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The Return to Oldsmar

The eager return to Oldsmar, FL, graced the BMX Community this past weekend with a racing weekend for the ages! As the final Big Hill stop on the 2022 USA BMX Pro Series, the weekend saw title contenders and international travelers fight for the late-season podiums.

With new starting hills standing tall and proud in Oldsmar Sports Complex, racers of all ages and proficiencies charged down the hills toward some of the final scores for the 2022 season. While everyone was excited to race, the top of the 8-meter had a special kind of buzz as practice came on Friday.

Gate after gate, we saw heavy hitters charge through the track. Series regulars like Mclean, Sharrah, Willoughby, Bucardo, Wood, Ridenour, and Stancil were met by a fierce foreign contingency with Smulders, Kimman, Turner, Nakai, Kennedy, and Bearman loading into the big hill. With race legs warmed up and the track dialed in, National racing was officially #BackOnTrack in Oldsmar!


The women at the top of BMX continued to impress throughout the years, and the Gator Nationals racing was proof of that! With a big gapped first jump, the ladies of BMX were boosting into the backside down the straightaway, utilizing every inch of pedal room around the track. From the first round on, the front runners showed their skills as Smulders, Willoughby, Stancil, and Simpson became frequent leaders in the class. Returning to the series and delivering an incredible amount of force was our New Zealand friend, Leila Walker, who put the kiwi colors in the mix, locking in a 5th place finish in both main events.

The weekend talk, however, was about The Beast, Alise Willoughby. Coming into the weekend after a crash on the final day of Bogota, Willoughby showed true grit while leading laps and staying in the mix during races. Come Friday's main, Willoughby was charging on the inside, prepping to jump into the first turn, the line she had done all day. With a sharp lip at the beginning of the step table, Willoughby was pitched forward, ending her race day in turn one. BMX fans were concerned that meant the end of her weekend, but we know The Beast better than that. Willoughby came out swinging on day two, taking her GW ride to the middle step of the podium.