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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.

Links

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





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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

Links

Photos: 2016 Derby City Nationals – Day One

BMX Article on “BizJournals.com”

Derby City Coverage in Louisville Courier-Journal

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


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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

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Links

See the segment on WDRB News

New Details on USA BMX SX Series





BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

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