September 2019 ~ Rider of the Month ~ Vincent Via

There’s a guy at gate practice who doesn’t say much. He’s focused. He’s purposeful. If I line up to his inside, it might be close through the first turn. If I line up to his outside, I’ve got my work cut out for me. More than once, he’s taken me up to the boards. He’ll crowd me on the straight to get position. He’ll take away my line into the corner, just like it’s a race. This kid, I think to myself, he doesn’t mess around.

And he’s only 11. And I’m a grown man.

That guy is NOVA BMX’s September 2019 Rider of the Month. His name is Vincent Via.

I’ve had an unusually close perspective on Vincent’s development as a rider recently, as practicing with him helps me improve and tells me a lot about my own riding. If I can keep up, I’m having a good day. Those good days, however, have been harder and harder to come by, as Vincent continues to gain speed, confidence, and savvy as a rider.

I’m not the only one who’s been struggling to keep up with Vincent recently. This month, he earned a #1 Virginia State Plate in the 11 Novice/Intermediate Class. His second place at the Hampton BMX Final on September 14th sealed the deal.

That was phase 1 of this year’s goals, he told me. Now he’s got his sights set on a top three finish in the North East Gold Cup Series, which wraps up this week in Shoreham, NY.

Vincent has enjoyed riding his bike ever since he was a young kid, and his father found NOVA BMX through the Internet about three years ago. Young Vincent took to the sport right away and classed up to Intermediate within three months.

Things got tougher at that point, as the competition became more serious. Longtime regulars at NOVA have witnessed many epic, bar-banging battles between Vincent and Rider of the Month alumni, Mark Vakhov and Brianna Rivera.

But excellence is forged in the fire of this sort of racing, and Vincent has upped his game with each successive year. Last year he was Virginia State #2 in his age group. This year he knew he could do better.

Vincent has a quick gate and strong pull on the first straight. He treats practice with the same seriousness as racing. And he doesn’t give up. If you think you have position on Vincent, expect him to have other thoughts. He might just take it away from you.

Riding BMX, Vincent said, makes him feel free. He was the first in his family to take up the sport, but now his brother, Thomas, is following in his footsteps as an 8 Intermediate. His father, Michael, has also gotten in on the action, racing as a 46-50 Novice. Vincent races locally, regionally, and nationally. Currently, he’s sitting at #66 in the highly-competitive 11-year-old National Age Group rankings.

Vincent rides for the Get-a-Grip Team, and his bike is a Haro Race Lite. His coach, and his frequent training partner, is his dad. Besides BMX, he enjoys swimming and downhill skiing.

Vincent credits his family and his team with helping him succeed as a BMX racer.

NOVA BMX is proud to recognize Vincent Via as its September Rider of the Month. As tough as he is on the track, he unfailingly displays good sportsmanship and conducts himself like a gentleman in the pits. We wish him the best heading into the Gold Cup Finals and wherever his BMX ambitions take him next!

This rider spotlight was written by our local racer and BMX dad, Christopher Zealand. Photo credits go to Vincent's parents, except the race photo by B&C BMX Photography.