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:

"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 " - 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

Colorado Classic Vans Demo Gallery

Tuesday, August 27, 2019
The Colorado Classic made the first debut in 2017 as a four-stage cycling race, for both men and women. This year, the Classic continued not only as the first UCI road race in the USA that was women's only, but they also increased the women's purse from $20k in 2018, to $75k this year. VF Corporation, a parent company to brands like The North Face, Timberland, Dickies and of course Vans, invited some of the ladies in BMX, including Nikita Ducarroz, and Natalya Diehm, to do a box jump demo. Steve Van Doren was also on the waffle maker feeding the fans.

Nikita Ducarroz

Natalya Diehm

Thank you also to Cult & Vans for donating this Cult Complete to a lucky fan!

Girls Ride Weekend - DDASC

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

On Saturday, September 7th, the Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex will celebrate girl power, with special guests Hannah Roberts, Perris Benegas, Nikia Ducarroz, and Natalya Diehm. All girls, of all ages, are invited to ride for free!

Address: Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex - 171 Tradition Trail, Suite 301 Holly Springs, NC 27540
Date: Saturday, September 7, 2019
Event Time: All-day

Need a place to stay? Check out the Hampton Inn & Suites just 5 minutes down the road.
Address: 1050 S, N Main St, Holly Springs, NC 27540, USA
Tel: +1-919-552-7610

Don't pass up the opportunity to meet Hannah, Perris, Nikita and Natalya!
Regular Park and Complex Summer Store Hours:

Weekdays 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Saturdays 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sundays 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Get ahead and fill out your waiver if it's your first time!
Adult Waiver:
Minor Waiver:

Vans BMX Pro Cup Women's Finals

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Video by : Our BMX

The ladies were ripping at the Vans BMX Pro Cup in Mexico city! Peep all the madness from the finals, right here. Riding from Angie Marino, Perris Benegas, Teresa Azcoaga, Natalya Diehm, Macarena Perez and more.

Follow Our BMX

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

Best Whip : Perris Benegas
Best Trick : Angie Marino

August 17th 2019 Weekend Racing Results

Pretty eventful weekend around the world recently, here are your top finalist elite women results for the August 17th weekend C1 races.

Calgary Canada Cup - August 17th - CANADA
2 HEBERT Avriana (CAN)
5 MILLMAN Sabrina (CAN)

Omsk Open - Round 1 - August 17th - RUSSIAN FEDERATION

2 AFREMOVA Natalia (RUS)
3 BONDARENKO Yaroslava (RUS)
5 SUVOROVA Natalia (RUS)
6 ERINA Alina (RUS)
8 ADMAKINA Svetlana (RUS)

Omsk Open - Round 2 - August 18th - RUSSIAN FEDERATION

1 BONDARENKO Yaroslava (RUS)
2 AFREMOVA Natalia (RUS)
6 ADMAKINA Svetlana (RUS)
7 SUVOROVA Natalia (RUS)
8 ERINA Alina (RUS)

"Qiansen trophy" Aohan Station - August 17th - PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

1 CHRISTENSEN Simone Tetsche (DEN)
3 STANCIL Felicia (USA)
5 MAIRE Camille (FRA)
6 BAAUW Judy (NED)
7 LU Yan (CHN)

"Qiansen trophy" Aohan Station - August 18th - PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

1 CHRISTENSEN Simone Tetsche (DEN)
4 ETIENNE Axelle (FRA)
5 BAAUW Judy (NED)
6 MAIRE Camille (FRA)
7 STANCIL Felicia (USA)

Maca Perez Bike Check

Monday, August 19, 2019

Congratulations to Maca who recently brought home 3rd at the Vans BMX Pro Cup stop in Mexico City! In celebration of the win, we're sharing her bike set up!

Frame: Sunday Street Sweeper 20.5
Fork: Odyssey r32
Bars: Killabee 2
Stem: Odyssey DGN 
Grips: Odyssey Brock Raiford
Seatpost: Odyssey Tripod Post
Seat: Odyssey Chase Hawk 
Pedals: Odyssey Twisted Pro
Cranks: Odyssey Thunderbolt 170
Sprocket: Odyssey Fang 28T
Front Tire: Maxxis Grifter 2.10
Front Wheel: Gsport Birdcage rim, Profile Mini Hub, Ti Spokes
Rear Tire: Maxxis Grifter 2.10
Rear Wheel: Gsport Birdcage Rim, Profile Mini Hub, Ti Spokes
Pegs: no pegs πŸ˜‹
Special notes: Full Odyssey Braking

Catch up with Caroline - Return to Full Flight

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Caroline Buchanan talks about her return to BMX racing from the ground up, after 8 months off due to a life-altering injury. She's been through a hell of a journey, but we're happy to see her back in action.

BMX Babes Angie Marino & Nina Buitrago on Glow Netflix

Friday, August 16, 2019

I don't think anyone would have ever predicted women's wresting and BMX would ever go together, but here we are. In the recent season of Glow on Netflix, in episode 8 "Keep Ridin'" at the 7:08 mark, the episode featured two female BMXer's throwing down some old school 80s tricks. The scene is pretty awesome and featured a cameo with two of the most influential ladies in BMX today! I sent Angie Marino and Nina Buitrago the same set of questions to get their different perspectives on what it was like to shoot for a Netflix show. I loved the answers that came back, I hope you enjoy it too.

** Before reading, make sure you watch the quick cameo on Netflix. **


Hey you two, congratulations on making a debut on Glow! So how did you guys get the call for the gig and what was their pitch to you?

Nina: A fellow BMX rider and good friend, Danny Downey, who I met at a trail jam at Olive Grove trails in California is also a Hollywood stuntman! He has always been rad about hitting me up for any BMX gigs looking for female riders. He called me up with an opportunity and said he needed two gals to shred some 80s style scene and I gave him Angie’s info and then boom we met up like a week later!

Angie: I got a text from Nina saying that she passed along my info to a stunt coordinator. Shortly after that text, I got a phone call asking if I would be interested in riding on the show and if I was already a part of SAG.

From the time you got the call to when you had to be on set, how quick was the turnaround - how soon did they need you?

Nina: I feel like it all happened really quickly, we got on the phone, I booked a flight for a couple days later and was heading out to California!

Angie: We filmed at the beginning of March, so I really don't remember how quick the turn around was. I remember it being fairly fast though. I think it was something along the lines of... are you available next week?! Usually with Hollywood for stunts, especially BMX, everything is super last minute and you basically have to be available as soon as the next day.


When you got on set, what was the filming schedule like?

Nina: Our first day we met up at a studio downtown LA to get fitted for costumes, try on helmets, ride the ramps and some skyway mag wheels thanks to Dan Hubbard!

Angie: As always, call times are at sunrise haha. Typically, you're on set first thing in the morning when everyone else is, even if you're not supposed to film until 6pm. Once the filming starts, it usually goes pretty fast. Once we started filming, I don't think it took more than an hour at the very most to get the whole scene.

How much time did you guys get to play around with the ramps until it was shooting time?

Nina We had a full day on the ramps, the first part with our normal bike setups with some vintage moto full-face helmets haha, those were heavy and tough to see out of - they stuffed them with foam to eliminate bobble head effect. Took a short break for a costume fitting, and then had an hour or so with the mag wheels 🀣 . Dan Hubbard who brought his stunt show box jumps, he grew up riding in the 80s (era that the show takes place) so he helped us make sure the tricks weren’t too modern and were as true to the era as possible.

Angie We got one day to ride the ramps for a couple hours, but it was before we had the mag wheels on our bikes. The ramps were super easy to get used to, which made everything go smoothly. Then we got some practice time the day of filming with the mag wheels.


I noticed that the bikes had 80s style rims, but otherwise, everything else looked pretty much yours. Can you talk about what the producers did to your bike?

Nina: The show seemed to lean on Dan Hubbard for helping to source some mag wheels that worked with our current setups. Thankfully skyway has a 9t driver that worked with my gear ratio, I think Angie has LHD and there was some swapping of cranks and stuff haha but he got us rolling with legit skyway “Tuffy“ wheels I wish we got to keep lol. After our practice; Angie and I took our freshly retro-grade mag wheel setups, down to BMX night at the California training facility 🀣 we rode for a few more hours... we learned quickly that mags and concrete bowl corners don’t go together well, haha so much flex!! We rode well into the night even though we had a 5am call time or something (Had to make the most of my time with such a short trip!)

Angie: The major change was the wheels. The mag wheels alone made my bike look so retro! They had to cover up our normal logos and they added pads to give our bikes that vintage look. The stem pads were totally the wrong size and they had to zip tie them on hah! The also added some "Bash Howard's Rhapsody!" stickers to our bike to match the helmets.


What was the wardrobe and hair/make up experience like? Would you rock the 80s look daily?

Nina: Omg we had the funnest time!! They made custom outfits bright 80s colors; with built-in lattice stitched knee pads... white Vans Sk8 hi pros, they took the tags off so couldn’t see any of the logos but Vans were legit AF!

Angie: They curled and teased the sh*t out of my hair! I basically had one big dread when I went home! Hair and make up is always so fun on set though! I always get into chatting with the stylists. All I have to say is that I hope I never have to film another 80's part again! Nina rocked the look, I, on the other hand, felt very out of my element haha.

The cameo itself wasn't too long, but how long was shooting for you guys? How many takes did it take?

Nina: Call-time was like 5am but we didn’t have wheels down for practice till around 8am, they approved the 9ft quarter pipe to start and turn around on, we had to figure out the timing so we were both in the air at the same time. We got to work with a rad stunt coordinator, Shauna Duggins, she helped us dial in the right spacing for what the director was looking for. Once we got that on lock, it was lots of chillin...probs didn’t shoot til closer to 11am. The riding takes we didn’t have to do too many but the “reveal” where we power skid up to Kate Nash, and take our helmets off, we had to do that take like 10x almost haha. I had a foam pad in my helmet that fell out on the ground in one, I almost skidded into Kate Nash another time, our timing was off, then we didn’t fluff our hair enough in synchronicity haha It was a LOT of fun and to get to the whole scene for Geena Davis in character?!! And for a lot of the cast, director and writer of GLOW?!’ AMAZING!!!

Angie: I don't remember the exact time, but I remember it being super quick. They waste no time in the film industry. They did a few takes of each jump and then they did some extra takes of us taking our helmets off (which didn't make it into the final episode... thank god...).

Actors always talk about the legendary craft services, was there one on your set?

Nina: Snacks and catering was nice before we hit the road from the set since I think we were so excited we didn't eat much.

Angie: The crafty! It's the bestttttttt. They will make you whatever your little heart desires, plus there are snacks on snacks. I had the best breakfast burrito and then after we shot, they had a really nice catered dinner for everyone.

Anything else you want to share from the experience?

Nina: I would love to do gigs like that ALL of the time!!! It was SUPER fun and honestly really happy I got to do this gig with Angie, we have been riding together for a long time and it has been a while since we got to have so much fun riding together outside of a contest πŸ™ŒπŸ». From the costume fitting, rippin trains on box jumps, riding the CA training facility with mag wheels, and throwing the biggest cheesiest one-handers, x ups and no filters and getting paid??!!! And be on Netflix?! hahaha seriously One of the coolest gigs ever πŸ™ŒπŸ» thank you BMX.

Angie: If you ever have the opportunity to be on a set, take it, just make sure you're getting compensated for what you're worth! It's a really cool experience and you get to meet some awesome people. Don't be shy, talk to people, ask questions. I've made a lot of cool friends and some great resources from being on set.

2019 Lima Pan Am Games - Freestyle Results

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Elite Women Finals for Freestyle

1 Hannah Roberts πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
2 Maca Grasset πŸ‡¨πŸ‡±
3 Agustina Roth πŸ‡¦πŸ‡·
4 Daniela Morgan πŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄
5 Margarita Valenzuela πŸ‡²πŸ‡½
6 Anahi Molina πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¨
7 Derlayne Dias πŸ‡§πŸ‡·
8 Yeinkerly Hernandez πŸ‡»πŸ‡ͺ

The first Pan American games were crazy. It makes the whole Olympic thing real! The vibes are great of course but the support is unfathomable! It was pretty scary but overall an amazing experience! I’m completely speechless to have taken the win and it definitely hasn’t set in yet! :) It was not the exact run I wanted but I still am happy with how I rode and I can’t wait for the next contest! πŸ˜ƒπŸ‘πŸΌ ~ Hannah Roberts, the 2019 Pan Am Champion in Freestyle BMX

Bike Check : Perris Benegas

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Perris Benegas Bike Check
Photos by : Angie Marino

Perris and I shot this bike check in the beginning of the year. A couple weeks after shooting these photos, one of the rims cracked. So, I wasn't going to initially post this. After thinking about it, I've decided to publish this post because I think it's really interesting to see innovation in the BMX industry.. even if it doesn't work out the first time around. This year, USA Cycling really wanted us to lighten up our bikes. More so, our wheels for rotational weight. Perris and I were living in San Diego and using the Olympic Training Center on a weekly basis, which is where USA Cycling has an office. We were both asked if we wanted to test out carbon rims. I declined but, Perris agreed to test them out. Perris rode the wheels for a few weeks. She noticed that the rim was dented due to the tension of the spokes pulling after tightening multiple times. After that, Perris went back to her other wheels.

Frame: Cult Crew Frame size 20.5
Fork: Cult Race Fork
Bars: Cult Hawk Bars
Stem: Profile
Grips: Sensi
Seatpost: Cult
Seat: Cult
Pedals: Odyssey Trail Mix
Cranks: Profile
Sprocket: Profile
Front Tire: Maxxis Grifter
Front Wheel: Profile Elite hub, ti spokes, rim
Rear Tire: Maxxis Grifter
Rear Wheel: Profile Elite hub, ti spokes, rim
Pegs: None