Big thanks to Mike Carruth at BMX News for this Announcer’s Tower Podcast with TRA CEO, Mike Gentilcore, and 2014 TRA Double Cross winner, Victor Behm. Check it out here at BMX News.
Bethlehem, PA (October 15, 2014) – The TRA Double Cross and Dirt Jump Comp was held Sunday, October 5th, at the TRA backyard compound near Bethlehem, PA. Twenty seven riders from around the globe came together for this historic event featuring the return of bicycle motocross racing in its purest form – straight from the trails and fun for all. With top AA pro racers, X Games Gold Medalists, NORA cup legends, street riders, dirt jumpers, park riders, and plenty of core trail riders in attendance, the event was a melting pot of all riding disciplines that left everyone smiling and psyched for the future. Event promoter and TRA founder, Mike Gentilcore explained: “This event brought the riders, media, and industry together to celebrate all things BMX. Together, we accomplished the goal of showing the world that BMX racing is alive and well, bringing it back home to all other forms of riding in the sport.”
The TRA Double Cross and Dirt Jump comp is a pro-invitational backyard event with a worldwide reach. The event served as an industry collaboration to show what is possible for the future of dirt comps and BMX racing and was made possible with donations from Dan’s Comp, S&M, FIT, Odyssey, United, Empire, Doublecross Bikes, Hyper, SNAFU, Soilworks, Blackman’s Cycle, Axlerad Screen Printing, DKOI Bikes, Indust, Action Wheels, Fab Tech Welding and Repair, and STAY STRONG, as well as TRA’s home crew, the riders of Posh and Catty trails. Coverage of the event was made possible by Red Bull Media House, Transworld Ride BMX, DIG, Elevated Visuals, Sugarcayne, Spintech, and more.
The event featured two contests: The Double Cross, a head-to-head, full on trails BMX race, and the Dirt Jump Comp, a jump contest with a relaxed vibe and high flying action on the same exact course as the Double Cross. Riders were free to compete in one or both contests for a shot at $8,000 in cash prizes, with $4,000 on the line for each contest. But the most important part of the entire event was the vibe and the smiles on the faces of the riders themselves. The riders were happy to share how they felt about the event:
“I’ve been to events around the world, large and small, and I’ve never felt the same vibe that I felt at the TRA event last weekend. Never in my life would I have thought I’d be lining up on a gate next to riders of so many different BMX genres; AA pro racers, dirt jumpers, and street riders alike. What an event, that can bring together so many amazing bike riders from so many backgrounds. I had a great time and I’ll be looking forward to next year’s event!”
Chris Doyle, Kink Bikes
“TRA BMX brought things back to the reason most of us started riding which was to get our wheels of the ground and put smiles on our faces. X Games park gold medalists, Pro dirt jumpers, Street riders, Racers and Backwoods trails legends all came together this weekend to race BMX this past weekend and not one of them left without a smile on their face.”
Van Homan, FIT Bikes
“The TRA Double Cross was the best BMX event I have ever been to. The format was amazing that provided entertaining excitement where anything can and did happen. From everyone I talked to, I know they feel the same way I do, the TRA Double Cross is a must attend event for all people who love BMX.”
Jeremy Ball, Deluxe
“I was just welcomed to a completely new exciting format for BMX and I had the time of my life… The only expressions to be seen from the participants, was an overwhelming smile of joy. Anyone could easily see just how much hard work was put into making this extreme one-off course that was a first of its kind. Immediately BMX Racer’s and BMX freestylers began sharing a comradery that our sport has been lacking the past decade. Here, everyone rode the course together. The TRA race went so smoothly, spectators were fully tuned into the action, and the event amazed everyone with just how first class it became. Looking back over the highlights from my past weekend it amazes me to think this can be a direction the BMX community can leap towards, and truly bring back a passion to the roots of our shared sport, BICYCLE MOTO X.!!! “
Derek Sipkoi, AA Pro, Owner – DKOI Bikes
“Today, BMX is BMX again”.
Jason Lonergan, Posh Local / Dirt Jump Comp Contest Judge
With an epic course by Dirtsculpt’s Dave King, the creative force behind BMX contests such as ESPN’s X-Games, Red Bull’s Dirt Conquers, and more, the action was all trails with nonstop downhill action. A motorcycle motocross style gate sent riders off a drop-in platform with a quarter-crank that would propel them through the entire downhill run. Three bowled sets sent riders over a massive scrub roller and into the first turn shark fin. Coming off the shark fin, riders encountered the tilted roof jump, dropping into a large bowl and stepping up onto a left-hand downhill roller berm. Around the berm, riders picked up speed and bomb-dropped into a gravity chasm 10 ft deep and 43 feet across, blasting them up and over a 30 ft set with a spined-out landing and into a high speed sweeping last turn that sent the riders up over the last set to the finish line. Designed as a modern, radical departure from conventional BMX racing, the course was also a return to the fundamentals of BMX in that it was all about trail skills. AA Pro and 2nd place Double Cross finisher, Steven Cisar, commented : “You wanted to push it a little bit harder, and go a little bit faster, but you really can’t because you need to stay focused on the backsides and make sure you catch those”. The course resulted in an entire event of action-packed, start-to-finish battles with plenty of passing and come-from-behind moves. It also showed that a racetrack and dirt jump course can be designed as one. Most importantly, it proved that riders from all disciplines and all ages, from AA Pros like Derek Sipkoi to Street legends like Van Homan, and 40-something trail riders to 13-year old young guns like Hyper’s Eddie Rovi, could all compete on the same course in a form of BMX racing that is truly for everyone.
The Double Cross:
The Double Cross portion of the event featured 26 riders from around the world and represented the most diverse group of riders ever brought together for a BMX race event. BMX legend Darryl Nau handled the opening ceremonies. Super stoked and a long time BMX race fan, Darryl electrified the crowd as the first round qualifiers ran all the contestants against each other in head-to-head, random motos. The 2nd place finishers from the first round were then run in a second chance qualifier, with sudden-death semis all the way until the main event. To keep the rider count even, a wildcard draw was possible based on close finishes. This kept the action full of surprises and full-bore the finish line in every moto. As the field narrowed to the final 8 riders, run-off motos were run to determine the places of the remaining riders. While clipless pedals and carbon fiber equipment were strictly prohibited, riders were free to ride brakeless and encouraged to run any color number plate they desired in a nod to both modern times and the classic days of BMX racing.
The 1st round went down with Matt Kelty, Mark Potoczny, Jeremy Kaht,, Evan Eisenhard, Ryan “Z-Man” Zielinski, Brandon Dosch, Eddie Rovi, Victor Behm, Steven Cisar, Brandon Grimm, Lois Delfino, Jeremy Ball, and Scotty Cranmer all transferring directly to round 2.
The second chance qualifier saw the elimination of a few more great riders, including FIT’s Justin Inman who took advantage of the modernized race rules by racing brakeless, perfectly in control at all times, in a close second to Chris Doyle. It also saw some wild action from Nicholi Rogatkin as he wowed the crowd with a front flip attempt over the banger set on his way to a 2nd place against east coast trail staple, Jon Lynn.
With Van Homan, Jon Lynn, Alex Anthony, Chris Doyle, Aaron Ross, and Derek Sipkoi now transferring on, the sudden-death semi’s started bombing the hillside.
Round 2 featured some legendary battles including Redline’s Brandon Dosch who just barely edged out a hard-charging Derek Sipkoi. Victor Behm threw some big style after taking advantage of GHP’s Ryan “Z-Man” Zielinski’s slip on the gate, only to find Z-man right on his tail at the finish. In one moto, the big set swallowed up Hyper’s Scott Cranmer who had a big lead on Deluxe’s Jeremy Ball after Jeremy cased to a stop. Having also lost momentum himself, Scott was trying to run and drag his bike over the top of the big set just when Jeremy was able to get back rolling and blast overhead. But Scott still stole the show by faking a pass-out at the top of the big landing, giving everyone a laugh as he rolled back down into the chasm and Jeremy cruised in for the win. But perhaps no round was more surreal than the historic matchup of Kink’s Chris Doyle and FIT ‘s Van Homan. Spectators and riders alike, including Chris and Van, were captivated with ear to ear smiles as they took in this legendary showdown. Everyone was overjoyed and in almost complete disbelief that they were about to witness Chris Doyle and Van Homan go head to head in a modern-day, pro BMX race. The gate dropped and cheers erupted as Chris and Van battled side by side all the way around the entire course. Pulling away on the bomb drop, Doyle sent a table over the banger set while Van Homan ended up on the ground going for the last turn pass, still smiling ear to ear. The crowd roared knowing they had just witnessed a historic moment in BMX racing history.
Rounds 3 and 4 saw top contenders Steven Cisar, Derek Sipkoi, Brandon Dosch, Matt Kelty, and Victor Behm all transferring closer to the main event. All the while, the crowd cheered for a hard-charging Chris Doyle who placed 2nd in both rounds but was wildcarded forward by staying on the gas for close seconds. In an epic round 4 moto, Doyle was in the lead as Dosch cased to a near stop on the 1st straight. But Dosch came back with killer scrubs over the roof gap and step up into the roller berm, setting up a pass for the win over the banger set into to the last turn. The crowd went wild as Doyle charged back hard for a last straight photo-finish at the line. With Dosch commanding leads like a seasoned AA racer, many thought he was destined for the overall win, but in the semi-final round 5, Dosch went down hard in the last turn leaving him with 4th place and Doyle with the 3rd. Run-off rounds were then run to determine the 5th through 8th place finishes with S&M’s Evan Eisenhard earning 7th and Deluxe’s Jeremy Ball in 8th. Meanwhile, current AA Pro, Derek Sipkoi came in 5th by edging out former NBL #1 Pro, Matt Kelty, who took 6th.
Round 5 saw Redline’s Brandon Dosch earn 4th as he went down hard in a close moto against Victor Behm. With a painfully sprained wrist, it looked for sure that Brandon was done for the day. Meanwhile, Avent /Bombshell’s Steven Cisar edged out Kink’s Chris Doyle leaving Doyle with a 3rd and a big smile on the podium.
The air was charged as the main event set up in the gate. Underdog Victor Behm, two-time Red Bull Berm Burners champ, lined up against seasoned AA Pro Steven Cisar, who was a career favorite for many riders in the event. When the gate dropped everyone was on their feet as Steven and Victor battled head to head down the 1st straight. With his flamboyant, hard pumping style, Behm whipped a table out of the shark fin that just might have been the key to holding off Cisar who was right on Behm’s tail. Trying to find a line under Behm, Cisar caught a wheel on the shark fin landing, slowing him just enough to not make the roof jump. The rest of the run was victory lap for Victor Behm, who blasted big air over the banger and ghost rode the finish line, overcome with joy and blown away that he had just beaten one of his own AA pro racing heroes.
The Dirt Jump Comp:
With the crowd still hyped up from the Double Cross main event, 13 riders took to the hill to compete in the Dirt Jump Comp. Each rider took three runs with their best scores counted to determine the top 8 riders. Posh Trail’s main caretaker and BMX legend, Jason “J-Bone” Lonergan, shared judging duties with Catty Woods favorites Marky “T” Tomasic and Axlerad’s Matt Trieval. The vibe of the Dirt Jump Comp was fun and free, with the crowd cheering on a diverse group of riders with even more diverse riding styles.
Kink’s Chris Doyle ripped up the course in classic Doyle style with big turndown three’s and three tables inverted for all they were worth. His third place finish also made him the only rider to podium in both of the Double Cross and Dirt Jump Comp. X Games Park Gold Medalist and Hyper rider, Scott Cranmer, placed a strong second by utilizing the entire downhill course, including tailwhips over the large scrub roller and blasting some of the only tricks of the contest off the roof jump gap. But the comeback story of the event, after a hard crash in the Double Cross that would have ended any other rider’s day, was a victorious Brandon Dosch. Tailwhipping onto the roof jump and spinning his Redline with the only 360 of the contest over the bomb drop, Brandon blasted straight into a big double tail whip over the banger set for a well-deserved 1st place finish. The rest of the field laid down some great moves with Deluxe’s Jeremy Ball showing smooth trail style and big three’s for a solid 4th. Australian FIT rider Chris Harti blasted big airs for 5th place while Deluxe’s Mark Potoczny threw down with some classic trail style for 6th. Meanwhile, Olish Farms rider and Double Cross winner, Victor Behm showed versatility as both a racer and jumper with a 7th, while 2014 TRA Grindlab Jam Dirt and Park winner, Jordan Prince, blasted big no handers and huge three’s for 8th place with style that had everyone taking note.
The day ended with the awards ceremony in which $8,000 in donated cash awards were presented to the top 8 finishers in each event by TRA founder, Mike Gentilcore. Contest announcer and voice of TRA, Darryl Nau, followed up with some warm words and explained that the event that Mike organized was over 20 years in the making, from the days of the Bethlehem crew BMX racing and long summers at the trails including Black Track, State College, Posh, Nam, and Catty. There was a feeling of oneness in the air with riders from all disciplines of the sport sharing in a BMX event that was uniquely special and fun for both the riders and spectators alike.
As the sun went down, the session went on to dusk, with BMX legends getting in some final laps on the downhill course and younger riders sessioning the 30,000 sq ft pump track next to it. With BMXers from all ages and genres of the sport pumped on what they had witnessed, the 2014 TRA Double Cross and Dirt Jump comp has everyone psyched for the future of BMX dirt events.
2014 TRA Double Cross and Dirt Jump Comp Results:
1. Victor Behm – $1000
2. Steven Cisar – $850
3. Chris Doyle – $700
4. Brandon Dosch -$550
5. Derek Sipkoi – $350
6. Matt Kelty – $250
7. Evan Eisenhard – $200
8. Jeremy Ball – $100
Dirt Jump Comp:
1. Brandon Dosch – $1000
2. Scott Cranmer – $850
3. Chris Doyle – $700
4. Jeremy Ball – $550
5. Chris Harti – $350
6. Mark Potoczny – $250
7. Victor Behm – $200
8. Jordan Prince- $100
BMX Union was in the house to hang out, have a few burgers, and take in the TRA Double Cross and Dirt Jump Comp. Thanks to Eric Silver for these great shots on BMX Union
Al Cayne caught up with Chris Doyle at the 2014 TRA Double Cross and Dirt Jump Comp. Check it out here at Sugarcayne.com
BMX Legend Van Homan Explores the Future of BMX Racing in another awesome clip from the Red Bull Media House crew.
Big thanks to Ryan Scott and Ride BMX for their coverage of the TRA Double Cross and Dirt Jump Comp. Check it out at bmx.transworld.net
Al Cayne caught up with top Elite Pro, Steven Cisar, to get his thoughts on the TRA Double Cross Race. Check it out here at Sugarcayne.com