Derby City Nats Battle Hurricane Harvey

September 6, 2017 by · Comments Off 

2017 Derby City Nats Elite Podium
The annual Derby City Nationals in Louisville are set smack-dab in hurricane season, on Labor Day weekend. For some of you joining our program, already in progress, this is a “legacy” event that was once the NBL Grand National. If you’re new-to-the-game, people can tell you all about it Read more

Recap and Photos: 2016 Derby City Nats

September 8, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Corben Sharrah Gets double wins at 16Derby

The annual trip to Louisville on Labor Day had an added edge in 2016, as a $900,000+ refresh was finished, which added a dual hill configuration, first and second straight reworks, and reshaping/paving of the first and third straightaways. In the months leading up to the classic race, which was formally the NBL Grands, BMXers who had a place in their heart for the old track voiced strong opinions against the changing of this iconic facility.

As raceday approached, early ride reports painted the new build in a mostly-positive light, with a few holding firm on their previously-pejorative opinions.

The true-test would be the comments coming from Thursday’s all-day practice and pre-race to the three-day national. On those first laps, impressions were mixed, again, but as the weekend wore on, the new build started earning some converts.

There’s no doubt that the refresh rattled riders. News overheard a mom talking on the phone on Saturday morning saying “it’s much harder than any other track we have been to, so he is having a real tough time.”

The general consensus was that, after a winter of settle-in, and a full 2017 season of “roll-in” by the locals, the track will mellow into its place as the “new-iconic” for the 2017 installment of the Derby City Nationals.

Just prior to the race, USA BMX and the Louisville Sports Commission announced a 10-year extension of the Labor Day race, so there will be a long-runway to get things just-so for future years.

Of course, there are still those who have their doubts and derisions.

Along with seeing several just-back-from-Rio Olympians mix it up on the new 8-Meter SX hill, race fans were also treated to three days of picture-perfect weather—something that we haven’t seen in Louisville for the past several years of trekking down there. It’s ALWAYS a 7-10 split of primo conditions, with thunder, lightning and body surfing in the infield. Not this year!

And while the temps were agreeable, the race action was hot, hot, hot all three days. Here’s a photo-recap of some of the headlines, and links to the three photo galleries below:

Top Photo: Corben Sharrah came to Louisville to do some business. On Friday, he battled with Sam Willoughby out of turn one, down the second straight, and zoomed into the lead in turn two of the main event. On Saturday, he got the Answer Holeshot award as he scooted on to his second main event win. Corben hit the pay window for $7250 for the weekend!

BMX News Coverage of the 2016 USA BMX Derby City NationalsClimbing mount Louisville. We walked up the front side of the SX hill to grab this shot. Walking up the hill definitely gives you the sense of scale, and the steep inclines they are working with. But still, best seat in the house to watch the racing.

Mckenzie Gayheart at the  2016 USA BMX Derby City NationalsSkittles Gayheart tripled-up on the cruiser in Louisville, winning 13-14 GC all three days. She was also on the podium all three days on the 20-inch, with a 2-3-3 (Natalee Daugherty won 14G Friday, and Ashley Hayes won it on Saturday and Sunday).

Brandon Bredeweg at the  2016 USA BMX Derby City NationalsBrandon Bredeweg from Michigan went aces-across in 11x, aboard the new Throdwn titanium frame. This dude in on the gas!

Richard Bunt of Clayborn Bikes at the  2016 USA BMX Derby City NationalsThe Mayor of Factory Row, Richard Bunt of Clayborn Bikes, was recently elected Mayor of his hometown, Ragland, Alabama. He takes office in the coming weeks and is ready to do some serious good for his constituents. Congrats, Buntster!

BMX News 2016 race coverage sponsored by Dan’s Comp
BMX News Race Coverage is Sponsored by Dan's Comp

Gavin Freewalt at the 2016 USA BMX Derby City NationalsThe G-Man, Gavin Freewalt took home the Eastern Division Jersey in 13x, with wins on Friday and Sunday, and a second place on Saturday (to AllTow’s Vaugh Philippus).

BMX News Coverage of the 2016 USA BMX Derby City NationalsThe new dual hills at Derby City BMX, dressed up in their Derby City Nationals finery. Of all the critique leveled on the track, the Gates and hills were praised across the board.

Steve Buttleman at the  2016 USA BMX Derby City NationalsKentucky Derby bugler, Steve Buttleman, is a fixture at the Bluegrass Nationals in the winter and the Derby City Nationals on Labor Day. Steve loves coming out to the track, and can always be seen snapping phone photos of the race action.

Sean Gaian at the  2016 USA BMX Derby City NationalsSean Gaian split wins in Louisville with J&R hotshoe, Zack Van Kammenn. Zack won it on Friday, and Sean on Saturday (no A-Pro racing on Sunday).

Alise Post at the  2016 USA BMX Derby City NationalsIn her first outing after winning the Silver Medal in Rio, Alise Post put it to the pedals back on home soil, and greeted fans in the Factory Redline pit. Danny George (33) pushed The Beast on Saturday, leading the main out of the last turn…but Alise pushed it that last-little-bit, and got past her in the final feet.

BMX News 2016 race coverage sponsored by Dan’s Comp
BMX News Race Coverage is Sponsored by Dan's Comp

Bailee Enlow at the  2016 USA BMX Derby City NationalsBailee Enlow was rockin her Marian University jersey in Louisville, and tripled-up in 17-20 Women.

Shawn DiPrete at the  2016 USA BMX Derby City NationalsShawn DiPrete turned some major-big laps in Louisville, with a 1-1-3 in 41-45 Expert. Jeremy Thompson got the Sunday Win and Raul Gomez with the deuce. This class is one of the heaviest-comp classes out there. Can’t wait to see how it shows up at the Grands.

Todd Parry at the 2016 USA BMX Derby City NationalsTP Todd Parry took home five wins at the Derby City Nats. The only lap he dropped all weekend was Friday’s 46-Over Expert main, where he wrecked pretty bad. Here’s what he said about the weekend: “Tough weekend in Louisville, I had a really hard crash in the only lap I lost this weekend. My back, right shoulder, right thumb and right heal are jacked! I lived in my hotel room with ice packs… so between feeling like I got ran over by a truck and racing some fast brothers like Billy G, Big Daddy, Bubba Hayes, Cody Smart, Steve Clark, Steve Ewart from Australia just to mention a few… it was more a success for me because I fought through the soreness and pain and still made it happen.”

Marshall Gehrke at the  2016 USA BMX Derby City NationalsMajor lead by the Major. Answer/Rennen ripper, Marshall Gehrke took wins in every main event he gated up for in Louisville. 1-1-1 in 9x, 9 Cruiser on Saturday, and 9-10 open on Friday/Sunday.

BMX News Coverage of the 2016 USA BMX Derby City NationalsRaul Gomez goes for the inside swoop to get past leader Shawn DiPrete in turn two of Sunday’s 41-45 Cruiser main event. Raul won it, with Jeremy Thompson in second and Shawn in third. Jason Carnes won it on day one and DiPrete on Day Two.

Monica Kelly at the 2016 USA BMX Derby City NationalsMonica Kelly rockin it out for TNT in Sunday’s 31-40 Women main event. Carley Young took the win on Friday/Saturday. Carley also took triple wins in 31-35 Women Cruiser.

Karter Montellano at the 2016 USA BMX Derby City Nationals8x was white hot in the Derby City. On day one, Jason Linville from Ohio took the big wins on day one and day two, but it was W1, Karter Montellano with the upset on day three. Hunter Cole was second on Sunday, and Linville was third.

Bryce Batton at the 2016 USA BMX Derby City NationalsIt’s always-awesome to watch Bryce Batten ply his trade. Triston Judd put in a rapid lap on Friday to take the day one win (Bryce was second), but BB got the wins on Saturday/Sunday, to take the Eastern Divisional Championship Jersey back to Phoenix.

Goin Home

We look forward to heading down to Louisville before next year’s Derby City Nationals to see how things are going with their local program, and how the track is settling in.

Heading back to the BMX News rig on Sunday, we caught a snippet of conversation “You comin back next year?” This was the moment of truth. “Yeah, definitely.” was the response.

Check the links below for the three-day photo galleries.


Friday Photo Gallery – 2016 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

Saturday Photo Gallery – 2016 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

Sunday Photo Gallery – 2016 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

2016 Derby City Nats – Day 1 Photos

September 3, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Louisville Day One Photos
The 2016 Derby City Nationals kicked off in Louisville on Friday, with the kind of fanfare we would expect on the first Saturday in May, as opposed to the first Friday in September (ok, we’ll catch you up: the first Friday in May is when the Kentucky Derby is run at nearby Churchill Downs). For 2016, Derby City BMX was debuting a refreshed facility, following $925,000 in improvements that were performed over the course of this summer.

Those improvements included installation of a new dual starting hill configuration (3M/8M), a bigger and badder first straight, rejiggering of the second straight and new shaping and paving on the first and third turns. Many thought the work would not be done in time for the race, but the Derby City crew rallied, and got it all done, just as the first campers and factory rigs were rolling into EP Tom Sawyer State Park.

BMX News 2016 race coverage sponsored by Dan’s Comp
BMX News Race Coverage is Sponsored by Dan's Comp

BMX News made it to town later in the day on Friday, but got our photo game started in short order, grabbing a decent-size gallery from the main events, which ended about 9PM, after a 2:45PM start. The photo above was one of the more exciting mains of the evening as Dustin Hammond was back after a few months recovering from his bad wreck in Nashville a few months back. He and Justin Richmond battled to the stripe, and Hammond got it by a sliver. That must feel good for Dustin, starting things back off with a W.

We are heading back out to the track for Day Two of the three-day national, so check the links below for the Day One photo gallery, and also some local Louisville press on the track improvements and how BMX has become and honest-to-goodness part of the community down here.

—Mike Carruth


Photos: 2016 Derby City Nationals – Day One

BMX Article on “”

Derby City Coverage in Louisville Courier-Journal

Big corporate names team to fund rebuild of ‘iconic’ BMX facility


BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Derby City BMX Closes for SX Makeover

May 9, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Derby City BMX Closes for SX Makeover
It has been in the works for a while now– a couple years, really–but Derby City BMX in Louisville,home to the Derby City Nationals over Labor Day weekend, has closed for a 12-week makeover. That makeover will feature the addition of a dual starting hill configuration, an 8-meter hill for the Elite classes and what is said by track officials to be a 3-meter hill for the amateurs.

UCI spec for challenge (amateur) class starting hills is 5 meters, but it looks like Derby city is taking a prudent approach and making it more approachable for the local program they need to run out there on the other 362 days there is not a national in town.

The 8-Meter hill will shoot into a newly-crafted Supercross first straightaway, and both straightaways will empty into a pushed-back, bigger and badder first turn.

Here is a full briefing that the track management posted to social media Monday evening:

As you all know the track is undergoing a rebuild starting today. This week will consist of utility marking, tree marking, setting up temporary electric for the work site, removing fencing, setting up tempory work site fencing and preparation for demolition. If everything goes as planned, the demolition phase could begin this week. After the demolition phase is complete, the construction of the starting hills will begin. This construction consists of an 8 meter Supercross hill and a 3 meter Amateur hill.

Billy Allen, USA BMX track builder, and his crew are scheduled to arrive June 26th. They will be here for 2 weeks. Their portion of the rebuild consists of blowing out the 1st turn and moving it back, reworking the 1st straight to merge both starting lanes before entering the 1st turn, reworking the 2nd straight when exiting the 1st turn, rebuilding the 3rd turn, reworking the end of the 3rd straight entering the 3rd turn, and straighten out the last straight. Once this portion is complete the 1st and 3rd turns will be paved. The track will then be ready for soiltac.

Once the rebuild is complete and Derby City BMX is back up and running, the Supercross hill will be locked unless we are hosting an event. The track will remain open to the public except during scheduled events.

There will be a meeting between the contractor, park staff and Derby City BMX President & Track Operator weekly. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and allow us to update you on the progress weekly.

I hope this answered a lot of your questions. We are looking forward to a smooth and timely rebuild, but please be aware that things happen and alot of the rebuild hinges on good weather.

Russell Maurey, President

Tony Cline, Track Operator

Change is always a tough thing to accept, and BMXers have been making their opinions known for the past few days, bidding a fond farewell to their “old friend,” a track some have raced on for decades, and one that has had substantially the same layout for much of that time.

As one of the old-favorite “classic” BMX tracks in the USA BMX system, Derby City’s bigger, badder makeover begs the question of how many more dual hill facilities may be coming our way. It seems to be the hot new trend that is being considered in all the places you’d expect, and quite a few you would not expect.

If all goes to plan, the 2016 USA BMX Derby City Nationals will be run on the new track, with the pros presumably starting off the SX hill. No word on whether this race will be upgraded to a big-purse SX race, since it was not on the North American SX Series schedule.

Others are sharing their favorite images from the soon-to-be-gone Derby City “Classic Edition” track, and we put together some from our archives as well (see slideshow below).

Louisville Moments

All the best to the Derby City crew as they make this move toward a new era for Louisville BMX.

—Mike Carruth

BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

All Louisville Photos Posted!

September 7, 2015 by · Comments Off 

2015 Derby City Nationals Photo Galleries

While the 2015 USA BMX Derby City Nationals would go in the books as one of the warmest races in a while, it was also super-heated on the track. The competition was thick, from the first a-Pro rack on Friday to the last 46-Over Expert main on Sunday.

Nearly 100 Eastern Division Championship jerseys were awarded, as also took place in Reno for the Western Division Championships. There was a high-stoke for the riders, as they got to take their spot atop the USA BMX podium for a photo comemmorating the occasion.

BMX News was in the house from Thursday morning, and came back with some great photos and stories to tell from the race. As we hit the road back to HQ, check out the photo galleries, along with our always-free image downloads.

BMX News 2015 race coverage sponsored by Dan’s Comp
BMX News Race Coverage is Sponsored by Dan's Comp

Thursday Photos
Derik Bergh at the 2015 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

Friday Photos
Anna Johnson at the 2015 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

Saturday Photos
BMX News Coverage of  the 2015 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

Sunday Photos
Tyler Whitfield at the 2015 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Louisville Mulls Derby City BMX Upgrades

November 6, 2014 by · Comments Off 

City Mulls Derby City Upgrades

Last month, BMX News reported some early details on the 2015 USA BMX North American Supercross Series (NASX). Among those details was the number of stops for the inaugural season. On the 2015 USA BMX Schedule, the Derby City Nationals over Labor Day weekend was originally designated as an SX series event, making the season five stops in all. That designation has been removed on the most current posting of the schedule. In our interview for the October 20 article, USA BMX COO John David said the Louisville stop for the SX series is pending, as funding for track upgrades is sorted out.

The 2015 Derby City Nationals will, of course, go on regardless of the Supercross upgrades–but not as part of the NASX. But a recent news story in Louisville media points to the possibility that the 30-year “Louisville-on-Labor Day” tradition could be at risk in future years if the $250,000 in track upgrades are not made.

Those upgrades are yet-unspecified, but we have heard talk of reworking the first straight to accommodate a dual-hill configuration, as well as lengthening the first straight beyond it’s current position. It may also involve some additional improvements, but those were the few we have heard bandied-about, and make the most sense, given the SX direction things are taking.

The segment, which aired on local station WDRB, said that the funds for the upgrades to Derby City will likely come from city, state and “private” sources. The report also said that USA BMX will commit to bringing the Derby City Nationals back to Louisville for 10 years, if the upgrades are made. The Louisville Sports Commission, who has been a big supporter of BMX in the Derby City for many years, says the economic impact of the track, once the upgrades are made, will be $27 million over the next 10 years. That makes the $250,000 price tag to keep the big race seem both a great investment, and hopefully close to being in the bag in time for the 2015 running.

That said, there was no indication of where the city/state funding bodies alluded to in the segment were in the process of pondering this princely plus-up.

BMX News will keep you updated as more details emerge on both the North American SX Series, and the Derby City upgrades.

—Mike Carruth

If you enjoyed this article, we would appreciate if you would share it with your friends:


See the segment on WDRB News

New Details on USA BMX SX Series

BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Re-Cap and Photos: Derby City Nationals

September 2, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Sam Willoughby wins three days in Louisville

The 2014 USA BMX Derby City Nationals brought half of the North American BMX population to Louisville for the annual three-day national. The other half was in Reno for the three-day Blackjack Nationals. Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, since there were plenty of local tracks running races for the hometown crowd, so forgive us if we freestyle it a bit. These races also serve as the Eastern and Western Division finals, respectively. Over the three days, points were accrued toward the final overall winner in each class, and those riders were recognized in a special podium presentation after Sunday’s race, complete with a championship jersey.

Our Labor Day trip to Louisville always promises sunshine, clouds, rain, heat and a world-class farmer’s tan. We got all that this year, but thankfully, no lightning strike, as was the case in 2013.

Three-day nationals add an endurance component to the festivities–for the riders, of course, but also for parents and us media types who, by Sunday afternoon, have shot every angle on the track two or three times. By semi time on Sunday, even many of the riders were saying they were ready to knock the rest of this weekend out and get on down the highway.

The rain came at the tail-end of the second round on Saturday, and persisted ’til the last main had crossed the line. And while it was a miserable way to end day 2, the wet weather added just the wildcard that some classes needed to not be on lock for all three days by the same rider. Not exactly good news for those hotshoes who ruled the realm in the dry, but for the spectators that braved the soaking rain to watch from the fenceline, it is nice to see some mixin-it-up action.

The Soiltac really helped keep the surface of the track in tact through all conditions. Rider feedback on the 2014 Derby City track refresh was overwhelmingly positive after the Thursday and Friday practices.

Saturday was the high-moto-count day, with 244 on the boards (221 on Friday and 188 on Sunday).

Here are some photo highlights of how it went in the classes:

Top: There is just no stopping Sam Willoughby this year (or last year, for that matter). Three Elite wins in Louisville, and over $6,000 in prize money going back to San Diego–along with three commemorative Louisville Sluggers that USA BMX gave as podium trophies.

BMX News Coverage of the 2014 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

Friday Morning, 9AM–just as the first practice was hitting the track. The weekend is so full of promise at this point–everyone with their own plan to triple-up, and take home the Eastern Championship jersey. Regardless of how it ended up on Sunday afternoon, a great weekend of racing is in the books for Louisville 2014.

Justin Richmond at the 2014 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

The Juice, with lots of pulp. Justin Richmond pounded the 21-rider 16x into submission, with three wins.

Hayden Fletcher at the 2014 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

In 15x, Hayden Fletcher from Australia came-a-callin, and took two of the three wins. He was leading the Friday night main as well, but Bubba Gonzales got by him in the last turn. Nick Deters had the scores to take home the Eastern Division Championship jersey with two third place finishes and a second. (edited 08/04)

Anna Johnson at the 2014 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

Crupi clobberer Anna Johnson took home two of three possible wins in 14G in Louisville. The triple-treat was thwarted by Cassidy Crotty on Saturday (Anna was second). 13-14 Girls Cruiser was also some good racin, between Anna and Stephani Morin on the Star Products. Anna got the Saturday/Sunday wins and Stephani was on the top step on Friday

Eric Rupe at the 2014 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

Big Daddy going big. It seemed that 14x was the point at which guys started going left, to the pro set. Then, after 19-27x the number of riders hitting it tapered dramatically. We were shooting the am side of the third straight, when here comes the big wheels of Eric Rupe’s Extreme cruiser boosting it first round on Saturday. Aces across in 51-55 Cruiser.

Jeremy Thompson at the 2014 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

Jeremy Thompson had a fruitful trip to the Derby City. Five out of six wins in the books, save for a Saturday upset by Scott Moreland. Scotty used the old school foot-out-in-the-turn move to both protect the inside, and prevent a slip & slide in the rainy second-to-last main event on Saturday. It was a lap ridden very gingerly, and with great skill by all eight in that main.

Gavin Freewalt at the 2014 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

The G-Man, Gavin Freewalt was on fire in Louisville. We spotted him on Saturday with such a wide lead that we could barely fit him and the second place rider in the frame. Here’s the Friday night 11x main event. Haro Promax teammate, Leo Hile, got the wet-weather win on Saturday, and it was G back up top on Sunday–with the Eastern Division Championship Jersey.

BMX News coverage of the 2014 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

Speaking of those custom-made bats, here they are, from Friday’s podium presentation. All six of the Elite winner bats (three for Elite Men and three for Elite Women) went home to the same address—the San Diego homestead of Sam and Alise.

Austin Hiatt at the 2014 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

Austin Hiatt was rippin-up A-Pro on Friday. We knew he was only a few bucks aways from the big move up to AA, and this burly lead in the Main Event sealed it. He made the semis on Sunday, but wrecked in turn one.

BMX News 2014 race coverage sponsored by Dan’s Comp

BMX News Race Coverage is Sponsored by Dan's Comp

Todd Parry at the 2014 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

Todd Parry took home five of six possible wins 46-50 Cruiser and 46-Over Expert. Cody Smart got past TP in the final feet of Saturday’s Expert Main to disrupt the perfect.

Sean Gaian at the 2014 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

Sean Gaian may-well have made it a triple-up weekend, having won 17-18x Friday and Saturday. Sean tells News that he did not plan on racing SUnday–to give him some rest-up time leading in to this weekend’s Argentina Supercross. After the drippy conclusion to Saturday’s racing, a lot of riders pulled out for Sunday as well (Saturday-Sunday moto count dropped from 244 to 188).

Aiden Otten at the 2014 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

7x in Louisville had a bad case of the “Rottens,” in the person of Aiden “Lil Rotten” Otten. Triple-wins in class and an Eastern Division jersey to take back to Lakeside, CA. Dude has an air game as well, as you can see.

Jud Ciancio at the 2014 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

2014 marked the 30th year that BMX racing was in Louisville over labor Day weekend. On that first Labor Day, in 1984, Jud Ciancio–then a 16-Expert–was asked to ride for Profile by company founder, Jim Alley. Jud stayed with Profile for a long time after that, and many of us who were around in the 80s knew Jud strictly as a Profile rider. To commemorate the occasion, Jud left his new-era Hyper kit back in New Jersey, and rocked the Factory Profile colors.

Muck in the mud i n the pits at Derby City

Various forms of tire self-protection were in use on Saturday and Sunday. From the old “carry the bike to the gate” to trash bags over the wheels, to some just saying “muck it!, I’m riding up there.” This was second round on Sunday, just as the drizzle was starting to put a fizzle on the dry conditions. Big prepper-props to Heather Parker, who pulled those sturdy red rain boots from her bag-o-tricks and kept on as though the bog was no biggie.

Jamie Staff at the 2014 USA BMX Derby City Nationals

If Vet pro were a movie, it would be “The Usual Suspects,” with Cristian Becerine or Javi Colombo trading wins, but usually locking out all others from the top-step. On Saturday, in Louisville, though, the rain brought a rare opportunity for Jamie Staff to get there before all others. Becerine got the Friday Win, and it was Javi on Sunday, so a good variety show for the fans. Doublecross dude, Beau Richards rode well in Louisville as well, hitting the podium all three days (3/2/3). Looks like Jamie is rockin Tyler Faoro’s helmet in this second-round shot from Saturday.

DK Bicycles Caroline Buchanan Signature Balance Bike

DK is introducing a Caroline Buchanan Signature balance bike later this year. Spec and pricing are still to be determined but they are aiming for $139 or below. Look for it in time to be under the tree for Christmas 2014!

Clayborn BMX Sharktooth chainrings

A few new products ready to launch over on factory row. Clayborn BMX is making its return to the market after being on a low-simmer the past couple years. Bossman Richard Bunt showed News their new sharktooth-style chainrings. Made in USA and available now.

A huge thank you to the Derby City BMX board for their always-awesome hospitality to all the BMXers who come from far & wide. We always get the real-feel impression they’re glad to see us, and we know that when we roll up, fresh from a good night’s sleep, chances are, most of them have already been at the track for a few hours to prep (if they went home at all). It does not go unnoticed, and the year-on-year professionalism of the crew, the facility and the local businesses keep this race a must-do on thousands of BMX travel calendars. So, until 2015…


2014 Derby City Nationals – Friday Photo Gallery

2014 Derby City Nationals – Saturday Photo Gallery

2014 Derby City Nationals – Sunday Photo Gallery

2014 Derby City Nationals – DannyD Videos, via YouTube

BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Rapid Road Trip: Louisville

August 15, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Derby City BMX

It’s 14 days til the annual Derby City Nationals get under way in Louisville, KY. This was, of course, the date and place previously occupied by the NBL Grand Nationals. In the USA BMX era, the boys and gals in Gilbert have done much to keep the weekend prestigious, by establishing the Derby City Nats as the Eastern Division Finals (Western division finals are in Reno the same weekend). The three-day score, on a great track, in a visitor-friendly city like Louisville are all big reasons to go, on their own–but combined, impossible to resist.

News headed down to Louisville on a “Rapid Road Trip” this week to see how things were shaping up. This RRT entailed a five-hour drive from Chicago to Louisville, a Chipotle stop, three hours at the track to shoot practice, a double-scoop of “Coconut Almond Fudge” at Pie Kitchen, then a five hour trip back–all in the same day.

Each year, the Derby City crew gives the track a little refresh leading in to the big race. They usually work on one straightaway each year, and this year it was the third straight. The third straight at Derby City is the site of their pro set and, on the right side, where amateurs who are not airing-it-out set up their prey for a swoop in the last turn. Word is that the rebuild made the pro set “two bike lengths faster” than going right.

Here’s what Derby City BMX board member Keith Bohne said about the concept for the third straight rebuild:

We wanted to make it bigger and have more of a downhill flow into the third turn. Along with making it bigger we were aiming to make it more technical, though there is one less jump on the straight than there has been in the past, there are rollers in between the jumps.

For the pro set, we added case pads on both jumps and there is also an added roller before the jump into the third turn. Ever since we took out the two 90 degree turns in 2006 is has been our goal to make the pro side faster than the am side, I think we have finally done it!

You can see the layout in the photo up-top. In watching practice, the positioning definitely does provide some…what’s the word…obstacles in getting through it effortlessly. Mission accomplished on that part.

The track crew also put down a coat of Soiltac to make the track surface a little less-susceptible to the rains which have been known to blast us on race day (NOT this year though!).

Some pre-race track time would prove very helpful, and the good news is you still have plenty of opportunities to do that.

This weekend, they have single-point locals scheduled on both Saturday and Sunday (Saturday is a “Battle of the Villes” series race, which always brings out a nice crowd from places like Nashville and Evansville, among others).

The Wednesday night practice had 49 riders, which we thought was pretty good, though locals tell us there are usually more out there (Wednesday was first day of school for the local districts). Among those 49 riders, five states were represented (Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Ohio and Illinois)–pretty awesome for a practice.

Here are a few photos we got on the trip–and a link to the photo gallery with 40-or-so more.

Carson Leet at Derby City BMX

Local BlackCrown hotshoe, Carson Leet, was out for Wednesday night practice, stylin and profilin on the first straight for the BMX News Nikon.

Jared Johnson at Derby City BMX

Our trip was unannounced, so we were impressed by the fact that all the factory riders on site were rockin a full kit for practice (number plate included!). Gotta rep those sponsors right, so props all around. Jared Johnson came over from Ohio to get some time in on the Derby City dirt.

Hot Air Balloons at Derby City BMX

It’s kind of strange when, all of the sudden a hot air balloon rises from behind the trees, out of nowhere. Didn’t expect that. Now we know what our “fight or flight” response will be if ever attacked by the Stay Puft Marshmallow man. Our response will be “Wha?”… Splat! That aside, the majesty of these silent birds overhead is awesome–moreso against a “golden hour” BMX gate sesh.

The G-Man, Gavin Freewalt at Derby City BMX

It’s The G-Man, Gavin Freewalt, rippin it up in to turn two. 11x is going to be high-heat at the Derby City Nats. (Note: What’s missing in this shot?)

Thomas Petillo at Derby City BMX

Thomas Petillo is the Track Operator at Nashville’s Music City BMX (and is also a top-hand photographer), but still makes time to suit up for some Wednesday night Louisville laps.

Spencer Cole at Derby City BMX

DK destroyer Spencer Cole braved the traffic from Dayton to get his ducks set up for some Derby City domination, come Labor Day weekend. Darn! We forgot to hit him up for one of those spiff new Coletrain shirts Kid DynaMite released last weekend in Pottstown.

We look forward to seeing y’all down in the Derby City in two weeks. Don’t forget to check out the photo gallery (link below). Also, watch for our Derby City Nationals “Hot Points” feature to help make your trip the best it can be–that’s coming next Friday.

—Mike Carruth


Photo Gallery – Rapid Road Trip: Louisville

Derby City BMX on Facebook

BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Photo Re-Cap: Derby City Nationals

September 4, 2013 by · Comments Off 

BMX Racing News - Kuwahara's Jeff Upshaw at Derby City Nationals

The 2013 USA BMX Derby City Nationals had everything a BMX aficionado could want: Three solid days of racing, a top-notch facility that was polished-up to a high shine by a dedicated local crew, a major turnout in the Elite classes for fence-gripping action, and a little weather drama to quicken the pulse.

The three days of racing also doubled as the as the Eastern Division Finals. Take your six best National scores to-date, plus the three from this weekend, and the one with the high points gets the special jersey, complete with podium presentation.

Temps were in the low 90s, and Moto counts were in the low to mid 200s (217, 256 and 222). The three-day races are always a different animal than the standard two-day fare. You have to leave a day early, and it takes you longer to recover–even for the folks who aren’t racing. Friday night goes late, Saturday starts at the normal National time (11:30), and there’s practice, so you get to the track early. And Sunday is also regular time (8AM). You’re chasing the sleep deficit all the way home. This one is better than most, because Monday’s a holiday, so you can catch up on the Zzzzs before resuming your daily life on Tuesday.

Friday’s race started around 2:15PM, and right away, it was clear this was going to be an awesome weekend of action. We had 28 A-Pros, 13 Vet pros, plus the four UCI classes (Junior and Elite Men and Women) all had enough riders to make a class. Since this was a UCI race, we were back to a one-main format for all three days.

This weekend will remain “The NBL Grands” for a whole bunch of people, for as long as they shall live. Only two years in the rearview, the image of that race is still big in BMX lore. Last year, people commented that it just did not feel as “alive” as the Grands weekend. With good reason, of course. This year, we have to say, the energy level was much higher than last year. The fenceline was filled much more than last year, and Factory/Vendor row had more to offer in the way of personalities and gotta-have-it merch. The high moto count from last year’s three-day was 199, this year it was 256, so people are still flocking to Louisville.

The Elite racing was intense, with three different winners in Elite Men among the three days. And we had three fierce competitors in Elite Women (Mariana, Alise and Dom) all with an eye on the top spot, sometimes in the same moto, which made for a great spectator experience.

We put together a photo re-cap of some of the key elements of the weekend. Also, links at the end to three days of individually-curated photos (about 500 in all).

Top: Uppy tripled-up in A-Pro at the Derby City Nats. Dude is looking like his old-self again, and his transfer to AA is about $800 from reality. Here is a little celebration style to start the weekend off right, just before the finish line in Friday’s main.

USA BMX Louisville Coverage on

The Derby City track was dressed up in its Friday-Saturday and Sunday best for the annual Derby City Nationals.

Erin Kowalski rides the ceremonial first lap at the Derby City Nationals

Badd & Co. 10G, Erin Kowalski, rides the ceremonial first lap for the National Anthem on Friday. Her father, Brian, was lost at sea off the Florida Keys a few weeks ago, after saving a friend’s son who got into trouble in the water. One account of the tragedy was carried by The Daily Mail in the UK.

BMX Racing: 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Mariana Pajon at the USA BMX Derby City Nationals

Mariana Pajon flew up from Colombia for the Derby City Nationals, and rung up two wins and a second in the title chase. The Gold Medalist was sitting #5 going in to Derby City, so these scores should bump her up a spot or two.

BMX Racing News - Kory Cook riding for Promax

This was Kory Cook’s first trip in his new Promax kit. Dude was hotter than we have seen him in a while on the new DK frame fitted-out with Promax parts. Kory told us he felt better on the track than he had in a long time, and it showed. Teammate Arielle Martin had a great weekend as well in her new kit, making all three main events, and scoring two second-place podium finishes (Sunday was a fifth).

Chandler Denton of Profile Racing - BMX Racing News

Seconds from disaster: Chandler Denton leading one of Friday’s 19-27x Semis into the second turn. A few ticks later, 2Chan was into the third straight, and blew up midway. No main on day one, but came back for a third on day two and a win on day three.

Payton Ridenour at the Derby City Nationals BMX Race

Friday and Sunday wins in 11G for Payton Ridenour, and a Snowman in the Saturday main (run on Sunday). We didn’t see it, but sounds like a crash ended the triple. She is having a great year, and the jumping looks great to our cameras.

BMX Racing with MCS Bicycles Petey Peters at USA BMX Louisville

Petey Peters said he never threw his leg over a cruiser in all these years of racing. But now that he’s “Old,” at 30, it felt like a good time. Final score: A second on Friday and a fourth on Sunday in in 26-30. made all three mains in 26-35x as well. We’re diggin the new MCS kit #factoryfresh

BMX Racing News - Felicia Stancil World Champion BMX Racer

It is pretty rare, indeed that someone gets ahead of Felicia Stancil in Junior Women these days. But this weekend, Domenica Azuero from Ecuador was “all over her action,” at least for the first part of the track. Of course, it’s how you cross the stripe that counts, and our Fly’n friend was first-times-three, for the division title, and the Top step all three days.

Hyper Bicycles Shealen Reno at USA BMX Louisville

When in doubt, air it out. Shealen Reno tore it up in 15-16 Girls, with wins on Friday and Sunday. The early morning Saturday mains on Sunday seemed to shuffle the cards for a lot of the Friday-Sunday winners. A fourth for her in the middle, with Elida Beeman on the top step. All that work on the SX tracks is sure showing up in Shealen’s skill set on the “small” tracks.

Dale Holmes racing the USA BMX Derby City Nationals

Multi-time UCI world champ, and Free Agent TM, Dale Holmes, was back on the track in Louisville, with a new shiny-new USA BMX Amateur card. Dale took second to Felt BMX flyer, Jeremy Thompson on Day One, and got the W in the day two main (took the trophy and everything!). For day three, it was time to fly, so Dale had to get the bike in the bag and roll up the Free Agent pit to get a big bird back home. Word is, we’ll see him on the moto sheets another time or two this year. Raul Gomez (Right) got the win on Sunday for MCS.

Muddy footprint in the Derby City BMX infield

“That’s one small step for man. One giant muddy shoe for Mrs. Carruth to work her magic on.” Infield, Saturday, after the first rain delay.

BMX Racing under stormy skis in Louisville, KY

Cool shot of Sean Gaian heading to a Junior Men win on Saturday, against some angry skies. 20 minutes after Sean crossed the line, folks were running for their lives as lightning, and a 10-hour long deluge started up. Hunter Pelham and Andrew Townsend are virtual identical twins in the Haro Promax kit. The key to solving the puzzle: Hunter is rockin the white shoes.

Lightning strikes in E.P. (Tom) Sawyer park

Electricity wants to go to ground. Here is the real-life lesson that you might have been snoozin’ through when they taught it in the classroom. Saturday, just after the Elite mains, the radar had a big ol red blob to the north. BMX News beat-feet out of the infield and was loading up the Newsmobile when “Crrrrrack! pop, pop, pop, pop” a bolt stripped a double-track into this tree, just behind vendor row. The SUV on the left had its electrical system fried out and had to be towed out of there. All humans escaped unharmed, if a little freaked out.

Team Ssquared Answer prepping home-cooked meals in the pit

Everything’s better with bacon. Marty Dzierbicki (pops of Johnny D) and Andy Deters (of Nick and Katie fame) set up a full-blown field kitchen for the Ssquared Answer team, cooking up an amazing array of yummy and race-minded treats for the riders and their families. Thanks goes to Answer Rennen for giving over some of their backyard to the top chefs’ efforts. This round: breakfast burritos on Sunday morning.

Sam WIlloughby has massive lead in USA BMX Pro Standings

Louisville’s Elite Men racing was as good as it gets. A packed field of 39, which included tons of Euro talent training up on US soil ahead of the Chula Vista SX later this month. Each of the three days had a different winner, with Connor Fields on day one, Maris Strombergs on day two, and this guy on day three. Willoughby has 14 wins on the year now, with the next five behind him having one apiece. Here’s a little Sunday Semi action into turn two.

Photo of Body Glove Surge Energy Shot on

Bob Deily and the Doublecross crew inked a sweet new sponsorship deal with Body Glove Surge–an all-natural energy shot. This report is officially powered by same.

Derby City volunteers getting props from USA BMX staff

The Derby City crew gettin some props before Sunday’s main events from USA BMX honchos Chris Luna (left) and John David. These folks pulled off amazing feats on an hourly basis, and had the track in race-ready condition after a 10-hour storm on Saturday night. Steamrollers to pack down muddy parking lots, and a round-the-clock TP watch on the bathrooms, to make sure all the everyone was a happy camper when it was time to do business off the track. We always love going to the Derby City Nationals–here’s why.

BMX Racer Maliek Byndloss of Cape Coral, FL

Maliek was the big man in Junior Men in Louisville, with wins on Friday and Saturday and a third on Sunday. Also aced-up on 17-18x on Friday and Sat, with a second to Sean Gaian on day three.

BMX News "Random" Shots

A few folks have asked over the past few months, why we include photos of random grass or dirt, or other haphazards in our prime, curated-to-the-max photo sets. In fact, we call these “randoms,” and they are snapped either by accident when tweeting, or when navigating infield obstacles. We dig ‘em, and often use them as background images for some of our graphics, and projects like this Pro Gate brochure. Turn one at Derby City BMX.

Crupi BMX phenom, Anna Johnson

Anna Johnson avalanched the 13 Girls and 13-14 Girls Cruiser class all three days.

The G-Man, Gavin Freewalt triples-up on cruiser at the Derby City Nationals

The G-Man, Gavin Freewalt held the pink slip on 10 Cruiser in Louisville, with wins all three days. Mason Meininger (on the inside) slipped past him just after this photo was snapped, in turn one of Sunday’s main (above), but G got busy down the third straight, and made tracks for the third win, and the Division Champ threads.

Jim Reilly was back on the mic in Louisville

We love us some Jim Reilly! Ol Jimbo has not been seen on the mic for a while, owing to a new day job. But he and Shawn Pischke did a great job keeping the fans entertained, and informed throughout the long, long weekend.

2013 USA BMX Derby City Nationals Photo Galleries

Friday Gallery Saturday Gallery Sunday Gallery


2013 Derby City Nationals – Results (via USABMX.COM)

Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

Photos Gallery: Louisville Day Two

September 1, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Derby City Day Two Photos

Day two in Derby City was all about fluidity. Hydrating fluids to keep you up & running in the 90 degree heat. Stifling humidity that made it feel, at times, like you were breathing through a damp wash cloth, and later in the day, two rain delays–the second of which was spurred on by two lightning strikes on the track property.

The pros got their respective mains in the books before the fireworks from the sky ended the day (before the driving rain ended it anyway). As you look at the photos, you can see the clear blue sky we started under, then some clouds rolling in…then overcast. Then bright sun again (following a 2-hour-plus rain delay), then clouds roll in again, and we ended up with the skies looking like the photo above of Maris Strombergs winning the Elite Men’s main.

Racing was suspended during the expert open classes, and picked back up around 9AM sunday morning. The balance of the mains were run under hazy sunshine. Starting before sunrise, the crew raked and rolled kitty litter, quikcrete and whatever else was available at Home Depot in industrial sizes. By the end of the leftover mains, reports from the pits were that the track was coming back to its old self.

Racing is currently under way on the Day Three race, which is running under a one-moto-transfer system. We’ll be out there for the semis and mains, but before we left the building, we wanted to get you the Day Two photo galleries.

More photos Sunday Night, and our re-cap of the weekend late Monday, after the drivin’ and camera bag clean-up are done.


2013 USA BMX Derby City Nationals – Day Two

Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

Next Page »