The Winter Nationals in Black Mountain, Phoenix, Arizona has a deep race history in the American race scene and for a lot of us – the real first test for the season is here with such a big turn out in most classes across the board. The USA Cycling Junior Development Program has just partnered up with Rockstar Energy Drink in the last few weeks and looking to make its first full team line up appearance for the 2017 season.
Payton Ridenour was first up for the team racing Friday night at the World Championship qualifier and coming home with the big win and setting the stage for the rest of the weekend for the Team.
Saturday, as predicted all week, the heavens opened up raining all day long and turning the track into a slippery mud fest lotto for every rider racing. Noah Ramos 15 x, Colin Whittington 17-18 x and Kamren Larsen 17-18 x all were riding good but crashes due to the slick conditions made it impossible to be consistent up front all day but all still managed to make some Open finals — but again, crashes in the mud kept them off of the podiums. Payton Ridenour coming from the East Coast and a little more used to these kind of conditions put another solid day in coming in 1st in Open and 3rd in class.
With Sunday’s National cancelled due to more rain over Saturday night that’s a wrap on the Winter Nationals and the Team all head back to the East Coast for next week’s Gator Nationals in Oldsmar, Florida where everyone is looking for better conditions.
Big thanks to Jamie Staff and everyone at USA Cycling for the support of this new program and all the Teams sponsors for 2017.
Photo Credits: Jerry Landrum.