2021 Music City Nationals - race report
That’s how long it took USA BMX members to break the last record for the largest regular-season National. For weeks I had heard rumblings at every track I visited, saying how this year’s Music City Nationals could have the largest moto count ever for a single-day national race. Turns out that was true, as Four Hundred and Forty-Nine motos were posted online, for Saturday. Memorial Day Weekend of 2021 would be a memorable one.
The turnout. The weather. The classes. The Pro mains. The rain. The cold. The heat.
Nashville had it all this year.
WHEN IT REIGNS, IT POURS >>
The ever-changing weather definitely affected track speed and although Music City held up almost perfectly, it was still slick at times. It really misted all night Saturday, so there were plenty of crashes come Sunday. The staging area and starting gate are covered with a big roof, but the gate was still treacherous with wet and muddy tires. More racers than I could count on both hands crashed right out of the gate. The crazy high moto count basically turned every Semi into a “main,” and some seriously fast riders were unable to make it out of their semis. There are those riders who always get a first-round transfer, and a lot of them had to come back hours later for the second round to try and make it in.
So far this year, the Pro action has been hot 'n heavy, with Joris and Connor setting their sights on Cup#4; which will put them in the BMX history books, along side Pistol Pete and The Lumberjack. After Joris had gotten off to a head start, Fields has been coming on strong as of late. For the Nashville weekend - the Chase twins had split paths, with Daudet heading down to Colombia for the final UCI World Cup, while the Con-Man stayed in the States to gain what he had hoped would be two easy wins. In the end, they weren't easy (with the class being 30-strong), and he'd also only add one win to his resume, thanks to FullTilt's Aussie wonderkid, Josh McClean winning on Saturday.
While McClean and Fields traded positions, Haro's Kam Larsen and former No.1 Amateur Riley House split the third tier of the podium.
FRIDAY's MEN PRO - w/ 30 Riders
- 1 CONNOR FIELDS, CHASE / BRG STORE, HENDERSON, NV
- 2 JOSHUA MCLEAN, FULL TILT RADIO, PALM HARBOR, FL
- 3 KAMREN LARSEN, HARO, BAKERSFIELD, CA
- 4 TANNER SEBESTA, ANSWER, KYLE, TX
- 5 CAMERON WOOD, MONGOOSE, PEORIA, AZ
- 6 KENNETH GUSTAFSON, LITTLETON, CO
- 7 ANTHONY BUCARDO, HARO, CORONA, CA
- 8 JACK DAVIS, SSQUARED, TAMWORTH, NSW
FRIDAY's WOMEN PRO
- 1 ALISE WILLOUGHBY, ALBES PROMAX, CHULA VISTA, CA
- 2 LAUREN REYNOLDS, ANSWER, SAN DIEGO, CA
- 3 OLIVIA ARMSTRONG, FULL TILT RADIO, BEND, OR
- 4 EMILY HAYES, SUPERCROSS, ROCK HILL, SC
- 5 ASHLEY HAYES, SUPERCROSS, ROCK HILL, SC
- 6 BROOKE CRAIN, HARO, VISALIA, CA
- 7 RACHEL MYDOCK, REMIX, PHOENIX, AZ
- 8 CARLY KANE, DK BICYCLES, GUILFORD, IN
FRIDAY's VET PRO
- 1 JONATHAN SUAREZ, ALPHA FACTORY, CORAL SPRINGS, FL
- 2 BARRY NOBLES, MERCEDES BENZ, FLY, HARO, STERRETT, AL
- 3 MARTY WISEHART, LUCKY/PHYRE, CHANDLER, AZ
- 4 ALAN HUDSON, J&R BICYCLES.COM/SPEEDCO/AVIAN, PHOENIX, AZ
- 5 JOSH SMITH, DK BICYCLES, SPRINGBORO, OH
- 6 LUCIANO CORREA ROQUE, DXTRIM, ORLANDO, FL
- 7 LEONARDO FERREIRA, QUALITY, ORLANDO, FL
- 8 SEAN HAMMETT, ACWORTH, GA
5 & UNDER NOVIES HAD EIGHTHS!!
There's something that might not have ever been heard in BMX ... 5 & Under Novs had 62 riders! Let us repeat that - SIXTY TWO five & under rippers were in Nashville; making it the biggest class of the weekend. It also meant they'd have to go thru qualifying, then eighths, quarters and semi's before their late-night finale'.
Note that it was also one rider more than 14x; which was the second-largest class of the weekend.
As G-mo is quoted in the latest PULL magazine - in the HIGH-LOW article, "Every smart bike shop should have a ringer in 5-novice." Since Novices can't be used on a Factory sheet, it's up to the bike shops to nab those furiously-fast little dudes - and then just hope they can stay Novice until November. Those bonus points given per rider could make a major boost to a winning team sheet!
SATURDAY's 5 & UNDER NOVICE w/62 riders
- 1 ANDREW MANRIQUEZ, A & E RACING, DAYTON, OH
- 2 ANTHONY COOPER, MECHANICSVILLE, MD
- 3 JOHN-MARTIN AVENI, MOM AND DAD, OMAHA, NE
- 4 KARSON (BEAST MODE) WHITE, LANDSTAR, BOX, FLY, BLANCHARD, OK
- 5 DAWSON DUNN, NEWNAN, GA
- 6 OLIVER (EVIL O) PURUCKER, TEAM BIKE TECH SOLUTIONS, GOWEN, MI
- 7 WRIGLEY (BIG RIG) WHITNEY, LOOKING FOR ONE, EL RENO, OK
- 8 EASTON RAISOR, COLUMBUS, IN
MONDO POINTS UP FOR GRABS
As motos went online, everybody was checking out the massive rider counts. For those TM's who chase after National No.1 titles for their team and riders, the numbers this weekend could be a make-or-break for some. With Saturday’s mondo-turnout, it seemed more like the ROC than a National. For expert winners, some serious rider points were made, possibly pushing racers into an unreachable points lead in both NAG and National.
For example, 5-year-old Novice was the largest class of the weekend - with 62 brand new tiny tykes signed up. Next up, with 61 riders, was 14x - and the third largest class of the weekend went down to 55 riders in 17-20x. In girls, 17-20 was the largest class with 34 ladies, while 7&Under Cruiser was the largest with a whopping 40 riders signed up. Win those classes once, twice or all weekend and you could instantly boost yourself into the National points chase. Tennessee’s Reid Autry, did just that in cruiser and “wedged” himself into the hunt for a silver Cup this November. In 14x, Full Tilt’s Sean Day scored the win two out of three days, which’ll be good for him to finally capture that No.1 Am title. In girls, True BMX’s Valentino Davalos also won all three days, so you can expect to see her name jump up in the standings.
SATURDAY's 7 & UNDER CRUISER w/40 Riders
- 1 REID (THE WEDGIE) AUTRY, GALLATIN, TN
- 2 JACOB (KAMIKAZE) COLWELL, ALPHA FACTORY, CHANDLER, AZ
- 3 MASON DUMMER, BLACK WIDOW BMX, COURTLAND, MN
- 4 SAMUEL SCHWARTZ, ELK POINT, SD
- 5 GAVIN SMITH, MOM & DAD, LAFAYETTE, IN
- 6 CARSON BURKHOLDER, CHIP N DALE NAT TEAM, NORWICH, NY
- 7 BRYSON (PNUT BRUNS) BRUNS, ALPHA, WEST WARWICK, RI
- 8 MARSHALL FALKOWSKI, BMA/VENOM, SAINT PAUL, MN
After watching thousands of racks of bikes fly past me out there this weekend, one particular moto really stood out: Sunday’s 12 Cruiser final. Two-time National No.1 Cruiser rider Rowdy Holzer (Profile) had been killin’ it all weekend on his Hyper 24”. Let’s face it - he does that almost every weekend, effortlessly. But somehow on Sunday evening, Gavin Menditto was able to get out in front of the Rowdy one, and managed to keep his lead. Partially in thanks to Tommy Bruney getting past Holzer as well. While Holzer and Bruney fought hard for that second spot, TNT’s Menditto went on to get his first-ever National cruiser win. Definitely not an easy task to do.
As our very hoarse announcer Greg Harrison stated atferwards, "Another weekend of USA BMX Racing action is in the books. Friday was rainy, but the racing action was hot. Saturday was another for the record books with 449 motos. Sunday, the sun finally came out to play. The Music City BMX crew did an awesome job. They took everything the weather and crowds could throw at them and made it work."
As this Nashville story wraps up, we can only wonder if this record-setting 449 moto count will hold up a little longer than the last one? Or could it possibly be beat in South Park over the next major holiday weekend - the 4th o’ July? One thing is for sure - the #BMXboom of 2021 is building up steam, making this year’s National series one of the greatest seasons our sport has ever seen!