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

Photo Gallery: Day 1 Derby City Nats

September 5, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Joris Daudet won AA Pro on Friday
Though most of us consider Summer over after Labor Day, it is hanging on with both hands here in Louisville, with temps stretching into the mid-90s, and super-soaker humidity that gives all breathing creatures that “wet-wash-cloth-over-the-mouth” feeling.

Day one of the 2015 Derby City Nationals had 198 motos on the boards, which is said to have been a few better than day one at the Western Division finals in Reno. That said, we had the pros here in Louisville. In any case, the racing was sizzlin here in the Derby City, with the third-straight decision-maker offering some the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat for others, both in the motos and in the mains.

Vendor Row is always awesome at this race, and 2015 is no exception, with brand tents reppin the product, and Dan’s and J&R sellin it.

Pro turnout at this one is lower than normal due to the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in Argentina also happening the same weekend, taking most of the normal pro populous down south for the UCI points. But still plenty of star power among the pros to keep it interesting.

Here’s the AA Main Event:

2015 USA BMX Derby City Nationals Day 1 – AA Pro

Chase Bicycles' Joris Daudet was not to be denied last night come main event time. He inched a little bit closer to the USA BMX Pro title with his victory. Current #1 Pro Maris Strombergs had his best finish of the season with a second and T-Bone Tanner Sebesta rounded out the podium.

Posted by USA BMX on Saturday, September 5, 2015

As we venture out from the air conditioned comfort of the Comfort Inn, and into the intense heat of Day Two, we thought you’d be hot to see the cool photos from day one. Oh, and a small gallery from Thursday’s pro practice, which we used as a bit of a warmup (no pun intended) for our own photo game in Louisville.

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

On the Podium – Friday

AA Pro
Joris Daudet (Chase BMX)
Maris Strombergs (Free Agent)
Tanner Sebesta (Stay Strong)

Pro Women
Kristen Bob (All Star Inflatables)
Shealen Reno (Hyper Bicycles)
Rachel Jones

Vet Pro
Derek Betcher – Speedco
Jason Richardson – GT Bicycles
Matt Pohlkamp – Dan’s Comp

Collin Hudson – Factory Redline
Jeremy Smith – Extreme BMX
Olijuwon Davis – Doublecross Bikes


Thursday Photo Gallery – 2015 Derby City Nationals

Friday Photo Gallery – 2015 Derby City Nationals

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

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)


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

Hot Points: USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals

February 6, 2014 by · Comments Off 

BMX News Hot Points: Louisvilel 2014

BMX News is charging up the gear and clearing off the memory cards for tomorrow’s trip to the Derby City for the 2014 USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals. Last year’s move from Morristown to Louisville was a big success, and USA BMX has promised bigger pit space and better dirt for the 2014 installment.

A few details you might be interested in before you leave the driveway.

* Louisville is on Schedule A Practice – download practice schedule PDF

* Parking is $8 per day with no in & out privilege. In & out will run you $12 per day, or handle it all at once on Friday for $36 (in and out for the weekend, plus zoom past the dolts waiting in the day-pass line). Last year, they only accepted cash when we rolled through, so be sure to hit up the ATM first if you normally pay with plastic.

* The host hotel is the Crowne Plaza, which had some good specials last year in the restaurants and bar. Food was decent, and the waits were on-par with any other place that gets slammed with a few hundred BMXers all at once.

* The BMX News “Local Option” pizza place is Spinelli’s. Eric Bess and Kid DynaMite had a hallway pizza party at the Crowne last year, and the pies were primo. Thanks to our iPhone’s “total recall,” we were able to look up the text Carley Young send us with the name of the place. Spinelli’s Pizza – 502-568-5665 – Menu Link

* Last year, Saturday’s race was 286 motos. Sunday was 265. Hard to say if this year will be bigger or smaller, as the weather is wreaking havoc from the Rockies, eastward. Lots of “see you this weekend” text messages coming in to the BMX News control center, which is a good sign.

* Speaking of the weather, there is a thread on Vintage with updates on road conditions, both in the Louisville area, and inbound to Louisville. Check it out.

* This being the area around the Airport, it is kind of an “island” in terms of food and stores. If you like to grab some provisions before the weekend, probably best to do it on the way in to town. Otherwise, for provisions, there’s a Walmart about six miles away (East on 264 to Newburg Road, then South, and it will be on the left).

The closest “restaurant row” of sorts is East on 264, and off at Bardstown Road (North). There, or off Breckenridge, you’ll find a full compliment of BMXer favorites (though no Chipotle within range). We’re also told that the Hall of Fame Cafe on Crittenden Drive, just outside the Fairgrounds is worth checking out.

It all kicks off tomorrow at the Kentucky Expo Center. Point your GPS to:

Kentucky Exposition Center
937 Phillips Lane, Louisville, Kentucky 40209

Photo Above: Answer Rennen’s Justin Knapper won the Photo Trophy Dash last year with this shot from Saturday’s main event.

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: USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals

February 11, 2013 by · Comments Off 

2013 USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals on

It was an action-packed weekend of racing, as the third stop on the 2013 USA BMX National Tour touched down in the Derby City. It’s hard not to love Louisville: lots of great BMX memories here, easy to get in and out of town, hotels close to the venue, and solid, neighborhood-joint pizza, just a phone call away (Spinelli’s…bookmark it!).

The last time we were in town during the Winter months was for the 2009 NBL Christmas Classic. That race was shoe-horned into the “Broadbent Arena” at the Kentucky Exposition Center, and was generally not very pleasant. We were over-the-moon stoked to learn that NBL was bringing the Classic to Columbus–or anywhere other than the Broadbent Arena for 2010.

This year’s USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals would be in the said-to-be-larger Freedom Hall. Truth be told, it did not feel all that much larger than the Broadbent–though we’re sure someone could/will point to blueprints that say otherwise. The reality is that the KEC, as a whole, is an awkward setting for a BMX race. Parking was $36 for three days, which is their standard rate for all events, but we thought was testing the limits for a BMX crowd. Some had the option to ride the shuttle provided by some of the close-in hotels– a nice bonus that effectively shaved $12/nt off their room rate.

There was no team pit space, so the social factor of strolling around and seeing friends was pretty-much nonexistent, as everyone adjourned to the arena seats (or back to the room) after locking their bikes in the provided bike lockup area, out back.

This was the first year at the KEC for USA BMX, so we anticipate many of the creature discomforts will be addressed for next year. Louisville loves BMX, and we know they want what we want: the best possible BMX race.

For its part, the track was wedged in to the floor space available. It was a similar theme to all the other indoor stops on the tour, aside from the Grands. People are always going to complain about the indoor tracks–like death and taxes. Of course, the truth is everyone has to ride the same track. Once racing got underway, you saw passing on the straightaways as well as the turns, which is a good sign–on any track.

The last turn gave the most ominous first impression, with its tight radius and wall ride-esque facing. There was a heaping helping of drama there, especially in Sunday’s mains, where even the younger girls classes were riding the comp “high and over.”

Billy Allen and his crew did a great job of keeping the track in shape during the weekend. The dirt was not exactly awesome–mixed heavily with wood chips and some kind of moss-like protomatter that was neither dirt, nor wood. Like trying to make snowballs out of oatmeal and ice chips. Still, they held it together til the last main crossed the line.

The Bluegrass Nationals brought 286 motos on Saturday and 268 on Sunday. Lots of teams made the trip, looking for beefy rider counts. Donavon Long’s Haro/Promax team won the Factory honors on Saturday, George Costa made it out of Boston just ahead of the blizzard of 2013. His Answer/Rennen team rained on the parade of all the other Factory Teams on Sunday, turning in the top sheet.

Louisville was the last race before the Elite season starts up at the Winter Nationals in Phoenix. And we were impressed, as we were in Reno, with the level of stoke the crowd exhibited for the 23 A Pros who made the trip. This was Justin Posey’s Pro class debut, and he raced it like an ace. In fact, he WAS an ace, winning every lap both days–the first day for Dan’s Comp, and the second for his Collegiate team, Marian University. The USA Cycling Collegiate BMX Championships are being run alongside the Winter Nationals. You have to like JP’s chances at the title, if you saw him race this weekend.

We are going to have more on the Bluegrass Nationals Tuesday morning, including a Photo Trophy Dash. Leading up to that, give a gander to the photo galleries from the race.


2013 Bluegrass Nationals Photo Gallery – Saturday

2013 Bluegrass Nationals Photo Gallery – Sunday

Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

BMXers Prepare For Rain and Shine in Louisville

August 28, 2012 by · Comments Off 

USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals

Updated: 12:20PM, 8/29/12 (see bottom of story)

Never can it be said that BMXers are “fair weather friends.” We tend to stick with our friends, our sport–and our plans, regardless of which way the wind is blowing (or how fast).

This week, attention turns to Tropical Storm Isaac, and how it’s run up the Gulf of Mexico, and onto land late Tuesday might affect this weekend’s USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals in Louisville.

The “cone” of the storm gets pretty wide by the weekend, so it’s pretty tough to pin-down where, exactly the wind and rain of Isaac will strike–except to say Saturday looks like the biggest concern, in terms of rain, with a 60% chance. The above graphic has it tracking well to the North, which could work out great for us.

Over the weekend, many we spoke with were on the fence about whether they were going to make the trip or not, but this morning, pretty much everyone we polled was packing the car, or putting the bikes into the “golf” bag. Some on the Gulf Coast even went so far as to say “heck, if we’re going to get evacuated anyway, might as well go now and beat the traffic out of town.”

This week’s packing job may be especially tricky, so we thought we’d post up some suggestions and tips on the packing list of the folks we talked to this morning.

* Plastic Sheeting (to keep water and mud off car seats and carpet)
* Contractor Bags (for muddy or wet clothes)
* Laundry Detergent
* A Firm Scrub Brush (for tires and pedals)
* Skinny Brush or Toothbrush (for cleats)
* Knobby Tires
* “Pump up” Spray Jug (normally used for bug spraying, to clean bikes)
* Back up Jerseys, shoes and pants
* Flat pedals (“in case mud is too gnarly for clips”)
* Large “Golf” Umbrella
* Rain Ponchos
* Rain Boots or “alternate” shoes
* Baby Wipes
* Insect Repellent
* Download “Secretariat” off iTunes for chillin in the pits or the room

Some Additional Tips
* Bring something to do during a potential rain delay
* If there is lots of time to kill due to rain, the Kentucky Derby Museum is amazing
* Hotels may not let muddy bikes in, so have a plan for yours
* Grab a hotel reservation for Sunday night (even if you cancel it later)
* Rain or Shine, bd’s Mongolian Grill 1890 S. Hurstbourne Parkway is great eatin’!

There is a Home Depot just outside the park on Westport Road, so some of this stuff can be gotten there, if the need arises.

Rain or shine, it is going to be an awesome weekend in Kentucky. We’ll see you there, starting Thursday.

—Mike Carruth

UPDATE>>>12:20PM Eastern Time 8/29/12:

Isaac Tracking 082912

The path Hurricane Isaac is expected to take on land has been adjusted over the past 24 hours, to swing farther west, over Kansas, before heading North Easterly to Missouri and Illinois. We may be in better shape than earlier predicted, though the Weather Channel still has the probability of precipitation at 70% on Sat and Sun. Our guess is that we’ll get the races in, with isolated breaks in the action to let Isaac do his thing.

UPDATE>>>12:52PM Eastern Time 8/28/12:

John David from USA BMX sent us the following update on how things are looking for the weekend:

I’m onsite now and the track looks great and is fully covered. The USA BMX team is working tirelessly on the set up and we are confident despite any inclement weather we will have a great event. Despite having the track completely covered as precaution we are also sourcing a drying agent for any wet spots on the track which need attention.

Fortunately with the modified schedule we have a ample time to run the event even in the case of rain delays as both Saturday and Sunday race time starts at 8am.

Additionally, the Friday weather is looking perfect with only a 20% chance of rain which is basically the default rain parentage here in Louisville. Bottom line – Rain or shine we are going to have a great event on a great track that all the riders and families will love.


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