Podcast: Tony D — USAC BMX Programs Manager

October 11, 2018 by · Comments Off 

Tony Degollado USAC Interview
Big news this week out of Colorado Springs, Colorado, as USA Cycling added a big name to their already massively-competent crew. In the lead-up to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the federation has added Tony Degollado— “Tony D,” to most of us in the BMX world, as BMX Programs Manager.

Tony is uniquely qualified to take on this position, as he has long-experience in both the Racing and Freestyle aspects of the sport, having been a racer, team manager for Haro Bikes (where he directly managed the racing and freestyle teams), brand manager for Kenda Tires, Vee Tires, served as co-founder of Driven Brand (again, in tires) and, most-recently, serving as BMX Freestyle Program Manager for USA BMX.

In his new role at USA Cycling, Tony will work directly under the ringleader of the whole BMX show over there, Jamie Staff—who has been running the program the past five years (hard to believe it has been THAT long! Jamie continues doing a great job with the program).

It is our privilege to welcome Tony back to Announcers tower, to talk about his new gig, as well as chat about some rank-and-file BMX news.

Listen Now

Podcast with Tony Degollado

A *BIG* BMX News congratulations to Tony on landing one of the “dream jobs” in all of the BMX universe. We look forward to seeing what he, Jamie and all the shot-callers at USAC put together in the next 655 days.

—Mike Carruth

Podcast: Dale Holmes and Jamie Staff on Jr. Devo

January 23, 2017 by · Comments Off 

Kamren Larsen is one of four riders on USAC BMX Devo

USA Cycling took the Olympic year of 2016 off from Junior Development programming. Thanks to a new partnership with Dale Holmes, 2017 will see an expansion beyond the “camp” programming with which we are all familiar, and USAC will field a team of four hand-picked BMXers Read more

Trying Times at the Olympic Trials LCQ

June 11, 2016 by · Comments Off 

2016 US Olympic BMX Trials LCQ

The 2016 US Olympic BMX Trials kicked off Friday in Chula Vista, CA. The Olympic Training Center here—already an impressive venue, decked out in Team USA finery, even when there is not a big event in town—is dressed up in its Saturday night best for the Trials race, which starts Saturday at 3PM Pacific time.

To make things a bit more suspenseful for the 2016 Trials, USA BMX and USA Cycling borrowed some inspiration from a long-standing feature in Moto SX: the Last Chance Qualifier, or LCQ. Seven riders would qualify into the trials race by way of USA Cycling points, and the eighth spot in the gate would be decided by a day-before “Race to Rio” (well, at least the Rio replica track, where the trials will be raced).

The three races of the USA BMX North American Supercross Series would be used to award qualifying points to the top 16 Elite men, 4 A-Pros and 4 Amateurs participating in the SX Open class.

In the end, only 14 Elites would have points to qualify, and of those, three were already in the trials, and Nic Long earned his spot on the team with a podium finish in Colombia.

So that left 10 Elite Men, 4 A-Pros and 3 SX Open Amateurs (who were the only three to have the points), 17 in all. Then Riley Stair was injured at the Colorado race, so he had to pull out, leaving a tidy “two gates of eight” race for Friday morning, four from each to the main.

OK. That catches you up on the how-everyone-got-here part. You needed to know all that so the balance of the story is in proper context.

2016 US Olympic Trials Last Chance QualifierWe thought the LCQ was a cool idea—the concept of a “Cru Jones” type, who didn’t have the big funding or big sponsorship connections to make it to all the SX races in far-flung points on the globe—but through diligent racing in the SX program here at home, and a flawless performance on two days in June, a star could be born, funding be damned. Unlikely, we know, but as Americans, we are ALWAYS rooting for such a possibility.

Throwing it back, for a moment, to April 2014— in the “Qualificiation System guidelines for BMX in the Games of the XXXI Olympiad,” a seemingly-benign provision was included, stating:

To be eligible to participate in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, all athletes must:
- Hold a valid license issued by a National Federation.
- Have a least 10 UCI points in the UCI Individual BMX ranking of 31 May 2016.

Rio2016 BMX Athlete EligibilityThat seems reasonable enough—especially since, if the rider has passed through the rigors of getting into a spot where they are considered for an Olympic Team, naturally they would have a racing license, and surely they’d have raced a bunch of races to prove their worth to a team, and 10 points ain’t all that much for that kind of rider.

Well, these two concepts (The LCQ and the “10-point” rule) were on a collision course with destiny.

A Whale of a Problem With Mousetype
On June 6, a PDF was posted by UCI containing the “Qualifying Places” or “Athlete Quotas” or, in plain English, the number of riders each qualifying country can send to the games. The document (linked below) shows how all 48 rider slots (32 men and 16 women) would be allocated. Way down at the bottom, almost with an “oh, by the way” flavor, was that previously-noted “10-point rule” (Oh, by the way: you may have five spots for your country, but all those riders need a minumum of 10 points in the UCI individual rankings, or they are a no-go for Rio). Seems something like that should be in blinking-red headline-size type, but whatever. It was in mousetype at the bottom.

UCI Athlete Quotas to 2016 OlympicsIn the early hours of June 8, someone posted the screenshot above, with that hi-octane footnote somewhere on social media, and the buzz started. “According to this, seven* of the 16 riders racing could not actually GO to the Olympics, even if they won both the LCQ and the trials main.” Unlikely that the stars would align in just-that-way, but anything is possible in BMX SX. The riders who did not have the UCI points to make it happen were: Betts, Bob, Boyle, Gainer, Miranda, Smith and Van Kammen. We caught wind of it on Thursday morning, as we were hopping a big bird West. (*Editor’s note: the report posted to social media said Jeremy Smith did not have the points, but it appeared he actually did).

LCQ Race Day
All 16 riders climbed the hill on the Beijing Replica track, and the race kicked off at 9:35AM.

Tyler Faoro at the 2016 US Olympic Trials Last Chance QualifierTyler Faoro (above, left) started it off right with a win to open the day’s racing. Tommy Zula and Layne Gainer were 2-3 behind Tyler. In the next rack of first round, Jordan Miranda took the win, with Logan Collins in second. Tyler Brown got the third place call from the tower, but after video review, it was Elliot McGrath who got the first round tré.

Tyler Brown is obviously a hometown boy in Chula, and he had a massive cheering second along the last straight to amp him up in the final dash to the stripe.

Logan aced-up second round (top photo), with McRory in second, and a close one between Zula and Van Kammen.

In the second rack of second round, McGrath pulled a solid move in turn one, tripling-in, and coming up with the inside, and a clear sight to the lead. Chalk it up for McGrath, Brown and Gainer.

Zula won the first rack of third round (with Gainer and Faoro), and in the second rack, Logan Collins was first at the line again, with Miranda and McRory.

Tyler Brown got edged-out of the main by one point, by Zack Van Kammen—setting the stage for the rest of the day’s events (during the racing and afterwards).

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

Main Event

Main Event Wreck at the 2016 US Olympic Trials LCQLogan was out to an early lead, with Faoro and Miranda in the front-of-pack mix (from our vantage point in turn two). At the apex of the turn, Logan’s back wheel broke loose, spinning him sideways, an making him an instant roadblock for the rest of the hard-charging pack, four of whom got caught up in it and went down as well. McGrath went over the turn and stayed on two wheels, but did not rejoin the race.

Zach Van Kammen at the 2016 US Olympic Trials Last Chance QualifierAs the pack was piling up, Zack Van Kammen and Tommy Zula were a few beats off the pace, and had enough time to steer left of the carnage, and maintain the needed speed to get down the second straight and finish the race. At the stripe, it was Van Kammen, then Zula.

We’re sure there were some people out there who figured it was unlikely that one of the three “ineligible” riders in the gate would win the main, but again, anything can happen in BMX Supercross.

It took 90 mins or so for USA BMX, USA Cycling and UCI to sort out exactly what should happen next. Ultimately, it was decided that Tommy Zula, who was the first “eligible” rider to cross the line, would inherit the final qual spot on the gate. Not that it matters, but we agree with that decision as the best way to handle a somewhat unfortunate situation.

In a statement, USA BMX Told News:

Both USA BMX and USA Cycling apologize to Zack VanKammen, winner of the LCQ. Ultimately, there was a criteria oversight which prevents Zack from participating in the Olympic Trials. Per USA Cycling criteria, the selection committee nominated Tommy Zula to fill the 8th gate at Saturday’s Olympic Trials.

For his part, Zack Van Kammen took his sizable lumps after the race with a lot of class, posting on Facebook later Friday:
Zach Van Kammen at the 2016 US Olympic Trials Last Chance Qualifier

Today was a lot of fun, came in just wanting to make the main and have a fun time with the experience and ended up getting my first pro win!! Super pumped to be making the Olympic long team I may not be getting to race tomorrow but it’s hell of a accomplishment for me as my first pro year. Now time to work on lot’s of stuff I saw I needed in the rounds and main!

With that being said, Everyone is freaking out but it’s truly nothing usabmx or uci could do it’s just a big misunderstanding they already feel bad enough!! Tomorrow I’m still going to go out and ride the practice an enjoy my experience. I’m very greatful for the opportunity thanks to @mommavk and dad, coach @cbecerine100 and all the sponsor’s

Tommy Zula at the 2016 US Olympic Trials Last Chance QualifierWe reached out to Tommy Zula, who did not get any of the post-race interviews after the main (though we did pop-off this shot after the race, anticipating he might be moved up). He told us:

Honestly today I just went out there and had an absolute blast. Can’t thank all the people enough who came up to me and cheered me today. My DK bike was feeling great all day and I wouldn’t be here without their support!

It was a solid 90 minutes of pre-olympic BMX Supercross racing. The LCQ got the early-arrival fans jazzed up for Saturday’s Trials. The racing day ended with some unfortunate turns of events, as much for Logan Collins as it was for Zack Van Kammen. Logan handled it well, at least as it appeared to us observers. He’s a mellow fellow, and we know great stuff is coming for him.

Zack could have gone out there and put the whole program on blast, at the venue and on social media, and almost-nobody would have faulted him for it. Heck, hundreds of others are going nuclear with their opinions on the subject. But Zack didn’t. That was impressive, we have to say, and give him props for the way he handled the disappointment.

To finish-out with focus on the racing, and not the “process,” we have to wait another few hours before we know if the odds-on favorite will win the main at the trials, or if it will be someone else. Racing starts at 3PM Pacific time, on NBC Sports Live Extra (link below).

—Mike Carruth


UCI Athlete Quotas for 2016 Olympics

2016 US Olympic BMX Trials on NBC Sports Live Extra

BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Pan Am Games BMX Ends With Big Action

July 11, 2015 by · Comments Off 

    2015 Pan Am Games BMX Podium
    *UPDATED!* –
    With the stands full of BMXers and non-BMXers alike–yet all BMX fans– the 2015 Pan American Games held its medal event today at the Centennial Park Pan Am BMX Centre in Toronto.

    Friday’s Time Trial qualifying saw Connor Fields and Mariana Pajon win the early rounds, then Tory Nyhaug and Mariana win the Superfinal (Tory’s time of 36.113 was fastest between he and best-buddy CF11, who turned a 36.120).

    We never understood why, at UCI races, they always call it “Quarterfinal, Run 1, Run 2 and Run 3,” instead of “Motos,” but whatever–Elite Men and Elite Women both ran three rounds of group racing on Saturday. In Elite Women, Mariana Pajon went 1-1-1, and Alise Post had the low points in the second group, scoring a 2-2-1.Felicia Stancil went 1-3-2, and Stefany Hernandez went 7-1-3 for the third-best points in the group.

    In Elite Men, Connor and Tory each went 1-1-1, and Carlos Oquendo (COL) and Renato Rezende (BRA) went 1-2-1 and 2-1-1, respectively.

    We could not find any cable channel, or live stream showing the action that we could access form the US, so we relied on a couple friends to point us to already-recorded versions of the two main event races.

    One thing’s for sure: the non-BMXers in the crowd certainly got their money’s worth in terms of on-track action in these two laps. The object lesson being: anything can happen on the BMX track, and it ain’t over til it’s over.

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

    Here are videos of the two finals. Apologies for the poor quality of the men’s lap.

    Elite Women

    We replayed it a bunch of times. Mariana and Alise tangled going into turn one, and Alise crashed right away. Mariana stayed up for another second or so, but laid it down at the peak of the turn (not in-frame in the video). Tough break for two great racers. It was awesome to see Felicia make her way from gate five to make it very close as the pack edged toward turn one. Then even more exciting to see her boost that triple in to the turn. As bikes and bodies crashed all around her, she navigated through it, and on to the win. It was pretty amazing riding on her part.

    Felicia told News:

    I have been training really hard this year and trying to learn from some mistakes I made last year. I knew I put in the work in training, so I just had to give it my all in the main and with that I felt I had enough speed to hit the triple into turn one from the outside. Overall the Pan American Games was an extremely amazing event to be a part of and happy I could represent my country the best I could!

    *Editor’s Note: Turns out the video of the Elite men’s main was copyrighted, and YouTube took it down. We have not been able to find another one, but will post it here when we do.

    Carlos Ramirez was listed as third place finisher in the results immediately after the race concluded–the “unofficial” results. When the results were posted as official, however, Nic Long was shown as the third place finish. This was due to an infraction in the second turn (at the :24 mark on the video), where Carlos went off the track, and improved his position to pass Nic.

    After the race, Tory Told News:

    I felt great all week, I had that special feeling as soon as I started riding. Having lane 1 in the main I knew I could win, it was going to be a battle with Connor beside me and the rest of the gate stacked but I believed in myself and went out and rode the best lap I could. When I came out of the first turn first I stayed clean on the track and felt sheer joy over the finish line.

    From a UCI point of view, this was a “C1″ race–on par with last weekend’s USA BMX Stars & Stripes Nationals. But it was also Felicia’s second win of the 2016 Olympic Qualifying cycle (after her Sunday win in Pittsburgh), so that will bode well for the early USA Cycling Power Rankings.

    Folks, it’s just starting to get interesting, so before you stray too far, remember: the 2015 UCI World Championships are in two weeks, in Zolder, Belgium. We’ll be watching the Elite classes closely to see how Team USA, and all the top-hand players from around the world are doing…so keep it right here for the latest!

    —Mike Carruth

    Top Photo: Mike King, via Facebook


    Full Results: 2015 Pan American Games BMX Event

    USA Cycling BMX Collegiate Going to Dixieland

    October 31, 2014 by · Comments Off 

    2015 USA Cycling Collegiate BMX

    A peach of an idea for the 2015 USA Cycling Collegiate Championships: double up the racing, and bring it down to Dixieland. USAC Announced yesterday that the 2015 race will run alongside the USA BMX Dixieland Nationals at Cobb County BMX. The release also said that the Collegiate race will be a “two-day format.”

    While it wasn’t immediately clear what that meant, we are assuming there will be two separate collegiate races, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, and the finishes of both will be figured into a final score, both for individuals and teams. That is just our guess at this point. The release did say that the awards would be handed out after the race on Sunday.

    The Dixieland Nationals are April 25-26 in Powder Springs, GA. The event page (link below) on the USA Cycling website will have more details as the event draws near.

    Collegiate BMX represents a great opportunity for BMXers to continue racing whole pursuing their studies–sometimes under attractive scholarships. We hope to see more action in general in the Collegiate BMX realm in the coming years.


    2015 USA Cycling Collegiate BMX Nationals Website

    Will “Gaiters” Come Back to BMX?

    September 22, 2014 by · Comments Off 

    USA Cycling Arm Warmers, by Cuore

    We spied these little beauties on the USA Cycling section of the Cuore Apparel website. We’ve seen arm warmers before, obviously…most recently at Interbike a couple weeks ago. But, this being Hall Of Fame week and all, we were reminded of the leg “gaiter” trend in the 80s, and got to thinking maybe Read more

    The Most “Brandable” UCI BMX Career Numbers

    September 3, 2014 by · Comments Off 

    2015 UCI BMX Career Numbers  are Open

    In the realm of UCI BMX, the career number (or “permanent number,” in some documentation) is a great way for BMX athletes to create personal brands around their racing number, much in the same way motocross stars and NASCAR drivers do.

    The registration period for 2015 UCI BMX Read more

    Podcast: Felicia Stancil Back Atop the Hill

    July 3, 2013 by · Comments Off 

    BMX Racing News - Felicia Stancil back on the bike

    BMX News reported on April 28 that Felicia Stancil had just cleared a full week in a Manchester (UK) hospital, following a devastating crash at the season opener of the 2013 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup series.

    The list of injuries was too much to list at the time, and Felicia immediately had a champion’s eye on her recovery, and her 2013 goal of defending her twin Junior Elite titles at the World Championships this month.

    Just 72 days following her crash, she flew from Chicago to Chula Vista to spend two weeks training with Team USA, and their incredible coaching staff. She would not return as a “broken wing” player, but rarin’ to go from the first lap out.

    Felicia joined us for a podcast interview today, during one of the “off” days of her training, to talk a little about her injuries, and what she has been doing with her time in the lead-up to her trip back to the training center

    Listen Now

    I know all BMX News readers are stoked to see her back in good health, with her go-for-it spirit untouched by the events of the past few months. We can’t wait to see her rock the house in Auckland.

    Thanks to Jamie Staff and James Herrera for their help in making this interview happen.

    —Mike Carruth

    Top Photo by Shay Glynn


    Felicia Stancil on Facebook

    Restart! You Need to Re-File Your USAC Discretionary Athlete Petition

    May 29, 2013 by · Comments Off 

    You may need to re-file your USAC Discretionary petition

    Just got word from USA Cycling that, due to a technical glitch in the online system, if you filed a Discretionary Nomination Petition PRIOR to 7PM Eastern Time on May 29, your information was not recorded, and you need to re-submit the information.

    Here is the official communique.

    Due to a technology issue, any 2013 BMX Worlds Discretionary Athlete Nomination form submitted prior to 5pm Mountain Time (7PM Eastern) on May 29th will need to be resubmitted. We apologize for the inconvenience.

    This only applies to certain riders, and if you don’t know what this is, you probably don’t need to worry about it.

    Here is the link to re-submit your information:

    USA Cycling BMX – BMX Discretionary Athlete Nomination Form

    USAC BMX Elite Championship: Hi-Amps, Low-Drag

    May 19, 2013 by · Comments Off 

    2013 USA Cycling BMX Champion Nic Long

    If you have been to a big race in Chula Vista before, you know the electricity of race day. We wrote about it more than once, where the “business” of BMX Supercross is about to be transacted on the track, and there is no time for idle chatter.

    This weekend’s USA Cycling BMX Elite National Championships was a break from the gunfighter-serious tone, as 36 riders and a hundred or so spectators turned up to see who would run the striped-sleeve for the next year.

    The striped sleeve is really the only public-facing proof of the title. This is a one-off race that happens once a year. The only place the #1 plate earned here can be run is at this race next year. There is no prize money and no series points (though the race did bestow UCI points, albeit the lowest classification). That said, a title is a title, and for those riders who have title bonuses written into their contracts, the chance of grabbing that bonus, plus another title for the resume was more than enough reason to show up.

    The race was scheduled to begin at 11AM, and podium awards were to end at 1PM, which was almost exactly how it went down. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, with temps in the mid-70s, bright sun and a shallow breeze (which must have felt like a 747 jet blast to some of the less-experienced riders on the Beijing track).

    In all, the gate dropped only 23 times, which is usually about how many photos we get of the Elite classes in the first round alone at most nationals. The pressure was on for the photogs as well as the pedal-pilots. It went SO fast, in fact, that it was tough to keep up with tweets and notes. Here are some of the highlights, and a link to our 81-photo gallery.

    Maliek Byndloss 2013 USA Cycling BMX Jr. Men Champion

    Maliek Byndloss had a mixed-bag weekend in North Carolina, but was out to show what it’s all about in Chula Vista. From this first Jr. Men Lap, it looked like it was going to be his day. Took the motos in 1-1-2 (Whitfield got him third round).

    Justin Posey of Dan's Comp at the 2013 USA Cycling BMX Championships

    Posey made it back from a strong showing in Argentina to come out sizzlin in the first round. An unfortunate semi would keep him out of the main this time.

    Patrick Coo of Factory Hyper 11x  watching the Elites

    After the USAC race, the gate started dropping on the State Qualifier “upstairs” at Chula Vista BMX. The big hill race pulled some spectators over. Patrick Coo, Hyper’s 11x sensation, was suited up and ready for duty, but first some inspiration from the big dogs.

    Connor Fields looked great all day for Chase BMX

    It was hard not to consider Connor Fields the odds-on favorite to retain the title. Coming off a straight-aces weekend in Argentina, and then aces-across for the four laps leading up to the main in Chula Vista. Here’s the third straight of the second round, leading Barry Nobles, David Herman, et. al.

    The Beijing-replica BMX Supercross track at the US Olympic Training Center Chula Vista

    The place that is usually the VIP area was the hang-around spot for most of the riders and their families. The vibe was like a very-intense local race, run with USA BMX precision and professionalism, but pretty much everyone there knew each other.

    Shealen Reno takin her Hyper into turn two at the USA Cycling BMX National Championships

    Junior Women had two riders: Shealen Reno and Shay Glynn. Even though they were combined with the Elites, they would get their own title and podium, based on how they scored in the overall (the junior who was first, among the elites would get the Junior title). Second round action in turn two.

    Tyler Brown - Factory GT and Track Operator of Chula Vista BMX

    Tyler Brown was in civilian clothes, as opposed to his GT Factory kit for the National Championships. Why? As Track Operator of Chula Vista BMX, he was the guy in charge of making sure the state race happening upstairs would go off without a hitch. He made the responsible decision to get the track and all the supporting pieces in place for the big crowd that would be showing up just as he would have otherwise been gating up for first round.

    Nic Long in the Semis at the USA Cycling BMX National Championships

    Elite Men Semi #2: Nic has a comfy lead, with Posey about to boost it in the two-spot. By the stripe, JP’s second place hold on a main event slot would be chipped away, til he ultimately got “nicked” by Nick Koehler in the final feet for the final qual spot.

    Maliek Byndloss leads the Jr. Men Main Event for Ssquared

    Jr. Men Main Event. Byndloss through the middle, and out to an early lead. Whitfield (closest to camera) gave a brief challenge for a podium spot in the first turn, but the outside lines proved better this trip. Podium was Maliek Byndloss (Ssquared), Alden Volle (Dan’s Comp) and Hunter Pelham (Haro/Promax).

    Alise Post and Arielle Martin go 1-2 in USA Cycling BMX Elite Championships

    With only five riders between Elite Women and Junior Women, they combined AND also had to run total points–so we only got to see them three times (as opposed to six for Elite men, who had semis and a main). Alise Post had two wins going into the third round, so it was looking pretty solid for her keeping the red white & blue sleeve. Arielle, the same, with 2-2, for an ultimate 1-1-1 and 2-2-2, respectively. Shealen got the third, overall, but for the Elite podium, Brooke and Dani George tied with 13 points….

    Factory Supercross is stoked for Dani George, earning the third place podium spot.

    …Brooke was initially called onto the podium as third place, but then it was discovered that Dani finished ahead of Brooke third round, giving her the tie-breaker.

    BMX Racing News - Nic Long leading the Elite Men main event at the 2013 USA Cycling BMX National Championship

    Elite Men Main: Down the second straight, Nic opened up a solid margin on Connor and the rest of the pack. It got close at the entrance to the last straight, and Nic held the lead to capture the Stars & Stripes sleeve for the next year.

    Next time we’ll see these guys and gals will be in two weeks in Nashville, where the USA Cycling Amateur National Championships will run alongside the USA BMX Music City Nationals (also a UCI Elite race).

    2013 USA Cycling BMX Elite Championships – Results

    *Links will open in separate window, so feel free to check ‘em out–you won’t lose your place!

    Junior Men – Total Riders = 10

    Junior Women – Total Riders = 2

    Overall Women – Total Riders = 7

    Elite Women – Total Riders = 5

    Elite Men – Total Riders = 19

    *Links added by BMX News to highlight companies who are also BMX News advertisers


    USA Cycling BMX Elite Championships Photo Gallery

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