Recap: 2017 Worlds Junior and Elite Classes

August 3, 2017 by · Comments Off 

2017 UCI BMX World Championships PodiumBy Mike Carruth

Whenever there is a race so action-packed or important that it calls for a longform, slow-down-the-sands-of-time-and-really-dig-in recap, I sit down to write it with a little devil on my shoulder the whole time, who tells me at the beginning of every new sentence “it’s too long Read more

USAC Crowns 2017 Elite Champs

April 1, 2017 by · Comments Off 

2017 USA Cycling BMX Jr/Elite Champions
The annual USA Cycling BMX Elite Nationals Championships were held Friday, alongside the second of four Team USA World Championship qualifiers, and the Carolina Nationals pre-race.

Like most of these USA-only events, the Elite portion of the program was not packed with rack after rack of household name stars. Instead, one rack of Women, two racks of men, and one rack of Junior Men (which is an improvement, since we did not have any Junior classes at all last year, partially owing to the USA BMX rule at the time that said if you race Junior Elite, you are immediately turned up to A-Pro. This year, the rule was relaxed, and we had a gate of Junior Men.

Junior Men, by the way, was the race of the day, as Bryce Batten and Kamren Larsen battled the last half of the track. Bryce led it to turn two, but Kam came in and put the swoop down, taking the lead into the third straight.

BB jumped into the last turn, which gave him some nose room into the last turn, and he took every-bit of it to come up roses, and on to the stripe for his first title win in a championship class. We’ll be waiting for the next one in about 110 days or so, right back here in Rock Hill.

There was no Junior Womens class, so the only Junior Woman—Sophia Foresta—was combined with the Elites, however received her own podium award and “stars & bars” jersey.

In the Elite classes, Reigning Champ, Connor Fields was coming off an ankle injury sufferend in Oldsmar, and said, in a post-race interview, that he only recently started walking on the injured ankle again, and the trip to Rock Hill to defend his title was one of last minute decision, based on how he felt at the time.

Corben Sharrah—who had held the USAC title before, had gate two, next to Connor, and got out to a nice lead early on, and held it all the way home. Jared the Jet Garcia was riding strong all day, and had a slammin lap in the main, with second place.

In the Elite Women, Alise was sitting on six USAC wins—every year since they started running it off the SX hill in, maybe 2011, (check us on that). Her seventh running down the SX hill would work out the same as the previous six, with a win taken wire to wire.

Felicia Stancil is edging her way back to the front of the pack, after an injury/illness took her out for substantially all of last season. Felicia ended up second at the USAC Nationals, and Dani George was third.

Here are the podium finishes, via USA Cycling’s website.

Junior Women
1. Sophia Foresta – GT Bicycles

Junior Men
1. Bryce Batten – Factory Throdwn
2. Kamren Larsen – USA Cycling Devo
3. Brady Kincheloe – Powers Bike Shop

Elite Women
1. Alise Post – Troy Lee/Klean Athlete/Promax/GW
2. Felicia Stancil – GT Bicycles
3. Dani George – Dale Holmes Racing

Elite Men
1. Corben Sharrah – Daylight Cycles
2. Jared Garcia – Box Components
3. Connor Fields – Chase BMX

Top photo by Traci Batten. Thanks Traci!

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2017 USA Cycling BMX Jr/Elite Champions

Greg Romero Previews USA Olympic Uniform

July 7, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Coach Greg Romero previews olympic uniform

Facebook recently rolled out their live video streaming feature to the general user base, and it has been very well received. Widely used to broadcast random races, or tell stories in a very rich fashion, Greg Romero has used the capability to successfully chronicle live training sessions with his athletes. Read more

Scoop: Huvard, Day and Sharrah See Daylight

January 7, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Daylight Cycle Company

You know it’s gonna be a good day when a story shows up that has three scoops in one. And these three scoops are tastier than Baskin-Robbins on its best day.

Over the past three years, we have covered the progress of Richard Huvard, and his resurrection of the Staats and Ciari brands. In that time, he and his posse have built an impressive line of products, a top-drawer team, and one of the flashiest pit areas on the USA BMX circuit.

Today, Richard brings news that the whole crew is making a big change for 2016–with the launch of Daylight Cycle Co., which will be out this Spring with an American-Made product line. That is scoop number one.

Scoop number two is that Mike Day is back on the scene, joining the new company as Director of Product Development and Sales, presumably leaving behind the MTB career he has been building since his last BMX race about 18 months ago. Along with that, he has parted ways with GT Bicycles after a very long stay.

Which leaves the final scoop–and this one is of the megawatt variety. Corben Sharrah and Haro have parted ways and Corben will join Daylight as their anchor AA Pro. This being an Olympic year and all, Corben is one of the guys who we’ll be watching as the Rio qualifying gets going in earnest, so we may-just see Daylight atop the big hill, come August.

Wowza…Now that is some sizable scoopage right there!

Here is the official release, seen for the first time anywhere, right here on News:

After three years of directing the rebrand and resurgence of Staats Bicycles and Ciari Parts, Richard Huvard and Eugene Bustillos, and their NeedThree (N3) Design have launched the manufacture of a new American-made BMX race frame and line of complete bikes, Daylight Cycle Co.

A division of their growing SoCal retail store and coming BMX online outlet, Gold Coast Bicycles, Daylight also brings together two of the most formidable U.S. racers in the last ten years to steer product development on and off the race track–BMX Olympic Silver Medalist, Mike Day, who joins Daylight as Director of Product Development and Sales–and one of this year’s top US Olympic hopefuls, Elite/AA Pro Corben Sharrah.

Prototyping is underway with a target release this spring, and a new parts company is also in the works. “We wanted to build a bike and brand from inception that was all our own and all American.” Huvard explains, “or as it will say on the bike, ‘Hand Built on the California Gold Coast’.”

“I’ve known both Corben and Mike since they were kids racing BMX. When the opportunity to work with them came together with a first rate design and manufacturing team right here, like a racer breaking through the pack, we saw daylight and knew where and when we had to go.”

Huvard’s Factory Staats/Ciari team will immediately transition to Factory Daylight Cycles and will continue to receive support from sponsors and marketing partners including O’Neal MX, POC Sports, Stealth Hubs, and Vittoria Shoes. And as the latest addition to their brand offering, Gold Coast Bicycles will also be the exclusive distributor of Faith Wear race gear in the U.S.

Look for Corben Sharrah and the team to debut their new colors next month at the Pro Series opener, the 2016 USA BMX Winter Nationals in Phoenix, AZ.

For dealer inquiries or to see daylight yourself, contact Daylight Cycle Co. at 855-269-7853, or online at Be sure to like Daylight Cycle Co. on Facebook.

Well, this development will certainly add to the excitement and intrigue of the new pro season, which starts in only 36 days, and it will be great to see MDay365 back at the races in his new off-track role. Be sure to keep it right here on BMX News for all the headlines leading up to the 2016 USA BMX Winter Nationals.

—Mike Carruth

Top Photo: New logo for Daylight Cycle Co., with partners Eugene Bustillos and Richard Huvard; incoming Director of Product Development and Sales, Mike Day; and New Daylight AA Pro/Elite, Corben Sharrah.

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Vote in the March Photo Trophy Dash

April 1, 2013 by · Comments Off 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


Vote In The March Photo Trophy Dash

Like the BMX News Facebook Page

Follow @BMXNOW On Twitter

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Corben Sharrah on Haro Bikes

February 23, 2013 by · Comments Off 

BMX News - Corben Sharrah signs with  Haro Bikes

Earlier this week, we had a spirited exchange on Facebook on why BMX News has made it a policy not to report widely-circulating Internet rumors as news. Lots of people said we were “late to the party” on reporting what jersey Donny Robinson might be wearing next week in Phoenix. Well, until the company reports it, with a quote from the athlete, things can always change. We may hint at a whiff of a rumor, but as far as running a dedicated piece saying “this is happening,” probably not.

Around the first of the year, talk was that Corben Sharrah would be riding for the newly-reconstituted Staats team, following a GT budget shakeup. Lots of people rallying around that one, texting us, asking “why aren’t you reporting that??? your [sic] loosing [sic] the scoop!!!” But, alas, the Corben-Staats marriage was not to be. Chalk one up for patience-in-posting.

And there was talk last weekend that Corben might be staying with GT, afterall. He was still riding a GT bike in a backyard edit making the rounds, and may have been seen rolling with the team in So. Cal. earlier this month (but no confirmation on that).

Then, at 2:35PM. Pacific Time Yesterday, Haro Team Manager, Derek Betcher posted a thread on Vintage, entitled “Haro Bikes Welcomes Corben Sharrah.” The roulette ball hopped a few times for Corben between the Grands and now, and came up “Black.” This news also comes on the heels of the official announcement last weekend that long-time Haro pro Khalen Young was retiring from racing, and would stay in Australia, where he was pursuing a career in the mining industry, alongside his father.

Some may speculate that KY’s departure from the scene freed up the necessary budget for Corben’s deal to happen. It’s a somewhat natural fit, when you think about it. Corben has close ties to Coach Greg Romero, who has had long ties to Haro. Connecting the dots, BMX style. All armchair suppositions, of course, because none of that was in the press release…but fun for the sake of discussion.

However it came to be, Corben is signed to Haro for 2013, and will be aboard a Haro Race LT frame with Cliq components next week in Phoenix. Corben’s Red Bull helmet sponsorship will remain in effect.


Haro Bikes Welcomes Corben Sharrah on

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Train-Up With the New Coach G DVD

December 27, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Greg Romero and Corben Sharrah in the BMX Racing Skills DVD

The time is almost here–you know…the New Year’s resolution to train like you should have been training all of 2012. And 2011. It’s OK…we’re a big club.

Well, “tomorrow” gets here today when you press play with Coach Greg Romero and Corben Sharrah. The 45-minute video goes into every aspect of your trip around the track–from gate to last straight. As producer, Greg gives the gee-rific granular bits of proper form, body placement on the bike, and what you’ll look like when you are not in the proper position of power.

This DVD is not necessarily “entertainment.” You’re not going to see tons of awesome race footage and be stoked to go out and try to be like the pros. NoSir, this disc is racing home school–for the BMX technician who wants to optimize and strategize. The kind of person who wants to be first to the finish line, and the last called onto the podium. You are going to watch it again and again, getting more prime nuggets with each play. That said, there is race footage, which is used to illustrate the points being made (complete with the gah-narly first turn crash of Mariana Pajon and Amanda Carr in Chula Vista this year).

We’re big Corben fans here, and his involvement and solid mastery of all-things-smooth really plusses-up the presentation. Coach G’s narration is spot-on–but the pause and rewind buttons are going to be your friend, as you process what was just laid down, so keep your remote in hand at all times.

It is probably best for riders 12 and over, and dads/coaches of 11 and unders, since the true benefit will be in the analysis of how Corben and Greg are teaching the subject at hand (Greg joins in on some of the riding to demonstrate turns and other strategic offense/defense stuff). The little ones can obviously sit in too, but don’t be stressed when their attention span expires.

BMX Racing Skills DVD at
We really liked the motion graphics (above) that diagram-out the primo positions and pro-tips. Paired-up with razor-sharp, high-definition slow-mo, it really puts you right there, just like a live clinic.

We hit up Coach G for some inside insight into the how-and-why behind the DVD. Here’s what he said:

The BMX Skills DVD was an opportunity for me to share the development model I have acquired over many years of coaching young kids, beginners, women and Olympians. My skills methodology addresses the mechanics from the fundamental perspective. I am big on mechanics, as it’s everything when it comes to efficiency– whether developing usable and sustainable power down the first straight, or carrying track speed on any configured jump or turn.

Today’s coaching is all-over-the-place in terms of addressing skills and strategy, so this will also help people train and configure their eyes to make corrections and actually expand their effectiveness as a coach or a parent-coach.

I used Corben Sharrah as my model rider because, not only is he an athlete that I coach, but he executes all the fundamentals very well. As far as production goes, I hired Justin Kosman to be an advisor on the project, and he was instrumental in capturing all the real clean slow motion stuff. We shot that at 240 frames per second so there is a ton of detail. I did all of the narration, editing, DVD authoring, etc. This is my third DVD, and I love making educational products. I have another project in the pipeline, so I will be in head-down mode again. Stay tuned!

So, in our best Siskel & Ebert impersonation, BMX News gives the BMX Racing Skills DVD two thumbs up!

Available now at J&R Bicycles for $29.95


BMX Racing Skills DVD on J&R Bicycles Website

BMX Racing Skills DVD Promo Trailer

Product Spotlight is Presented by: Product Spotlight, Presented by J&R Bicycles

Red Bull Revolution Wows 7,000 Fans

August 24, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Twan van Gendt wins Red Bull Revolution

The Red Bull R.Evolution event in Berlin, Germany has been the talk of the BMX Racing scene for the past few weeks. A hefty prize purse, and the loving care of Red Bull (famous for treating athletes like royalty at their events) turned out a nice constellation of BMX Racing and Dirt jumping stars.

The event took place on a balmy Friday night (67 degrees for the first gate), under the lights. A capacity live audience of about 7200 fans packed the fences and grandstands at Mellowpark–a sort of action sports mecca, in which Red Bull has invested heavily.

Take a look at the post from earlier today to see which riders ultimately started, and how the eight racks broke out. The field was narrowed to 48, from an original 64–a move some said may have been for safety reasons, but that is unconfirmed. Maris Strombergs, Nic Long and Khalen Young were on the original roster, but ultimately did not make it.

The track was just as much the star of this show as the athletes, and it LOOKED very intimidating. The riders seemed to be having a great time out there, and it was really helping to amp up the crowd (who were already at maximum-wattage after being plied with Red Bull all night).

We have to admit, we were prepared for some injuries on this modern-day “Helltrack,” but what we did not understand until the first gate was on-couse was that the speeds the riders were achieving after the first jump were probably a third to half of what they are reaching on a traditional SX track. Plus, riders were not getting all bunched up, at speed, causing serious wrecks.

We were watching via the streaming coverage, which was very solid. Pete Dylewski, and Troy Manning from Canada did a pro job of calling the races, and giving the audience some context and perspective on what was happening.

As you may remember, this is the first event of its kind, where speed and style are brought together in the same format. A panel of judges would be watching for the style being laid down, and would score those moves accordingly, awarding a 100-Euro bill for the guy lofting the sickest trick. Racer-turned Dirt Jumper, Kris Fox of SE Bikes, won lots of the cash in the qualifying rounds.

Barry Nobles also started the evening off right, when he boosted a back flip at the head of the pack to wow the judges, the fans, and the audience at home. Twitter and Facebook blew up after seeing Barry pull it, in a race…in the lead. Way to go BN95!

R.Evolution was promoted as a one-off event… but it was also promoted as the “next level” for BMX Racing. It may be the kind of thing that is better to watch in person, because for the 24 gate drops of the 1/8 finals, watching from home was very tedious (a less-elegant way might be to call it “pretty boring,” and some on Facebook did). I’m sure it was fun for the riders, and when you add the carnival atmosphere of being there live, it makes it a much better show. The freestylesque parts of the show are mostly lost for the home audience, because the camera can either be on the leader of the race, or on the back of the pack, where the tricks are happening (exception for the above Barry Nobles move).

The 1/4s started to accelerate the action, and by the semis, they were racing for real.

Red Bull R.Evolution on
Sylvain Andre from France had been looking good all day. So had Corben Sharrah, Mike Day and Barry. All were in the first semi, and as it came into the first turn, Andre had a healthy lead, with Sharrah in second, and David Graf from Switzerland and Carlos Oquendo battling it out for the three-spot. Although many laps today were won by the person who landed first off the first jump, Mike Day put in an exceptional lap this time out, moving through the pack, from sixth place at the bottom of the ramp, to second at the stripe. Barry had some trouble in the first turn, broke his back wheel loose, and busted his chances for a main event slot in the process. The finish was Andre, Day, Sharrah, Oquendo as the first half of the main event.

In the second Semi, Twan van Gendt, fresh off an impressive showing in the Olympics two weeks ago was looking like he came to race. Quentin Caleyron and Edzus Triemanis, were also looking strong throughout the program. Into turn one, Twan had a solid lead, and Caleyron was in second, on the inside. Triemanis was in third, and swung a little to the outside. Unfortunately, the French rider dove low, low in the turn to get under Twan and spun into the ground, directly in front of the Latvian. That left the door open for Darryn Goodwin to take up the two-spot, Luke Madill and Simon Duchene (who had to roll a large part of the second straight due to the scrub-off) to round out the main event.

After a break in the action for a beatbox artist, the main event was on the hill, racked to rock.

Sylvain Andre took the inside gate, with Twan next to him in lane 2. Then it was Sharrah, Oquendo, Day, Goodwin, Duchene and Madill.

When the gate dropped, it was apparent right away that Day had a bad start–appearing to unclip– but recovered instantly to only be a crank or two off the pace. At the bottom of the hill, Andre, who had been among the strongest riders in the field, having won four of five laps to that point, got WAY out of shape on the takeoff over the berm jump, and ended up tagging the landing, which sent him off the bike and onto the infield. So we were down to seven.

Van Gendt and Sharrah were even at the bottom of the first jump, and Day was back in seventh at this point. A split-second later, Darryn Goodwin cheesed the first jump landing, and was down a few feet from Andre. Six left in the pack.

Into turn one, it was van Gendt, Sharrah and this was the point at which Mike Day lit up the engines and passed three riders in… in literally one second of video, and took up third. And that was pretty much the race. No challenge to any of the spots from that point on. Simon Duchene was fourth.

Twan van Gendt wins Red Bull R.Evolution
Twan van Gendt and his Redline had a perfect day in Berlin, acing all six laps, while throwing little-or-no style for the judges–which was just fine, as he goes back to Velddriel with nearly $10,000 of the $31,000 total purse.

Red Bull R.Evolution

Twan van Gendt – NED
Corben Sharrah – USA
Mike Day – USA
Simon Duchene – FRA
Luke Madill – AUS
Carlos Oquendo – COL
Darryn Goodwin – AUS
Sylvain Andre – COL

Random-Impressions Lightning Round

- The format was slow in the qualifying rounds. Not very exciting for those of us in the home audience.

- Including the dirt jumpers was seemingly unnecessary, except as entertaining motofill. There is virtually no chance any of them would have made it to the main event.

- Adding the style section after the finish line was cool, and it was definitely a nice touch to see the racers who also have tricks wired doing them.

- It seems there IS such a thing as too many jumps, or gimmicky obstacles. We agree with Sam Willoughby, who tweeted (from home) after the race “I think we need to be careful what (we) reward and remember this is a racing sport maybe open the track back up keep the athleticism in da sport.” and then “Have a holeshot award and build tracks that allow for good racing. Simple works, keep it simple. Not hating just giving my opinion”

- The Bob Haro-designed handlebar trophies were awesome.

- We would like to see more events where the riders get as involved as they were with this one. Joining in to help dial in the course, and just hang out as BMXers. This is definitely a lesson Racing can learn from the Freestyle side, and I hope we see more of it.

- Reducing the speeds seemed to dramatically reduce the number of crashes (the main event, notwithstanding). That impacted the excitement, but seems to prove that a balance can be struck, if you tweak the dials just right.

- The “wall ride” was ridiculed last year, as a possible feature for the Olympic course, but actually looked pretty cool in this execution of it.

- The event came off with absolute precision. It started on time, and went through the schedule with only one little hickup (second round, they had to run one of the racks out of order. Unsure why, buy probably owing to a bike malfunction). It wasn’t much of a surprise that it ran well, as GSX certainly has deep experience in pulling off these kinds of events. But as an “outlaw” race (no UCI endorsement), it had all the polish it needed.

- Events like this (no points, just cash and bragging rights) are great as proving grounds for new concepts. Critics should allow more slack for “concept” events like this. It’s not always going to go silky smooth, and there are going to be those things in the program that just don’t work–so will either be adjusted or left out for next time. On the flipside, proponents should not necessarily expect one event to come and change the course of BMX history.

The Twitterverse is abuzz with positive feedback from the people who were there, and there is little question the event was a success. We like the fact that people like Johan Lindstrom and his GSX partners are trying new things, and well-known brands like Red Bull are stepping up with the financial backing to make it happen.

—Mike Carruth


Red Bull R.Evolution Replay Link

Red Bull R.Evolution Discussion on


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Stars & Stripes Nationals: “First” Edition

July 11, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Corben Sharrah wins in South Park

The fact that this was the first Stars & Stripes National under the USA BMX banner was fitting for the annual South Park classic. There were plenty more “firsts” at this race, and we’ll get into them, as we talk about the regular stuff the weekend had in store.

We can’t help but think of the South Park track as the “Dick Clark of BMX Tracks” (in the most complimentary way). We all seem to get older, yet the South Park track remains classic, practically unchanged, across the generations.

Oh, sure, our old friend has “had some work done” over the years–reshaped some parts, built other parts bigger, to suit the era. And while Dick Clark sadly passed away this past April, the South Park BMX track seems to be just getting started–34 years after the first gate dropped.

Our Friday preview mentioned that the last time I was there was the 1982 NBL Grands–as a 15-year-old, stuffed in the back of a cargo van, with bikes, gear bags and seven or eight other BMXers. Trips like that are the ones we look back on 30 years later to really appreciate what BMX has given us, in the longview.

The creature comforts may have changed for a 15-year old at the 2012 South Park stop– they’re rockin to iPhones instead of the Sony Walkman II (with a few dozen cassette tapes clogging up their bag). And the no-seats cargo van has given-way to an SUV with a personal DVD system for each passenger, GPS navigation and heated/cooled seats…but the experience of hitting the road to South Park after dad gets off work on Thursday is a constant, regardless of what century is on your membership card.

For those of us behind the camera, it’s the same, yet technologically different too. I shot the equivalent of 12 rolls of 36-exposure film this year–all on a little chip the size of a single 35mm frame–and our beloved readers got to see them that very night. But the anticipation of getting the perfect shutter-snap, with the on-track action just right, is exactly the same as when I covered the 82 Grands for Super BMX Magazine.

Enough strolling down memory lane–this race had a lot of stories to tell about the future of our sport. It was one of the first times we got to see how strong the next crop of Elites will be. This is the cool thing about “Elite” racing (as opposed to “Pro” racing), we get to have our cake and eat it too, in terms of seeing how the tippy-top experts will fair once they get their pro card. I’ll get to the details of that in a bit.

It’s July in the Eastern United States, so there was little doubt it was going to be HOT. But the reality was heat in the way that ONLY the Eastern US can serve up. Crushingly, stiflingly, “I-feel-like-I’m-walking-on-marshmallows-now-and-am-about-to-pass-out” kind of heat. There was talk that, perhaps, the heat held the moto count down a bit, but the 213 motos we had on Saturday was an impressive jump over the last couple of years.

The top classes were well filled-out, with 21 in A Pro, 22 in Elite Men, 11 in Jr Men and a lucky 13 in Elite Women. On the other side of the spectrum, 18 Strider riders came out to kick the weekend off right, with a healthy dose of cuteness.

German Medina and his Colombian crew were in the house to get in some pre-Olympic comp, American style. Mariana Pajon is definitely a contender for the Women’s podium in London, and it was awesome to see her one last time before she disappears into the Olympic Village. The day after South Park, the whole of their contingent were hopping a big bird to France for some fine-tuning and final training, then on to London Town for the Opening Ceremonies, where Mariana will carry the Colombian flag in the “Parade of Athletes” on July 27.

Closer to home, South Park saw an “all hands” team presence from several of the Factory squads. Answer Rennen was in full effect, as was Answer Ssquared, Felt BMX, GT Bicycles, DK Bicycles, Star BMX Products, and a few more.

Back to the track for a moment, South Park’s legendary decisionmaker/pro set out of turn two was the scene for tons of crowd-pleasing moments throughout the weekend. There was a spirited debate on Vintage as to whether it was “smaller” than in previous years, but to most outside the forums, it really didn’t matter. Riders “going right” added major action to the program, and no numbers on a measurement tape could cloud that.

The first A Pro gate of the weekend saw Jon Miller’s Doublecross take the lead, and get the weekend started proper for Bob Deily’s orange crew. Bob hauled up from Oklahoma in the big DX van, after touching down in OKC on a flight from Salt Lake.

But South Park’s A Pro class was owned full-on by Logan Collins. If not for a first-round second to Phil Delizia on Saturday, Logan would have scored a perfect weekend. Add a Saturday win in Salt Lake to the mix, and it’s only a matter of time before Logan earns his upgrade to AA. Exciting to see the man in action! Speaking of Delizia, a sixth in Saturday’s semi kept him out of the main, but he was back in the gate of eight for Sunday, and brought Answer Rennen a second, behind Logan. Factory Yess Kiwi, Daniel Franks hit the podium in third on Saturday, and it was Señor Smoothy, Diego Alejandre from Virginia on Sunday’s third step.


We’re glad to see Jr. Men making a class at most races these days, and only hope the Jr. Women get to the window more often with some entries as the 2012 season plays out.

In South Park, there were some major expert-class names doing battle for the bucks. We had the Ssquared of Maliek Byndloss, the Hyper ride of Lain van Ogle, the Answer Ssquared orange of Tyler Whitfield and the jumpin GT ride of Jordan Miranda meeting seven other hard-chargers in the class.

In Saturday’s main, Byndloss, Whitfield and van Ogle all hit the first jump even, but Tyler was in the middle, and got shut down for the lead early-on. Maliek hit turn one, with Lain on his left flank, and bolted down the second straight, with nothing but daylight in front of him. Lain started gaining some ground over the pro set, and by the time the pack hit the entry to the last turn, the orange and black Hyper kit was on the inside, and ready to take it. Heading for home, it was van Ogle, Byndloss and Miranda…and that’s the way it finished, with Whitfield in fourth.

Day One Jr. Men Main (via USA BMX)

On day two, it looked like a redux of day one, with Maliek and Lain out to the early lead. Both had aced all three motos, so this would be where the bragging rights would be bestowed…maybe. Tyler was in the three-spot down the first straight this time, and coming out of the inside gate, would have a clearer shot at making a race of it than on day one. He had the horsepower to get in front of five others, all aiming to the inside as the pack headed toward turn one. But Lain had the prime inside into one, and was about-even with Maliek, trying to put some body English into the momentum and get a shoulder in front of Byndloss for the set-up to the second straight. That did not quite work out because, if you’ve ever seen Maliek live and in person, his “brick-house” build is not one that’s easily moved–thus Lain scrubbed off his speed, and went off-pace, riding the high-white-line, and letting Tyler, Doug Widdows and Brandon Ceslok by. Maliek led it by a healthy margin into the pro set, but Tyler got a major backside off the second set, which pushed him close for the critical last-straight rhythm.

Maliek Byndloss and Tyler Whitfield at the USA BMX Stars & Stripes Nationals
Tyler’s bike-handling skills are about as sharp as it gets. We have all seen the YouTube videos of his manualing a quarter-mile on hilly pavement, manualing the whole Rockford track and the like. Well, those vids are not just theater…there’s a time when that kind of control pays off. And this was one of them. It took him til the final 10 inches of track, but he got in front of Maliek by half a wheel, for his first win in the Jr. Men class. It was a helluva race, and both Ssquared-mounted stars should be proud of the excitement they brought for the fans packing the fences. Doug Widdows got in for the third, by a wheel, over Big B.

Day Two Jr. Men Main (via USA BMX)

This is probably a good time to tell you that, as the Semis were ending up on Saturday, Mother Nature decided it was prime time to water the track. Within the 40 minutes between Logan Collins’ A Pro Semi win, and Felt flyer, Jeremy Thompson’s 41-Over Expert Semi win, the sky had turned dark, and ready for a thunderboomer. Sitting in the air-conditioned heaven of Wednesday, it’s hard to describe how uncomfortable it was to be drenched in sweat, then to have a humid rain baste you, only to have a baking sun return, greenhouse style. Still, it was fun hanging out in the old announcer’s tower with Jerry Mania, talking BMX, and comparing notes on the day.

Rain Delay at the 2012 USA BMX Stars & Stripes Nationals
It was the very same announcer’s tower where Linda Dorsey entertained tens of thousands of fans over the years, and it was not hard to imagine her right there with us, as she surely was, no doubt.

It was only about 40 minutes of rain delay before Derby City BMX local Tate Ammon took the win in the 6-Under Mixed Open main event. The decision was made to run the pros after cruisers, to let the track dry out a bit. The above ditty about the rain is important, for the next part of the Saturday story.

The Women
Mariana Pajon and Felicia Stancil at South Park BMX
The Elite Women’s class was all-the-way-live in South Park, with Dom Daniels and Mariana Pajon doing battle, as they have before at one ABA event or another (remember, anything before 1/1/12 was “ABA”). Only this time, Felicia Stancil was bumped up to Elite as well, due to no Junior class. And that made it all-the-more exciting. First round on Saturday set the tone for the weekend, as Felicia and Mariana were in the same moto. Mariana was in the lead through the second turn, but she decided to go left on the third straight, while Felicia decided to go right, boosting the pro set with absolute authority, and taking the lead…and the first round win. That, undoubtedly, surprised Mariana, because she was on the right side for the rest of the weekend. Second round was just as awesome, as Mariana and Felicia hit the pro set, practically-even (above…thanks for the awesome photo, by the way!). Mariana aced the final two motos, and was ready for Dom to come into the mix for the big show after the rain came. Dom was coming off three moto wins, and was ready to take it to the front for Doublecross.

Dom’s horsepower is unreal, and she holeshotted the Saturday main from lane four, with Mariana (coming out of lane one) about a bike back by the first jump. Felicia was out of gate five, and a tad off of Mariana’s second place, as the pack raced toward turn one.

Dom was about two bikes in front as they entered the turn, when her front wheel came unstuck (due to a still-moist track, perhaps), and sent her and a charging Pajon to the asphalt. Felicia barely avoided the carnage, riding the razor-edge of the white line, and stuttered only a split second before getting back on the gas as the inherited lead-rider. Alaina Henderson’s Felt ride was on that same evasive-action path, and followed Felicia into the second straight, with Baylie Kortman in the three-spot. Baylie was in second by turn two, but Felicia was a long-gone leader by then, hitting the pro set, as she had the three times before. On the top of the Elite Women’s Podium for the first time would be Stancil, then Kortman and Henderson.

Felicia would later post on Facebook:

Not the way I wanted to get the W but i still got it:) FIRST ELITE WOMEN WIN

We have no doubt that there are plenty more proper wins coming soon.

Day One Elite Women Main (via USA BMX)

On Day Two, Dom and Mariana drew the same moto, and Felicia went 1-1 and a cruise-lap for sixth, with Madison Pitts from Madera taking the third round win. in the second rack, Mariana and Dom went 1-2-1 and 2-1-2, respectively..with all sights on an undisturbed, flat-out-for-all-the-dinero main event.

In Sunday’s main, the lead was closer at the first jump than Saturday, with Mariana coming out of Gate one again, Dom from four, again, and Felicia giving herself some room to work this time, out in lane seven. By the crest of the first jump, it was Dom by a wheel on Mariana, and Felicia even with Pajon’s bottom bracket. Mariana blazed the second jump, and was in the lead as the pack headed into turn one…but Dom was applying some pressure on the outside. No such slippage on Sunday, as everyone made it out clean, and bolted down the second straight, with Pajon in command, 3D in second, and Felicia in a solid third. That was pretty much all-she-wrote for that lap, as Felicia followed Dom down the left-line, and Mariana got a major backside push from the pro set to ink her lead, for keeps. The Sunday podium would be Pajon, Daniels and Stancil.

We’re used to seeing Dom and Mariana on the box, in one venue or another, but gotta confess that it was awesome to see Felicia there both days.

Day Two Elite Women Main (via USA BMX)

Elite Men

Coming into South Park, we expected the Elite Men turnout to be on-par with Nashville. Well, the race-day reality in Pittsburgh was just about double the fun, with 22 on Saturday (13 in Nashville).

Corben Sharrah was looking solid, both in the Friday practice and in the Saturday motos, with a 1-1 in the first two laps (the third lap doesn’t really matter anymore, as the guys with the low-points tend to save their legs for the big lap at the end). But there was no doubt that Corben was there to win. GT Teammate Mike Day was also solid in the motos with his own pair of aces, and Crupi Kiwi, Kurt Pickard, was here for some pre-London laps, and turned a 1-1-1 in the Saturday motos, before crashing in the Semis with Barry Nobles in the last turn.

Kyle Bennett was on a new Redline, in hometown ORP threads, after parting ways with GHP last month…and Tyler Faoro was keeping a solid pace for the Profile pit, rockin’ the Phoenix frame, with a 2-2-3 in the prelims.

A big part of the Saturday Elite Men’s story was written in the Semis, as Justin Posey, in his third Elite start, bested some name-brand talent to make it in to his first Elite Men main event in the third spot. In the second rack, Barry Nobles went-for-broke in a dive for the final qual spot in the last turn, as mentioned above, and it could have turned out boom or bust. Unfortunately for our friend in DK green, it was bust this time. Pickard and Tommy Zula were down like calves at a rodeo with BN95, and Faoro scooted inside, and on to the main event.

After the rain delay, and the opens, girls and cruisers, the Elite Men were on-course. Corben was out of lane one, Faoro out of seven and Denzel Stein’s Redline out of of five. At the second jump, Denzel was a wheel ahead of Corben, who was blazing up the inside. And normally, the inside would be the place to be. Only, this time, Corben clipped a “corner cube” (fka hay bale), and laid it down right then and there. Denzel was already on a strong outside-path out of the turn, even before that, and railed turn one, to come out way-in-the-lead. Going in, Donny Robinson was the third man in, but the second man down in the Corben crash, leaving Posey to take up the two-spot momentarily… but his back tire broke loose a bit from the carnage. That stutter left Faoro a crank or two to get ahead of JP, and that was the race. On the podium was Stein for Redline, Faoro for Profile/Phoenix and Posey for Dan’s Comp. Corben’s shot at his first Elite win would have to wait another 24 (no career-number pun intended), if it was to be at all.

Day One Elite Men Main (via USA BMX)

Sunday was a tad cooler than day one, and even a few degrees, when you’re in the triple-digits makes a difference.

Sunday’s Elite motos saw two 1-1-1s, which we always love to see. Josh Meyers got his Ssquared to the front all three times, as did Corben Sharrah’s GT. Mike Day and Tommy Zula were fifth in the semis, leaving them to look to Rockford for their next shot at the gate of eight.

In the Sunday main event, Corben came out of gate one again, and had Josh just to his left. Faoro was in eight and Weston Pope was out of five. You can’t EVEN call a first jump leader in this class, and even looking at a freeze-frame at the crest of the second jump, it was four-abreast. So much so, that we could not even call a leader. Soon after, though, Corben emerged as the leader, with Josh on his outside chainstay. Carlos Oquendo was tucked in the third spot into turn one, with Weston looking for daylight on the outside. As the pack thundered into the third straight, it was Corben and Josh solidly in the 1-2, but Weston had passed Oquendo and was making tracks on Yvan LaPraz, who had owned third place down the second straight. Weston had a great trip over the pro set, and aimed inside on Yvan into the last turn, where he slipped under, then ahead of him. And that was the Sunday podium! Corben Sharrah had his elusive first Elite win, Josh Meyers was on the box in second and Weston Pope with a well-fought third.

Day One Elite Men Main (via USA BMX)

And as pumped-up as the elite classes were, there was equal adrenaline among the others.

—Mike Carruth


USA BMX Stars & Stripes Nationals – Saturday Photos

USA BMX Stars & Stripes Nationals – Sunday Photos

Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

Salt Lake – Day One Photos and Recap

July 1, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Marc WIllers Wins Elite Men on Day One

An awesome day of racing on day one of the USA BMX Great Salt Lake Nationals. With temps in the 90s, it was tough to stay cool…but the moves on the track were so hot they were cool. Lots of passing in the final feet, and in the turns. The unusual first jump gave some of the sport’s top riders fits for the early part of the day (Sam WIlloughby probably had the smoothest form over it, among the elites–he basically pedaled it like it wasn’t there).

The Elite Men’s main was unreal. Sam jumped out to an early lead, with WIllers just to his right. Marc rode the last 1/3 of the first straight on his back wheel…which looked like it might spell disaster for his day…but sometimes, it’s those “blazer’s edge” moments that make for a magic lap. Down the second straight, it was still Sam, but Marc was closing the gap quick, AND was on the inside going into turn two. Mark had pulled pretty-much even by the time they entered the turn, then took it high to make sure Sam had to stay where he was–in second. But the World Champ wasn’t finished yet…nor was Corben Sharrah, who was a strong third from the first turn on. He railed down the third straight, and pulled even with Marc, just as the last turn was coming into view…and Willoughby was on rails, up the inside, to pull even, then maybe a few milimeters ahead into the last turn. Marc quickly put a stop to that, via his line selection for the turn–a low carve, that pinched-off SW91′s daylight, and exited the USA BMX champ with a bike and a half on the World Champ. Corben was still in third, but was feeling the jet-powered charge of Khalen Young down the last straight–another 20 feet of track, and KY may have hit the podium, maybe even higher than third.

Here’s a iPhone TwitVid posted by Pete Dylewski (sponsored by BMX Racing Group)

Elite Women was a class to watch–where newly-crowned Redline Olympian, Alise Post matched up against her long-time rival, Dom Daniels. Dom was rockin a new jersey and bike (a Doublecross, as previously reported here on News). Also in the mix was Supercross hauler, Dani George. Dom won all three motos, and Alise went 3-2-2 (behind Dani first round). Over in the other Elite Women’s moto, Caroline Buchanan and Lauren Reynolds took it to the front throughout the day (with a 1-1-1 and 2-2-2, respectively).

In the main, the pack was fairly tight coming down the first straight, and we ened up losing Alise and Lauren just after the first jump. Dani George jumped to the early lead, and led what was left of the pack into the second straight. Caro was in hot pursuit though, and closed the gap quick, passing Dani down the third straight. Dom got balled up a bit by the first straight carnage, and was in way-last down the second straight. She “freight-trained” a comeback, which we thought was incredible, and passed two to cross the stripe in fourth. Final order was Buchanan, George and Ashley Verhagen, whom we haven’t seen in a while, and are stoked to see back up on the box.

Here’s the Elite Women’s TwitVid posted by Pete Dylewski (sponsored by Chase BMX)

In the team chase, GT Won the Factory Sheet on day one, with a solid crew that included some hometown talent in Jack Kelly, Sophia Foresta, “Ageless” Jonas Harmon–and San Diegan Sean Gaian–all of whom aced up (well, Jonas got second in 28-35x, but won 31-35 Cruiser). We also saw Cannonball Jack get second first round in…wait for it…11-12 open (no joy in the main, but wowza!)

We have more to report from Salt Lake, but we gots to hall bananas outta the room, to get over for Day Two.

Meanwhile, give the Day One Photo Gallery a look.


Elite Men
Marc Willers – Box Components/DK
Sam Willoughby – Redline
Corben Sharrah – GT Bicycles

Elite Women
Caroline Buchanan – Speedco Bicycles
Dani George – Supercross
Ashley Verhagen

A Pro
Logan Collins – Diamond Back
Jeremy Rommel – Supercross
Paul Wassenaar – Bellflower Bikes

Vet Pro
Cristian Becerine – Free Agent/Rockstar
Matt Pohlkamp – Dan’s Comp
Javier Colombo – SE Bikes

Jr. Men
Rusty Nesvig – Intense BMX
Jordan Miranda – GT Bicycles
Nick Koehler – Speedco Bicycles

View amateur results now on USABMX.COM

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