Salt Lake Greatness - National race report
For decades now, Rad Canyon BMX in So.Jordan, Utah has guaranteed BMX fans some epic racing, intense action and a ton o’ fun. This year was no different. With the #BMXboom in full swing, having record turnouts at nearly every major BMX race this year and more USA BMX members than ever before - the traditional Utah National not only finally busted the 200-moto mark, but reached a ultimate high record of 230 (on Saturday).
Largest National EVER in the State of Utah?! We'll take it.
Of course, BMX was abuzz this weekend, as Thursday night was the exciting Olympic medal race. Whether racers were watching from their hotel rooms, at a friends house or in the Tangent pit area at the track, the BMX World was cheering on Team USA and other foreign Pros who have become a part of the USA BMX family.
Talk about thrills and spills! Connor’s crash in the third semi. Alise’s crash in her semi’s. Felicia looking strong and being the medal favorite in the main. Joris’ slide-out in the last turn, while in the bronze-medal position. ...and how about those Gold medal winners?! WOW! Niek Kimmann of The Netherlands winning it from LANE EIGHT! UK’s Britany Shriever funding her own way to Tokyo and holding off the last-straight charge from Mariana Pajon!
While the 2021 Olympics did not go the way all of us Americans had hoped it would, Tokyo was a definitely an exciting race that had the full attention of the entire World! Aired primetime on NBC, it got a ton of publicity for our sport.
What a way to get pumped for a National weekend; right?!
The Great Salt Lake Nationals was a Pro Series race; and we knew from the beginning of the schedule release that this one could make a big impact on Pro points - being the the usual points leaders would be in Tokyo at the "smaller" event. Without the likes of Joris and Connor, Alise, Felicia or Corben, Utah's winners could gain some precious ground on the Pro leaders. And that was definitely on the minds of Full Tilt's Josh McLean, Olivia Armstrong and Ashley Verhagen. Even Brooke Crain and her trusty sidekick Rachel Jones came out for a good shot at a main event win!
On Friday, it was a FulTilt sweep in both men and women Pro, as McLean and Verhagen came out on top. For Saturday, things didn't go as they'd planned, and we'd see a new group of winners atop the podium. Haro's Kamren Larsen and DK-316 Racing's Daleny Vaughn made BMX history, as they both scored their very first Pro career victories.
Rad Canyon BMX - much like Rockford BMX, has quite a few legendary obstacles that are unlike any other track on the National circuit. Their first turn is famous for getting rider's tight and seeing elbows rubbin' ... often with the final outcome of racers flying over the turn or taking a impromptu detour into the infield. Then comes the gigantic tabletop that you fly up to on the second straight. Taking this correctly to maintain your speed is a challenge for riders of any age and skill.
Crank over it, in a fullbore power wheelie?
Sky over it with a lil' whip, and nose-in on the backside just right to keep your momentum?
Nose-wheelie or nose-tap it at the midway point?
Limbo scrub over it, flow as low as you can go?
It's all up to you. ...and racers were trying every technique in the book.
During practice, we noticed Danica Anderson nailing the high-speed power wheelie over the entire table, never skipping a crank. Her speed and skills have gotta make dad Richie proud! Danica is full-on future Pro material, for sure (and of course, she wouldn't lose a lap all weekend on either bike).
Main events were as ex iting as ever, and with plenty of hotshoes in attendance, racing was tight from start to finish. There was no arguing on Instagram that Saturday's R.O.T.D. (Race of the Day) was 11x. J&R's Hayden passanisi must've been inspired by the new gold medalist, Niek Kimmann - as he got it done from lane 8. But for "Passin'-ain't-EZ" - he had his work cut out for him to nab this big win.
Out of the gate, it was Tyler Wagoner with the holeshot, but he was attacked by a BMX Shark (Kaiden Ireland) as they entered the first turn. But while ireland was doing his best to hold off Wagoner, Colton Kidd swopped in underneath 'em all amnd took over the lead. By the exit of turn one, we'd already had three lead changes! Ireland was doing his best to power back into the lead, but had no room on the inside. Instead, "The Jeep" Wagoner blasted by them both on the outside to grab back the lead he had from the get-go. But that was only good for a few seconds, as "The Kidd" shut the Bombshell'er down exiting turn two.
Meanwhile, former National No.1 cruiser champ, Hayden Passanisi, who had been watching the show from fourth place, saw the opportunity to throw his hat in the ring. He snuck in low out of turn two and gassed it. As the fastest 11x's in the World hit the entrance to turn three, it was a 3-way tie, side by side. Passanisi had the outside line, while Irland and Kidd were battling for the best line into the last turn. J&R's super-stud railed the last turn, which allowed Wagoner to swoop back into third place. As they flew into the rhythm-filled last straight, it was nearly a 5-rider race. Passanisi, who had dropped back to fourth, suddenly hit his turbo-button and rocketed through the traffic and rocked the rhythm for all it was worth! In an amazing display of speed and skill, he went from fourth to first down the last stretch, grabbing the win right from Waginer right at the line.
On Sunday, Hayden simply told us -"I just came out of the third turn and thought, 'Hmmm , maybe I'll go for first.'"
11 EXPERT - SATURDAY
- 1 HAYDEN PASSANISI, J&R BICYCLES.COM, ALPINE, CA
- 2 TYLER WAGONER, BOMBSHELL, CANYON LAKE, CA
- 3 COLTON KIDD, VAIL, AZ
- 4 CANYON WHITESIDE, MOTO MILITIA, SANDY, UT
- 5 KAIDEN IRELAND, BMX SHARKS, EVERSON, WA
- 6 LEVI HART, SISU RACING, BOULDER, CO
- 7 TAYLOR KOLL, HUTELIN RACIING, LAKE WALES, FL
- 8 BRADY WORD, ALPHA FACTORY, MODESTO, CA
HOW TO TRY TO NOT TO WIN A RACE WHEN YOU'RE HANDED THE WIN
On Sunday, the 26-35 Inter main looked like an episode of the Keystone Cops. It was pure comedy and the crowd in Utah and those watching online, were well entertained. From the start, Vegas' Darion Davis was doing his very best to not win, shutting it down from the first straightaway, coasting and pumping just enough to look like he was in the race. Meanwhile, the other four Inters were goin' at it like cats and dogs, fighting it out for the much sought-after win. Dallin Prisbrey, Mitchell Penn, Michael Mecham and Washington's "Woody" Wood were not holdin' back one bit!
As the four desperados blasted down the third straightaway, Prisbrey made a move on Wood, bumped bars and suddenly it was a chain-reaction of dominos, as all four fighters flew to the ground. Davis, from way back in fifth, was just handed the win. But wait! He didn't want it. Weaving slowly thru the wreckage, all he had to do was just keeping pumping it to the finishline, but instead, decided to drop anchor. Looking back at the carnage, and coming to a crawl, Davis was just praying for someone to get up quick enough to pass him.
Sants Clara's Dallin Prisbrey was the quickest to grab his bike and was still hungry for the big victory. Charged up on pure adrenalin, he came back to quickly pass "Boo" in the last turn and went on to nab the first place. ...but Davis, was also given a "win" on his record, despite being scored in second place.
It just goes to show - if you don't wanna win, then don't sign-up. Because ANYTHING can happen in BMX!
26-35 INTERMEDIATE - SUNDAy
- 1 DALLIN PRISBREY, RYNO POWER, SANTA CLARA, UT
- 2 DARION (BOO) DAVIS, LAS VEGAS, NV
- 3 MITCHELL (THE PREDATOR) PENN, WIFE, LAS CRUCES, NM
- 4 MICHAEL (RELENTLESS) MECHAM, JUSTCUZ, AMERICAN CANYON, CA
- 5 KYLE (WOODY) WOOD, PAK BMX RACING, PORT ORCHARD, WA