1981 was an odd year for the ABA pro title chase - as ProNeck's Kevin Mcneal went on a terror similar to Sam Willoughby's streak in 2013. In fact, McNeal had such a huge points lead going in to the Grands that many pros decided to just sit it out and spent their Thanksgiving at home. Regardless of who was there or not, Kevin McNeal sealed up his year by winning the No.1 Pro plate.
Put together by TM Sandy Finkelman; owner of the infamous Wheels & Things Bike Shop in San Diego, the Diamondback team was perhaps one of the first monster squads in the sport. Up until now, many factory squads had been more of a mom 'n pop thing. But with millions of dollars in bike sales on the line, factory teams were suddenly thrust in to a more serious position - and Sandy's Diamondback team was dominant all year.
When Joe Claveau won his cruiser class at The Grands in 1981, it not only changed his BMX career - but it had a indisputable effect on the Cruiser class. You see - Claveau, riding for RRS (Riverside-Redlands Schwinn bike shop) won the title aboard the sport's first modern-day 24-inch wheeled "cruiser."
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