2018 Carolina Nationals Race Report
The Carolina Nationals have become a racing Mecca of sorts. Riders from all over the world head to the small South Carolina city that has immersed itself within not only BMX but in all forms of cycling. The real story of this year's race was the early spring storm that smashed into the east coast, bringing some areas close to two feet of snow. Luckily we were on the far southern tail of the storm and just saw a few showers during Saturday's main events. It also brought some COLD temps and brisk winds, but we're BMXers. When its go time, we go, regardless of circumstance.
The second round of the North American Supercross Series was a hit with the fans, both those at the venue and those watching the webcast across the globe. The allure of the 8-meter hill commands attention. The SX Open classes, yes plural as the amateur ladies stepped up on Friday night for a go at it, were a BIG hit. The men's group saw 27 top riders compete on Friday night under the lights with the phenom Jesse Welch taking the victory, Florida Transplant Spencer Cole in second and Californian Anthony Bucardo rounding out the podium. The ladies best performances came from winner Mckenzie Gayheart, Payton Ridenour, and Carly Kane.
The A Pro main event was a battle for the ages as hometown hero KJ Romero charged hard from third place to the front of the pack, much to the pleasure of the South Carolina crowd. Canadians Benjamin Leslie and Gaby Malenfont would nab the final two slots on the podium.
World Champion Alise Willoughby hasn't had anyone in front of her in a main event all season long and this weekend was more of the same. The "Willoughbeast" put in two solid efforts and took the win each day. Felicia Stancil, who is starting to look like her former self took second both days and Aussie Lauren Reynolds finished up in third on both days.
In the Elite Men's class, Joris Daudet continued his dominant performance that he's been showcasing all year long and brough home a victory on Friday night. Saturday night was all about Ecuadorian Alfredo Campo who won his first major race in America.