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Photo Gallery: 2014 USA BMX Winter Nationals

March 20, 2014 by · Comments Off 

2014 USA BMX Winter Nationals Photo Gallery

The Winter Nationals are always one of the best races of the year. It is generally the race where we start to see who is going to be the fighting force of the season, team wise. Plus, as the first outdoor race of the season, we get a first glimpse of who might be the stand-out riders of the year.

This year, BMX News contributor Tanner Yeager had the awesome responsibility of bringing back a photo gallery that represented the depth of the talent pool, in all classes. We think he did a great job on that front and know you’ll dig it too.

Above: Ryan Pettigrew took the win in Jr. Devo on Saturday, and in 15x on Sunday. Bubba Gonzales was first at the stripe in 15x on Saturday. Phoenix/Box has THREE guys in 15x, so we could not positively ID their guy in this photo, but we thinks it be Brian Ensey.

2014 BMX News race coverage sponsored by Dan’s Comp

Links

2014 USA BMX Winter Nationals Photo Gallery

2014 USA BMX Winter Nationals Results

Our next race will be the USA BMX Gator Nationals in Oldsmar, Florids this weekend. Pro series racing, and temps in the low-80s will make this a great one, so watch BMX News for Story, Photos and quick hits throughout the weekend. ALso, follow @bmxnews on twitter for as-they-happen updates from the infield and pits.





BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Recap: 2014 Bluegrass Nationals

February 11, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Ryan Zinzow and Justin Richmond - USA BMX Bluegrass

Indoor BMX in Louisville has been on the road to getting it right for a while now. The 2009 NBL Christmas Classic was in the Broadbent Arena, which was definitely too small for our modern tastes. Last year, as USA BMX brought the February race to the Derby City (from Morristown), this time in the larger Freedom Hall (site of the 2001 UCI Worlds), and we breathed a sigh of relief with the extra elbow room. But vendor and pit space was stuck outside, and the reception turned a bit frosty. For the 2014 installment, the vendor/pit space was solved, with the expansion of the footprint into an adjacent, oh-so-awesome, granite-floored hall (with heat and all the creature comforts of home).

Both the 2013 and 2014 races had challenges with the dirt brought in for the racing surface. In 2013, it had a heavy concentration of wood chips, which made it tough to pack into the form of a BMX track. This year, the quality of the dirt was 1000% better–primo clay–but moisture mucked up the motobility. More on that below.

USA BMX seems committed to making indoor racing work in Louisville. We’re glad to hear that, because the geographic location and amenities the city has to offer makes it worth getting things dialed. Louisville is a good racing town, and the people are very hospitable.

The 2014 Bluegrass Nationals had 273 motos on Saturday, and 251 on Sunday. The centralized location made it an easy-do for drivers and flyers alike. We saw license plates from Minnesota, Connecticut and Florida, as well as bike bags heading back to California, Washington State and Nevada. A truly “national” flavor, where some riders who never “see” each other apart from Grands weekend get to do battle.

Here’s a photo/caption re-cap of some of the highlights. Check the links to the full photo galleries (including free image downloads) at the bottom.

BMX News Race Coverage Sponsored by Dan’s Comp (link will open in new window)

Top – Ryan Zinzow and Justin Richmond met in 16x for the first time in Louisville. The two Ssquared/Answer teammates are insanely-fast, and a pretty close race, as you can see. So close, in fact, that the Saturday main (above) had them in a type of BMX three-legged race, matched bottom- bracket-for-bottom-bracket, entering the second straight. Ryan was on the right, and ended up on the wrong side of the white line, sending him into the soft stuff, and down-hard, with a bell-ringer and what ended up being a separated shoulder. The Juice doubled the class on the weekend. Ryan will be back in about a month.

BMX News Coverage of the 2014 USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals

The dirt on the dirt. The talk of the town this weekend in the Derby City was the track surface. We have seen the so-called “Play-Doh” surface before–most recently at the last NBL Christmas Classic (Columbus) in 2010. It was a spongy clay mix that, despite extraordinary effort by the crew, never really firmed up to a hard pack. It was way better for Sunday’s mains than it was for Friday’s pre-race, but people were still twisted in knots over it all weekend. The culprit was the freezing-too-cold temperatures in Louisville that froze moisture in the dirt while it was being stored outside, then thawed once brought inside (more than a week in advance of the track build).

The USA BMX crew suffered as much as the riders in some ways, as they knew it was less-than-optimal, and did everything they could to remedy the problem–but there was just no hurrying the drying process along in the time we were there.

The racing was, more or less, in “slow-motion” for much of the weekend. The moment you stopped pedaling, you slowed to a near-stop. That made for slow-but-contentious racing, with leads changing often, as frontrunners ran out of steam. The program, itself, ran with the usual clockwork-precision USA BMX usually serves up. Saturday’s race ran about seven hours; Sunday’s, just under six.

Also, because of the consistency of the dirt they were working with, the crew was not able to build a traditional rhythm section. They opted, instead, for a combo of larger obstacles in the third straight.

Steve Buttleman at the 2014 USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals

Steve Buttleman, the official bugler for Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby was on hand to start off Saturday’s race with a rendition of the National Anthem. He also belted out a traditional “Call To The Post” to start the Strider races. Here’s Steve, snapping a quick smartphone photo of the Striders doing their thing on the third straight.

Maliek Byndloss at the 2014 USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals

Louisville was the pro debut for Maliek Byndloss, and he cashed top-step checks on Friday and Saturday. Answer/Rennen’s Max Egdorf is back from his Grands injuries, and prevented the triple-up by winning the overall on Sunday. Maliek’s 2013 National Number One Amateur plate never saw a single gate drop, and we had a chuckle about that after the race. The latest in a long lineage of never-run #1s.

Gavin Freewalt at the 2014 USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals

Louisville was the first race in the new Haro/Promax kit for The G-Man Gavin Freewalt. He left the cruiser in the stable this trip, and was lookin good on the spiff new sled. Got stopped-out in the Saturday Semis, but rallied on day two, with a second in 11-12 Open, and a third in 11x.

Spencer Cole at the 2014 USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals

Spencer Cole had a pretty solid weekend in Louisville, with a second in 12x on day one and a win on day two (and a crash / win in 11-12 open). But it was what he did after the racing was done that made our “key moments” list for the weekend. He and RadRo were battling for the lead in the Sunday main, and tangled just before the second turn. Roman got the worst of it, and ended up on the ground…

Roman Jaworsky and Spence Cole at the 2014 USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals

…Coletrain kept it on two wheels, and retained the lead, winning the lap. Seconds after crossing the line, he ran back to the second turn, where Roman was still shaking off the digger, to see if he was OK. It took a minute or two, but RadRo was back up, and walked off the track with his competitor by his side. Coletrain did it because he’s a good kid, not as a “show.” He scored some serious good guy points with us, and all who looked on. RadRo won on Saturday, by the way, so the pair split the weekend’s 12x wins.

Rob McAllister at the 2014 USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals

BlackCrown bossman Rob McAllister suffered a broken hand and a concussion at the Grands, just 10 weeks ago, but was back on the bike at the Bluegrass Nats, and put some passion to the pedals. Pair of aces for King of the ‘Crown in 46-50 Cruiser.

Aram Schwinn at the 2014 USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals

After winning 12x at the Grands, Aram Schwinn brought some serious fast to the 13 yr old classes in Louisville. He won 13 Cruiser both days, and took second in 13x both days (to Haro/Promax heavy-hitter, Bryant White on Saturday and Answer/Rennen rocker Markwane Billingsley on Sunday).

Payton Ridenour at the 2014 USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals

First time out in the new Answer/Rennen kit for P-Nut Ridenour. Her and Leyna Jones (who was also in new sponsor colors in Louisville, for Phoenix/Box) were in separate motos both days, and Girl class watchers were ready for a clash-of-the-titans type showdown in the main. Payton crashed hard in the 11-12 Mixed Open main on Saturday, causing her to sit out the 11G main. Win to Jones on Day one. On Sunday, Payton came back to take the “W” in the class main, with Leyna in second.

Pete Choat at the 2014 USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals

Pete Choat gave 9x a whoopin on Saturday, but laid it down in turn two of Sunday’s main event.

Kevin Pauls at the 2014 USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals

Kevin Pauls hauls the mail in 14x, delivering four aces back to Simi Valley (13-14 Open x 2 as well).

Kenneth Gustafson at the 2014 USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals

As you might expect, 19-27x was turbocharged, with nitrous, topped with plutonium sprinkles. This guy was the atomic dog both days– Doublecross Bikes baller, Kenneth Gustafson. Dude designs a pretty mean number plate too #234designs

BMX News Coverage of the 2014 USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals

If you find a horseshoe in your BMX dirt, is that good luck or bad luck? Supposedly, this one is going back to the Alpine villa of a guy who makes his own luck–Alberto Ciari, himself.

As Freedom Hall emptied out on Sunday, the talk of the mushy track was fading, in favor of a “hey, less-than-perfect track, but a great weekend of racing” vibe. Every BMXer carries stories of the mud races, the time the power went out and we raced the mains at midnight, and the time a tornado ripped through the city during the semis, causing the announcer to scream “RUN!…NOW!”

The “perfect” races might be remembered for the moment, but the ones were things went less-than-optimal are sometimes the ones we REALLY remember.

Believe it or not, we’re back in Louisville next week for the 2014 USA BMX Summit. This is where all the new plans and ideas come together for next year, and we’re excited to be bringing you all the details–stay tuned for more beginning next Thursday (February 20).

BMX News Race Coverage Sponsored by Dan’s Comp (link will open in new window)

Links

2014 USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals – Day One Photo Gallery

2014 USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals – Day Two Photo Gallery





BMX News Race Coverage is Sponsored by Dan's Comp

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