As we head into the USA BMX Grands later this month, which is also the final race of the year – it’s already been a fantastic year for Payton Ridenour. With her first year in the Junior Women’s class, Payton has been banging out National double wins all year and a solid 4th place at the UCI World Championships in Zolder. Last month, Payton became the first official UCI Red Bull Pump Track World Champion in Switzerland earning the coveted Rainbow jersey.
Shot of our guy Dr. Jason Richardson during our recent DVIDE shoot this week with Justin Kosman. Dr. J has been an instrumental part of our after school program, Ride to End Obesity, with his presentation on inspiring young people to be kind, active and happy. For more on DVIDE check out dvidebrand.com.
This past weekend the team headed to Phoenix, Arizona for the Winter Nationals. Luckily, we missed out on the rain that had hit the race in previous years and we got to set up in the pits and had a good weekend of racing all-around for the team.
Cam Mason flew out from South Carolina for his first race of 2019 and came in 3rd and 4th in Junior Men giving him a great start to the year.
New to the team this season, Derin Merten put herself in the main event both days but unfortunately crashed out Sunday – still lots of positives moving forward to Albuquerque next month.
Madelynn DeSantis already has wins under her belt from Vegas last month and she continued hitting the podium with 2 wins, a second and third for her efforts in Phoenix.
Brooke Craft started 2019 on fire with wins in Vegas, Oklahoma and another two this weekend in Phoenix. Brooke’s on a great track for the 2019 title chase.
Solid weekend all-around for the team.
Now that the dust has settled, reflecting back to the Grands and Winning the race and a National Number 1 Girl Title, how does it feel to put your name in the record books?
It feels amazing! Winning the amateur title is one goal that I’ve always wanted to accomplish! Winning the national age group title is cool, but to win an award this huge and for my name to go into the record books alongside riders like Alise is an honor.
How did you approach the main event? Anything different?
For the main event I didn’t do anything different than I would usually do when I go up for a race. I knew I was up for the title, but honestly I forgot about it by the time I crossed the finish line and was just stoked I won (haha). For prep leading up to it, I just kept it fun. I had fun in the chutes and on the gate, and that’s what helped me win and stay relaxed in the end.
How did you celebrate?
I was absolutely amazed by the amount of people who congratulated me on the title, and especially all of the pros who came up to me. After the races, my family and I went to an Irish Pub for dinner where we celebrated. It meant a lot to receive congratulations from my competitors, friends, family, sponsors, frankly from lots of people I didn’t even know, and tons of riders who inspire me.
We see you’ve been riding your park bike and some MTB in the off season. Do you think switching things up helps with your racing?
I’ve been trying to ride at some indoor bike parks during the winter since no tracks are open near me because of the weather. I’ve ridden at Ray’s Indoor MTB Park in Cleveland, Ohio once and the Wheelmill in Pittsburgh, PA a few times this year. I’ve also done a few cross-country mountain bike rides with my Dad on the local trails. I think switching things up helps with my racing tons! Exposing myself to different kinds of cycling not only expands my skills but could also present me with new opportunities.
Have you been checking out the Women’s Park events now that they’re in the Olympics? What are your thoughts on it?
I haven’t really checked out the Women’s Park events too much. I think it would be super cool to branch out and try some of that stuff someday, though. But right now, racing takes up just about all of my schedule. Plus, I’m planning on competing in some extra events this year.
Phoenix kicks off in a few weeks. How are you feeling after the off season?
I’m feeling amazing! I’ve been training in the off season at the indoor bike parks and on the rollers. I haven’t gotten any track time in because of the snowy and freezing weather, but I’ll be out on the west coast a little bit before Phoenix, so I’ll get plenty of track time out there. At my house the highs have been below freezing all day and it’s either raining or snowing!
I know you’ve been keeping your eye on the Red Bull Pump Track Series. Any plans on hitting it up this year?
Awww, yeeaahhh! When I saw the Red Bull Pump Track Series last year it definitely caught my eye. I’m signed up to hit up one of the qualifiers this year so I’m super pumped to race that. I’ve been working on my pump-track skills at the indoor bike parks lately, and it’s so much fun!
What’s the rest of the year looking like?
For the 2019 season a big goal of mine is to go to Zolder, Belgium for the world championships and race the junior class there. I would love to travel to and race my first world cup too. As for nationals, the system is a little confusing but I was planning on racing quite a few junior races in the U.S. this year. I was also going to do a few other events like dual slaloms, the Red Bull Pump Track Series, and hit up some local trail jams.
A huge thank you to my Mom and Dad, Coach Arielle, Jamie Staff, Dale Holmes, and my sponsors (Haro, Cliq, Dale Holmes Racing, 100%, WD40, 3dyn Composites Inc, Dvide, ODI, Gaerne, Box, Tioga, HRP Designs, EVS Sports) for supporting the dream! See everyone in Phoenix!
As we kick-off 2019, we’ve changed gears a bit on the team front, Haro will now be our primary sponsor. The goal is to now rebuild the next Haro Factory Team over the next few years. Big thanks to everyone supporting this new effort and we look forward to a good year and to continue building on this program.
Haro, Cliq, 100%, Barona Casino, WD40, 3dyn Composites Inc, Dvide, ODI, Gaerne, Box, Tioga, HRP Designs.
June 17 – 21, 2019
Mission Valley YMCA
June 24 – 28, 2019
South Bay YMCA, Ecke YMCA, Scripps Ranch Swim & Racquet Club
July 1- July 5, 2019
Mission Valley YMCA
July 8 – July 12, 2019
La Jolla YMCA
July 15 – July 19, 2019
Mission Valley YMCA, Rancho Family YMCA
July 22 – July 26, 2019
Cameron Family YMCA, Davis Family YMCA, Scripps Ranch Swim & Racquet Club
July 29 – Aug 2, 2019
Ecke Family YMCA, Mission Valley YMCA
Aug 5 – Aug 9, 2019
Toby Wells YMCA
Aug 12 – Aug 16, 2019
Mission Valley YMCA
Great season ending for the team at the USA BMX Grand Nationals over the weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma with Cam Mason, Payton Ridenour, Brooke Craft & Maddie DeSantis all finishing the year strong at the last and most notable race of the season.
Maddie DeSantis started out winning the Friday night Race of Champions then backed it up winning Cruiser and the National number 1 plate for the year on Sunday. Brooke Craft had another solid showing placing 2nd and number 2 for the year one up from last year where she finished 3rd. Cam Mason didn’t have the greatest weekend but still put it in the main event in Open and walked away with plenty of motivation for the winter.
Payton Ridenour had the weekend of her career winning the Grand Nationals on Sunday and with that, also taking home the Cup for National Number 1 Girl and her name going down in the record books. A great way to finish off the year.
As we head into the off-season we want to thank all of the team sponsors for their continued support through the 2018 season.
USA Cycling, Haro Bikes, Rockstar Energy, WD-40, Dale Holmes Racing, 100 Percent, Answer MX, Shimano, ODI grips, BOX Components, Dvide, Tioga Tires, HRP Designs, Wheel Builder.
I wanted to challenge myself and try something different so I decided to do a little apparel line project called Dvide. Big shout out to Mark Ward for helping with logo and branding concept, Michelle La Greca and Bob Haro for sourcing apparel and to my good friend, Lewis for setting up the Shopify page and all his help. Please check it out.
You just finished up your first year racing some of the World Cups how was the experience?
The experience was great. I really enjoyed racing at the highest level in BMX and it was definitely an eye opener. Some injuries kept me out of Papendal, Zolder, and the World Champs, but I guess that’s all part of the learning curve.
Which was your favorite stop on the World Cup Tour?
I really enjoyed the first two rounds in France. The track was super Euro (which is technical and different) and the racing at night made for a good night show with the fans.
Domestically, after making the switch to Pro/Elite this year how would you say your season has been as we move into the last few races?
I feel it has been a pretty solid rookie year for me. Starting out with 4 A Pro wins and 5 podiums out of 7 main events total. When I decided to race Elite, I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I have managed to get a decent start with 2 main event finishes so far. I felt racing Elite was necessary to get me prepared for the World Cup circuit, which went to plan.
What’s the differences from racing Amateur to now racing the best guys in the World in Pro?
The Elite level is a huge step-up from the amateur level. In Pro, you’re doing twice as many laps, with everyone out there going for a paycheck. It’s pretty cut-throat and competitive, but that’s what makes it fun. If I had to single two things, it would be the intensity and aggressiveness of racing at the Elite level.
You based yourself for the majority of the summer down at Chula Vista riding and training with the USA Cycling crew on the daily, how much you think this has helped your game?
Staying at the center I feel was essential in transitioning my game into the Elite level. The entire staff and atmosphere is super high level and I enjoy it. I train with the Jet on the daily and I can say he’s definitely helped me a lot. We are opposites on the bike and in general, so I think it makes a pretty good mix between having a good time and training hard.
Who are some of the other current top US riders that you have been inspired by and learned from in your first full-year being around them?
I’ve been able to learn a lot from both Connor and Corben and it has been super surreal for me because that’s who I grew up idolizing. As time goes on, I’m starting to establish my own ways, so I think being around them this season was good because I was able to see how both of them prepare and race.
Favorite SX track to train on, Beijing or Rio?
Both. I prefer the Rio gate and first straight, and enjoy riding the Beijing for the track work.
What would you say you have learned the most from this year racing Elite?
That you’re capable of beating people and also getting beat. It’s about who can show up on the day and be consistent, there are so many guys capable of winning. It’s all about the little things.
What’s the plan for the rest of the season?
I plan to race Sarasota and then prep well for the Grands. I will finish out racing both the ROC and the Grands as my last A Pro races. I’m really looking forward to my future as a pro and full-time elite. I know it will be a tough task to handle, but I’m ready for the challenge.
PC: Justin Kosman
Good to see Cam Mason back from injury after sustaining a broken wrist a few months ago in San Diego. Cam eased back into the race groove winning the Charlotte North Carolina State race this past weekend. Next up, Cam heads down to Sarasota, Florida for the Sunshine State Nationals and then finishes up the year in Tulsa for the Grands with the rest of the team.
Where do you live?
I live in Lakeside, California
I have been racing since I was 6 years old, so about 8 years now
I am lucky enough to call 3 tracks my home track, which are Cactus Park, Kearny Moto Park and Chula Vista BMX.
USA Cycling, Haro Bikes, Dale Holmes Racing, Rockstar Energy, WD-40, 100 Percent, Answer MX, Shimano, ODI grips, BOX Components, Tioga Tires, HRP Designs, Wheel Builder. Don’t forget my parents and entire family! I owe a big thank you to all my sponsors!!!!
I am fortunate enough to have won myself many titles over my past years of racing, I hold the following titles: 6x State Champion, 2x Redline Cup Champion, 3x Gold Cup Champion, 4x California State Games Champion, 3x Western Division Champion, 3x ROC Champion, 2017 World #7 and 2015 NAG 1 title! As for major wins in my racing career so far, I would have to say winning NAG 1 in 2015 was a big accomplishment for myself but I think my must memorable and most exciting moment in racing has been when I went to my first worlds race in 2017, competed against over 50 girls in the world and was able to take home a World #7 title. May not have been a WIN but in my mind it was a WIN!!!
How’s your season going?
Well… my season has not gone the way I have planned, however, I have learned a lot and I am continuing to make progress, working hard on and off the bike. I have had to make some adjustments to my racing program in order to compete with my competition. I race against some of the fastest girls in BMX right now. I have been able to bring home a couple wins and many podium finishes this season. I am proud of myself for continuing to get the finishes I have had with such hard competition and it is only getting harder each race but I am up for the challenge. These challenges only make me a better racer.
You’ve been easing into some SX riding down at Chula Vista how’s the Big Hill riding going?
I absolutely love riding the SX track at Chula Vista and feel I am the perfect fit for this type of track. I have eased into the SX track over the past 8 months and have been able to attend 3 super cross training camps down at Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center. I have definitely stepped out of my comfort zone this year and I am now jumping massive jumps and I am learning how to better communicate with my coaching staff, trainers and teammates on making myself a better SX racer. I kind of feel like a pro when I am at the top of the SX hill. I love it!!!!
How’s the local San Diego scene? Do you ride the trails and pump tracks for fun?
The local scene in San Diego is absolutely amazing, we have prefect weather almost year round, which allows for year round training in BMX. Of course, I ride trails and pump tracks. I do ride for fun, it is so important to always make time for fun while riding. Trails and pump tracks I feel help me better my skills on and off the BMX track.
Who are some of the riders you look up to?
I look up to many riders in this sport. If I have to pick my first pick would be Alise Willoughby of course she is a powerhouse of a girl racer which is what I am going to be. Lauren Reynolds is awesome, I get to see her ride and train weekly which motivates me to be a better rider. My next pick is a girl pro who has been out of BMX for while now do to a injury, Caroline Buchanan… I have followed Caroline’s road to recovery over the past months, her determination both mentally and physically to get stronger has made me want to work harder and has shown me being mentally tough is a major part of this BMX sport. Wait… I have a couple boys I look up to, Nic Long, has to be one of my most favorite pros he keeps me laughing, never lets me get down on myself and always is pushing me to work harder and harder. I have the privilege of being able to ride and do gates with him at his home, he is a fan of mine (hahahaha). Walker Finch, teammate of mine for 6 years, taught me how to smile and keep positive with his great teeth and hair (haha). My list is so long with riders I look up to, a lot of riders have made a big impact on my BMX career.
Best part about racing?
Everything… Being able to travel and see places I would of never have seen without this sport. I have experience and have seen more in these past 8 years then most in a lifetime.
What are your goals for the rest of the year?
I want to finish strong and continue to get better and better each day. I am going to continue to work hard to get that NAG 1 title back in the 14 girls class and of course I really want to race the NAG 5 challenge for the first time at the Grands this season.
Long term goals?
My longterm goal is to first turn pro at the age of 17 years old and I want to ride for Team USA in the 2024 Olympics. I am going to keep grinding!
PC: Justin Kosman
Our crew have just finished up a few weeks on the road hitting up the Great Salt Lake Nationals in Utah before heading down to Chula Vista Training Center (formally known as the OTC) for a Camp with all of the Team USA riders and staff.
Race-wise in Utah we had some good results with wins from Maddie DeSantis, Brooke Craft and Kamren Larsen. Down in Chula Vista, the riders got a chance to session both the Rio and Beijing SX tracks and also take full-advantage of riding the regular track, pump tracks and squeezing in a few photo shoots. If that was not busy enough both Brooke Craft and Payton Ridenour spent some time hanging out and helping with the kids during one of our BMX Pro For A Week YMCA Summer Camps, which was pretty cool and the campers were ecstatic to meet the girls.
Unfortunately, Cam Mason crashed out during the week’s camp with a wrist injury but we know he will be back in no time. Healing vibes, Cam.
PC: Justin Kosman
Back on the gate post-injury Kamren Larsen put himself in the Elite Main Friday over in Minnesota and just dipped out doing it again Saturday with a mishap in the semi but still a good start for the remainder of the season. Brooke Craft was also in Minnesota getting on the podium all 3 days. Next up, the the team will be out in Salt Lake in a few weeks time for the Great Salt Lake Nationals.
Trilogy Park BMX in Pottstown, PA is the hometown track of Payton P-Nut Ridenour and also the latest stop on the USA BMX national schedule – the Stars and Stripes Nationals, July 6-8, 2018.
The weather leading up to the event was hay, hot, and humid with temperatures in the high 90s. Some downpours on Friday morning created a 3-hour delay but gave way to some much cooler temps and beautiful blue skies for perfect racing conditions. Thanks to the quick acting Trilogy crew for covering and keeping the super smooth track in prime shape.
Payton was featured on the event shirts, hats and stickers and could be seen giving out autographs and taking pictures with friends, family and fans. As for racing, Payton had the track dialed and dominated the 15-16 girls class by taking the win all 3 days. It was another awesome race weekend in the books and looking forward to what the rest of the season has to offer.
PC: Jim Pennucci
Music City BMX was rockin’ this past Memorial Day weekend (May 25-27) in Nashville, TN, for the latest stop on the USA BMX national schedule. The facility and track were in prime condition as always. As for the weather, it was HOT, HOT, HOT, but so were all the racing action.
Payton “P-Nut” Ridenour was running hot laps all 3 days in the highly competitive 15-16 Girls class. Not losing a lap all weekend, she dominated the class and added three more wins to the books.
Cam Mason put in some rippin’ laps all weekend in the 16X class and could be seen boosting the triple into the second turn. He finished up with a 7th on Saturday and a 5th on Sunday.
The summer race season is starting to heat up. Look for the Haro / U.S. Development Team to be representing at more stops along the national circuit.
Bio – Madelynn DeSantis
Years racing: 8 years
Local track: Sycamore BMX
Local crew you ride with?
Leyna Jones, Alijah Salas, Tayor Rungatis, Derek Phipps, Connor and Jack Eaton, Eric Rupe, Kevin Pauls, Dylan Lyons, Brock Arndt.
USA Cycling, Haro, Rockstar Energy, WD40, 100 Percent, Answer Racing, Shimano, ODI, Box, Tioga, HRP Designs, Wheelbuilder.
National #1 Girl Cruiser (2017), World 7 (2017), Roc #1 (2017), NAG #2 Class (2017), NAG #1 class (2016), Gold Cup #1 (2016), State #1 (2016), Triple at the Grands (2015) Won Class, Cruiser and Open.
How did you get into racing?
My brother started racing and we spent a lot of time at the track, so my dad got me a bike, I’ve been riding ever since then.
It’s your first year on the Haro / US Development team how are you liking it?
It’s Great! The team has opened many doors for me, I got to go down to Chula Vista and ride the SX track, I have some great teammates, coaches, sponsors and team manager.
How’s your season going?
Season is going good so far. I have 5 national wins and a handful of seconds, looking forward to moving up into the 15 – 16 Girls class.
You just doubled over in Atlanta; how did the weekend go? Do you feel like you’re in full form now or can we expect even more going in to the summer?
It was a great weekend in Atlanta, winning class and cruiser both days was awesome. I took a couple of falls racing mountain bikes this season, so I’ve been recovering from those injuries. Now, I feel I’m back at almost 100% and ready to train hard this summer then I will really be in full- form just in time for the Grands!
You’ve been easing into some SX riding this year over at Chula Vista. Any plans to race on the big hill this year?
No plans to race the big hill yet, I’m looking forward to spending some more time down in Chula Vista this summer when I’m off school. The big hill is a blast to ride, though!
You’re also involved and compete in MTB cross country. Tell us a little more about that and how you’re doing this year?
This is my first year racing mountain bikes, and it is way different than BMX. My races have been about 8 to 10 miles, and I’m still learning how to pace myself. I have had some top 10 finishes and a couple of 12th place finishes when I crashed. It’s a lot of fun and I really enjoy riding the MTB, looking forward to next season.
Who are some of the riders you look up to?
Kevin Pauls, Mike Day, Jill Kintner, Ashley Verhagen,
I really like Lemoore BMX, I spent a lot of time there training for the Worlds, it has the big start hill and super fast turns.
PC: Justin Kosman
Big turn out for the Team over the weekend in Atlanta at the Dixieland Nationals, recognized as one of the best stops on the USA BMX Tour with a top-notch facility and friendly atmosphere from Margie Hatfield and her crew at Cobb County BMX.
Kamren Larson continued his great form coming away from the weekend with a 1st and 2nd and another nice deposit to take to the bank for his weekend’s work.
Both Noah Ramos and Cam Mason in 16x had a consistent weekend making the mains both days and with best finishes of 4th each.
Our girls were on a mission this weekend. Birthday girl Brooke Craft doubled Saturday, then upped an age on Sunday and came in a respectable 3rd place.
Payton Ridenour had a few problems on the gate Saturday during the main but was on a mission Sunday taking the win from the start and never looking back.
Madelynn DeSantis dominated all weekend long on both the 20 and 24 doubling both days and adding more points in the bank for the year-end title chase on both bikes.
In all, a great weekend for our team. Kamren Larsen now heads out to Europe for the next 2 rounds of the World Cup, with our team riders on the west coast heading out to Lake Perris for the Tangent Pro Am next weekend.
As always, big thank you to all out team sponsors for keeping this team rolling.
USA Cycling, Haro Bikes, Rockstar Energy, Dale Holmes Racing, wd40Bike, Barona Casino, ride100percent, Answer Racing, Shimano, ODIGrips, Box Components, Tioga, HRP Designs, Wheelbuilder.com.
PC: USA BMX
PC: Justin Kosman
Age / Where do you live?
I am 15 years young and I live in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.
My dad introduced me to racing when I was little and I have been doing it ever since, which has been about ten years.
USA Cycling | Haro Bikes | Rockstar Energy Drink | Dale Holmes Racing | WD 40 Bike | 100% | Answer Racing | Shimano | ODI Grips | Box | Tioga | HRP Designs | Wheel Builder
2017 was your first year on the US Development Team how did it go?
My first year on the U.S. Development Team was amazing! I had so many awesome opportunities that I wouldn’t have had if I wasn’t on the team. I got to train at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, start a structured training schedule, and hit a lot more nationals.
PC: Justin Kosman
Being young and it being your first year in a structured team environment, what were some of the benefits you liked?
One of the benefits I like about the team is having the coolest coach, Arielle Martin-Verhaaren. From her I gain tons of knowledge whether it’s about racing, training, nutrition, recovery, etc.
We’re already into the 2018 season, how’s that going so far?
So far, the 2018 season is going really well. I have already been out to Chula Vista once for some training, won my first national in Louisville, Kentucky, and raced my first ever supercross open. It’s awesome that I have gotten to go to three nationals this early in the season, because there are still no tracks open where I live with all of the winter weather.
What are your goals for the season?
My goals for the 2018 season are to get National #1 Amateur Girl and to take advantage of all of the opportunities my team gives me.
Your mom and dad are key elements, to your race program. What are some of the benefits of having a family with the same passion for riding bikes as you?
My mom and dad play a huge role in my racing and training. At the races they keep me hydrated and eating well as well as video my laps. And during training both my mom and my dad will do sprints with me and always encourage me to be my best.
PC: Joey Cobbs
Who’s in your crew at the races?
At the races my crew is my coach Arielle, my mom, my dad, the infamous Dale Holmes, the U.S. Development Team, and some of the girls that I race with.
You also ride the Skateparks, trails and in fact have a backyard pump track and ride mtb – do you think being into all aspects in riding helps?
I think being into all aspects of riding helps so much with BMX! Trails, skateparks, and the pumptrack in my backyard help me with my technical skills. And MTB riding helps me with the endurance and strength aspects of racing.
Any thoughts on doing more MTB or even competing in Park?
Ha, definitely a no on competing in park. I can do some tricks on my trampoline bike but when I tried to take my tricks to an actual jump it didn’t go as smoothly. But, I have been getting into some more MTB stuff like dual slalom and cross country which I really enjoy.
PC: Justin Kosman
You raced your first SX race in Oldsmar last month how was that?
My first SX open race in Oldsmar, Florida was a blast! I had so much fun and loved experiencing a different aspect of the traditional racing. I am looking forward to doing a few more SX races this season.
What are your favorite tracks?
My all-time favorite tracks are the outdoor in Louisville, Kentucky and South Park, Pennsylvania because they’re downhill and super flowy. I also really liked the Grands track last year with how peaky and tight all of the jumps were.
15-16 girls is a super competitive class, but I think that one of my biggest competitors is myself. Sometimes, I just need to believe in myself more to do my best.
PC: Joey Cobbs
Best part about racing?
I think that the best part about racing are the rewards that you get after working so hard to achieve your goals.
My long-term goals are to go to the 2020 and 2024 Olympics and bring home a medal.
Perfect weekend up in Oregon for Madelynn DeSantis at the Great North West Nationals winning Open & Class both days. Madelynn continues a great start to the year with the team as we move into the summer. She’s not just on a BMX but also ripping it up on the Mountain bike as well racing XC over in So-Cal.
PC: Tangent Products