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

USA Cycling Creates All-Discipline “National Team”

December 15, 2017 by · Comments Off 

USA Cycling National Team
It was like Hall of the Justice League at the US Olympic Training center in Colorado Springs, CO earlier this week, as 23 of the newly-named 51-member USA Cycling “National Team” came togdether for a day of briefings and meet & greet.

Top stars in seven disciplines were represented (BMX Freestyle, BMX Supercross, Mountain Bike, Cyclocross, Road, Track Endurance and Track Sprint).

This was the first time we got a glimpse of the Freestyle team as one unit, and got to hear their take on how conforming to the fairly-ridgid USAC/UCI/Olympic format squares-up with their decidedly anti-conformity sport.

“Whoever doesn’t want to ride the Olympics doesn’t need to, and whoever does…this is a great opportunity.”

That was how Freestyle site, Vital BMX, opened a video highlighting the team, with an on-camera quote by Pat Casey, one of the eight-member Freestyle squad.

The USA Cycling National Team was selected, not based on “teacher’s pet” rules, but based on certain results-specific criteria (see table below).

In BMX Racing, there are three levels (not surprisingly: Gold, Silver and Bronze) of support for which an athlete may qualify.

The USA Cycling National Team Members, and the results that qualified them to the program, are:

Connor Fields – Top 3 World Cup Overall
Alise Post – 1st at the World Championships
Corben Sharrah – 1st at the World Championships

Sean Gaian – 15th World Championships
Dani George – 11th at World Championship
Mika Shaw – 16th at World Championship

Don’t let the “Gold/Silver/Bronze” levels confuse you, as it did us at first. Unlike the medal stand, where there is but-one Gold medalist, multiple people can qualify into the Gold level, and some levels (like silver in BMX) may not have anyone qualified.

Gold-Level qualifiers receive $25,000 in annual support from USA Cycling, and all-kinds of support services to keep their eyes on the prize between now and Tokyo. See the graphic below for the full table of bennies.

Bronze qualifiers are in a rarified environment, to be sure, but there is no financial support, per se.

News Caught up with Connor Fields, who qualified at the Gold Level for his top three finish in the 2017 World Cup standings. here’s what he told us about being named to the National Team:

I am super excited to have been a part of the official USA Cycling National Team launch this week in Colorado Springs.

I have been involved with USA Cycling for nearly 10 years now and this is the best program I have seen from them in that time.

It is easy to understand the different levels of support involved now. It is crystal clear how to earn them and what they include.

It was also great to meet and interact with members of the team from all different disciplines of cycling. We have access to so many recourses through USAC and USOC and to learn about more of them this week was great.

For me personally, I was most excited about the opportunity to learn more about all of the ways we can try to become better BMX racers with the resources available to us.

With the help of USA Cycling, I attained the following results:
2016 Olympic Champion
2017 USA BMX #1 pro
2013 UCI BMX World Cup overall Champion
2011 Pan American Games Gold Medalist
2012, 2013 UCI BMX World Champion – Time Trial
2012, 2014, 2016 USA Cycling National Champion

Thanks to Connor for taking the time to give us a first-person account of the experience.

We should add that membership on this “National Team” does not interfere with the athletes’ participation on their respective factory teams (“trade teams,” in USAC parlance). It also does not guarantee inclusion on the world championship team or world cup race delegations, all of which have their own qualification criteria.

We will have more on the USA Cycling National Team program, and how the athletes are making use of the services provided, in a future report.

—Mike Carruth


USAC National Team Qualification Criteria and Benefits

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USAC Crowns 2017 Elite Champs

April 1, 2017 by · Comments Off 

2017 USA Cycling BMX Jr/Elite Champions
The annual USA Cycling BMX Elite Nationals Championships were held Friday, alongside the second of four Team USA World Championship qualifiers, and the Carolina Nationals pre-race.

Like most of these USA-only events, the Elite portion of the program was not packed with rack after rack of household name stars. Instead, one rack of Women, two racks of men, and one rack of Junior Men (which is an improvement, since we did not have any Junior classes at all last year, partially owing to the USA BMX rule at the time that said if you race Junior Elite, you are immediately turned up to A-Pro. This year, the rule was relaxed, and we had a gate of Junior Men.

Junior Men, by the way, was the race of the day, as Bryce Batten and Kamren Larsen battled the last half of the track. Bryce led it to turn two, but Kam came in and put the swoop down, taking the lead into the third straight.

BB jumped into the last turn, which gave him some nose room into the last turn, and he took every-bit of it to come up roses, and on to the stripe for his first title win in a championship class. We’ll be waiting for the next one in about 110 days or so, right back here in Rock Hill.

There was no Junior Womens class, so the only Junior Woman—Sophia Foresta—was combined with the Elites, however received her own podium award and “stars & bars” jersey.

In the Elite classes, Reigning Champ, Connor Fields was coming off an ankle injury sufferend in Oldsmar, and said, in a post-race interview, that he only recently started walking on the injured ankle again, and the trip to Rock Hill to defend his title was one of last minute decision, based on how he felt at the time.

Corben Sharrah—who had held the USAC title before, had gate two, next to Connor, and got out to a nice lead early on, and held it all the way home. Jared the Jet Garcia was riding strong all day, and had a slammin lap in the main, with second place.

In the Elite Women, Alise was sitting on six USAC wins—every year since they started running it off the SX hill in, maybe 2011, (check us on that). Her seventh running down the SX hill would work out the same as the previous six, with a win taken wire to wire.

Felicia Stancil is edging her way back to the front of the pack, after an injury/illness took her out for substantially all of last season. Felicia ended up second at the USAC Nationals, and Dani George was third.

Here are the podium finishes, via USA Cycling’s website.

Junior Women
1. Sophia Foresta – GT Bicycles

Junior Men
1. Bryce Batten – Factory Throdwn
2. Kamren Larsen – USA Cycling Devo
3. Brady Kincheloe – Powers Bike Shop

Elite Women
1. Alise Post – Troy Lee/Klean Athlete/Promax/GW
2. Felicia Stancil – GT Bicycles
3. Dani George – Dale Holmes Racing

Elite Men
1. Corben Sharrah – Daylight Cycles
2. Jared Garcia – Box Components
3. Connor Fields – Chase BMX

Top photo by Traci Batten. Thanks Traci!

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2017 USA Cycling BMX Jr/Elite Champions

Adrian Sanders on Dual Slalom Racing

July 29, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Jill Kintner and Adrian Sanders Mammoth2016
Since Collegiate BMX started back in 2012 and BMXers started heading off to colleges with multidiscipline cycling programs, we have been keeping an eye on Dual Slalom. It’s probably the closest thing to BMX that the Mountain Bike world has to offer, now that 4-cross has gone all-but extinct.

We have been seeing BMX friends like Chris Cline and Brian Wick from Ohio doing more DS racing and, back in 2014, News reported on the well-attended weeknight Slalom races in Mount Brighton, Michigan, which had a ton of BMX names on the startlist.

NewsTeam member Adrian Sanders headed out to the USA Cycling Dual Slalom National Championships at Mammoth Mountain, CA earlier this month, and took home the silver medal in the Women’s Pro Class, to Jill Kintner (also a pretty talented BMXer, in case you forgot).

Adrian tells us the story of how she got into DS, and about the race in Mammoth.

By Adrian Sanders

I got into racing Dual Slalom my freshman year at Lindsey Wilson, where I originally got a scholarship to race BMX, but a cool part about cycling is all the different disciplines it offers. Our coach’s gave us the opportunity to hop on any kind of bike we wanted and in my freshman year I tried 4 new types of racing, track, dual slalom, downhill and cross country. But it was the gravity events that really caught my attention. Being from Kansas I had never ridden my bike down a mountain before so it was new to me and I instantly fell in love. Last fall, my sophomore year, I raced my way to second place at collegiate nationals in slalom, it was that race that really gave me the confidence to turn pro. I went to Sea Otter in March with no expectations as it was my first pro slalom race and I ended up leaving disappointed that I didn’t make the podium, so I made it my goal to go nationals in Mammoth and stand on the podium at the end of the weekend.

Ryck and Adrian Sanders

Adrian Sanders with her dad, Ryck at the 2016 USA Cycling Mountain Bike Championships.

In Mammoth we had practice early Thursday morning, then qualifying a few hours later. The start to my race weekend was a little rough, with a few crashes here and there in practice, but nothing major. When qualifying rolled around I had the track down a little better. I was able to qualify 3rd, I was pretty happy with that. Friday was race day, we got to warm up a little before racing and then the show began. My first race was against Joanna Petterson who qualified 3 seconds faster than me, so I knew I had to push it a little bit harder in order to move on. I was able to put down two solid runs and get ahead of Joanna on both courses. That sent me into the final, against Jill Kintner who qualified first.

Going into the final runs I just kept telling myself to have fun and do what you can. I knew I needed a mistake on Kintner’s side to be able to pull anything off, but at that point I was just stoked to be able to get into the gate next to someone like her and make my first pro final. Kintner was able to walk away with the National title, but I was happy to accomplish my goal and walk away with a silver medal.

One thing that I love about the Slalom races is the atmosphere; it’s almost indescribable. It’s so chill, yet so serious at the same time. In your mind you there to do one thing, win, but in the end it’s just a bunch of racers hanging out doing what they love and having a good time. I haven’t been to a race where everyone isn’t smiling all day long.

To any BMXers out there who have thought about trying dual slalom I would highly recommend it. It’s something new to try yet you can use a lot of your BMX skills on the slalom course all while learning new ones for the BMX track. Just go out there and have fun with it!

When it comes to a slalom bike its kind of like a BMX bike, you can start out on a complete bike that wont cost an arm and a leg and as you progress as a rider you can start to build up a bike to fit your riding style. I started out on a KHS complete dirt jumper that my school provided for me and then with the help of Ryan Birk and Blake Sawyer I was able to build up an Ssquared rig that I race on now.

Slalom racing starts out with qualifying. You make a run on both the left and right course and then your times get combined. You’re then ranked against all the other riders’ times and placed into a bracket, fastest against slowest. You then race your way through the bracket until there are 2 riders left, who will then compete in the final. In order to move on in the bracket you have you beat the other rider by time. A split time is started once the first racer crosses the finish line and the second rider to cross stops the clock, after two runs the faster racer moves on.

Slalom racing is both similar yet different from a BMX race. In both types of racing you have to qualify your way into a main event. In slalom there are berms and jumps, but you have 2 identical tracks that are side by side, during racing you have to stay on your side of the track or your DQ’d. Just like in BMX you start in a gate and race the other rider to the finish line.

A big BMX News thanks to Andrea Cleghorn at Cleghorn Photography for use of the top photo of Jill Kintner and Adrian. See below for a link to their photo gallery from Mammoth.


2016 USA Cycling MTB Championships – Results

Cleghorn Photography MTB Nationals Photo Gallery

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2016 USAC Collegiate BMX Announced

November 18, 2015 by · Comments Off 

2016 USA Cycling Collegiate BMX Championships Announced

Collegiate BMX Racing is arguably the most promising facet for the life-advancement of our riders. Unlike the pursuit of an Olympic dream–where only five riders (max) make the team, every four years, Collegiate Cycling offers much broader opportunity. If your riding is strong, and those other “three-Rs” are also on-point, you have a shot at a college scholarship, where you can continue your racing career and get cash for class.

Since the USA Cycling Collegiate BMX program started in 2012, the program has been gaining interest and momentum among schools and racers alike. Household names like Justin Posey, Felicia Stancil, Tyler Whitfield and Shay Glynn (Above) have done well, linking-up their studies with their shredding on the track.

For 2016, the USA Cycling Collegiate BMX Championship will be run in conjunction with the USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals in Louisville in early February. This really is a perfect venue for the event; at the perfect time of year. To put the full-spread of opportunity out there for BMXers and their families, there will also be a recruitment fair on the Friday (Feb 5) to present the variety of schools who have BMX within their cycling programs. There are 275 schools nationwide who have Collegiate Cycling programs, so there is no barrier to you getting a BMX program started at your favorite school if there is not one already underway.

Here is today’s full release by USA Cycling:

The 2016 USA Cycling Collegiate BMX National Championships will be held at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky., Feb. 5-7. The event will include a collegiate recruitment fair on Friday with collegiate racing on Saturday and Sunday.

“Louisville is going to be a wonderful spot for the USA Cycling Collegiate BMX National Championships this winter,” said Micah Rice, USA Cycling Vice President of National Events. “Louisville is a great cycling town that has a wonderful history with USA Cycling, and having the championships at an indoor venue will certainly provide an exciting atmosphere for fans.”

The first collegiate BMX championship held in an indoor venue, the 2016 championships will be contested on the indoor track at Freedom Hall both Saturday and Sunday. Racers will combine their scores from each day and a champion will be crowned.

Marian University (Indianapolis, Ind.) is the defending team champion, and Olympic hopefuls Felicia Stancil (Lake Villa, Ill.) and Justin Posey (Winston-Salem, N.C.), both of Marian University, are the reigning individual female and male champions.

USA BMX last year awarded $75,000 in college scholarships to its college-bound members and is a strong supporter of collegiate cycling.

“We are pleased to once again have the USA Cycling BMX National Championships included in our national series,” said BA Anderson, CEO.

There are currently 275 colleges and universities around the United States that have recognized collegiate cycling programs. There are five cycling disciplines that make up the collegiate sport of cycling, including road, track, mountain bike, cyclo-cross and BMX. Collegiate racing began in 1987 and the first collegiate BMX championships were held in 2012. Louisville will be the fourth host city. Previous championships have been held in Chula Vista, Calif., Phoenix, Ariz., DeSoto, Texas, and Atlanta, Ga.

Follow @collegiatebmx on Twitter for updates to the 2016 program.


USA Cycling Collegiate Page

Photos: 2014 USA Cycling Collegiate Championships

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2016 Olympic Qual Starts Now. Here’s How.

July 1, 2015 by · Comments Off 

USA Olympic Qualification Guidelines

July 1 started an 11-and-a-half-month march for Team USA’s Olympic hopefuls to earn their spots on the 2016 US Olympic BMX Team. The guidelines were certified by USA Cycling back on April 20, and filed with the appropriate international governing bodies soon after.

If all goes to plan in the UCI “Nations” rankings, the United States will have earned three slots for Elite Men and two spots for Elite Women to compete in Rio, as we had in 2012.

The qualification guidelines set forth the framework by which those athletes will be chosen, with the final nominations being submitted on June 24, 2016, leaving 54 days for the riders to wrap their head around the fact that their Olympic dream (or repeat thereof) has been realized, and get in some final training before the BMX events kick off at the Deodoro Cluster in Rio de Janeiro, on August 17.

For this Olympic go-round, athletes age 18 and older within the Olympic year will be eligible to qualify. In previous Olympic cycles, the minimum age was 19.

Elite Women

Elite Women will qualify under the following guidelines (specific language simplified by BMX News).

* Any US-eligible athletes placing top three at the 2016 UCI BMX World Championships in Medellín, Colombia will be nominated to the team.

* The top-ranked rider in the USA Cycling “Power Rankings” will be nominated to the team.

* Any US-eligible athletes winning a UCI BMX World Cup between January 1, 2016 and May 26, 2016 will be nominated to the team.

* If positions remain after the preceding criteria, the remaining spot will be decided by the USA Cycling Selection Committee.

Elite Men

Elite Men is a bit more complicated, with a “Long Team” (maximum size: 12), from which all candidates will be chosen, then a “final team” qualification process to get the team down to the final members. Elite Men will qualify to the long team under the following guidelines (specific language simplified by BMX News).

* Any US-eligible athletes placing in the top eight at the 2016 UCI BMX World Championships in Medellín, Colombia will be nominated to the “long team.”

* Any US-eligible athlete who earns a podium at a UCI BMX World Cup between January 1, 2016 and May 25, 2016 may be nominated to the long team.

* The winner of the USA BMX “Last Chance Qualifier” on June 11, 2016 will be nominated to the long team.

* All US-eligible athletes in the top-5 of the USA Cycling BMX Power Rankings as of May 30, 2016 may be nominated to the long team. If more athletes qualify than positions available, the highest-ranking athlete will be nominated first, followed by the next-highest, and so on.

* If positions remain after the preceding criteria, athletes may be nominated by the USA Cycling Selection Committee to round-out the final long team spots.

* In the event of injury, illness, or unforeseen incident, the USA Cycling Selection Committee may nominate additional replacement riders so as to have a full gate of eight at the US Olympic BMX Trials in Chula Vista, CA on June 12, 2016.

Final Team Criteria for Elite Men

* Any US-eligible athletes placing in the top-three at 2016 UCI BMX World Championships in Medellín, Colombia will be nominated to the 2016 Olympic Games Team.

* The top-ranked athlete in the USA Cycling BMX Power Rankings, as of June 3, 2016 will be nominated to the 2016 Olympic Games Team.

* If additional spots remain, the remaining members of the USA Cycling BMX Long Team will be invited to participate in the US Olympic Trials in Chula Vista, CA on June 12, 2016. The winner of the Olympic Trials will be nominated to the 2016 Olympic Games Team. Athletes already-nominated to the team using previous criteria will not participate in the Olympic Trials.

* If positions remain after the preceding criteria, the remaining spot(s) will be decided by the USA Cycling Selection Committee.

Editor’s Note: The “Selection Committee” is made up of eight members, who have extraordinary backgrounds in cycling, with Eric Rupe as the BMX delegate. As we understand the process, all members of the committee evaluate a given rider’s accomplishments and “medal capability” for the Games, then vote to arrive at a consensus candidate.

So, there you have it. All you need to do is podium in Elite at the Worlds next year, and your Olympic Dream will be realized. For those who don’t, there is still a fair-and-open path to making it happen.

And for the rest of us, it’s going to be an exciting year of picking your favorite riders in Elite Men and Elite Women, and cheering them on. We’re already looking at flights and hotels for the June 11-12 throwdown in Chula Vista (just in case our guys don’t sweep the Worlds podium in Medellín).

—Mike Carruth


USA Cycling BMX Power Rankings

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USA Announces Pan-Am Games Team

June 2, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Team USA for the 2015 Pan Am Games

The Pan American Games is a once-every-four-years event, just like the Olympics, which brings-together athletes from 41 nations in the Americas. The last Pan Am Games were in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2011. Connor Fields won Elite Men for the USA, and Mariana Pajon won Elite Women for Colombia. Read more

Here’s How to Qualify For the 2015 Worlds

February 27, 2015 by · Comments Off 

2015 UCI BMX Worlds in Zolder, Belgium

After a period of uncertainty as to how amateur/Challenge Class riders from the United States would qualify for the 2015 UCI BMX World Championships, USA Cycling and USA BMX announced the qualification format for this year.

The qualification process has been refined Read more

Podcast: James Herrera Moving on From USAC

December 11, 2014 by · Comments Off 

James Herrera moving on from USA Cycling
James Herrera has been the head BMX coach at USA Cycling since March of 2011. This week, he announced he would be moving on from that position–short of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio–to accept a position as the National Director Read more

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

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