2019 Vans BMX Pro Cup Series World Championships: Qualifying Results

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Qualification went down today for the women at the last stop for Vans Pro Cup, a total of 19 women entered but only 7 will be moving onto finals tomorrow. Watch it all live at 12:00pm Pacific Time Watch Here.

1. Perris Benegas 90.40
2. Nikita Ducarroz 81.80
3. Macarena Perez 81.40
4. Nina Buitrago 79.40
4. Teresa Azcoaga 79.40 (tie)
6. Natalya Diehm 77.60
7. Natasha Wetzel 76.00

8. Angie Marino 75.00
9. Jesse Gregory 71.60
10. Elizabeth Posadskikh 69.40
11. Keir Sirlin 66.60
12. Jamie McHenry 58.20
13. Kara Bruce 52.80
14. Laila Magnetti 47.00
15. Megan Vu 46.40
16. Emma Schwarz 45.60
17. Beatrice Trang 43.30
18. Alexis Jorden 39.40
19. Ryan Myers 38.60

World Urban Games Budapest - Qualifying Results

Friday, September 13, 2019
Minato Oike Qualifies for Finals.

While half of the world is at the Vans Pro Cup, the rest are at the World Urban Games in Budapest. Congrats to the ladies who qualified, finals start 11:00 BST on Sunday or 6am Eastern, 3am Pacific, 4am mountain.

 Qualifying Results

1. Hannah Roberts USA Q
2. Minato Oike JPN Q
3. Magalie Pottier FRA Q
4. Chelsea Wolfe USA Q
5. Liszurley Villegas Serna COL Q
6. Queensaray Villegas Serna COL Q

7. Ellie Chew NZL Q
8. Ekaterina Kruglova RUS Q
9. Jana Muradova NED Q
10. Analia Gabriela Zacarias ARG Q
11. Mini Park KOR Q
12. Valeria Ward GBR Q

13. Nikol Prikrylova CZE
14. Eduarda Bordignon BRA
15. Katherine Diaz VEN
16. Cory Coffey USA
17. Derlayne Dias Roque BRA
18. Melania Salazar CRC

2019 Vans BMX Pro Cup Series World Championships: Gallery & Schedule

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
All photos by @55naoking
The 2019 Vans BMX Pro Cup Series World Championships heads to Huntington Beach, CA September 13-15 for the grand finale event that will crown two new BMX champions. The entire Bloom BMX crew, including Angie and myself will be on-site to bring you live updates from the entire weekend! Let's not forget our amazing photographer Naoki Gaman who took these amazing shots from today's practice.

Friday, September 13
Men’s Regional Qualifiers (Open Registration)

Saturday, September 14
Women’s Semi-Finals – (Open Registration)
Men’s Semi-Finals

Sunday, September 15
Women’s Finals
Womens High-Air
Men’s Finals
Raddest Trick

WOMEN’S DIVISION – Top Rankings Advancing from Mexico Event

1. Natalya Diehm AUS

2. Perris Benegas USA
3. Macarena Perez CHL
4. Teresa Azcoaga SPA
5. Angie Marino USA
6. Anahi Valentina Areualo MEX
7. Jesse Gregory USA
8. Margarita Meraz MEX
9. Citlali Tomes MEX
10. Derlayne Roque BRA
11. Tania Torres Reyes MEX
12. Norma Angelina Guerrero MEX
13. Melanye Elizabeth Naja MEX
14. Abi Nieto MEX

NORA Cup Female Rider Of The Year, Nina Buitrago

Tuesday, September 10, 2019
The NORA Cup Awards, which first started in 1985 is one of the most prestigious awards in BMX, paying homage to the best in BMX by the people in BMX. This year was extra special, with the addition of a women's category. An exclusive number of female riders were given the opportunity to cast their vote in the first-ever NORA Cup Female Rider Of The Year Award, and to no one's surprise, the most deserving woman received it, Nina Buitrago.

Nina Buitrago, NORA Cup Female Rider Of The Year. 

Congratulations on winning, this is huge! Let's first talk about who you nominated for and why?

Nina: The award said to name who you feel was the number one rider of the year in the women’s category, and so for 2019 I chose Hannah Roberts!! She has been putting in so much work and making history for women at almost every event she’s attended this year.

You and I briefly talked about the win, and Nina you deserve this, but obviously, you're super humble and can't fully celebrate it, so I'm going to go therapy on you and make you finish the following sentence. I deserve this win because ... (yes you have to fill it out)

Nina: I can’t control or stop people from doing what they did, BMX is crazy and I’m so honored 🤦🏻‍♀️ but from now on I hope they read the instructions !! Rider of the current year lol

So do "team meetings" happen often at Empire BMX, how surprised and unaware were you of what was going to happen? Did you have any inklings that maybe there would be a trophy in the Amazon box? What did you think the team meeting could have been about? lol

Nina: Team meetings don’t happen that often and so I was like woah, they must have some news, but I’ve been working so much lately and happened to actually be in town, so I didn’t want to miss it! I was tight on time running behind trying to get ready to go out of town, so when I ran in on my lunch break, I literally just stopped in my tracks, I was so confused why so many people were there also?! Even some of my non BMX riding friends were there for a team meeting?! I have never been surprised like that, and couldn’t think of any reason WHY 🤯 It wasn’t until I reached my hand in the box and felt the edge of the cup, my heart immediately dropped and the tears began to flow.

Click on the image to watch the moment Nina stepped into Empire BMX

I assume someone at Our BMX would have suggested for you to come out to Hastings to hang out right? Also slow clap for those who didn’t spill the beans am I right? lol

Nina: Jeff Z called me and told me they were offering the award and asked me to be a presenter, I was like holy yes! Then oh dang.. wait, when are the dates again?? My boyfriend and I had just booked a trip for his birthday that weekend before heading to the Vans BMX Pro Cup. So at first I was stressing, then Z called me back a few days later and was like well, you can’t be a presenter if you’re a nominee, and asked me to try to still make it. Honestly, I looked into it like crazy, it just wasn’t realistic to come out on less than 2 weeks notice with the other plans I already had made, no refunds and then 5x the amount $ to go to England... I didn’t want to bail on my dude or bail on BMX for the first women’s NORA cup EVER... It was hard but I just had to stick with the original plan, in the bustle and hustle of getting ready to leave town and this team meeting, I didn’t even think to put any of it together. Even down to Tina telling me not to park out back because Steve was having a motorcycle event. I was like woah crazy cool, I’ll have to check that out later hahaha 🤦🏻‍♀️ (so I didn’t see everyone’s cars who came to surprise me)

Photo from @_alexismabry

How did it feel to go to NORA Cup year after year to see other peers get awards and none for females? I feel like, if there was a year to do it, it would be this year, but what about you?

Nina: I mean, it’s always awesome getting to celebrate a rider/homie receiving an award, I always thought how cool it would be if there someday was a women’s award, I think this year was definitely a great year to do it. It means more that they did it this year before the Olympics for BMX to show they fully recognize support and celebrate women on this level. It’s amazing and as most would agree, about time.

Where’s the trophy today, does it get a special place in the house?

Nina: It's at my house on the dining room table with flowers for now till I get back, I don’t know what to do with it yet lol

It wouldn't be a complete interview, without interviewing the people behind this award, so we reached out to Ryan Fudger on behalf of Our BMX for a few quick words on this historic moment.

When the email went out for nominations, was the choice pretty clear right off the bat based on the responses coming in?

Ryan: Voting usually comes in waves. People that have strong opinions usually vote quickly, but a majority of the votes come in after a couple of days when I send the reminder email. Nina took an early lead and looked pretty strong, but Hannah steadily got votes and made it fairly close in the end.

Nina winning is well deserved, she’s been a part of the community for a couple of decades now, but what does this win mean to the team at the Our BMX office? There’s significance in this you know? Nina was very likely, the first female who was probably featured on Ride BMX back in the day and for me, this just feels like a full circle.

Ryan:  I can speak for all of us when we say we're beyond happy to see Nina win. 2019 was a rough year for her and she'll be the first to say it wasn't her best year on the bike. While NORA Cup is supposed to be a rider of the year award (and not a "best ever") category, it made sense on every level that Nina was the first to receive it. She's pioneered, pushed, and sacrificed for women's BMX for well over a decade, and it's pretty safe to say that we may not even be doing this award without her effort. All the other nominees—Lara, Hannah, Perris, and Angie—will surely have their shot at getting a NORA Cup in the future, but Nina deserved the first.

Photo from @_alexismabry

Was there a specific person on the team who started the conversation for a female category, and what’s their address for me to send the edible arrangement? But seriously, not asking it as “why now?” but more of, what was the inspiration behind making this happen?

Ryan:  Hah, I mean, I guess I was the one who said "we're doing it." Obviously, it's been a wild year for us with the death of Ride and all that, so we were all over the place with NORA Cup. For a while, we weren't even sure if we could monetarily make NORA happen. We had loose talks about adding a Women's category, but we officially made the decision kind of late the game. I listened to Angie's Unclicked podcast and for whatever reason, it kind of just tipped the scale for me. Adam Watkins has always been advocating for a Women's category, but in 2018, we came to the conclusion in the past that the sampling for who would vote and, more importantly, who would win, was rather small. Sort of the same reason we've never had a Vert category. But, as you know, women's BMX has made massive strides and being at several events and seeing just how many women are out there in the world made it seem like the correct time to step up.

Vans BMX Pro Cup World Championships Schedule

Monday, September 9, 2019

The final stop of the Vans BMX Pro Cup starts this week! Natalya Diehm (above), is currently sitting in first for the overall series. Below you will find the Women's schedule.

Vans Off the Wall Skatepark, 7471 Center Avenue, Huntington Beach, California


-10am - 5pm - Registration
-10am - 12pm - Women’s Practice

-10am - 5pm - Registration
-10am - 12pm - Women’s Practice

-Off day

-9am - 11am - Women’s Practice
-11am - Women’s Semi-Finals
-Organized Jams Format, ride in order
-7 riders per Heat, 3 runs, ride until you fall
-5 minutes of Practice before each Heat
-Judged on overall impression
-Top 14 from Semi-Finals advance to Finals
-Semi-Finals will be eliminated if participation is below 10 riders
-Finals is the same format as Semi-Finals

-11am - 12pm - Women’s Practice
-12pm - Women’s Finals
-Same format as Semi-Finals
-Immediately following: Women’s High Air, 10 minutes, winner takes all

Odyssey Giveaway with Angie Marino

Saturday, September 7, 2019
Angie Marino and Odyssey BMX have teamed up to give away their pink Odyssey stem and sprocket! For the chance to win, all you have to do is follow @OdysseyBMX & @thebloombmx and tag someone on Angie's Instagram and tell her why you want them! Contest ends this Sunday, good luck!

Photo by @_tylerhuntley

Photo by @_tylerhuntley

Alienation BMX Rims

Thursday, September 5, 2019

We’ve teamed up with Alienation BMX to give away a pair of rims of your choice! For a chance to win, head over to our insta stories, screenshot the last photo, reshare in your insta stories and tag @alienationbmx and @thebloombmx . One lucky winner will be chosen tomorrow - Friday, September 6th! Good Luck!

Don't have Instagram? That's ok, enjoy the informative slides we made below!

Spotlight: Natalia Afremova

Saturday, August 31, 2019
BMX racer, Natalia Afremova is one to watch. In 2017 she took the win at the European Cup, and this year she's killing it at the World Cup circuit, claiming top podium spots in Verona and Zolder. This Olympic hopeful is currently ranked #10 in the world and #1 in her home country of Russia. We wanted to learn more about Natalia Afremova, so we sent her some quick questions to answer! Natalia's native language is Russian, so we appreciate her doing this in English!

For those of us who don’t know, how were you introduced to BMX?
It was in 2007. I went to classes of rhythmic gymnastics. My brother went to classes of BMX race. I tried training on BMX and I liked it. Later my coach said to me: “You need make a choice, BMX race or rhythmic gymnastics. These sports are not compatible.” And so I made a choice.

What has been your #1 most memorable win so far and why?
I have many memories, I remember first victories in international competitions and I think it was the most memorable. I think the first impressions are always most bright in life.

What's a struggle you deal with daily when it comes to racing, and how do you deal with it?
I constantly struggle with myself, it is very difficult because it seems the ideal does not exist. But I survive.

Do you still get nervous on the gate? Any advice on how to deal with that?
I just do what I can. Just need to believe in yourself.

What is a normal day of eating like during a race week?
Lately, I prefer to eat fish with rice or ratatouille.

What kind of food from back home should we know about?
You must try pel'meni and pirozhki in Russia.

Russia is pretty big obviously but if there are 3 tracks that everyone must visit, what would they be?
3 tracks that everyone must visit. Let me think. I would prefer BMX track in Penza, in Saint-Petersburg and in Moscow.

Do you have any pre-race rituals? Superstitions?
Yes, I have some pre-race rituals. I do not believe in superstition.

In 2013 you got 3rd for Time Trials at Zolder, any idea why they stop doing that and do you miss it? 
The time trial is a difficult race and interesting for athletes, but the audience needs a show. The race on time is not so interesting to watch.

On the World Cup Circuit, what’s your favorite and least favorite track and why.
I really like the track in Saint-Quentin, the least favorite - Papendal. Wind always blows in Holland.

Natalia's Bike Check
Frame: Chase ACT 1.0
Fork: Answer Dagger
Bars: Stay Strong
Grips: Lizard Skins Cheers
Brake levers: Paul Love Lever Compact
Seatpost: Eleven
Seat: Tioga
Pedals: Shimano
Cranks: Shimano DXR
Sprocket: Rennen
Front Tire: Maxxis DTH Tire-Folding-Black
Front Wheel: Super Duper carbon rim, Stealth hub
Rear Tire: Maxxis DTH Tire-Folding-Black
Rear Wheel: Super Duper carbon rim, Stealth hub

Racers on the UCI circuit have to race twice on a weekend, each day is equally as important. By the second day of racing, is it possible to feel fresh after the first day of racing? 
Every day I wake up with new power and the desire to make this day.

When you made the switch from Junior to Elite, what changed for you? 
When I made the switch from Junior to Elite, I felt a tighter and stronger competition.

What is the race scene like in Russia, especially for women, is there a lot of competition?
Russia has it’s racing calendar, for Russian Elite - National Cup, Championships Russia. Watch out for the Russian Nationals women’s team.

What is the story behind fire-spinning, where did you learn to fire-spin? Still doing this today?
I started a fire show when I joined the Elite, and since then this activity has become a part of me. I continue to improve in this art.

I've seen some photos of you track cycling, how does that help with your racing?
I think everything that I do gives its benefits for the BMX Race. I think if I want to - I will succeed in any activity.

Lastly, with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics coming up, are you excited, nervous, hopeful?
I have no emotions in relation to the opportunity to participate, first I need to earn a quota.

USA Cycling Announces Team for Chendu

Thursday, August 29, 2019
Photo Source: https://www.usacycling.org/article/usa-cycling-names-2019-uci-urban-world-championships-team

"USA Cycling announced today the 12 athletes that will represent the United States in Freestyle BMX at the 2018 UCI Urban Cycling World Championships taking place November 7-10, 2019 in Chengdu, China.

(August 26, 2019) – USA Cycling announced today the 12 athletes that will represent the United States in Freestyle BMX at the 2019 UCI Urban Cycling World Championships taking place November 7-10, 2019 in Chengdu, China.

Among the competitors is 2018 World Champions Perris Benegas (Sparks, Nev.; Cult) and Justin Dowell (Virginia Beach, VA; Levis, Monster Army) as well as 2017 World Champion, Hannah Roberts (Buchanan Mich. Tioga, Alienation), who is currently ranked first in the UCI World Cup Standings.

“Each year Team USA becomes stronger with the riders that qualify during our selection period. I’m very excited about the World Championships team for 2019 and would love to bring home a rainbow jersey or two,” said newly appointed BMX Freestyle Head Coach for USA Cycling, Ryan Nyquist.

“It’s an exciting time for Freestyle,” added Jaime Staff, BMX Performance Director for USA Cycling, “and now that we’re in the last 12 months of qualifying for the Olympics, I expect everyone, not just our riders, to up their game. The U.S. Team will go there prepared and ready to compete.”

The Team USA roster is as follows:

Elite Women

Hannah Roberts (Buchanan Mich. Tioga, Alienation)

Perris Benegas (Sparks, Nev.; Cult)

Angie Marino (La Mesa, Calif.; Vans, Cult)

Chelsea Wolfe (Lake Park, Fla.; GT Bikes, RYB Denim)

Nina Buitrago (Austin, Tex.; Fox, Empire BMX)

Jesse Gregory (Huntington Beach, Calif.; Rockstar Energy, S&M Bikes)

Elite Men

Justin Dowell (Virginia Beach, VA; Levis, Monster Army)

Daniel Sandoval (Mira Loma, Calif.; Redbull, Freeagent Bikes)

Nick Bruce (Cleveland, Ohio; Rockstar Energy)

Jeremy Malott (Lake Havasu City, Ariz.;Monster Energy, Freeagent Bikes)

Jacob Leiva (Tehachapi, Calif.;Hyper Bikes, Woodward)

Bryce Tryon (Lodi, Calif.)

The USA Cycling 2019 Urban Cycling World Championships selection criteria is available here.

To cheer for Team USA at the 2019World Championships, please follow @UCI_Cycling and @USACyclingLIVE on Twitter. For more about the 2019 UCI Urban Cycling World Championships, please visit the event website at http://www.urbanworlds.cn/en/. " - Kelly Fox

Coffee Chatter Podcast

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

If you're looking for a new podcast to listen to, check out Coffee Chatter, hosted by BMX Canadian racers Tory Nyhaug and James Palmer. There are so many reasons to check them out! First of all, it's hilarious, they make light of the fact that they aren't professional podcasters, but you wouldn't know based on the guests they have on and the questions they ask. I like that they bring on a mix of guests, both relevant to today's BMX racing scene, and legends from "back in the day".  The combination of Tory's familiarity with the guests and James's point of view brings depth to each episode. It's laid back, informative and the occasional F-bomb is a treat.

Check out the new episode with Lauren Reynolds on Coffee Chatter

I'm listing below my top 5 episodes, but they actually came out with a new poddy a few days ago with Australian BMX racer Lauren Reynolds. I haven't heard this one yet, but I'm sure it's solid too.

My top 5 favorite episodes in no particular order.

Nic Long Episode 6
Laura and Merel Smulders Episode 7
Brooke Crain Episode 10
Sam Willoughby Episode 12
Mariana Pajon Episode 16

Check these guys out wherever podcasts are listened to (SpotifyAnchorApple) and catch them on Instagram!

James Palmer & Tory Nyhaug