Gold Cup Finals West - Chula Vista
Brought to you by DK Bicycles, the 2015 Gold Cup West series came to a close over this October weekend, with some awesome racing. The new paved turns at Chula Vista BMX provided more carving than a Thanksgiving feast, and many of the Gold Cup No.1 titles came down to the wire in Sunday's mains.
To earn the honor of running the yellow background - with either a 1, 2 or 3 slapped in the middle, a rider must first prove themselves on the local level - getting a decent, good or great score at any of the 60-plus Gold Cup races held around the country. Then, they've got to prove themselves at the regional level over two days, when they arrive at the Gold Cup Finals (be it West, East or Central). Both days count - along with their best two scores from a Gold Cup event, and by the end of Sunday the top-3 overall are presented a Gold Cup plate. Better yet - the winner, along with his or her No.1 plate, also is awarded a cool blue 'n gold Gold Cup jacket.
And that bring us here - to Chula Vista, CA - at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. While this facility hosts many Olympic athletes from beach volleyball to track 'n field to archery and rugby, it really does seem as if BMX has taken highest priority. With three tracks total (two SX ones and then the race-on-a-weekly basis local track), and the BMX museum and Hall of Fame all hosted at the OTC, there really is no finer place to host a race of this caliber. And with 150+ motos, apparently, a whole lot of other people would agree.
Throughout the weekend, there was non-stop action - whether it be on the impeccable Chula Vista BMX track, or over on the Beijing-replica course where Round 3 of the #NASS took place. The pits were hoppin' and in between motos, many families toured the BMX Hall of Fame museum, and cooled off in the air conditioned U.S. Olympic outlet store. The A/C was nice - and much needed, as this October weekend was a surprisingly hot one! With temps in the high 90's, many felt like we were in Arizona, rather than the usually "perfect" low-to-mid 80's San Diego. Hydration would play a big factor in the weekend's outcome and finding a cool, shady spot to kick back in between motos was important. Fortunately, the OTC has a few of those.
Being as this was Haro~Promax and the Phantom Jr. Development territory (TM Donovan Long lives just up the road), this weekend seemed to be dominated in seemingly every-other moto by some rider in yellow and black, or blue and grey. Don't get me wrong - there were plenty and plenty of other quick riders, but by the time the Gold Cup No.1 plates were handed out, it was clear that Donovan's camp owned the pink-slip to this event.
Just one of many races for proof of that statement was in the Girls ranks:
- BROOKE CRAFT, HARO/PROMAX, LAKESIDE, CA
- ALLISON (ALLI GATOR) JOHNSON, SPIN CITY BMX, LAS VEGAS, NV
- MADISON MACIAS, BLACK BOX/BASIC/FLY, RAMONA, CA
- MADELYNN DESANTIS, HARO/PROMAX, SIMI VALLEY, CA
- ALEXIS LEIJA, J.E.T. RACING, FERNLEY, NV
- GRACE PADILLA, NATIONAL GHP, BUELLTON, CA
- JAYDIN WENCK, HARO/PROMAX, SANTEE, CA
- LEINANI PERALTA, JRBICYCLES.COM / CHASE / BOX, SAN DIEGO, CA
- LAUREN LOPEZ, COB/FINDLEY MOTOR COMPANY, LAS VEGAS, NV
Our current No.1 Amateur, "Radro" Roman Jaworsky, is also currently leading the Am points and is hopoing he can ink his name amongst many legends who have taken back-to-back titles. Although this weekend didn't have national points on the line, it is still one of the big ones you want to do well at. And on the cruiser, Radroowned it both days and took the yellow No.1 plate to slap on his 24. But on the 20", it was a different story. Haro~Promax's Jesse Welch, was on a mission all weekend long, and wound up holding off the reigning Am champ practically every single time. Other than Jesse taking the Gold Cup No.1 plate (which will match nicely with his Haro uniform), it also means that he could play a factor in Radro's chase for another National championship. We'll soon find out in about 50-some days, as the Grands draws closer.
- JESSE WELCH, HARO/PROMAX, PERRIS, CA
- ROMAN JAWORSKY, RADRO RACING, LAS VEGAS, NV
- DEREK PHIPPS, ANSWER/RENNEN, SIMI VALLEY, CA
- DECLAN MOORE, MORPHINE INDUSTRIES, WAUKEGAN, IL
- TYLER CACCIOLA, STAATS, CARMICHAEL, CA
- TRE HEXIMER, CATEGORY 5, GLENDALE, AZ
- NICO CEOTTO, AZ BIKE GALLERY, SCOTTSDALE, AZ
- JONATHAN PUDER, PHANTOM DEVELOPMENT BMX, EL CAJON, CA
Another great main that you didn't want to miss all weekend was 15x. being from Santee, Bryant White was a crowd favorite and he knows this track like the back of his hand. Despite having some mighty tough competition, White ruled with an iron fist. There's a good reason as to why he's got a No.1 on his plate with a grey background - and with his continued progression this season, there's probably a god chance it'll stay there for next year.
Now, if he's in to running the "Fall" colors ....like, say ... yellow? He has that option, as well.
- BRYANT WHITE, RIFT/TANGENT, SANTEE, CA
- HUNTER TYGART, BOMBSHELL AVENT, TWENTYNINE PALMS, CA
- JARRED SIMMONS, BALLISTIC BMX, TACOMA, WA
- DAMON VOTTA, BLUE MEDIA/ARIZONA BMXER, MESA, AZ
- JESSE KALBFLEISH, KUWAHARA, SIMI VALLEY, CA
- GABRIEL FLORES, BOMBSHELL AVENT MEXICO, EL CAJON, CA
- KYLE WINETEER, PHANTOM DEVO, POWAY, CA
- TYLER MCGUIRE, BELLFLOWER BIKES , GARDEN GROVE, CA
So if we had to name the one, single "Best Race of the Weekend" - I think most everybody would agree that it was Sunday's 19-27 finale'. After winning Friday's Super-X Open, DHR's Bryce Betts was feeling right and tight, and was in the spotlight. Betts was lookin' great all weekend and had 2 of the 3 Chula tracks wired.
But then there was SE's Cat, Jason Morris. This quickly rising star from the Riverside area has been coming on strong as of late, and chose this weekend as his big breakthrough in to BMX superstardom. All weekend long, Morris was veering to the right out of Chula's first turn, while everybody else went left. Yup ...The Cat loves the pro section, and he had it pretty dialed in. Thanks to going big, he scored the Saturday win - ahead of Betts, who hung in for the 2-spot.
In Sunday's main, Betts looked to have the first-straight pull, and was in the lead and firing on all cylinders, but out of the first turn, Morris again went for the shorter yet tougher route. To gain anything on Betts and the boys, he was going to have to execute the section perfectly. One bobble and he'd be done and sent to last. But he didn't. A mistake-free clearance on the pro section gave Morris the edge he was going for and he and Betts entered turn 2 nearly side-by-side. But with the inside advantage, Morris quickly shut the door on Betts and took off from there. Make it two wins in a row for Morris the Cat - and throw in a Gold Cup No.1 plate just for the fun of it.
- JASON MORRIS, SE RACING, MORENO VALLEY, CA
- BRYCE BETTS, CHASE / DHR, BRENTWOOD, CA
- AUSTIN MCKAN, PHANTOM DEVELOPMENT, SPRINGFIELD, MO
- DAVID WILLIAMS, KNUCKLE UP RACING, INDIO, CA
- DEVONTAE MOORE, 2028 RACING, MIDVALE, UT
- PETER EBERHARDT, MEDO MULISHA, SAN DIEGO, CA
- MANUEL RIVERA CORREA, BOXER RACING/STAATS/CIARI, 1, MEXICO
Following the final drop of the gate on Sunday, racers and their family units gathered in the Olympic courtyard for the crowning of this year's Gold Cup West champs. If it wasn't hot enough already on a super sunny Sunday afternoon, we turned on the Olympic torch for added effect. One by three, the Champs were called to what was the Hall of Fame stage just the night before. This time, with a podium and Gold Cup backdrop, it was the perfect place to hand out the numberplates and snap some shots of our new Champions. As cars were loaded with bikes and participants drove down the long Olympic Training Center exit - passing rows of Olympic sport symbols, everyone left with some great stories and fun memories, while others carried home some pretty cool hardware.
Another great success! Two of the three GC's are now done - who's ready for August, GA Part II ?!