2019 USA BMX GoPro Midwest Nationals Race Report
All eyes were on the weather forecast as the GoPro Midwest Nationals approached. The temperatures looked prime but there were chances of showers late Saturday and on Sunday. That being said, Friday, day one of racing, shaped up to be a great day. This past weekend marks the halfway point in the Pro Series points chase. Coming into the weekend two men in the Elite class have separated themselves from the pack, defending champ Joris Daudet and Daylight’s Corben Sharrah. Joris has been on nearly every podium this year and Corben has racked up a couple of wins and plenty of podiums himself. However, this weekend we saw the return of the Olympic Gold medalist Connor Fields back to the top of the box. Fields was not only the victor each day, but he was also the Answer Holeshot winner as well. Rounding out the podium on Friday was Corben Sharrah and Mongoose’s Justin Posey. Day two saw Rift’s Corey Reid and Throdwn’s Kenneth Gustafson in the two and three spots respectively.
The Elite Women’s class was missing defending champion Alise Willoughby but the action at the Rock never disappoints. Supercross’ Felicia Stancil has taken thousands of laps around Rockford throughout her career as she’s a native of the area. She too won the Answer holeshot award each day on her way to her victory. Ashley Verhagen made the podium both days with a second on day one and third on day two. Thailand’s Amanda Carr was able to avoid a huge pile up in the 2nd turn and finish in the third spot on day one. Haro’s Brooke Crain was caught up in that same crash on day one but roared back with a second place finish on Saturday.
The Junior classes were chocked full of talent in Rockford. On the men’s side, Alpha’s Cameron Wood dominated the field but Australia’s Jack Davis was hot on his tail each day in second. Junior Elite National Champion Spencer Cole made a nice move in turn one to nab the third spot on day one. Wiawis’ Cameron Bramer had a great start on day two and rounded out the podium with a third.
The Junior Women class was lighter on numbers but was still action packed. National #1 Girl Payton Ridenour took her Haro straight to the front of the pack each day with authority. Finishing up right behind her each day was Colorado’s Ashley Hayes and on the third spot was Canadian Molly Simpson.
In the Vet Pro ranks, defending champion Tyler Brown is still out nursing a back injury as well as being on baby watch for his firstborn. His absence made it a bit easier for Alpha’s Jonathan Suarez to add a few more wins to his coffers. This class is setting the stage for an epic showdown between these two later in the season. DK’s Josh Smith put himself in a great position on the weekend by picking up a pair of hard-earned second place finishes and Alltoew’s Miguel Castro stepped on to the final step of the podium each day with a pair of thirds.
Last but certainly not least we have the A pro class. Australian Elite Jayce Cunning competes in the class while in the US and usually is in contention for a win. Friday was no different as the Queensland Native rocketed out of gate 8 and went straight to the front of the pack. There was a huge blow up of riders behind him on the first straight taking out the likes of Supercross’ Makieva Hopson, Alpha’s Anthony Bucardo, Full Tilt’s Ryan Zinzow and Mudslingers’ Kyle Luse. Rounding out the podium on day one was Tyler Petty and Jake Pletscher. Day two saw a hungry Ryan Zinzow make his way through the pack on the first straight and overtake the Japanese rider, Daiki Ikeda, as they entered turn one. This allowed Jayce Cunning an opportunity to slide into the two spot and that’s how they would finish the day.