could all eight keep it on two wheels? While Sarah and Laëtitia rode the turn in the middle, Pottier and Martin were carving sharply to the inside in the low-low land. Where’s Caroline during all this? She is at the absolute top of the turn, in sixth place. Alise is in fifth. Since we all know how it ends up, this is a pretty good testimonial for how passing IS possible on these SX tracks.

Magalie sprints into the second straight with a bike length lead on Laëtitia, then another bike length, then Walker. Team USA was at Defcon 1 in the chase, with eyes set on a podium spot, if not a win. Arielle was up to fourth, and Alise in fifth. Over the second double in the second straight, it looked like it might all be over for Magalie, as she did one of those stiff-legged-over-rotate moves that Maris did at the 2010 ABA Grands. Fortunately, she rode out of it and continued in the lead.
Arielle and Alise made up serious ground on that set, and it was four-wide on the backside. Everyone seemed to land clean, but in the middle of the pack, Sarah Walker went down on the flat, taking Le Corguillé with her. It was a “7-10″ situation for the Americans, as all the carnage happened between them (McLeod was down too).

The close proximity of avoiding that ballup scrubbed some speed off Arielle’s charge, and Alise took up the two-spot into turn two. Unfortunately, she bobbled a little on the entrance, and Caroline picked her off on the inside, coming into the third straight in second, with the Terminator-style crosshairs in her Oakley Goggles set on Magalie Pottier, who had, probably, seven bikes on Caroline by this point.

By the time the pack hit the last turn, Magalie’s lead had dropped to about a bike length. Caroline played the rhythm section like a Stradivarius–like an extension of her personal race kit–and made up massive ground. After the step-up out of the last turn, Caroline was at her Bottom Bracket…then wheel-to-wheel…and then finally ahead, just as the pair were about to cross the line. Caroline had the win! From sixth in turn one to a half-a-bike lead at the win. Wowza! THAT was some good racing. Granted, there was the crash of Le Corguillé and Walker, who most certainly would have been major factors had they stayed up…but don’t forget, a big part of the race is staying up, so all props to Caroline.

On the Freecaster feed, it appeared as though Magalie sat down near the line, then Caroline passed her. Not true. Magalie sat down AFTER Caroline had passed her. Alise was in for the final podium spot, about 7/10 of a second later.

Sarah was down for a couple mins, then walked off under her own power. It was later learned she had dislocated her shoulder. She’ll have an MRI on it this week to assess the impact it will have on her trip to Papendal in two weeks. “For me this is a minor setback and nothing I can’t handle,” she told a New Zealand sports page.

POST-GAME ON ALISE AND TEAM USA POINTS

For those of you filling in your scorecards at home, put another 140 in the Alise Post column under 2012 USA Cycling Power Rankings. Arielle’s fifth place, earns 110 points and keeps her high-atop the USA Cycling BMX Power Rankings, with 480 points. Carr and Crain each get 80 points for their fifth in the semis, and Amanda Geving, who crashed in turn one of the second semi gets 67 points. Arielle leads it by a healthy margin, with a post-Norway 480. Then Crain (415), Carr (372), Geving (360) and Post (295).

Next week, a UCI/USA BMX Pro Series event in Phoenix, AZ should turn out a strong galaxy of stars. We’re eager to see who stays in the mix, and who sits it out. BMX News will be on-scene in Phoenix for the USA BMX Winter Nationals, starting this Friday. Be sure to keep it right here for story and photos of all the ams and Elites.


UCI BMX Supercross World Cup – Randaberg, Norway
ELITE WOMEN RESULTS

Caroline Buchanan rides her Speedco to a win in Randaberg, Norway

Name – Country – Bike
Caroline Buchanan – (AUS) – Speedco
Magalie Pottier – (FRA) – Redline
Alise Post – (USA) – Redline
Vilma Rimsaite – (LTU)
Arielle Martin (USA) – Intense
Melinda McLeod (AUS) – Intense
Laëtitia Le Corguillé (FRA) – Kuwahara
Sarah Walker – (NZL) – aBD


Links

Detailed Results, via BMX-RESULTS.COM

USA Cycling Power Rankings and Points Tables

BMX News US Olympic Qualifying Primer

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