Highlights From ABA’s Phoenix Winter Nationals
04-03-06

If you’ve been racing for any amount of time, then you know the Winters in Phoenix are one of the biggest nationals of the year.If you’ve never been, riding Black Mountain is probably as close to riding a skatepark (without actually riding one) as you can get. Every straight and turn is glass smooth. This past weekend saw huge moto counts, perfect weather, and some good action on the track. Here’s a look at a few standouts…

Donny Robinson was at it again in Phoenix; two more wins, another couple thou’ in the bank, and plenty of people talking about him and the US Olympic team in the same sentence.  credit: James Ayres

Danny Caluag not only made AA and Pro Open on day one, but found himself winning the first main on Saturday night. I asked him later how he was feeling during the lap, and I’m pretty sure the phrase “shi**ing my pants” was heard at least once.  credit: James Ayres

Dale Holmes self destructed during the second round of AA qualifying on Sunday. Take a look at Dale’s body and where his front wheel’s coming down in this photo…we’re pretty sure the instant this photo was shot, Dale was thinking, “I’m screwed.” He’s okay now, but it was definitely a gnarly crash.  credit: James Ayres

There were a TON of foreigners over here getting their train on, trying to see where they stacked up against the Americans. This is Henrik Baltzersen who rides for the Euro GT team. “Squat Rack” (as he was called pretty much all weekend) won Pro Open on Saturday and got fourth in Class on Sunday. If this guy isn’t a sure thing for Denmark’s Olympic team, we don’t know who is…

Let us introduce you to Great Britian’s Shanaze Reade (blue helmet for those of you who don’t know what GBR’s colors look like). She had Pro Girls on lock down. If she doesn’t choke at the big UCI races, she’s a sure thing for the Olympics.

This isn’t the sharpest photo in the bunch, but it tells a good story. This was Sunday’s first AA Pro main, which Kyle holeshotted and led all the way up until right here. Seriously less than a second after this was shot, Donny went underneath him in the second-to-last-turn, pushed Kyle to the outside, and went by for the win. It happened that fast…

Say hello to the newest member of the AA Pro class – Mike Brabant. Mike got balled up in Saturday’s single-A main and had to settle for second behind Sergio Pena, but won it start to finish on Sunday. We can’t wait to see how well his starting technique goes over in AA…

The Big Daddy had to settle for a fourth and a fifth in Vet Pro behind Todd Parry and the boys, but definitely looked way stronger than that through qualifying. He had more than a few laps on lock down before the mains rolled around.

If there’s one guy that has a shot at ending DR’s winning streak, it’s Kyle Bennett. KB came super close on Sunday, but couldn’t quite hold him off. We can’t wait to see these two go at it again at the NBL/UCI Florida race in a few weeks…

Snap magazine used to do a feature called “Sizzling Rivalries.” The best one I can remember was between Donny Robinson and Daniel Harper, but the one between Steven Cisar (pictured) and Joe Szurek might be even better. Saturday night Joe sent Steven off the second turn and onto the back straightaway. On Sunday, Steven re-paid the favor and send Joe over the first turn. Right now, this is the best match up in the amateur ranks.

Sergio Pena was psyched. Why? Not only was he sporting a brand new helmet, but he did the impossible beating Mike Brabant in Class on Saturday. Here’s another guy who’s going to be AA in no time…

Greg Romero gets the award for most consistent AA in Phoenix. He made all four mains (the only guy all weekend?) with a fifth in Class and second in Open on Saturday, and two thirds Sunday. Tony D would have been psyched…

There’s something about this photo I like, I just can’t figure out exactly what it is. Is it where Travis Ohrazda is in the frame? Is it the look he has on his face? Who cares, the kid rips. He doubled in 15-16 Open (beating Joey Bradford in the process) and won 15X on Saturday.