Golden State Nationals race report
Right off of the 237 in Santa Clara, high atop a landfill, sits Santa Clara BMX. Many of us will claim that it's the third most popular stop in the area - right up there with the 49'ers Levi Stadium and California's Great American theme park. For those who aren't fans of football or have a fear of cool roller coasters, then Santa Clara is the best thing going on in this town, by far.
Santa Clara PAL has been on this spot since the late 90's, and for the past 20-some years, it has bred its share of BMX Superstars. In recent years, under the guidance of TO Nick Valenica (who also races for Factory Supercross) and the Serini clan, the Santa Clara track has been ranked No.1 in the entire nation - based on moto-count (averaging around 40 motos, three times a week). Yes; they race THREE times a week, here - with no "practice-only" days. #RacersRace.
It's no wonder they've got some of the fastest locals on the national circuit!
Friday's race was the second World Qualifier - determining who would make it on to Team USA, to compete this year in Nantes, France - over the week of July 26 to 31. Add in these West Coast riders to those East-Coasters who quallified the week before in Rock Hill, and Team USA is looking pretty strong for this year's UCI Worlds!
The way the Worlds Qualifier works, is that it's ran like the Worlds itself - old-school style, with three motos. Onc eyou've made the main, you'ver qualified for Team USA. If your class had more than two groups, then you'd have a main - in which you'd likely have a pump-lap. ...unless your name is Rowdy Holzer. Then, you'd still race it out for the Worlds main event win, just like you'll do in France in hopes of capturing a W#1.
CHECK HERE to see who made the team. And in case you're wondering why there's a mechanical elephant on the Qualifier awards, well .... you'l have to go to France to find that out for yourself.
NICK ADAMS' PRO DEBUT
After an illustrious Amateur career, where he came close to National No.1 Am titles and was always in the hunt for NAG numero uno's, Nick Adams officially made the move to Pro this weekend. After overcoming a couple of injuries over the past year, we've been anticipating the day that he goes Pro - and we predict that he'll be a contender for Rookie of the Year in Golden Crank voting.
Unfortunately, Pro Open in Santa Clara didn't have the usual hitters in attendance - and Nick stomped 'em all as expected. We can't wait to see him up against the heavy hitters at the next big one.
PRO OPEN - SATURDAY
- 1 NICHOLAS ADAMS, RIFT TANGENT, ORANGEVALE, CA
- 2 TAYLOR OTTERSON, COCHRANE, AB
- 3 MAKIEVA HOPSON, IMPACT BMX, NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV
- 4 Mr.T - TERRY TENETTE, REDWOOD CITY, CA
In 13x, the quick middle-kid of the Gomolicke clan - Gaige, was no doubt the dude to beat here in Santa Clara. Flyin' aboard his golden BABS bike, in the fresh new Bay Area BMXers uni, it's impossible to miss him on the track. Last year, "Rage-by-Gaige" scored the black No.4 plate - making him the fourth fastest Amateur in the entire Nation, and at this rate, he will no doubt be up for the No.1 by the end of the year.
13 EXPERT - 25 RIDERS
- 1 GAIGE GOMOLICKE, BABS, UKIAH, CA
- 2 LUCAS ZHOU, ALPHA, SURREY, BC
- 3 THOMAS TAQUEZ, BOGOTA
- 4 JASON STERLINSKI, RIFT TANGENT, BETHPAGE, TN
- 5 AIDAN RAGLE, SSQUARED, APPLE VALLEY, CA
- 6 TYLER HELSEL, SSQUARED NATIONAL, PASADENA, MD
- 7 ETHAN RAYMOND, IMPACT BMX RACING, LAS VEGAS, NV
- 8 AUSTIN ROCHA, LSG, BEAUMONT, CA
16 EXPERT SATURDAY - 23 RIDERS
- 1 CEDRIC CADE, IMPACT BMX, LAS VEGAS, NV
- 2 RONNIE KIM, REDMAN, CORONA, CA
- 3 MIKE BRYANT, DRIVEN ELITE, VANCOUVER, WA
- 4 BANYAN HOWELL, BIKEAHOLIX / TANGENT, BEND, OR
- 5 DRAKE VELADOR, HOLLISTER, CA
- 6 JUAN VELASQUEZ, BAY AREA BMXERS, BOGOTA
- 7 GAGE BROWN, ALPHA, BEND, OR
- 8 RICKY CARTER, ROBBY'S/21 PRODUCTIONS, MANTECA, CA
"YOU GOT POLKED AGAIN"
...said the voice of the USA BMX National circuit, Erick Grindle. LSG's Drew Polk had just crossed the line with yet another 17-20x win, with his LSG team mate Valentino in tow. It's been a common theme so far this year, and the reigning NAG No.1 Champ has been on fire so far this season - and should be sitting at the top of Amateur points after the past two weekends of domination.
Polk and his Meybo have a big ol' target on the back of his Seven jersey, with every big name in 17-20x setting their sights on him. But whether it's a colossal big-hill super track or a top-notch flowing local track like Santa Clara, Polk keeps proving that he can't be touched.
17-20 EXPERT SATURDAY - 25 RIDERS
- 1 DREW POLK, LSG, AVON, IN
- 2 VALENTINO ELIZONDO, LSG, BAKERSFIELD, CA
- 3 JOSHUA TRERISE, FULL TILT/RADIO, SHERWOOD, OR
- 4 BRANDON CRAIN, RENNEN, RIVERSIDE, CA
- 5 BENNY SERENI, NEWARK, CA
- 6 LEVI FOLKROD, REMIX BMX, ARROYO GRANDE, CA
- 7 JACOB TRUJILLO, ANSWER, HIGHLAND, CA
- 8 AMAKYE ANDERSEN, DAYLIGHT, TUCSON, AZ