The fifth-annual Disney Cup brought some incredible BMX Racing action to Orlando last weekend. At 207 motos, Saturday’s race was said to be the largest USA BMX/ABA Florida national ever (196 on Friday and 197 on Sunday). Awesome to see the numbers and excitement keep climbing year over year.

Weather reports leading in to the weekend were weighing heavy on the thousands of inbound BMXers, as Hurricane Sandy sat a couple hundred miles away, in the Atlantic, spinning her way up the Eastern Seaboard. Thursday’s practice was rained out, and a lot of twitter messages from the track ended with hashtags like #soaked, #rainraingoaway and #bringit.

The Redline rig was staked-down solid on the third straight, and Carnes & Co. put out the traditionally-squared-away display for the fans.

On-scene for Factory Redline were the aforementioned, JC, Sam "Stripes" Willoughby, Denzel Stein, Tory Nyhaug, Mr. Black Plate, Amateur #1, Josh Klatman and Kiwi Trent Woodcock racing A Pro. Alise Post is still sidelined, recovering from a hand injury, but will be back for the Grands (which is only 24 days away!).

 

FRIDAY

Racing got underway a little past 3PM and in the first rack of Elite Men, Sam put the first winning lap of the weekend on the board for the team. Next gate, Tory got his weekend started with a win. A few gates later, Denzel posted a fourth, but was looking strong, and we knew he’d be looking for an upgrade next time out (he got it, with a 2-2 in the next two trips),

The World Champ continued his winning ways throughout qualifying with two additional aces, completing his set in the motos. Tory’s 1-2-3 was enough for a ticket to the 1/4s, as was Denzel’s 4-2-2. Carnes was in the Vet Pro mix, but his 5-5-5 would make it a "wait til tomorrow" day.

Denzel got through the quarters and semis with a second and a first, respectively, so things looked good for #26. Sam made a major push to get past traffic in the Elite Men semi to grab one of the qualifying spots. But the last turn would be the decider, and at the stripe, he was out of the top four.

The ORL BMX track was groomed to perfection, and is famous (infamous?) for several "joker" features that can toss the deck in the air, and make things end up completely unlike they started. The first turn was notorious for that, as a rack of closely-packed pros come in at mach three, and the crowd closes their eyes to see who makes it out clean.

The Friday Elite main was one of those times, as The People’s Champ came out of lane seven, and was half a bike out of the lead, deep in the first turn. That line took him way-high, and a momentary flirtation with the over-the-berm club interrupted his groove enough to scrub off several places worth of speed. Tough to recover from that, and a seventh is what the record books will show.

Josh was in for a fourth on the day in the 37-riders-deep 19-27 Expert class.

Three-day races are definite butt-kickers. After some 10:30PM carry out food, the focus was on "sleeping quick," as Saturday’s race day was going to dawn quicker than anyone expected.

SATURDAY

The prospect of Mother Nature stomping on all our fun was quickly fading on Saturday, and it looked like we’d get the whole weekend in without much more than a track-watering sprinkle or two.

Sam was off to an incredible day, with wins in his first five laps (three motos, quarter and semifinals). Jason and Tory also shook the day one blues, with slots in the Vet Pro and Elite Men main, respectively. Denzel was riding well in the motos, with a 4-2-2, but a sixth in the quarter put him on the ugly side of the fence for the main.

Carnes saw some daylight open up in the Vet Pro main, and slid in for a third-place podium spot. Hanging around the infield waiting for the presentation on Sunday morning, he said he might need someone to draw him a map on how to get up there, since it had been so long. That’s part of what’s so awesome about Jason. Dude is one of the most respected riders in the class, and still can bring the self-deprecating humor.

In Saturday’s Elite main, Tory had gate one and Sam gate two. The pack was four-abreast over the first jump, with Tory and Sam right in the thick of it. That said, the last place most people want to be is on the far outside of this first turn, so as the pack shot down the middle of the first straight, the squeeze to the inside was on to get the hot middle-line in to turn one. That put Tory on a white-line ride into the grass for a second–similar to what happened to Denzel Friday night, but in a different location.

Meanwhile, SW91 went into turn one in fourth, and came up with a gem of a pass using the "not-too-high-not-too-low" line, then pedaling the next two jumps to take up second. He was nudging the lead for the rest of the lap, but it was going to have to be the left-step for Saturday (which Sam was still not too stoked about). Tory was hanging in for fifth, but drifted high in turn two, and that was basically the ballgame for him, with a snowman on the Saturday sheets.

Josh had a tougher time on day two, spinning in for a sixth in 19-27x

Two-thirds of the Disney Cup was in the books. The battles would definitely get stronger on day three, as the deciding laps for the overall cup would be put down.

SUNDAY

Day three had some early Halloween goblins gumming up the mix for Tory and Denzel—both had good showings in the motos, but were in street clothes for the main event.

Day three could have been officially called "The One Show," as Sam-the-World-Champ took his UCI skinny digit to the front every time down the hill, including the main event. Speaking of that Elite main, it was one of the most exciting of the season–and kept the fans on their feet long after Sam crossed the stripe for the win.

Taking a fresh look at the video, it was a heck of a lap for Sam, who was pinned against the inside chalk the whole trip down the first straight. His Tioga Powerblocks had the major hookup in turn one, as he held a hella-tight line on the dirt berm to take it from third to second into the second straight. Into turn two, SW was on the outside, and a wheel behind Willers, but the third straight would prove the great equalizer for the day three top-step.

Some turbulence ensued as Sam and Marc matched crank-for-crank to get to the third turn in the lead, and just as Sam was riding Willers high into turn three to put the lock on it, Donny Robinson came out of nowhere to slip under both of them, and into the lead as the last turn was coming into view. The crowd was going berserk as Sam pulled even with dR at the first rollers of the last straight rhythm–then ahead of him for an incredible and well-executed win. Very proud of our champ!

Speaking of podium spots, Trent got on the box on day three as well, with a third in A Pro. Carnes was back in the main, with a 4-3-4 in the motos. It didn’t quite break our way in the The Vet Pro main, but a 7th is still nothing to hide under the sofa.

 

**Pros "Pass The Bucket" for Kyle Bennett**

Although Fresno was the first race following the tragic death of Kyle Bennett earlier this month, this was the first time the full compliment of athletes came together (Fresno was on the very day of KB’s memorial service). More than a dozen of the fastest BMXers on Earth got together and "passed the bucket" to raise money for Kyle’s daughter, Kylie, and family as a whole. By the time the last main crossed the line on Sunday, the Elite effort raised over $2300. Local business Smoothie King also created a special "KB88 Smoothie" to sell at the track, and raised another $700 in sales. One thing that is an absolute: the BMX community will always pull together to take care of its own. Great job to everyone who took

 

 

**Props to our Regional Team Winners**

FRIDAY

Justin Riddell (Redline/M-1) A Pro

Connor Defrain (Bike Alley/Redline) 8-under cruiser

Sarah Gross (Redline/M-1) 16G

Brandon "Birdman" Crain (Redline/Challenge) in 8x

SATURDAY

Brandon "Birdman" Crain (Redline/Challenge) in 8-under cruiser

Joe Hauck (Redline Adventure) 13-Inter

Brandon "Birdman" Crain (Redline/Challenge) in 8x (Friday)

SUNDAY

Brandon "Birdman" Crain (Redline/Challenge) in 8-under cruiser

Joe Hauck (Redline Adventure) 13-Inter

Connor Defrain (Bike Alley/Redline) 8x cruiser

Disney Cup 2012 ended up with mixed results for Factory Redline. But we were always in the mix, and everyone is stoked to end the season on the highest of high notes leading in to the "Greatest Race on Earth." Keep an eye on this space for the colossal USA BMX Grand National report, just after Thanksgiving.