The USA shredded hard this weekend, proving why Leavenworth remains at the top of our list
Over 70 riders in a star-studded athlete line-up descended on the small town of Leavenworth to give it all for the first USA Qualifier of the 2019 season.
Attracting over 1 million visitors a year, the Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth is an outdoor heaven, offering a variety of activities for sports and nature lovers. Perched on the eastern side of the prominent Cascade Mountain range, the Wenatchee River flows through what was once just a little logging town. It has since transformed and today serves as a cultural hub for many exciting happenings - including the first Red Bull Pump Track World Championship Qualifier on USA soil for the 2019 season!
This year, the Velosolutions Pump Track in Leavenworth attracted over 70 riders from a mostly all American and Canadian field with some athletes travelling for over 24 hours to make the start of the race. This included Kialani Hines, Austin Warren and Tommy Zula (who all represented America in the World Final last year) and the Red Bull pro-Freeride Mountain Biker, Carson Storch. This is just an example of the calibre of riders that hit the track, and it goes without saying that the level of competition was off the charts.
Tommy Zula does it again, this time in Leavenworth
Leavenworth upped the ante - topping the blistering pace of previous qualifiers such as Austria, Italy and Switzerland. Tommy Zula based in Dayton, Ohio, ripped it up on his MTB to bring in the winning time of 16.8 in the men’s category in a blazing final run against Keegan Nelson - hailing from Clarksville, NY - who set the fastest time in the qualifying runs.
”Anytime you put some work in and it pays off with a win – THAT’S A GOOD DAY! I was getting nervous there for a while, Keagan was pushing so hard so we had to step it up” “It was an awesome event with a good crowd and such a high level of riders” “Can’t wait to travel to the World Finals” (Tommy Zula)
Nothing could stop 16-year-old Payton Ridenour
Payton Ridenour, 16 years old from Pottstown Pennsylvania USA grabbed the first place on her 20-inch carbon BMX bike in the women’s category crossing the finish line with 19.1 secs against last year’s winner, MTB rider, Kialani Hines with 0.2 secs separating them on the podium.
Payton “P-Nut” Ridenour is no stranger among the BMX crowd. She is the US Number one in her age category and dubbed ‘the next big thing’ amongst the BMX racing crowd. “This was my first Red Bull Pump Track World Championship race and I had a blast”. The format is so cool with tight turns and action. As far as what type of bike, I think it is pretty much up to the rider and how well they can ride that specific bike.”
Once again, we have returned here to witness a quality of sportsmanship and skill that is truly outstanding. Leavenworth is fast proving itself to be one of our annual qualifier highlights.
Payton Ridenour - USA – 19,1
Kialani Hines - USA – 19,3
Violet Cejalvo - CAN – 19,4
Dixie Owens - USA – 20,6
Tommy Zula - USA – 16,8
Keagan Nelson - USA – 17,7
Austin Warren - USA – 17.6
Dillon Butcher, CAN – 18,0
You can find all photos and race results below