Bluegrass National Day 1
After a great pre-race Friday and a few hours of practice Saturday, the track for the the 2016 Bluegrass Nationals was the best Freedom Hall had seen. The hard packed, fast riding track was dialed and the racing was sure to excite.
As has become tradition in Louisville, Steve Buttleman, the Churchill Downs bugler was on hand to get things going with the National Anthem and Call to the Post. While Buttleman is most famous for the Kentucky Derby, he has become a staple at Louisville BMX races.
The 249 motos Saturday got underway with the USA Cycling Collegiate BMX National Championships. The defending champions, Marion University, had their sites set on another crown, but Lindsey Wilson and a host of other schools were eyeing the same crown. With three-time men's champion Justin Posey and women's champion Felicia Stancil no longer in the mix, would Marian have a new champ, or would Lindsey reign supreme?
The collegiate action saw the women’s main event dominated by Lindsey Wilson and Marian University. The eight rider main had no other team represented. The gate dropped and Lindsey Wilson teammates Sabrina Bice and Heather Collman came out of turn one going 1 and 2. They kept the lead wire to wire. Marian University riders Kristen Bob, Samantha Miller and Shayona Glynn went three through five.
The men’s main event was also packed full of Marian University and Lindsey Wilson riders. Arizona State and Fort Lewis College also had representation. When the gate dropped Tyler Whitfield (Marian University) jumped out to a quick lead. Spending the whole lap trying to get clipped in, Whitfield held on for the win over teammate Alec Bob. In a reversal of the women’s race, Lindsey teammates Corey Ross and Brandon McDowell went three and four.
With college racing being a two-day event to determine the individual and team champions, Sunday is sure to excite.
Things remained intense as the A Pro riders took to the gate. With three mains, the racing was intense. Cole Tesar (C-Yaa Factory) won the first round with Santiago Marin (Hostile Elite) finishing second. That was the last time Marin would cross second, he finished first the next two mains and finished on top of the podium. KJ Romero (Supercross) had solid finishes in all three rounds and finished second overall. Tesar, after winning round one, held on to round out the podium.
The amateur racing had announcer Kevin Riedemann excited all afternoon. He threw out every adjective in the dictionary describing the racing action. With 60 semi mains, many of the top riders found themselves fighting to get into the mains. As always, we will have coverage of all the race action in Pull Magazine. Results can be found at http://www.usabmx.com/site/bmx_races/289823/results?past_only=1§ion_id=228.