Rockford, IL – Day 2: With rain clouds looming in the morning, the final day of the 2010 MidWest Nationals got off to a quick start. But before long, the skies cleared up, the sun shone, the humidity got higher, and the racing got HOT!
In AA-pro, Denzel was still pumped from his 2nd place score on Saturday and was riding midpack in the semi, when he got a nice Argentinian bump and run in turn two and was pushed high enough in the turn to let four riders slide by on the inside. Disapointedly, Denzel’s day was done.
In the next "see-mee" Willoughby made it thru and looked like he could be the man to beat. For those who know Sam, is 4th place score the day before may as well have been an 8th place in a 1/4 main. For him, to not stand on the podium puts shame on the Willoughby name and reputation. Knowing his determination, it was no surprise to see him come back on Sunday like a Man on a mission. He was out for podium redemption.
In the final, Sam came out with the rear Tioga tire smokin’ – and laid down his power on the first straight. New Zealand’s Willers pulled up in the 2 spot, followed hotly by the Haro twins of Long and KY. By the finish, Sam crossed the stripe with a comfortable lead and punched the sky with a triumphant fist. He’s back on TOP.
In Elite Women, it was once again going to be the Continental showdown – World Champion Sarah Walker -vs- Minnesota’s BMX Queen, ALISE POST. This time, Walker chose an inside lane, and Alise decided to use her land choice to lkine up right beside the rainbow striped jersey of Walker. Once the gate slammed the ground, all eyes were on the Redline rider and her foreign rival. Bumping a bit down the first straightaway, Post got an edge on the smilin’ one and exited turn one at fullspeed and a slight lead. Walker stuck right to Alise, again – and waited for her chance. Entering the last corner, Alise quickly ran through her options; knowing that the World Champ was breathin’ down her neck. On Saturday, she’d swung low to block Walker from swoopin’ the inside, but it forced her to lose a bit of momentum. This time, she opted for the highspeed rail and picked a middle line. Walker read it perfect (probably something she’s learned from her NZ coach Ken Cools). Sarah slipped in low and blasted by Post to take over the lead. Alise gave it all she had left to try catching Walker but would have to settle today for a 2-spot.
Weekend total: Alise = 1. Walker = 1. Call it even for now.