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2018 Spring Nationals race report

Filed under General on March 17, 2018 | Comment(s)

Under the tall covered roof of Duke City BMX is New Mexico's thrill-ride of a BMX track, with cool elevation changes (at elevation) and a variety of obstacles that are fun for novices and experts alike. Located just up the street from the Isotopes stadium (ABQ's Minor League Baseball team), near the UNM campus, this year's Spring Nationals was an excellent Southwestern experience for all attendees. 

Better yet - PRO racing returned to Duke City for 2018 - the first time in nearly a decade. Round 3 of the 2018 Pro series, with 32 of the World's fastest men and women Elite athletes puttin' on a show for their fans while gaining points for the National No.1 Pro Championship. 

Coming into this weekend, Joris Daudet was on top of the points after the first two weekends (Phoenix and Oldsmar), with a win at each. Corben Sharrah and Connor Fields each had a win, but only one of them was in ABQ. (Connor, still recouping from his Oldsmar injury, decided to sit out this weekend.)

With half of the main full of U.S. Pros, things were looking bright of the red, white and blue. Filling out the other four lanes were Australia (Cairns), New Zealand (Jones), Canada (Nyhaug) and France (Joris). But once the gate Duke City gate slammed down, it was all International riders straight to the front - with Joris snagging the Answer Holeshot award and holding a good lead over Aussie Max Cairns and his Kiwi rival Trent Jones (for Box~Thrill). The reigning World Champ, Corben Sharrah, tried his best to break into the top-3 but couldn't make anything happen over the tight Pro section. On this track, it's all about the holeshot and clearing the Pro section smoothly. For Friday - that was all Joris the Win-a-saurus. 

MEN ELITE - FRIDAY

  • JORIS DAUDET, CHASE BMX/ELEVN RACING, CORONA, CA
  • MAX CAIRNS, HENDERSON, NV
  • TRENT JONES, CHRISTCHURCH
  • CORBEN SHARRAH, DAYLIGHT CYCLES, TUCSON, AZ
  • TANNER SEBESTA, KYLE, TX
  • TORY NYHAUG, COQUITLAM, BC
  • JUSTIN POSEY, CHANDLER, AZ
  • TYLER WHITFIELD, THRODWN, ROCKFORD, IL

From the looks of things - and at least one win a weekend, we'd say it's safe to assume that Chase's flyin' Frenchman wants his No.1 Pro title back. 

In the ladies Pro class, Mrs.Willoughby continued her winning ways and was constantly, seemingly effortlessly, out front. Haro's Brooke Crain was looking strong though, as she dominated her qualifying motos in her unmistakable pink FLY Racing gear. Come main-time, it was Alise, Brooke for the two and J&R's Mika Shaw holding down third. 

WOMEN ELITE - FRIDAY

  • ALISE WILLOUGHBY, FULL TILT, CHULA VISTA, CA
  • BROOKE CRAIN, VISALIA, CA
  • MIKA SHAW, JR BICYCLES.COM/CHASE/BOX, CASTLE ROCK, CO
  • RACHEL JONES, CAMERON PARK, NSW
  • ZOE FLEMING, FACTORY WIAWIS/LSG, AUCKLAND
  • ALAINA HENDERSON, FACTORY WIAWIS/LSG, RUBY, NY
  • DENA DAWSON, BRADENTON, FL
  • DANI GEORGE, THRODWN, PALMDALE, CA

SATURDAY at the SPRINGS

Saturday started off with a cool breeze, warm sunshine and the traditional sounds of an authentic Albuquerque Mariachi band walking around the track, playing to the crowd. The new mayor of Albuquerque even made an appearance and rode around the track in the parade lap, before welcoming the crowd to this awesome city. "This is what it's all about," said Mayor Tim Keller. "Family and fun." After a great rendition of the national anthem, with the Vietnam MIA color guard, we were ready to go racing! 

 

The Duke City BMX track, with its tall turns and dog-legged second straight, was fun and challenging for all ages and skill levels. The Pro-set was optional, and quite a few fast Ams were heading straight out of the first turn and launching the big jumps. If you were mid-pack and had the gusto, and cleared it cleanly, you could make up quite a few positions by going BIG. 

The mains kicked off with excitement in the air - and the Duke City locals were thrilled to see their hero and mentor in the A-pro final. SE Racing's Tomas Fernandez - the "Rental Car King," had jst made the cut and when it came to his turn to pick a lane, only 7 or 8 were available. Tomas chose 8. Filling the other seven lanes were Speedco's Wlaker Finch, Supercross' Oldsmar winner KJ Romero, FA's Jordan Miranda, Gordy's Layne Gainer, DK's "old guy" Tyler Brown, Rift's Marquise Montgomery and the day-before's winner - Aussie Izaac Kennedy. With such a deep pool of riders, it was really anybody's race. 

When the gate slammed down, it was TB#316 with a picture-perfect snap, with KJ Romero and Kennedy snappin' hard to the inside. You could tell Romero was doing his best to hold off Kennedy as they entered the first turn 3-abreast. Hometown hero Tomas was on the far outside, setting everybody up with his local-know-how, hoping to maybe sneak into the middle of the pack.
But suddenly, BLAMO! Romero slid out toward the top of the berm, sliding right into Brown,and taking Kennedy with him. Most of the rest of the pack had nowhere to go but straight into the first-turn carnage. 

Fernandez suddenly saw the light. An open door called opportunity. 

Amazingly, Walker Finsh was able to weave thru the wreckage and escape unscathed, and miracously found himself out front to nab the extra bucks from the Answer Holeshot Award. Farnandez and Miranda were the only other two to do the same, and suddenly it was a 3-man race. "The podium has already been set!" exclaimed announcer Erick Grindle.   ...or had it?! 

Tomas. using his years and years of experience, being a Duke City local and building much of this track with his own bare hands, used his knowledge to pull up alongside Walker. Heading into turn the last corner, the SE rider aboard his PK Ripper, ripped into the lead on the outside, and Walker tried holding his speed thru the corner - until his tires couldn't hold any traction.

WHAMO! Down goes Walker. Then goes Miranda, into the carnage! And suddenly, KJ Romero, who had quicly scambled back on his bike and was building up steam, and suddenly saw some light at the end of the tunnell. 

Jordan Miranda grabbed his Free Agent and decided to cyclocross-it to the finishline, running like Forest Gump. Meanwhile Walker hopped back on his steed  bu had zero momentum, as KJ Romero was flyin' into the last turn. Right as Bakersfield's Jordan was about to hoof it across the stripe, Walker got by for the 2nd place and Romero had just enough speed to nip Mirando for the third spot. The guy who started off this whole fiasco of a main had receovered quick enough to still grab THIRD! KJ just never ceases to amaze us!   

A PRO - SATURDAY

  • TOMAS FERNANDEZ, SE RACING, ALBUQUERQUE, NM
  • WALKER FINCH, SPEEDCO, AVIAN, SEVENMX, FT COLLINS, CO
  • K J ROMERO, SUPERCROSSBMX.COM, ROCK HILL, SC
  • JORDAN MIRANDA, FACTORY FREE AGENT BOX, BAKERSFIELD, CA
  • LAYNE GAINER, GORDY'S BICYCLES, MESA, AZ
  • IZAAC KENNEDY, CHASE/LUX, BRISBANE, QLD
  • TYLER BROWN, 316 RACING, CHULA VISTA, CA
  • MARQUISE MONTGOMERY, RIFT/TANGENT, GILBERT, AZ

 By far, the best race of the entire weekend - and, safe to say, the best race so far this year! 

In the second day of Elite, it was xereox copy of Friday - only this time Tucson's Corben Sharrah made it on the box and the Daylight ripper looked to be the only one close to catchin' Chase's Daudet. For those keeping count, Joris now has four wins for the new year, and has won at least once (make it twice, here) at each Pro Series stiop in 2018. Box's Trent Jones rounded out the BOX-sponsored box.

MEN ELITE - SATURDAY

  • JORIS DAUDET, CHASE BMX/ELEVN RACING, CORONA, CA
  • CORBEN SHARRAH, DAYLIGHT CYCLES, TUCSON, AZ
  • TRENT JONES, CHRISTCHURCH
  • TANNER SEBESTA, KYLE, TX
  • NIC LONG, HARO, LAKESIDE, CA
  • KENNETH GUSTAFSON, PARKER, CO
  • JUSTIN POSEY, CHANDLER, AZ
  • JAMES PALMER, N VANCOUVER, BC

Same went for the Women, as Alise continued her win-it-all streak as a Willoughby. We'll have to dig through the record books to see if she (or any other Woman Pro) has ever won every single Pro race in a single year. So far, it looks like she could very well do that in 2018. Brooke Crain,  always a bridesmaid. 

WOMEN ELITE - SATURDAY

  • ALISE WILLOUGHBY, PROMAX/GW/FULL TILT, CHULA VISTA, CA
  • BROOKE CRAIN, VISALIA, CA
  • ZOE FLEMING, FACTORY WIAWIS/LSG, AUCKLAND
  • RACHEL MYDOCK, PHOENIX, AZ
  • MIKA SHAW, JR BICYCLES.COM/CHASE/BOX, CASTLE ROCK, CO
  • RACHEL JONES, CAMERON PARK, NSW
  • ALAINA HENDERSON, FACTORY WIAWIS/LSG, RUBY, NY
  • DANI GEORGE, THRODWN, PALMDALE, CA

 Amateur-wise, the action was just as good as the Pros - some might even dare say, better! One of the better battles of the weekend began in the 8 year old ranks, as it was Powerlite's World No.1 Carter Cochran -vs- J&R's junior-jammer Hayden Passanissi. These two were going at it like Pistol Pete and Crazy ROnnie used to, back in the late-80's. Neither kid was backin' off and both were givin' it all they've got, to score that win. On Saturday, it was all Passanisi, and Carter kept right on his tail.    

8 CRUISER - SATURDAY

  • HAYDEN PASSANISI, JR BICYCLES.COM/CHASE/BOX, ALPINE, CA
  • CARTER COCHRAN, POWERLITE DANS COMP DFR, COLORADO SPRINGS, CO
  • COLTON KIDD, EXTREME TEAM, TUCSON, AZ
  • DYLAN (THE VILLIAN) PATTERSON, DAYLIGHT CYCLES, TUCSON, AZ
  • GABRIEL KREMPEL, DB BIKE SUPPLY, BRIGHTON, CO
  • DAMIEN COMEAU, SNOQUALMIE, WA
  • COLLIN BLATCHLEY, FUTURE CONCEPTS RACING, NIWOT, CO
  • REECE GUSTAFSON, FACTORY LDC, CHANDLER, AZ

8 EXPERT

  • HAYDEN PASSANISI, JR BICYCLES.COM/CHASE/BOX, ALPINE, CA
  • CARTER COCHRAN, POWERLITE DANS COMP DFR, COLORADO SPRINGS, CO
  • RYDER SCRANTON, EASTVALE, CA
  • COLTON KIDD, EXTREME TEAM, TUCSON, AZ
  • DYLAN (THE VILLIAN) PATTERSON, DAYLIGHT CYCLES, TUCSON, AZ
  • TRYKK MASON BARTEL, TEAM D3, TUCSON, AZ
  • REECE GUSTAFSON, FACTORY LDC, CHANDLER, AZ
  • LUKAS SMITH, FUTURE CONCEPTS RACING, FORT COLLINS, CO

Take into account 7-8 X-Open, and Hayden took yet another "triple" for Day one of the #Springnats. 

But come Sunday, with Cochran being in his final race as an 8-year-old, and the pressre was on even more. Not just that, but all Ams on Sunday had a new obstacle to deal with - as in 50 to 60 mph winds ripping right thru the center of Duke City BMX. The turbulance was just starting to pick up arond cruiser-time, and by the Expert mains, gusts were trying to reaach Tornado-like standards.

Despite the insane head-win down the first and third striaght aways, racers had a great tailwind down the second straight and to the finishline. Goggles were a must, and grit was required (and in your teeth by the end of the race). Cochran had the gusto on this day and held off Hayden to score his last two wins as an 8 year old. 

8 CRUISER - SUNDAY

  • CARTER COCHRAN, POWERLITE DANS COMP DFR, COLORADO SPRINGS, CO
  • DYLAN PATTERSON, DAYLIGHT CYCLES, TUCSON, AZ
  • REECE GUSTAFSON, FACTORY LDC, CHANDLER, AZ
  • GABRIEL KREMPEL, DB BIKE SUPPLY, BRIGHTON, CO
  • STATLIN SIMINGTON, SPNCTY/SSQUARED ANSWER, LAS VEGAS, NV
  • KARTER MCCAIN, BICYCLE OUTFITTERS, CLIFTON, CO
  • COLTON KIDD, EXTREME TEAM, TUCSON, AZ
  • HAYDEN PASSANISI, J&R BICYCLES.COM/CHASE/BOX, ALPINE, CA

8 EXPERT - SUNDAY

  • CARTER COCHRAN, POWERLITE DANS COMP DFR, COLORADO SPRINGS, CO
  • HAYDEN PASSANISI, J&R BICYCLES.COM/CHASE/BOX, ALPINE, CA
  • RYDER SCRANTON, EASTVALE, CA
  • REECE GUSTAFSON, FACTORY LDC, CHANDLER, AZ
  • DYLAN (THE VILLIAN) PATTERSON, DAYLIGHT CYCLES, TUCSON, AZ
  • COLTON KIDD, EXTREME TEAM, TUCSON, AZ
  • KASON VITITOW, INDEPENDENT-ALLSTAR, FORT WORTH, TX
  • TRYKK MASON BARTEL, TEAM D3, TUCSON, AZ

SUNDAY, WINDY SUNDAY

You have to give credit to all main-makers on Sunday, for fighting against the elements in the finals. These champions came to Albuquerque to race - to compete, and they were about to let "a little" bit of wind stop them from having a blast (literally). Even at its peak, we were amazed that some riders still went for the Pro section; although - they did have a great tailwind. Coming up short was not going to be a problem, but over-clearing it by 5 or 10 feet could be more likely. 

In the oldest and fastest classes of the day, U.S. Jor Devo racer Noah Ramos held off Rayne Lankford for the 16x victory, in a wild 'n crazy wind-race. Following up that excitmeent, Throdwn's former No.1 Amateur in USA BMX, Jesse Welch, held off Supercross' Riley House to grab the win against the wind. 

16 EXPERT - SUNDAY, WINDY SUNDAY

  • NOAH RAMOS, HARO / US DEVELOPMENT, MEADOW VISTA, CA
  • RAYNE LANKFORD, THRODWN, HOUSTON, TX
  • JOEL WILLIAMS, J&R BICYCLES.COM/CHASE/BOX, SAN DIEGO, CA
  • DARIAN TOUREENE, FUTURE CONCEPTS RACING, FT COLLINS, CO
  • KOBE SWANSON, NONE, TAYLORSVILLE, UT
  • RILEY SHEA, 316 RACING, LA HABRA, CA
  • ISAIAH MARTINEZ, AFTERSHOCK, ALBUQUERQUE, NM
  • AUSTIN INMON, SSQUARED NATIONAL, SURPRISE, AZ

17-20 EXPERT - SUNDAY, WINDY SUNDAY

  • JESSE WELCH, THRODWN, PERRIS, CA
  • RILEY HOUSE, SUPERCROSSBMX.COM, GILBERT, AZ
  • DYLAN RAMOS, 505 RACING, ALBUQUERQUE, NM
  • MONROE HUTTON, FACTORY DOUBLECROSS, LANGLEY, BC
  • ALEX ANTIL, FACTORY FREE AGENT BOX, SAINT MICHAEL, MN
  • TYLER (T-MAC) MCGUIRE, ANSWER/SSQUARED, GARDEN GROVE, CA
  • DAMON VOTTA, VELOCITY BIKE CO, MESA, AZ
  • RYLINDE COLE, FACTORY SCR, SANTEE, CA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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