The 2013 National Season kicked off in Reno with a whole lot of new jerseys, new rides and an impressive group of Rookie Pros making their debut. Despite snowy weather outside; with 169 motos for the Friday night pre-race, it looks like this season opener is going to be a big one.
During Friday's practice, everyone was doing double-takes - seeing familiar faces in unfamiliar uniforms. Here are just some tidbits of the new team changes for 2013:
HARO-PROMAX: For the past eight years, Donovan Long had ran the Intense team; and during that time, took it to five Factory team titles. This year will go down in history as the end of an era, as Donovan and most of his Phantom crew have switched over to Haro-Promax. While the majority of last years' Intense team kept on with Donovan, he also picked up some major hotshoes in the process. Among the new Haro-mounted rippers are Texan Hunter Pelham, Colorado's Walker Finch, California's Carlie Ferree and Virginia's Andrew Townsend. With the bright yellow and black uniforms and matching Bell helmets, they are hard to miss ... just look out front.
GT BICYCLES:Some minor changes at GT include the addition of AA-pro Tyler Brown and SoCal ripper Nick Koelher. One of the biggest changes will be the absence of Eric Rupe; as he will be moving on and no longer driving the GT rig to the races.
S-SQUARED: Keeping up with the tradition of changing their name every year, last years' Answer~Ssquared~TLD team is now known as just Factory Ssquared. The tight family team from the midwest remains the same roster-wise, although they will likely get to add Maliek Byndloss to their roster. Without a doubt, they are IMPOSSIBLE to miss out here on the Reno track - wearing very bright Troy lee colors that remind us of Team Kovachi.
HYPER: TM Jerry Bradford lost a few of his superstars, but the Hyper squad will still remian lethally fast. Nabbing Myles Wamsley helped them make up for the loss of the vanOgle siblings. Another big change to watch this weekend was the Rookie Pro debut of Jared THE JET Garcia.
PHOENIX: Now under the management of BMX dad Loren VanOgle, the Phoenix team is standing out with their new uniforms and shiny Bell helmets. Two of the biggest
REDMAN-ROCKSTAR: Once again, Redman was robbed. It's become almost a annual tradition for team owner Mike Redman, to get his riders picked off each year - and 2013 is no different. Looking on the bright side, though - Redman was proud to debut Bryce Batten (donning a temporary Dougie Butcher jersey).
SUPERCROSS: Bill Ryan's Sueprcross crew is slim this weekend; as the snow kept away his new threesome to the team. The Mitchell clan was forced to turn around due to the snow and unfortunately will have to wait until the next race to make their debut in Supercross colors.
REDLINE: No new additions for the red, white and black - but one big change in classification. 2-time No.1 Amateur Josh Klatman was spotted filling out his pro application at the signup trailer and will make Reno his professional debut.
ANSWER-RENNEN: In Reno, Mr.Win-it-All didn't send his full squad, but for those who did show - it gave us just a small taste of things to come and left us anxious to see more. One of the newest additions to the team was Derik Bergh, who made his black/white/baby blue debut in Reno with decent results. And last years' Amaeur points leader heading in to the Grands also filled out a pro app and was dicin' it up in the new class of Rookie pros.
Reno's Siver Dollar nationals is chock-full of changes - including some new rules for the new year. Novices this weekend are all on flat platform pedals, and you'll also see 24" bikes in the Open classes. This is sure to be one weekend for the history books!