Bluegrass National Race Report
The 2016 USA BMX National series made its way to the eastern time zone and the long-time BMX city of Louisville, Kentucky. With a rich history in the sport, including a World Championship and numerous NBL Grand Nationals, you can always expect the red carpet to be rolled out when a BMX event comes to town.
Freedom Hall is the site of the 2016 Bluegrass Nationals and the 2016 USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships. Freedom Hall is most famous for being the long-time home to the Louisville Cardinals basketball team and the NCAA Final Four. The venue has also hosted rock legends like Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and Rush. In addition, Freedom Hall was also the site of the first professional fight of Muhammad Ali. If these walls could talk….
The USA BMX crew has once again built a great track. The dirt this year has been enhanced from years past and given the crew the ability to get creative in the confines of Freedom Hall. The track is the typical short-track that you will see in an indoor arena, but it is hard packed and unique. The track starts with a 7ft. starting hill and a short sprint to a step up double followed by a couple of cranks to the double leading into the left-handed turn one. Out of turn one are a few more cranks before hitting another double and then it’s more pedals into the large triple heading into the right handed turn two. From here, you would expect that a rhythm section would be next, but not this time. The third straight features three good sized, well-spaced doubles, followed by the final turn. The left hand turn three feeds into a roller a few cranks and then to the step up double before the finish line.
Things kicked off early Friday morning with television crews on-site at 7 AM doing live remotes. Practice officially got going at 11:15 and the lobby of Freedom Hall was filled with teams, vendors, and colleges from around the United States. From 2 until 4 PM riders and their families were treated to a college fair, featuring coaches and recruiters from some of the colleges that will be competing in this weekends Collegiate National Championship.
We are looking forward to another exciting weekend of national racing action. If the 108 motos at the Friday night pre-race is any indication, we are in for a humdinger.