2017 Lumberjack Nationals - Spokane, WA
HOME OF THE 2017 LUMBERJACK'S: SPOKANE BMX
As you might have read in PULL magazine a few months back, the Spokane BMX track is incredible. Many here this weekend have renamed it "Washington's Best kept Secret." For spectators, this track is a delight, with raised platforms on the backsides of the first and last turn, as well as the 2nd turn, you get a great view of the racing from pretty much anywhere you stand or sit. For the racers, it all starts with a climb to the top of the 5mm starting hill. Once you're up at the gate, you have the perfection drop of a ProGate.
Once you've sped down the hill at yor preferred high rate of speed, you first encounter a good-sized step-table-step-down, with a roller and some big ol' doubles into the first of three asphalt berms. The rest of the track from here full of fun. Nothing too huge, yet pure fun and super smooth throughout the next three straights. Oregon's Adam Treadwell was raving on social media about Spokane's rhythm straight, saying "I couldn't get enough of it." The good-sized tabletop out of turn one was a sweet style-spot for all ages, and the doubles into turn three provided plenty of last-chance lines to make a last-turn move to gain a spot. With plenty of straightaways inbetween each jump, there was plenty of pedaling and not just pumpin' it around.
As we said in the intro - when you have an awesome track, with awesome support from the local Sports Commission, an awesome track crew and mix it together with some awesome racers from five countries and 18 states, the only possible outcome is going to be awesome action and even awesom'er main events! (Yes, you just read that right - I used the word "awesome'er".)
While the turnout was a bit slimmer than everyone had expected (many still recovering from their "Worlds hangover," we suspect), it didn't mean that it was a boat-ride national. "Theres no moto-fill here," explained Extreme Team's Jason Melton. "This race might even be tougher than the larger ones where we have a couple of gates of riders.
With 11 riders locked and loaded in 17-20, this class was one of the burliest of the weekend when it came to 24" action. Idaho spud-boy Michael Boyle got the killer start from lane four and never looked back. By the last turn, Bellflower Bikes' Tyler McGuire reeled him in but just didn't have the umph down the last straight to beat the Daylight factory rider.
17-20 CRUISER - Saturday
- 1 MICHAEL BOYLE, DAYLIGHT CYCLES, BOISE, ID
- 2 TYLER McGUIRE, BELLFLOWER, GARDEN GROVE, CA
- 3 GARY PIERCE, PURE TEAM USA, LAS VEGAS, NV
- 4 GARRETT (THE GUNSHOT) NORTHINGTON, 3B RACING, HAYDEN, ID
- 5 (KYLE UNREIN, BALLISTIC BMX, LYNNWOOD, WA
- 6 MAX AUSTIN, VELOCITY BIKE CO, BOZEMAN, MT
- 7 ALEX ANTIL, FACTORY FREE AGENT-BOX, SAINT MICHAEL, MN
- 8 TERRANCE WILLIAMS, BADAPPLE/SMARTWORLDCLASS, PEPPERELL, MA
Even though some groups were tiny in numbers, it surely didn't mean the racing was any less exciting. Take the 26-30 cruiser crazies for instance. With only three riders, they put on quite a show and elbows were flyin' right out of the gate. Things got even tighter as they cranked down the backside of the step-down, which is where Mark Shaw got a bit loose and went from lane 4 to infield, like a wild gutter ball in bowling. BLAM! He hooked up with Fowler, and then BLAM! - took down the Killer Korndog, Kyler Esmay. It was like a 24" version of dominos, and amazingly, Shaw remained upright and took a detour thru the infield to cruise on in for the overall win.
26-30 CRUISER - Saturday
- 1 MARK SHAW, FACTORY KUWAHARA, BELLEVUE, WA
- 2 ALEX FOWLER, APTOS, CA
- 3 KYLER (KILLER KORNDOG) ESMAY, BIGTOOL/TANGENT, KENT, WA
To watch the excitement - CLICK HERE.
In the ladies cruiser class, one of the cool stories of the Lumberjacks was Yess' Laurie Harding - who rode her Honda Interceptor all the way from BC, with her belt-driven Yess cruiser attached to the back rack. It must've been a cool sight to see her going down the freeway at Ninja-like speed.
"And I get great gas mileage," she tells us.
In a encore display of how she earned that bug-splattered red ROC No.1 plate that is strapped to her cruiser, Laurie dominated all weekend long and collected all of the first place trophy slips she could.
41-45 WOMEN CRUISER - Saturday
- 1 LAURIE HARDING, FACTORY YESS, SURREY, BC
- 2 ERIN TIERNEY, MOUNT CURRIE, BC
- 3 CHERIE BATTLE, LAKE STEVENS, WA
In the 14 girls class, it was like the Canadian -vs- USA War had broken out, with Yess' Ultra-Violet Cejalvo taking on Answer-Rennen's Leyna Jones. These two were going at it in every round like Mayweather and McGregor, and this weekend - Canada came out on top. Jones applied the pressure, but Cejalvo and her multi-time BMX Canada National No.1 Girl plate reigned supreme.
14 GIRLS - Saturday
- 1 VIOLET CEJALVO, FACTORY YESS, SURREY, BC
- 2 LEYNA JONES, ANSWER/RENNEN, OXNARD, CA
- 3 GRACE PADILLA, BAY AREA BMXERS, BUELLTON, CA
- 4 SIERRA ALTENDORF, FACTORY KUWAHARA, EVERETT, WA
- 5 ALEXIS LEIJA, JET RACING, FERNLEY, NV
- 6 LANEY (HURRICANE) COOPER, FACTORY ALPHA, SPARKS, NV
- 7 VALENTINA VELASQUEZ, W ELITE, UNKNOWN
- 8 KENNEDY DAWSON, GHY BIKE, SEATTLE, WA
But if you called it a war, it was a short-lived one, as these two arch rivals on the track are actually good friends. 'We're besties," Leyna told us as they were seen hangin' out in the pits between motos. A sure sign of what makes BMX so awesome - you definitely won't be catching Floyd and Connor chillin' after the fight this coming Saturday night.
In another International bash, we saw some foreign conflict take place in 17-18x, as well. It was Australia's Kye Affoo (Yess) -vs- USA Jr. Devo ace Kamren Larsen. While it was explosive, it was nothing by North Korean standards. As we'd expected, Larsen and and Affoo were right up front as they neared the first turn, and Kamren had the inside edge to get away from the pack.
17-18 EXPERT - Saturday
- 1 KAMREN LARSEN, US JUNIOR DEVO, BAKERSFIELD, CA
- 2 KYE AFFOO, FACTORY YESS, WARNER, QLD
- 3 TYLER (T-MAC) MCGUIRE, BELLFLOWER, GARDEN GROVE, CA
- 4 KEVIN(OVERDRIVE)PAULS, FORMULA BMX, SIMI VALLEY, CA
- 5 TERRANCE WILLIAMS, BADAPPLE/SMARTWORLDCLASS, PEPPERELL, MA
- 6 GARY PIERCE, PURE TEAM USA, LAS VEGAS, NV
- 7 ALEX ANTIL, FACTORY FREE AGENT-BOX, SAINT MICHAEL, MN
- 8 ANDREW ROBINSON, BLUFFDALE, UT
Being that we were in the heart of the Northwest, there was plenty of Kuwahara, Yess, Ballistic and Doublecross riders in attendance - as well as the many NW shop teams, such as the aptly-named Spokane Misfits and ever-present Diablos.
In 10x, Doublecross' Sean Day was stylin' it up every chance he had and was looking super impressive. Day's toughest comp was obviously going to come from Daylight's Oliver Jackson; aka "Alberta's Secret Weapon." From lane two, Day fired off the retro-rockets down teh first straight so much that he veered right for a bit, before heading into the lefty first turn. But then, it was clear sailing as he scored the 10x win.
10 EXPERT - Saturday
- 1 SEAN DAY, DOUBLECROSS, TACOMA, WA
- 2 OLIVER JACKSON, DAYLIGHT CYCLES, CALGARY, AB
- 3 LUKE SOWPAL, DIABLOS RACING, MERRITT, BC
- 4 SAGE BADER, UPRIGHT/MWS, CRESWELL, OR
- 5 CARSON ALLEN, THRODWN, OTIS ORCHARDS, WA
- 6 GABRIEL TRERISE, BLACK BOX/RIFT/FLY, SHERWOOD, OR
- 7 TARIN FIELDS, NEWMAN LAKE, WA
- 8 JASPER ALTENDORF, KUWAHARA, EVERETT, WA
In 19-27, the comp might've been thin but it was as hefty as any Grands semi. Powerlite-DFR's Brian Ensey was flyin' thoughout practice and on into the motos, and kept things rolling his way come main-time. Up against the likes of J&R's Makieva Hopson and Factory GT's Dougie Butcher, Ensey had to be on point and ride a flawless lap to hold onto the 1-spot.
- 1 BRIAN ENSEY, POWERLITE - CA
- 2 MAKIEVA HOPSON, JR BICYCLES.COM - NV
- 3 DOUGIE BUTCHER, GT - AZ
- 4 ETHAN ALVEY, KUWAHARA - UT
- 5 MICHAEL BOYLE, DAYLIGHT CYCLES - ID
- 6 MONROE HUTTON, DOUBLECROSS - BC
- 7 KYLE UNREIN, BALLISTIC BMX - WA
- 8 TRAVIS BATTE, LAKE STEVENS - WA
Sunday was a different story, tho - as GT's Dougie Butcher nailed his start and went full-throttle to nab the win. He was riding that GT Pro Series like he'd stole it, and snagged an impressive victory against the big boys.
GOTTA LOVE SPOKANE
In the end, everybody was blown away by Spokane's facility and hospitality. "Free pizza! Free parking!" was the pleasant exclamations of many as they were summing up the weekend. it was obvious to all that Spokane was stoked to have us all there in their town and that they want us all to come back again in the future. As the hundreds of people were packing up earlier than usual, and heading toward home, everyone was likely thinking the same thing - "Spokane BMX is one of Washington's best-kept secrets!"
Well ....maybe not anymore. Word is OUT.