Tuesday, 22 December 2009 01:11America ABA Grand National Trip: November 18 - December 3
Posted December 21 2009
Words: Aaran Shrosbree - www.ea-pureracing.co.uk | Photography: Billy Wright
Fresh from the America ABA Grands, Aaran at EA-Pure racing sends us his take on the logistics, racing and lifestyle behind the scenes of one of the BMX calendars biggest events. We pick the story up on the way to the airport...
After leaving far too early to pick Matt (Allen) up on the way to Heathrow airport, we finally meet up with Billy (Wright) after our last English breakfast before the trip. Checking in was as smooth as possible; and guys for the record if you are flying anywhere with your bike and don't want to pay the excess - tell them you are taking a "massage table" as there is no extra cost!
The first seven days were spent in Dallas and the surrounding areas riding some amazing tracks and skate parks. The Thursday after we arrived we headed over to the Metroplex BMX track to have a ride with some of our American friends. While they held a coaching clinic on the gate, we had the freedom of the track and good use of it we made.
Loving the fact we were in America riding our bikes, and Billy was happy taking some rad photos and planning our days was easy: breakfast, skatepark, lunch, track, dinner, bed and repeat!
After several tiring days we travelled up to Tulsa for the greatest race on earth; the ABA Grand Nationals! After having a good look at the track, that requires a map to navigate, practice was soon upon us. After meeting up with the rest of the English boys: Curtis Manaton, Tre White, Liam Phillips, Marcus Bloomfield and Billy Fieldhouse it was apparent that at the 2009 Grands the British were out in force.
Fridays racing was for the Race of Champions, and the Pro Spectacular with all the Brits competing. It was Tre, Matt and Marcus that brought home the goods; Tre made the 16 years boys' expert final and with some good racing a signature smooth style came a respectable fifth place. Matt was up next in the 28-35 expert class and being the only one on flat pedals, he again used his signature 'let's chill' style to show most of the pack how a bike should actually be ridden, and was unlucky to miss out on the podium and settled for fourth.
Evening came and the Pro Spectacular was well... spectacular! The Worlds top pro's on an amazing track, it was all set to be an amazing evenings racing. With Bloomy stepping up to the plate the few Brits were nervously awaiting the race; the gate dropped and with a drag race to the first corner it was anyone's. With some great racing and near misses the racers hit the finish. 1 Kyle Bennett, 2 Khalen Young, 3 Donny Robinson, 4 Mike Day, 5 Barry Nobles, 6 Marcus Bloomfield, 7 Tyler Brown, 8 Maris Strombergs.
The schedule for the Grands was packed; on Saturday the first two motos and Sunday third moto quarters, semis and finals. With some good races, unlucky crashes and just bad luck it was all left to Billy Fieldhouse to fly the British flag, and what job he did!
After qualifying in his first heat he had plenty of time to rest and try catch up on some of his sleep. The gate dropped in the final and instantly Billy was tied for first but then dropped back to second, in what looked like some dodgy moves by the first place rider. But as the saying goes "they breed them tough up north" and Billy pulled back level. Again in the corner he dropped back to second, but with full power he rocketed down the third straight back to joint first, leaving it until the last corner to finally power round the outside and into the lead - taking the race as well as the biggest trophy I have ever seen. Well done to all the guys and lets hope some more join us out there next year.
After the race had finished everyone said there goodbyes and headed their separate ways home; or in mine and Matt's case back to Dallas for another three days riding just for good measure.