2019 USA BMX Silver Dollar Nationals
What better way to kick off the 2019 national series than in the fabulous Las Vegas? This weekend’s opener was the largest since 2015. Many were surprised to see a whopping 303 motos get posted on Friday afternoon and 330 on Saturday morning.
The Pro Open class provided some early thrills and spills for the fans inside the South Point Arena. Early leaders were Throwdwn’s Zac Van Kammen, Jet racing’s Jake Peebles, and the “Bad Boy” Billy Russell. Van Kammen would win up taking two of the three days on the weekend with Billy Russell taking top honors on Saturday.
The most dominant rider on the amateur side was the new National #1 Amateur Ronnie Kim. The Box sponsored Kim not only won class cruiser and open each day, he never lost a single lap during the entire weekend.
The National #1 Girl Cruiser Danica Anderson was nearly equally as dominant by doubling each of the three days and even won on her 12th birthday on Sunday. Riding for AAA Fire Protection Services, which is owned by the Patterson family, she also never saw another rider in front of here in Vegas, Both riders are trained by Danica’s father, former 2-time National #1 Rich Anderson, who was also sponsored by the Patterson’s in his heyday. We even heard rumors of the resurrection of the Patterson brand coming sometime soon.
Canadian Teigen Pascual broke the hearts of every other 15 and 16 year old young lady as she decimated the experte girls class and showed the boys the fast way around the track in mixed open. She’s the reigning National #1 girl in Canada for good reason and by year’s end could hold the national title in the states as well.
Jumping over to cruiser we saw another great battle between hall of famers Turnell Henry and Harry Leary on Saturday. Both riders went down vying for a moto win early in the day which set up a fierce showdown come main event time. Leary would get the holeshot and lead until the final turn where Henry would perform a textbook high-low pass.
The 41-45 cruiser class also provided some fireworks for the fans. On Friday Arizona’s Johnny Little secured the first national win in the class. On Saturday things got interesting in the main event. Brent Lee found himself getting hung out to dry in turn 1 and ended up going over and getting tangled up in one of the sponsor flags. He then grabbed the flag and began to wave it around in jest. Meanwhile Jon Rondeau and Corey Mitchell were fighting for the win. Mitchell would move ahead as they entered the final turn and hang on for the victory. Lee would redeem himself on Sunday with a win in the class.
9 year old Rowdy Holzer was unbeatable on the big bike this weekend. Factory Answer’s newest pickup Daniel Waters definitely kept him honest in his wins and nabbed 2nd place each day behind Holzer.
6 year old Sequoia Gomolicke has stepped up her game as of late. After winning the grands in 6 girls, she continued her winning ways in Vegas by winning her expert girls class and by winning mixed open on Sunday. Her older brother Gaige has been a national contender for several years now and led a bunch of laps throughout the weekend himself. He was able to win 10 Expert on days 1 and 3 and 10 Cruiser on day 1.
17 year old Justin Franco is well on his way to the expert class. The Oak Creek local dominated the inter and mixed open ranks this weekend. A double-double-double is never easy no matter which classes are involved.
The 7 time world champion Thomas Tucker has been racing in the states more and more and he even brought out his cruiser this weekend. He’d go unbeaten on the big bike but had some stiff competition from LDC’s Jayce Bartley on Friday night. Tucker would go on to win the expert class on days 2 and 3.
On the team side of things there were a few shake ups. In the Bike Shop division Racefast BMX has assembled a more than formidable group of kids. A lot of their heavy hitters raced for Full Tilt last year but have now returned to a west coast centric team. They came out of the gate swinging for the fences and took down the juggernaut known as J&R Bicycles on Friday. They followed that up with 2nd on Saturday and Sunday. They have the talent to win but as any good TM knows, you have to win the right races to take the title. We’ll see how they fair for the remainder of 2019.
On the factory side you had former Throwdwn team manager Jim Buchanan retire after the grands, then unretire to head up the defending factory champs Full Tilt Racing. With most of their firepower and the riders that Jim brought over from his former team, they will be hard to beat. With a couple scores nearing the 280 mark on Saturday and Sunday, they’ve jumped out to a quick lead in the title hunt.
All in all, the experience at the South Point is hard to beat and we can’t wait until July to get to do it all over again!