It seems like once or twice a year, the Tangent crew gets together and puts on a Pro/Amateur race unlike any other.Just like the title says, this is the one race a year where amateurs are allowed to go head-to-head with the pros. I went to their first one of the year last Sunday and as usual, had a blast. Here’s what went down...

Orange Y’s state races can overshadow a lot of the smaller nationals. 111 motos and wall-to-wall people made the infield the easiest place to navigate all weekend. There were tents and easy ups everywhere you looked...  credit: James Ayres

THE GOOD:

  • 24 guys made the cut to race the Pro/Am (if you weren’t legit, you got bumped off the sign up sheet). Not only were the entry fees free, but the purse got up to $1,500–not a bad payday for roughly four hours worth of work.
  • The action was awesome; with Derek Betcher, Javier Colombo, Paulie Lange, Danny Caluag, Josh Oie, and a ton of other fast cats in attendance, everyone knew the main was going to be dope.
  • The track was dialed–super smooth as usual, and blazing fast. Plus, there was something like 111 motos; for a state race, that’s pretty damn good. Ruben did a great job getting the place ready.
  • Nicole Brown (scroll down and see the photo)–enough said.
  • Getting a sneak peek at the new BMX World magazine; if you’re into racing, this thing’s getting better all the time.
  • Watching Answer’s David Herman pedal the entire first straight (including pulling for the small set of doubles right after that triple step thing)–trust me, this should have made a Transit highlight reel.

    Look who came out of the woodwork? S&M’s Neal Wood stopped by to check things out. Keep an eye out for the new S&M race frame that’s set to drop...at just a hair over 4 pounds, it might be the lightest frame they’ve ever done. And you know if it’s got that badge on the head tube, it’s quality.  credit: James Ayres

    From left to right: Haro’s Chad Roberts, Tangent’s Matt Faulk, and SE’s Javier Colombo...freaks.  credit: James Ayres

    How ridiculously hot is Nicole Brown? Believe it or not, she used to race back in the day. She made a guest appearance out at Orange and had dudes thinking bad things all day long.  credit: James Ayres

    THE BAD:

  • Practice ended at 11, but I don’t think the first gate dropped until almost 12:30 -- I heard there were so many new guys there that they couldn’t get them into the computer fast enough–that kinda sucked...
  • Watching one of the Answer dudes (Brabant, I think), blow a chain right before the first jump during practice. Ouch.
  • Josh Oie went down hard in his semi. I didn’t see exactly what happened, but he went into the first turn and didn’t come out. He made it off the track, but it took a few minutes.
  • Tyler Brown was still off his bike from the crash at the Mt. Dew San Jose downhill race where he jacked up his collarbone. He tried riding a couple of laps at speed, but couldn’t pull for anything. Seeing as Tyler’s an Orange local, you could tell he was super bummed that he couldn’t ride.

    Check out Paulie Lange’s neck–think it’s real or fake? Man, when Paulie’s wife finds out he loves Rich Pelton, she’s going to be pissed!  credit: James Ayres

    Mike Brabant had no troubles making it to the semis, but a crash in the second turn ended all hopes of making that main.  credit: James Ayres

    I gotta be honest; after watching the first round of motos, I was ready to bet the farm on DB–he won every lap and was flying...up until the main. Not only did he spin out of the gate, but Danny Caluag plowed into his foot in the first turn causing him to unclip. How you can ride the entire second straight at Orange unclipped and still stay on the podium is beyond me, but DB pulled it out.  credit: James Ayres

    RESULTS:
    1. Javier Colombo -- SE Racing
    2. Paulie Lange -- Felt
    3. Derek Betcher -- Haro
    4. Kyle Cushman -- Intense/Phantom Ontrack
    5. Matt Tischler -- Alliant/Brew/DoubleCross
    6. Matt Faulk -- Tangent/Fly Racing
    7. Joe Szurek- Intense/Phantom Ontrack
    8. Danny Caluag -- Answer Racing

    When you’re UCI Number One, a lot of people think that winning a race like this should be automatic, and it was for SE’s Javier Colombo. Javi didn’t lose a lap all day and picked up $525 for his efforts. Here he is battling with Danny C.  credit: James Ayres

    If you’re going to be up in Nor Cal next weekend, stop by Oak Creek BMX–they’re having another one of these up there, and knowing Rich Pelton and the Tangent crew, it’s going to be every bit as good as this one was.