2021 USA BMX Route 66 Classic Nationals Race Report
If you've ever been to this area of the country you should know it gets windy....REALLY windy. As racers noticed the increased wind speed, many jammed on over to Tangent Pro Shop or Northwest BMX in search of goggles. Both had bare shelves by the end of the day. The first straight had a great tailwind that had many going a bit faster than normal as they met the first jump. The doubles claimed a few but some riders had them mastered like current National points leader Cole Frederick and Cedric Cade.
The 16 Cruiser Class put on a show as LDC's Landry Wycough jumped out to the early lead. Daylight's east coast ripper Blake Powell took full advantage of the bowled out turns and went into the second spot. In the final turn he'd carve his way to the front for the win.
The 51-55 Cruiser main was certainly the most exciting big bike lap of the day with David Archibald, Mark Nunley, and Eric Sweets lined up in gates 5, 4 and 3 respectively. Nunley had a slight pop on the others but not enough to seal the deal. Archibald was able to get an elbow in front of Nunley as they went up and over the triple step up into turn one. Nunley would graze Archi's elbow causing him to get a little too far over the left side of the bike, engaging a no footed seat bounce to an ejection over the bars. Sweets tried to take advantage and go underneath Archibald but ended up getting cut down on and almost highsiding. He'd drop back to fifth. Barry Nilson avoided all this drama from gate 8 and put himself in the two spot. Elite Bicycles Richard Spencers would round out the podium with the third.
Sparta's Loagon Smith -Tarango jumped out to early lead the 12 Intermediate class but would be passed on the second straight by Russell Huser. Orias Smith would swoop them both in the second turn and go from third to first. Huser would charge down the final straight trying to regain the lead but would slip a pedal and almost crash in the process. Smith-Tarango would come by for the second and Huser narrowly held on for the third.
Bombshell Factory's 8x Evan Elson went wire to wire for the win but had some serious comp on his tail in NAG Champion Jaxson Howell and Jacob "Speedy" Gonzales who is practically a local. Howell tried to dive bomb under Elson in the second turn to no avail.
We haven't seen a "David vs Goliath" battle in a while but it happened in the 11x Class. BMX Sharks' Bryan Shatswell III usually is able to out power his competitors and was on his way to doing it again but swung a bit wide in turn two. Bombshell's Tyler Wagoner was ready to strike and went by. If you've ever watched Wagoner ride, he's one of the most skilled kids in the class and wasn't going to give Shatswell III the chance to bump him off. Rival's Brady King came in with the third.
Race for Rowyn's Trenton Moore got the job done in 17-20X after directing a bit of traffic from gate 1. Daylight's "AA" Amakye Andersen would tuck into the two spot and Remix's Levi Folkrod would finish in the third.
The first national without a Saturday practice session went off without a hitch sharply at 9am. Everyone that we talked to loved the schedule change and enjoyed being able to get to dinner early and hit the pool. We'll get to the finish time after we talk about the exciting main events that happened.
Bellfower's Steele Garrett put his Orca out front but had the Hitman Ryley Rojas hot on his tail. He must have felt the heat as he'd over jump the tabletop in the rhythm just as Rojas blew right on by. Wyatt Christensen avoided the crash and finished second and Jet Racing's ripper Alfredo Martinez got the third.
Rowdy Holzer doesn't make mistakes often but he did just that in the 12 Cruiser class. He'd do a top tube tango on the second straight allowing BMX Shark's Cutter "Fly" Godaire to come by for the lead. Cutter is one of the most stylish kids from the west coast. Keep your eye on this one.
The "Bus Driver" Jimmy Nelson got the pop in 46-50 Cruiser but Majesty's JJ Grieve had the inside line going into turn one. Gordy's "Silver Fox'' Jason Silva came from the outside and was able to rail the first turn behind these two. Grieve was feeling the heat from Nelson and moved to the outside of turn two to block but left the inside wide open for Silva, who'd go from third to first in an instant. Nelson also made a move from the outside and got past Grieve.
The 7 Expert Girls class went three wide for nearly the entire lap. Hyper's Maddie Baird, BMX Sharks' Zoey Lomeli and Bombshell's Kira Vescuso all held the lead at some point on the track. In the end, Baird would hold off her competitors and take the victory.
Answer's Brandon Crain has been clawing his way back to the top and got a perfect start from gate 2 and never looked back in 17-20X. Levi Folkrod and Amakye Andersen gave chase but had nothing for the "Birdman".
Clayborn's Brooke Walski towers over most of her 10 and Under Girls competition and she quickly found the front of the pack. The Bakersfield local drifted a bit high in turn one and quickly found herself in the third spot. Danica Appenzeller wasn't afraid to make a move in the first turn and it paid off with a victory. Alpha's Chase Burian came by for the two spot.
Savannah Stokes has been nipping at the heels of the nearly unbeatable "Lil Avalanche" Danica Anderson for quite a while but she was able to outfox the former National #1 Girl Cruiser in the 13-14 class. Savannah also rips at the park and recently finished up third at the latest USA BMX Freestyle comp.
When you think of old school the name Jason Chang has to come to mind. The former Blue Max factory superstar who hailed from Hawaii now calls Kingman, AZ home. His son even flew in from Hawaii to race with his pops. Shaka Brah. Chang got the holeshot in the 51 & Over Inter main and led the lap until the absolute last second when Eleazar Flores out stretched him at the line for the win.
Dylan Myers had run the table on the first two days in the 6X class but Alpha's Jacob Colwell aka Cobo saw an opening on the third straight and made an awesome move in the last turn to take the win.
When the 16X class slid into the gate no one could imagine what they were in store for. Tavi Paulazzo never made it past the first jump but somehow saved himself from crashing by sprinting down the backside. Kyle Norton and Cutter Williams made contact mid turn and Williams got the short end of the stick and was launched over turn one. J&R's Angel Montoya also ended up going over. It was absolute pandemonium. Norten was able to get away clean and green and his team mate Kai Altendorf was able to get into the second spot.
Kingman was a perfect setting for a USA BMX National if you didn't mind the windy conditions. Being just a few yards away from Interstate 40, we got plenty of honks from passing truckers and BMX fans alike. If and when we return to Harry Leary's Turbo BMX, be sure to explore this little big city and all it has to offer.