Then came 15x, with the gate chock full of the fastest fifteen-year-olds in the entire World. While they didn't have the largest rider-count - only 87 riders, No.4-seeded Jesse Welch from So.Cal. had the next opportunity to take over the Amateur chase - "with a win and only a win," said BA.
So Cal'er Jesse Welch, racing for the multi-time No.1 Factory team - Haro-Promax, got the pop from lane seven and while former No.1 Am Radro Jaworsky and Utah's Hunter Brown had equally great starts. But they could not match Welch's Perris-pull. By the Tulsa turn, Welch and his carbon Haro bike were sitting in a comfy 6-bike length lead and rode a flawless lap to take over the Amateur points lead.
...the only question was; could he hold onto it?!
USA BMX president BA Anderson came back on the mic and declared, "the next class with a chance to take over the lead will be 19-27x." Welch went from No.4 in the points to the lead position with that 15x win.
Now, only Free Agent's Alec Bob could take the No.1 title away from Welch.
"This is the moment we've been waiting for," announced B.A. Anderson. Locked and loaded in the gate was 19-27x, and in it, was Alec Bob - the man who'd came to Tulsa sitting in the points lead. He'd already won the NAG-5 Challenge (which could actually be a curse, as no NAG-5 Challenge winner has ever gone on to win the No.1 Am title). This was also Bob's last race as an amateur, as he'd announced to the world on the RTB podcast that he was going to turn pro in 2017.
In the gate with Alec Bob were some mighty tough hombre's: Vaughn, Salas, Steinberg, Roarty, Hopson and the old man of the bunch, Patterson. As the names were announced, Alec was the last one to roll into the gate. You could just tell he was feeling the pressure.
As the gate slammed, Alec Bob got a bad gate and to make things even worse, he and Corey Salas tangled a tad over the starting-hill dropoff. By the first jump, Bob was in dead last and off the pace, while Justin Knapper and Makieva Hopson powered to the front of the pack.
Watching from the sidelines, the Haro~Promax clan were quickly celebrating halfway through the main, as there was no way Alec Bob was about to pull off a miracle. Knapper brought it home - which was cause for the Answer~Rennen team to do their own victory dance for the Factory team chase while the Haro-Promax crew began high-5'ing each other for yet another No.1 title for the history books.
Jesse Welch was your new, 2016 National No.1 Amateur!