Kit Bjerk and Braden Romer travelled to Georgia for the USABMX Dixieland National last weekend. Things started well with Braden taking 6th place Friday night in the Vet Pro class. That was followed up Saturday with a win by Kit in the 21-25 Expert race. That’s Kit’s second National win of the season! Sunday, however, started roughly for Kit when he broke a pedal just before his first moto. Kit decided to skip that round and qualify in the second round which gave him time to find shoes and pedals to borrow. He qualified through on the next round and progressed on to the mains where he took his second win of the weekend. That’s his third National win this year and should place him top 5 in the National Age Group rankings right now! Moving on up!
On the road, the u23 riders were all racing the collegiate events for their respective schools at the High Country Classic in Boone. Junior racer David Davenport travelled up to do the 4/5’s and attempt to gain some points in his quest to upgrade to category 3. He picked up 8th in the road race and 6th in the criterium! He’s on his way to getting those upgrade points.
Tuesday, the gang showed up for the Triad Crit Series race at the Dixie Fairgrounds with heavy legs after racing in Boone. Regardless, Kristen Haynes got the win in the Women’s 4/5! David Davenport and Niko Salazar Garcia doubled up in the 4/5’s and then the 3/4 race, where they were joined by Jacob Bernas and Peter Wallace. Niko snagged 9th in the 4/5 and David was 10th in the 3/4.
Next week the u23’s are heading to the USACycling Collegiate National Championships in Augusta, GA. We have Peter and Kristin competing for Wake Forest (they have the best coach), Will Hardin is racing with Lees McRae, and Marcel Gutierrez is on the App State team. Fingers crossed for some good results down there!
The Triad Criterium Series continued out at the Herbalife plant in Winston Salem last week. Junior David Davenport was a respectable 6th in the 4/5's and Niko Salazar Garcia 12th. 13 year old Will Zylstra finished his first ever road event in 33rd! Kristen Haynes won the Women's 4/5. David and Niko doubled up for extra training and did the 3/4's. In the 3/4 Crit, Peter Wallace finished in 8th with junior Weslesy Haggstrom in 11th. And, Marcel Gutierrez got his first WIN of the year in the Pro1-3's!
The u23 team has been busy tearing up the road races up and down the east coast. Most of the u23's were in Annapolis, MD for the ACCC collegiate races with Wake Forest University before coming home to race at the UNC Chapel Hill Grand Prix. Juniors Niko and David joined Kristen Haynes, Peter Wallace, and Zach Hostetler in New Hill, NC. The juniors raced with the C's, thanks to a USAC rule that allows them to compete in most collegiate races, and placed 12th and 13th. Marcel and Will Hardin chose to race in the Pro1/2 field. Marcel grabbed 3rd place and Will was 7th.
Back in Winston Salem, it was another Dixie Crit in the Triad Criterium Series. Kristen Haynes was 1st in Women's 4/5. Jacob Bernas doubled up to race the 4/5's and 3/4's with good results in both, 9th and 18th. Peter was so close to another Dixie win but snagged 2nd place from the breakaway in the 3/4 race. And, some old guy wearing the team suit was 3rd in the Pro 1-3's.
Next up we are heading back to Georgia the USABMX Dixieland National and Boone, NC for the High Country Classic Road Race and Criterium. Feel free to join us for any of these events if you are in the area!
Also, we did the Triad Criterium race at the Dixie Fairgrounds Tuesday night. U23 Kristen Haynes won the women’s C race! Junior rider David Davenport snagged a 5th in the C race, with Wes Haggstrom 7th, and Jacob Bernas 10th. U23 racer Peter Wallace won the B race! He then did the A race with a stacked field of Pro’s and exPro’s. Marcel Gutierrez was 2nd in the A race and almost had the win locked up but for a tactical blunder by one of his master teammates😬 Oops, sorry Marcel. #powerisking
The BMX team travelled to New Mexico for the USABMX National. Kit Bjerk and Braden Romer hit the Spring National to dust out the cobwebs and prepare for the upcoming March 30-31st Carolina National in Rock Hill, SC. This is a big event for us and all of the BMX team members will be there. If you live in the Carolinas, definitely get to Rock Hill BMX this coming weekend for the Elite national championship and USABMX Carolina National! Chat us up at the race, we’ll be easy to find, just look for our jersey or the big National Cycling Center van.
Meanwhile, the road crew has been busy with gravel races at the Croatan Buck Fifty and Love Valley events.
Will’s Croatan Buck Fifty(u23 Team): An early start before a long day in the bike chair. The race was super long, 150 miles, and full pot hole strewn dirt roads yet still one of Will’s favorite events of the season! The picture below says it all. Exhausted, dirty, and hungry. Not sure how he got himself back together for school two days later!
Kit and Braden’s NM race report (BMX Team): Fun trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Braden Romer and I woke at 3am to catch a 6am flight on Friday to race the same day. Arriving in New Mexico we had practice, had to learn the technical track in 20 minutes. Races started at 5pm with Braden having total points mains where he got a forth in his first race as Vet-pro! I had a rough day coming unclipped in the semi. After a good nights sleep we were both ready to race Saturday. Braden had a total points main were he averaged a 4th in Vet-pro again. I transferred into the main in the first moto. The main, I didn’t get the first straight I needed but came out of the first turn in 2nd and ended the race race in 2nd. Sunday there was no pro race so Braden got to relax while I had one more day of racing. I won the first moto to transfer to the main event again. Getting the furthest outside gate in the main I tried my best to get over but wasn’t completely able to. One rider got underneath me in the turn but I was able to keep 2nd and finish there. We both hopped on a 5pm plane to get back to N.C. so I could get to class and Braden could get back to teaching.
Love Valley gravel race reports from Peter and Kristen (u23 Team) Saturday: Beautiful weather for racing & despite crashing, Kristen Haynes completes her longest ride in good spirits and good time. Peter Wallace finished in 2:30 managing to fend off local dads
Sunday: Going in with a race plan of no punctures and no crashes, Kristen and Peter failed on both accounts within the first hour. While race hopes went out the window, all was recuperated over Chipotle.
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