One of the biggest announcements to kick off the 2019 season was Supercross BMX. They hit the BMX world hard with the news of Kamren Larsen making a switch from the Dale Holmes program. While their are both supporters and non-supporters, Supercross and Kamren are stoked to be together. Check out our interview below with the 2018 Rookie Pro of the Year and find out more!
RIDE: 2018 was a major year for you. Run us through some of the ups and downs you experienced over the course of the season.
KAMREN: 2018 was a great year for me all around. Coming into the season I didn’t have super high expectations, but after the first race in Phoenix, I realized I was more ready than I had anticipated. The wins and podiums in A pro were awesome, but the highest high for me was the 4 elite mains I was able to get into this year. They all were hard-fought and actually were all after the lowest low of my year, which was a broken hand from the Papendal World Cup.
RIDE: This year we see you switching camps from the development program with Dale Holmes to the Billy Ryan experience at Supercross BMX. How did that deal come to fruition?
KAMREN: With USA Cycling and DHR Parting ways, I knew that I wanted to look for a new home. After winning the Golden Crank, Bill and I had some friendly talk and about my goals and our cranks (hysterically) and it ended up working out well.
RIDE: To end the 2018 season you brought home the coveted Rookie Pro of the Year Golden Crank title. How did it feel taking that title your first year in the class?
KAMREN: That crank meant everything to me this season. Somehow I was able to stay atop of the A Pro standings with the injury and doing elite races. The award was the icing on the cake for sure and a good confidence booster heading into the elite class full-time.
RIDE: With 2018 being your rookie season, did you experience much of a "learning curve" when making the jump to the pro ranks?
KAMREN: Definitely, the race format was one of the biggest differences. In the Amateur class I was used to running 3-4 laps a day about 8 hours apart, now I’m running laps on the hour. The level of competition is also a lot higher and the class is a lot more aggressive.
RIDE: Obviously it takes not just a load of skill, but some luck and the right support group to make it through your rookie year with the success that you had. What do you think was the key to maintaining the year of success?
KAMREN: I think the key thing this year was the consistency of my program. I was on year 2 with the JR DEVO program, and I kind of knew how everything ran at that point, so all I had to focus on was racing.
RIDE: 2019 is a new year and a fresh start. What are some of the goals you have laid out and what do you think will need to happen in order to see the same success as last year?
KAMREN: I would really like to Crack the top 5 in the Pro rankings. I’d also like to progress on the world cup circuit. However, I get there I’ll take it. In 2018, my best finish in an elite final was 6th, so I definitely want to try to improve that moving forward.
RIDE: Will we see you making a big push to find a spot on the Olympic team for 2020? What do you think it will take to secure one of the most coveted spots in BMX?
KAMREN: Yes, I’m making the push. It’s going to take me getting a lot smarter on the track and stronger off of it. Everyone in my circle is on the same page though, so we are going all in these next two years.
RIDE: Being fairly new to the pro class, what are some things you see happening in the sport of BMX that are shaping the future for better or worse?
KAMREN: Right now it’s hard for me to say. Personally, I feel like the factory rides are getting harder and harder to get, and the middle-aged experts like (12-16) classes are getting smaller and weaving out of the sport. It’s sad to see, but I also don’t know a solution to that. I’m hoping the sports changes in the future and gets some more recognition, my biggest fear is one day it’ll no longer be an Olympic Sport.
RIDE: With so many variables to take into account when having a long and fruitful career in BMX, what do you think is most important to focus on in order for younger riders to not get burned out before they have a chance to hit their peak?
KAMREN: This is a good one! Eliminate the factory Dad status at a young age, parents. Of course, we are all competitive, that’s why we race, but if your kid wants to be good, they will be good. I see too many kids quitting because their parents make them hate the sport.
RIDE: Is there anyone you would like to give a shout out to before you go?
KAMREN: I’d like to give a huge shout out to Bill and Melissa at Supercross for giving me this opportunity. I’d also like to Thank my Coach Arielle, Jamie Staff, and Tony D for sticking by me and continuing to give me support from USA Cycling. Lastly, I’d like to thank my family and friends who have supported me since the beginning, thank you!
For more information on Supercross BMX CLICK HERE. Be sure to check out their complete 2019 collection and experience why they are a multi-time award winner of the Golden Crank Bike of the Year!