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Great weekend for the team at the World Famous Winter Nationals in Phoenix, Arizona. This event has been on the BMX calendar annually for over 20 years, so anyone would refer to it as a classic and one that is much coveted to win.
Our very own Maris Strombergs and David Herman were in the house and looking to do some damage in the Elite Class. Strombergs was really fired up for this race and was back on point winning every lap of the day and even secured the win on Saturday from lane 8, with 5 bike length win over 2nd place rider Denzel Stein. I think it’s safe to say, “The Machine” is back and at just the right time with less than 100 days to the London Olympic Games.
Herman was looking good all day winning laps despite fighting both jet lag from Europe and 100 degree + heat. In the main, Herman was a bit late out of the gate & and got pinched off and that was the end of his day. Herman then decided to pull the plug for the weekend with the Worlds & Olympic qualification on the horizon — smart thinking from the Colorado Kid.
Sunday, Day #2, Strombergs again was feeling it — winning lap after lap and chose lane 8 in the final again, with confidence that he’s back on his game. His gate was not perfect and he was battling Willers in the first turn and got run out a bit, which took his momentum and chance of a win – falling into the 5th spot but Strombergs leaves Phoenix with a confirmed sense of confidence. Strombergs is now off to Europe for the next 5 weeks to focus specifically on SX training and to gear up for the upcoming World Cup in Holland & the World Championships in Birmingham, England.
Acting Team Manager for the weekend, Cristian Becerine, came to Phoenix to handle the pit and to support the guys – he even managed to fit in the Friday night pre-race and finished 2nd behind Nic Long. Becerine will be eligible for vet pro next month and will make his debut in Nashville. Amateur team riders, Marcus Hampton & Stephen Larralde started the weekend off right. Hampton won junior devo Friday night and unfortunately took a nasty fall on Saturday & broke his wrist with a minor concussion – heal up quick, Buddy. Larralde’s winning streak continues with a win on both days setting himself up for a strong World Championships defense in England next month. All in all a great weekend for the team and terrific confidence booster for our guys leading into next month’s World Championships.
Photo Credit: Michael Carruth