Big-time Season Opener at Black Mountain
The sport of BMX kicked off 2021 big-time in Phoenix, at Black Mountain BMX - with a tremendous turnout and huge moto-counts (343 on Friday, 361 on Saturday and 318 on Sunday). Coincidentally, the last time the Winters at Black Mountain had exactly 361 motos on a Saturday was in 1999.
Of course, with such a massive talent pool, incredible racing is sure to follow.
Black Mountai's track has long been known for its smoothness, and this year it seemed to be smoother than ever. BMX Hall of Famer Eric Rupe was so impressed that he asked how much sand-paper it takes Mike Traddup to get it this way. It did help that Phoenix hadn't gotten any big rain storms lately - and the weather for this early-January weekend was a perfect-Oh 70-degrees.
PRO SERIES 2021
Along with an all-new season, came an all-new PRO Series format. Since the early 80's, the Pro class has been split with an A-pro and Double-A class. ...but no more. In 2021, all Pro's are Pros. When you turn Pro, you could immediately be thrust into a moto with Connor Fields or Joris Daudet. Along with this new format is the addition of a B-main, where the 5th thru 8th place riders in each semi will get their own main event to race for what is "technically" 9th place prize money and a $100 Answer Holeshot check.
(Above) Full Tilt's Arizona local Ashley Verhagen was flyin' in Pro Women,
From what we heard from the majority of Pros, they were stoked to get a Pro series back and to get the opportunity to do what they love - RACE! Everybody was stoked with the A and B-main format, although after a big pile-up in Friday's semi, the Mens B-main gate was only half full (or half-empty, depending on which way you look at things).
In the one-round main on Friday, Chase's Joris Daudet took the first win of the year - just as he'd done in 2016 and 2019. But as history goes - winning the first one of the year doesn't always equate to a No.1 Pro title come November. So far, it's only happened six times - between five riders. With both Chase pros tied with three No.1 Cups a piece, 2021 is going to be hot 'n heavy to see if either Joris or Connor can grab a fourth silver Cup.
On Saturday, the Mens Pro class was won by Mongoose's Cam Wood; the Arizona resident originally from Montana. For the record, the last time a Mongoose factory pro had stood on top of the podium was at the 2004 Grands. (For trivia-hounds, that last Mongoose guys to win a AA-pro main was The Jackal, John Purse.) Thus, Cam Wood broke the 17-year drought for the 'Goose guys - and with his fullbore training regimen from Coach Sam Willoughby, do not be surprised if Wood holds off the Chase twins from that fourth No.1 title.
In the Pro Ladies ranks, Felicia Stancil made her Answer/Ssquared debut a good one, and picked up right where she'd left off last Thanksgiving weekend. Stancil was back on an alloy frame and feelin' good throughout the motos - showing Alise that there won't be the usual domination like in the past half-decade. Stancil has her sights set on the No.1 Pro Women Championship, and thanks for Willoughby bonking the gate in Friday's main, Flyin' Felicia powered straight to her first win of the new season.
WOMEN PRO - FRIDAY
- 1 FELICIA STANCIL, SSquared, CHULA VISTA, CA
- 2 DALENY VAUGHN, DK-316 Racing, TUCSON, AZ
- 3 ASHLEY VERHAGEN, Full Tilt Radio, PHOENIX, AZ
- 4 LEXIS COLBY, GORDY'S, WITTMANN, AZ
- 5 ALISE POST, PROMAX/GW/TLD/TOYOTA, CHULA VISTA, CA
- 6 BROOKE CRAIN, HARO RACE, VISALIA, CA
- 7 LAUREN REYNOLDS, Answer, AUSTRALIND, WA
- 8 MOLLY SIMPSON, DAYLIGHT, RED DEER, AB
AMATEUR HOUR 2021
WOW. In Phoenix, it looked like nobody had been slackin' off since we last seen them in November. The who's-who of BMX were all at the Winters to kick off the new season with a win and things got pretty intense, very quickly. With all three days counting for the first National points of the season, things heated up fast once mains rolled around.
13X: Full Tilt's Sean Day & Cole Frederick Battle Continues
The hard-fought battle for last year's No.1 Amateur title started all over in Phoenix and Washington's serious-one, Sean Day, and his goofy team mate Cole Frederick, started off ties with Zero points a piece on Friday. Cole, with his black No.1 plate on the bars of his carbon Radio bike, was lookin' quicker than usual - perhaps having a mental-edge with his newfound No.1 Championship. But El Suave' has a fire lit under him for this season, and was out for sweet revenge. In the end, Day would get all three 13X wins for weekend - but Bacon Boy was hot on his tail the entire time.
13 EXPERT - SATURDAY
- 1 SEAN DAY, Full Tilt Radio, TACOMA, WA
- 2 COLE FREDERICK, Full Tilt Radio, NEW ULM, MN
- 3 BRADY ONEIL, DAYLIGHT, HENDERSON, NV
- 4 CYRUS HEMBREE, CHANDLER, AZ
- 5 MAREK BACKER, Sean Carbijal's LDC, OVILLA, TX
- 6 DANNY JULSON, Sean Carbijal's LDC, LIVERMORE, CA
- 7 ISAAC LARSON, SOUTH JORDAN, UT
- 8 MAC LIKENS, GATE 8 CLOTHING, PHOENIX, AZ
14X: The Cedric and Ronnie Show (w/ special guests Marshall Gerhke, Andrew Rassi and Banyon Howell)
Judging by the looks of things this weekend, the 14X class will once again be one of the most exciting classes to keep an eye on. On Friday, in an unusual turn of events, Box's Ronnie Kim went out in his semi - leaving the first 14X win in the hands of his competition. Namely - the Shark's Cedric Cade.
Cedric the Entertainer lived up to his nickname this weekend, and was furiously flyin' in Phoenix. He'd wind up scoring the first three 14X wins of the season; with some solid rider-count of 43, 44 and 40. Without The Assassin in the final on day one, Parker Respass and Wyatt Worth rounded out the podium. On Saturday, it was new Tangent-Rift ripper Andrew Rassi taking the 3-spot, while Yess' Banyon Howell snuck in for the 2nd place score on Sunday, while Ronnie placed a disappointing third.
14 EXPERT - SATURDAY RESULTS
- 1 CEDRIC CADE, BMX SHARKS, LAS VEGAS, NV
- 2 RONNIE KIM, BOX COMPONENTS, CORONA, CA
- 3 ANDREW RASSI, RIFT TANGENT, REDWOOD VALLEY, CA
- 4 WYATT WORTH, REMIX BMX, COALINGA, CA
- 5 TRUE BAILEY, BMX SHARKS, HENDERSON, NV
- 6 CARSON ALLEN, BOMBSHELL, LAS VEGAS, NV
- 7 BANYAN HOWELL, YESS, BEND, OR
- 8 PARKER RESPASS, RIFT TANGENT, CHESAPEAKE, VA
While there were plenty of riders who domainated their individual age classes all three days, a few fast 'n frenzied racers scored multiple wins - adding to some doubles and triples to their BMX resume. Such as:
THREE DOUBLES (two wins on all 3 days):
DANICA ANDERSON13 Girls & 13-14 Girls Cru
JASON SILVA46-50 Cru & 46-50X
LILY ASHLEY10under Girls Cru & 10 Girls
RYDER ROBINETT12 Cru & 12X
SHAUN CHANDLER26-30 Cru & 26-35X
TWO DOUBLES (two wins on 2 days):
ANNALYSE SOLANO11 Girls & 11-12 Girls Cru
GREYSON SNEED7under Cru & 7X
HESTON NOVOTNY6under Mixed & 6 Inter
LOGAN LEE9 Girls & 9-10 Mixed
ROWDY HOLZER11X & 11-12 Xopen
VIDA DE VERA7-8 Mixed & 8 Girls
DOUBLES (two wins on a single day)
DANIEL JOHNSON6under Xopen & 6X
KAIDEN IRELAND10 Cru & 10X
CEDRIC CADE13-14 Xopen & 14X
ERIC BACA41-45 Cru & 41-45X
JUSTIN PERKINS11X & 11-12 Xopen
NEVEN STEINMETZ41-45 Wcru & 41+ Women
SOPHIA RODRIGUEZ11-12 Gcru & 12 Girls