The 2016 USABMX Pro season kicked off this weekend at the iconic Black Mountain BMX in Phoenix, AZ and the Redline team of Sam Willoughby, Alise Post, Hunter Pelham, and Jason Carnes made the trip out with high expectations to start the year off right. New team sponsor, Troy Lee Designs, had the crew decked out in the latest gear, and everyone was excited to show off their revamped look. Phoenix is a perfect location for an outdoor race in the winter and the weatherman came through big this year, with sunny days and temperatures in the 80’s! Track operator Debbie Kelley and her staff have a reputation of running one of the fastest, smoothest tracks on the circuit and they certainly lived up to the hype! Here is a rundown of the team’s performance:
Alise Post: Being a two-in-a-row USABMX Pro Champion, Alise knows how to prepare for the season-opener! She started the weekend in dominant fashion, putting in winning lap after winning lap. In Friday’s final, Alise powered to the front, with fellow Olympian Brooke Crain right on her heals. The champion rode a smooth lap and held on for her first win of the new season. Day two started just the same, with Alise winning all of the qualifiers as well as her semi-final. The final is where things went off the rails. With the two Olympians lined up side-by-side in lanes one and two, Alise and Brooke tangled right out of the gate and both hit the deck, ending their lap as fast as it began. The seventh place finish will definitely be one that we hope to drop before the end of the season! Luckily, Alise is healthy and eager to head to Oldsmar, FL this weekend, where she will defend her five-in-a-row USA Cycling National Champion title!
Sam Willoughby: Finishing one step short of the top of the podium in 2015, Sam came to Black Mountain eager to get the Flight Carbon back on top! He spent the weekend showing the skill and power he is famous for, winning qualifiers and transferring through the quarters and semis and into the finals on both days. On Friday, Sam had a slight bobble out of the gate and had to put in a hard charge to get back in the mix. He exited the first turn in second place, behind USABMX Champ and French Olympian, Joris Daudet! Joris rode a flawless lap and held on for the win, and Sam settled for the second. On Saturday, another bobble out of the gate put Sam back to seventh where he would finish. Like Alise, he will be looking to drop that score as soon as possible and get in the mix to chase his fourth USABMX Pro title!
Hunter Pelham: Coming off of a triple A-Pro win in Tulsa last month, Hunter was pumped to carry on in a similar fashion in Phoenix. Hunter made his way into both finals, looking fast and stylish as always. After traffic jams, elbows, collisions, and random explosions, Hunter came out of the chaos, finishing with a 6th on Saturday, and improving with a 5th on Sunday. The finishes didn’t pay respect to his performance, so he’ll be amped and ready to go in Oldsmar this weekend!
Jason Carnes: The newly crowned National #1 Cruiser rider and team manager drove the rig down from Seattle headquarters and picked up right where he left off at the Grands in November. The TM picked up a double-win on Friday, winning both cruiser and expert, and went on to win cruiser on Saturday and Sunday as well. This gave him a perfect four-for-four weekend and set him up for a peaceful drive across the country to Florida.
Next up, the team will take two days off, then head out to Oldsmar, FL for the USABMX Gator Nationals and USAC Elite National Championships. Thanks to the fans, sponsors, and Redline riders out there who help us get it done! We’ll see you in Florida, proudly rep’ing Redline, IRC Tires, Troy Lee Designs, Box, Promax, Alienation, and Tioga. Safe travels to all!