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.