Race Report: GT BMX Team Goes Big At Grand Nationals
WOW! The 2013 USABMX Grand Nationals was another barnburner! This is the race where a racer’s dreams are fulfilled or crushed and there was a lot of crushing. The yearly trek to Tulsa Oklahoma is where the USABMX race season wraps up to determine who the national champions are and the GT BMX team came away with a car load of hardware.
The fast-females of the GT squad dominated their respective classes and then some. A highlight of the event was the jaw-dropping performances from “Flyin’” Felicia Stancil and Sophia Foresta. Both were invited to participate in Saturday nights “NAG 5 Challenge” which pits the top riders from select age groups to compete to see who is the fastest amateur racers in the world. Felicia was last years winner and was focused to repeat and little Miss Foresta was one of the youngest in the field looking to show her stuff against the older competitors. Both handily won their first rounds and found themselves coming together into the final against the other top qualifiers. As expected Felicia jumped out front but with Sophia in her hip pocket pushing her around the track. Sophia fell victim to an inside dive by the third place rider in turn two taking her down. Felicia went on to win the coveted race letting the pro ranks know she is coming in 2014. As for Sophia, she left no doubt that she is coming in hot for next year’s event.
The main event of the weekend was the Grand National race where the racers are focused to win their division to earn the year long battle for the cherished #1 plates. The girls all came out firing dominating their qualifiers all the way to finals with Sophia Foresta (14 Girls), Felicia Stancil (18 Girls) and Heather Allred (26-30 Girls Cruiser) each taking the #1 plates for the year. Team mascot and little sweetheart Brooklyn VanRenselaar came back from a do-or-die qualifier to lock down the #2 plate in the 6 year-old Girls division. And to add to accomplishments, Felicia want to finish out her amateur career with a bang so she jumped into the Open class with the boys and the Cruiser division. By winning all three categories Felicia accomplished what very few have ever done, the “triple” win at the Grands! An amazing feat!
With the bar raised by the girls, the GT boys had their work cut out for them. Leading the charge for the gentlemen was “Cannonball” Jack Kelly. Jack piloted his GT Pro Series Pro bike to an undefeated weekend by not losing a lap. He not only earned the Race of Champions #1 plate but also secured the #1 plate the 10 year old boys division along with earning #2 overall for points against all amateur make racers! What a great season for the quiet little giant from Utah!
In the older amateur boys classes the competition has been at an all time high. The level of talent is amazing to watch and is currently being lead by GT team shredders Sean Gaian and Jordan Miranda. Sean came off an injury early in the season to work his way back in the mix to battle for the top spot in the 17-18 Expert division which was also the largest class of the weekend with 105 competitors! The San Diego local chipped his way through all the qualifying rounds to the final round of eight but an outside gate and some strategic riding from his competitors would hold him to 3rd place which was amazing in itself. Look for Sean to be owning the division in 2014.
Teammate Jordan Miranda was also coming off an injury and was feeling amped up and healthy to show his speed in the super competitive 19-27 Expert and Open classes. Miranda easily made his way to the final rounds putting him the Open final first against all of his top competition. The “Missle” Miranda lead start to finish on his 2014 GT Carbon Speed Series with one of the best laps of the weekend. Looking to repeat in the Expert class final he ended up stuck outside going into the first turn pushing him back into the pack. Jordan was bummed but is taking the result as fuel for his competitive fire for the 2014 season.
GT team cheerleader and one of the elder statesmen of the crew is Jonas Harmon. The congenial Harmon is friends with all of his competitors but you know they don’t like it when he beats them with a smile and that he did by taking the Race of Champions #1 plate for his cruiser division. Congrats Jonas!
The pro division in 2013 has been cutthroat and more competitive than ever. GT team import Joris Daudet from France made his way over for his first ever Grand National as well as partaking in the American tradition of Thanksgiving which he thoroughly enjoyed. The Frenchman used his fluent style and track speed to work his way through the field and into the final of the Elite Pro division final. Never giving up he came back from a few tough situations to take down a huge 5th place for the weekend.
GT Bicycles couldn’t be more proud of the team and its accomplishments on and off the track in 2013. The team radiates enthusiasm, fun and camaraderie then to add in their winning presence on the track lends to the perfect combination for what has become the most respected team in BMX riding. Thank you for an amazing year and we look forward to what 2014 brings!
The 2013 GT Factory BMX Team would like to thank its amazing sponsors who make it possible to perform at their best; Alpine Stars, GoPro, Troy Lee Designs, Tioga, Alienation, SDG, Lizard Skins, KMC, Skullcandy, BOX Components, Promax, Rockwell Watches, Only Protein and Stasis Number Plates & Bike Stands
For updates on the team follow them on Instagram and Twitter @gtbmx_official
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