2012 American Team News
Speedway World Cup - USA - Match Reports
Heat Results Posted Here
Match Report Here
YouTube Heat 20
Some Pictures From SWC Poland
I sent a few pictures from Poland up the pipe this morning in 3 different albums.
Not many action shots as all I brought was my Canon pocket shooter. I just tried to capture the flavor of what we were enjoying. These are tourist pictures only as I am sure there are a ton of action shots to be found all over the interwebs.
The first album is of Billy and Kenny's practice at Grudziadz speedway, which is about 40 miles NE of Bydgoszcz. If you want to view the track, paste these coordinates into Google Earth (53°28'21.80" N 18°45'42.56" E). The speedway club there announced on their website that Billy would be practicing and since he used to ride there, enough fans showed up to make many local tracks here jealous. When Billy came out there was huge applause which was damned near tear jerking. There was also one local rider and one Polish junior getting in some laps too. Also Tomasz Gollob's brother and nephew were there giving the Yanks an assist. The weather was horrific. It was so hot and muggy it made a New York summer feel like Newport Beach.
The second album is of SWC practice, held earlier Saturday, at the Budgoszcz. Practice was cut short due to a nasty weather forecast so no one really had time to get a grip on the setups for the evening's SWC.
The third album is pics I shot when we returned to the stadium for the race. The weather had finally gotten nice, the crowd was electric and the racing was incredible. Polish fans are the most hard core I have ever been near in my life. What a great country for speedway although, at the end and thanks to Grin, they weren't real happy with the outcome. That said, I think Greg may well be offered honorary Russian citizenship for what he pulled in Heat 20. If you haven't seen Heat 20, look for it on the web. It is one of the most amazing heats you will ever see in speedway and, considering what happened in the race off, it was the heat that knocked Polska out of the SWC.
Not that it matters but I hold no claim of ownership to these pictures and anyone is free to do whatever they care to them.
If you haven't seen the race, or if you did and want to see it again and are familiar with torrents, follow the link below and click on the Download .torrent button at the top of the page. It comes in 3 files. I have already viewed the first file and it is fine so I am assuming that the other two are equally as good.
If you aren't familiar with torrents, drop me a line or find me at the track and I'll burn you a copy of this memorable event.
Many thanks to Monster Energy, Richard Child and Steve Evans for all the assistance given us to make this trip a once in a lifetime spectacular. America represented honorably and it was a great day to be a Yank!
Fair Derby tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!
Stephan Graham firstname.lastname@example.org (July 13, 2012)
Grand Prix Qualifying Round, 16th June
The USA will be represented by Ryan Fisher and Kenny Ingalls at the Grand Prix Qualifier on June 16th at Berwick, on the England / Scotland border. There are 5 rounds in total at different locations and of the 80 riders in these races, 32 will go through to the semi finals (so a top 6 spot will be required to qualify). Already confirmed for the meeting are Chris Harris, Tai Woffinden (if fit), Davey Watt & Linus Sundstrom. There will be riders from Argentina, Holland, Poland. Czech, Poland, and Denmark amongst others.
It's great that Kenny gets his shot here - the guy is stars and stripes through and through - just loves representing his country. No doubt he'll be using this event to lay claim to a spot on the SWC team for Poland on July 7th. Ryan has wanted to do this event since it was announced. He loves the Berwick track and rode it regularly from his time at Edinburgh.
Though it will be a tough line up, it would certainly be more USA progress to get at least one rider to qualify from this one.
Steve Evans email@example.com (May 26, 2012)
Stars and Stripes
I just wanted to say a big Thank You to the Speedway Community for supporting the USA Speedway Team in our quest to qualify for the Monster Energy SWC. If you would have told me 3 months ago that I would be racing in Europe again, I would have thought you were crazy! However, I see this as a stepping stone for the future of American Speedway as a whole and it goes hand in hand with what we are doing with our Jr. Speedway program - another step towards success!
Not only are we supporting the SWC, but also the Under 21 world Cup squad too! The cost of taking this team to the Ukraine is a lot but is also a major landmark in each rider's Speedway career; for some, it is a stepping stone to greater things.
I know that the 'Stars and Stripes Club' has now reached 25 members and every single member, no matter of what they can do, is helping more than they could imagine.
I would like to give the Stars and Stripes Club my personal endorsement and urge anyone who can to please take out a membership. Remember this is the beginning of a new era, a long term push that is not just for 2012 but is planting the seeds for 2013, 2022 and beyond! We want to see the USA Speedway Team making a big impact on the world stage well beyond my time as a rider! We won't always need to come to the fans to fund this, the good work I'm sure will one day, hopefully soon, attract corporate sponsors. That said, it is beyond awesome that fan power is once more making things happen in Speedway.
I'll do my best, along with the rest of the team, in Slovenia and don't forget, two weeks earlier our Under 21s will race their hearts out in Ukraine.
If you can, please join the 25 individuals who have already joined the Stars and Stripes Club - we'll do all we can to make you proud!
You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Steve at email@example.com
Photo: Dragec Dragan Visnjic
USA Team Winners Round 2
Good morning! Wow what a day yesterday was - I think the other countries literally had no idea what had hit them after round 2 when USA scored 11 of 12 points. Round 3 saw the lead clawed back thanks to some very clever usage the tactical rules by Slovenia (a rule which sucks if you are winning but one we may like next round given that Greg can potentially score up to 21 points!).
The riders worked as a team and looked out for each other. I think Ricky's defeat of Zagar in heat 13 really turned things around and was the ride that set things up for the latter part of the meeting.
We had a group of close to 30 people and met people we know from UK we did not know were coming, and Facebook friends from around Europe. Slovenian fans were buying us some very nice beers after!
When the World Cup 2012 project was drawn up it was done on the basis that if USA put out its best squad or thereabouts, we are a top 9 nation and rightfully belong at the TV stages. In years gone by we have been a rider or two short on the team whereas now we tracked a team that could do the job. I think yesterdays experience, aside from the short term victory will be huge for Ryan and Ricky who now know what they will need to do in the future to carry this torch. And Kenny Ingalls is very much still a part of this and he's chomping at the bit to win a place for July.
So, with the initial goal reached on the first try, the job is to go to Poland and not be last so we make the race off. That will mean in 2013 we are seeded straight to the TV stages. We of course are total underdogs but we believe that there are chapters of this story not yet written.
To every single person who has sent their support, donated, or simply quietly followed this all, on behalf of the team may I give our personal thanks. We did a good thing but we really just proved how good we always were.
To July 7th - and a race that will be on TV!
Steve Evans firstname.lastname@example.org (May 5, 2012)
The pride and joy of America! — with Elise Masterman, Paul Puttnam, Laurence Rogers, Brad Pappalardo, Aaron Fox, Gino Manzares, Bryce Starks, Russell Green, Dylan Black, Mikey Buman and Hayley Bromley.
Under 21 Final Score
Under 21 Final Score Saturday, April 21, 2012
Russell crashed out after 2 rides, suspected broken foot but x-rayed and no break. As expected a tough day without Ricky Wells but plenty of long term positives!
1. Roman Cejka (0,3,3,2,3) 11
2. Eduard Krcmar (3,2,3,3,2) 13
3. Ondrej Veverka (2,D,1,3,2) 9
4. Jan Holub (0,1,2,1,3) 7
5. Vaclav Milik (3,3,3,2,3) 14
1. Matiс Ivacic (1,1,2,3,1,1) 9
2. Kristian Revinsek (0,W,1,0,2) 3
3. Ziga Radkovic (W,0,1,1,-) 2
4. Nejc Malesic (W,1,2,2,1) 6
5. Ladislav Vida (2,1,0,0,0) 3
Stany Zjednoczone: 19
1. Gino Manzares (2,2,1,1,1,D) 7
2. Bryce Starks (1,2,0,1,2,U) 6
3. Mike Buman (D,0,2,0,1) 3
4. Russell Green (2,0,-,-,0) 2
5. Dylan Black (1,0,D,0,W) 1
1. Aleksandr Łoktajew (3,3,3,3,3) 15
2. Kiriłł Cukanow (2,2,3,3,3) 13
3. Stanisław Mielniczuk (3,2,0,0,1) 6
4. Władimir Tiejgieł (3,3,D,1,2) 9
5. Andriej Kobrin (U,3,2,2,2) 9
Steve Evans email@example.com (April 20, 2012)
Russell only had one ride. In his first ride, the rider in front of him fell causing him to hit the air fence then the bikes causing the leg damage. It was just share determination that he made the restart and 2 points. We didn't have any rider in for Russell's 2 ride.
Mikey and Gino,s "d" were from flat tires. Bryce was take out by a Slovenian but the ref didn't see it our way. Dylan also fell in his last ride as the track was super slick by then.
All and all it was a great team effort. The guys put in 110% but it is really their lake of experience that separates them from the other riders. For the USA to move back to the top of the world stage it is going take money. We already have had some conversations about doing training and matches in Poland next year but will need funds to do that.
All the teams thoughts are with Chris Strong who had to be taken to the hospital before heat 24. I saw him last night and he felt good but tired. They are planning on keeping him in the hospital for 5 days to run some test and make sure there aren't any problems.
Richard firstname.lastname@example.org (April 22, 2012)
USA Under 21 team on way to Ukraine
The USA Under 21 team is as we speak on its way to the airport to fly out to the Ukraine - flights leave 10pm today Pacific. The bikes left Monday with our driving crew led by Touring Team legend Colin Wakelam.
Ricky Wells's injury at Eastbourne last Sunday led to a late team change - though Ricky will try to ride this week for Sheffield the uncertainty of his fitness as of last Monday, when he was advised to take 7 days off, led to the late team change. It was thought Ricky had a broken wrist at the time but it just turned out to be very badly swollen.
In Ricky's absence Gino Manzares is captain. Mike Buman, Russell Green, Bryce Starks and Dylan Black complete the team.
Race is Saturday 7am Pacific and I will try to find a link. It'll be tough without Ricky but this was his last year of eligibility anyway and so in future competitions teams will be 100% home based riders.
Steve Evans email@example.com (April 18, 2012)
Monster Helps USA take on the World
The 2012 USA Speedway World Cup project received a major boost recently, thanks to GP Presenting Sponsor and SWC Title Sponsor Monster Energy. The USA is embarking upon its biggest push in the Speedway World Cup in many years - the reuniting of Greg Hancock and Billy Hamill for the qualifier in Slovenia May 5th has been worldwide news, but now its got even bigger! Monster Energy, recognizing the professional approach from team management and riders, has added the icing on the cake by providing the five man squad with team race suits and helmets. A team spokesman said, "We are thrilled by this gesture from Monster Energy and thanks have to go to Billy Hamill for working on this. The team will look the part and its great - many fans have donated generous sums to this project and I think when they see how the team will look they will realize what a special time for American Speedway they are involved with"
The USA team is aiming to make the TV stages of the World Cup for the first time in five years. The squad consists of Greg Hancock, Billy Hamill. Ryan Fisher, Ricky Wells and Kenny Ingalls. Richard Child and Steve Evans are joint team managers.
Steve Evans firstname.lastname@example.org (April 16, 2012)
This is really exciting times for American Speedway! Monster Energy involvement is a huge boost on our quest to compete on a world level once again. We are building a foundation for our young aspiring world class riders for the years to come.
What really hasn't been mentioned is the guy who really put this whole big project into motion along with the AMA advisory board. That would be Geoff Arnold from Joker Machine. His enthusiasm for American Speedway is second to none, and has been an integral part of this building process on many levels.
Geoff is a guy who really doesn't mind doing things in the background and isn't looking for any credit, I just felt I should put it out there as he has supported me in many different motorcycle racing adventures. So thanks to Geoff and of course everybody involved for making this happen!
Billy email@example.com (April 17, 2012)
April 15, 2012
From Today -
BUXTON 39: Robert Branford 11+1, Luke Priest 10+2, Dean Felton 8+1, Richard Andrews 4, Tim Webster 4, Ryan Blacklock 2, Michael Neale 0.
USA FUTURE 51: Gino Manzares 16, Aaron Fox 10+1, Russell Green 8+1, Bryce Starks 7, Mikey Buman 6+1, Brad Pappalardo 4+1, Dylan Black r/r.
Dylan Black Released from Hospital
Yes, it was really bad luck. He was just starting to go to grips with the larger European tracks. Prior to the crash, he had 4 points from the difficult #2 race jacket. This crash was just a case in being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Almost everyone on the tour has had more than their share of bad luck. At the IOW, Bryce and Gino had loads of bike problems, then Kings Lynn gets rained off, at Coventry it was a double whammy for Dylan. First his "brand new" helmet has the wrong Snell sticker inside. This helmet was manufactured on 11/25/2011 just 37 days before the Snell M2005 certification expired. The helmet probably not even in the US before the first of the year. Fox helmets or the distributor should give Dylan a new helmet when he gets back home. Then Dylan's engine blows up on the stand during warm up so he missed all his rides at Coventry which would have given him valuable experience. Tom Woolley from Joe Hughes International loaned him a motor for Rye House and the rest of the tour. Dylan was extremely happy with it and the results on the track show that. Then tonight the bike gremlins struck Bryce again causing him to lose points and valuable track time.
Tonight Gino was outstanding with 9 points from 4 rides, Aaron had 2 wins for 6 points and told me that he is a bit out of shape for the fast pace of European style speedway. Brad and Russell are learning more each time they are out on the track. Mikey seems to be struggling for speed. His low point scores are not from the lack of trying.
But given all the problems, all the guys are still very positive and looking forward to Buxton on Sunday afternoon, 7am PDT and 10am EDT. Everyone on the team from the riders, managers, mechanics, and support team are OUTSTANDING!! I can't say enough good things about each and every one of them.
Richard firstname.lastname@example.org (April 14, 2012)
U S A touring boys...
A good result for the boys. Everyone arrived at IOW with no previous practice and new equipment to each of them having put the bikes together over the last couple of days. Each of them got 3 laps of practice prior to the start. At the end of the introductions there was a minute of silence in memory of Connor Penhall, you could have heard a pin drop!!
The boys battled throughout the meeting and several had some mechanical gremlins but worked together as a team to sort them out. As the meeting progressed their confidence grew and when the rain started they showed their true American spirit!!
Tomorrow the meeting at Kings Lynn has been cancelled due to the rain not allowing them to repair the damage done to the track from the stock cars over the weekend. This will allow the boys to sort out their mechanical problems and the management team is working on arranging some type of meeting on Thursday.
I would like to personally thank Sandie, Dawn, Mark, Merrill, Sophie, Laurence and several others( I am bad with names) for all their hard work. If it wasn't for their dedication, this tour and the previous tours would not have taken place. They are the true unsung heroes of the Team!!!
Richard (April 10, 2012)
Isle of Wight Islanders = 57
1. Tim Webster (G) 3, 3, 3, 1= 10
2. Marc Owen 2*, R, R, R, N = 2+1
3. Danny Warwick 3, 3, 3, 3= 12 FULL MAX
4. Paul Starke 2*, 2*, 2*, 3, 3 = 12+3 PAID MAX
5. Ben Hopwood 3, 3, 3, 0 = 9
6. Danny Stoneman 1, 2*, 1, 0 = 4+1
7. Gary Cottham 3, 2*, 3, 0 = 8+1
USA Future = 33
1. Mikey Buman 0, 0, 2, 3, 1* = 6+1
2. Dylan Black 1, 1, 1*, R = 3+1
3. Bryce Starks 1, 1, 2, 1* = 5+1
4. Russell Green 0, 0, 1*, 2 = 3+1
5. Gino Manzares M, 1, 2*, 2 = 5+1
6. Brad Pappalardo 2, 0, 1*, 0, 2 = 5+1
7. Aaron Fox 0, 1, 2, 2, 1* = 6+1
Heat 01: Webster, Owen, Black, Buman. 5-1, 70.2
Line Up: Webster, Owen, Buman, Black
Comments: USA win the toss and take gates 1 & 3.
Buman hit the tapes, but a generous 'all 4 back' decision been called,
good decision, long way to come to be chucked out of your first race!
Re-Run: Webster away well, followed by Marc Owen on his home debut. Black
and Buman tailed off a bit, probably knackered after first 2 laps! From
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Heat 02: Cottham, Pappalardo, Stoneman, Fox. 4-2, 9-3, 72.2
Line Up: Stoneman, Cottham, Pappalardo, Fox
Comments: Pappalardo gates, but Cottham round outside on 2nd bend. Fox has
a bit of a moment on 4th bend, but stays on. Stoneman chasing Pappalardo
hard for second, but seems reluctant to go round the outside, and has to
settle for third, Fox not too far behind.
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Heat 03: Warwick, Starke, Starks, Green. 5-1, 14-3, 71.3
Line Up: Warwick, Starke, Starks, Green
Heat 04: Hopwood, Cottham, Fox, Pappalardo. Manzares (X). 5-1, 19-4, 71.6
Line Up: Hopwood, Cottham, Manzares, Fox
Comments: Drama, throttle stuck open on the line, and cut out didn't work,
so revving for all its life! Mechanic on the scene, time ticking by . . . Manzares excluded on 2 minutes.
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Heat 05: Warwick, Starke, Black, Buman. 5-1, 24-5, 71.3
Line Up: Warwick, Starke, Buman, Black
Comments: Warwick away well again, with Starke sneaking past Black on the
back straight. From gate, Black not too far away.
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Heat 06: Webster, Fox, Pappalardo. Owen (ret). 3-3, 27-8, 70.4
Line Up: Webster, Owen, Manzares Fox, Pappalardo
Comments: Fox replaces Manzares who still has bike issues.
Webster away really well, but Owen gets bogged down with a mechanical
problem, eventually gets going almost a lap behind, only to retire on home
straight. Daylight, and by that I mean light years between Webster and the USA.
Heat 07: Hopwood, Stoneman, Starks, Green. 5-1, 32-10, 71.6
Line Up: Hopwood, Stoneman, Starks, Green
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Heat 08: Cottham, Fox, Black. Owen (ret). 3-3, 35-13, 71.3
Line Up: Owen, Cottham, Black, Fox
Comments: Owen retired again.
Heat 09: Warwick, Starke, Manzares, Pappalardo. 5-1, 40-14, 72.2
Line Up: Warwick, Starke, Manzares, Pappalardo
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Heat 10: Webster, Starks, Green. Owen (ret). 3-3, 43-17, 70.4
Line Up: Webster, Owen, Starks, Green
Comments: I.o.W. gate, but again Owen retires with some sort of fuel
problem? Webster away and gone, from gate. Just started to rain, heavily. No
Heat 11: Hopwood, Buman, Stoneman. Black (ret). 4-2, 47-19, 79.8
Line Up: Hopwood, Stoneman, Buman, Black
Comments: Even break, but the I.o.W. get away, Black packs up on the 3rd
bend, track has turned into an ice rink in 5 minutes, riders all over the
place, which allowed Buman up into the lead briefly, but Hopwood showed
composure to get back up into the lead, Stoneman doing well to stay on!
(update: can't remember a time that long, shows how bad the conditions are!)
Interval taken a race early, see if the rain stops.
Rain seems to have cleared now though.
Track staff coming back out, here we go again.
2 mins on, rain has stopped, track is, well, wet, but the riders are keen
to have a go.
Heat 12: Warwick, Pappalardo, Starks, Cottham. 3-3, 50-22, 81.6
Line Up: Warwick, Cottham, Starks, Pappalardo
Comments: Pappalardo away well, but Warwick goes past on back straight.
Everybody struggling at the moment, Pappalardo doing well in 2nd, with Starks
back in third, Cottham struggling with goggles, which he discarded on the
Rain has started again and riders are on the phone, but the 2 minutes are
on again and the riders are back out.
Heat 13: Buman, Manzares, Webster, Hopwood. 1-5, 51-27, 79.1
Line Up: Webster, Hopwood, Buman, Manzares
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Heat 14: Starke, Green, Fox, Stoneman. 3-3, 54-30, 78.7
Line Up: Starke, Stoneman, Green, Pappalardo
Comments: Starke makes the gate this time, and stays there, with Green in
2nd and Stoneman in 3rd. Make that last as Fox goes past, although Danny's
goggles are on his handlebars!
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Heat 15: Starke, Manzares, Buman (fell, rem). Owen (non-starter). 3-3,
Line-up: Owen, Starke, Buman, Manzares
Comments: Islanders taking gates 2& 4.
Owen's bike has packed up. 3 riders only.
Starke jumps just ahead of Buman, and tries to keep as clean as he can in
front. USA boys are battling at the back, before Buman falls going into
turn 3, but gets up to score his point
Check out the Mountain Dew - They feel at home already.
No Russell in this photo as he was with Chris Strong at this point and I'm not sure what happened to Mikey Buman - I think we lost him! — with Brad Pappalardo, Gino Manzares, Aaron Fox and Mikey Sullivan. (April 6, 2012)
Shawn Moran joins the SWC push!
2 time World Team Cup winner (1982, 1990) Shawn Moran has thrown his support behind the World Team Cup push for USA that is just 27 days away in Slovenia.
Moran, now based in Germany and a regular at many GPs last year, plans to travel to the race to lend his support to the squad. The new and invigorated national team push, including the international comeback of Billy Hamill, has inspired Moran to offer to help.
Having won the competition twice, we certainly appreciate Shooey's interest and input!
Steve Evans email@example.com (April 8, 2012)
USA World Cup month away - plus TLD Ebay auction has started!
Today six of the USA Future team fly from three locations to the UK - Bryce Starks from San Fran, Mikey Buman from NY State and Aaron Fox, Dylan Black, Brad Pappalardo and Gino Manzares fly from LA on the now traditional Air Zealand flight to London Heathrow. They will join Russell Green who landed in the UK yesterday.
Tuesday at 11:30am Pacific the magnificent 7 race their first warm up match on the Isle of Wight, and will be racing every day but Thursday through Sunday 15th.
On Tuesday 17th our van leaves for the Ukraine and on the 19th the six USA Future riders aged Under 21 and Ricky Wells fly into Kiev ahead of practice on Friday and racing at 7am Pacific as USA bids to qualify for the Semi Final stages of the Under 21 World Cup.
By the time the last U21 riders leave the UK three weeks from today the USA travelling party of the USA World Cup Squad - Billy Hamill, Geoff Arnold and myself, will be taking that same Air Zealand flight to join squad members Ryan Fisher, Ricky Wells and Kenny Ingalls in the UK. After a day to test and dial in we'll be flying to Slovenia to meet up with World Champion Greg Hancock as USA prepares for its biggest day in the SWC in 5 years.
On behalf of the riders for both teams, I want to say THANK YOU to all those who have helped. Those Stars and Stripes Memberships literally made the difference and we could not have done this without you. In actuality due to the timing of the formation of the new AMA Committee we have had less than three months to pull all this together twice over, where you really need 6 months for each project.
The TLD helmet and riding gear has begun - this will be signed by GREG, BILLY, RYAN, RICKY and KENNY and will mark the dawn of this new era.
With the Under 21s boarding their plane as I type this the nerves are already setting in. We are aiming high and will do our best at both levels. When that Air New Zealand flight lifts off to London 40 minutes from now, the World Cup countdown is ON!
Steve Evans firstname.lastname@example.org (April 6, 2012)
USA Future Riding Order
The riding order for the USA FUTURE team that will race warm up matches in the UK from 10-15 April is;
1. Mikey Buman (Capt.)
2. Dylan Black
3. Bryce Starks
4. Russell Green
5. Gino Manzares
6. Brad Pappalardo
7. Aaron Fox
Team Managers: Laurence Rogers / Richard Child
Ricky Wells will captain the Under 21 World Cup Squad in Ukraine on April 21.
There are still fan package spots available to watch this team race in the UK! This young team with an average of 2 Eddie Castro's really is the future!
Also note though the Senior World Cup in Slovenia on May 5th is obviously big news, the Stars and Stripes Club supports all three efforts - USA Future, U21 WC and SWC Qualifier.
Finally USA FUTURE will race an extra event - a 2nd half match Vs 'Team Viking' at Coventry after their Elite League match Vs King's Lynn on April 13th. We will use the more inexperienced riders in the UK for this 6 heat, 4 per side match.
It's a busy time for the USA - but its the beginning of a new era on the International Scene and there is a whole crew in the UK working very hard on all of this too. We will do our very best!
Steve Evans email@example.com (March 18, 2012)
USA World Cup News! World Champions Re-United?
World Cup fever is spreading amongst the organizers and riders as the USA prepares for its most serious assault on the SWC in recent years. May 5th 2012 is the big date and a victory in Slovenia over the hosts, Finland and Italy would see the USA back in the final stages for the first time in 5 years.
Preparations have started earlier than ever and rider logistics, fund raising and planning have been top the new AMA Advisory Committee's agenda.
The European based quartet of World Champion Greg Hancock, Ryan Fisher, Ricky Wells and Kenny Ingalls have all been spoken to at length and all are hugely excited with the plans ahead. Of the USA based riders Josh Larsen, Chris Kerr and Tyson Burmeister, all with European experience, have all expressed a serious interest in being involved.
Perhaps the biggest news is the possible international comeback of Billy Hamill. Hamill, inspired by the new project, both on the realistic possibility of the 2012 team qualifying and in building a long term international future, has pledged himself to the May 5th round and beyond on the basis that his peers would do the same. The response to Hamill's rallying cry from his colleagues has been hugely positive all the way and whilst its too soon to confirm the team for Slovenia, the top American riders overseas and in the US are pulling together to make this happen.
The proposed test match series the week before the World Cup is currently in the hands of the BSPA in the UK. There is a very good chance this will come off - the Brits want to stage the first official series in about 15 years, though the main issue is ensuring the availability of Ryan Fisher, Kenny Ingalls and Ricky Wells for all events - the three riders race for a combined five teams in the UK and Fisher will also likely be in Polish league action too. Aside from the above riders named, the likes of Tyson Burmeister, Josh Larsen, Jimmy Fishback, Eddie Castro and Mike Buman have expressed interest in these events.
Two weeks before the senior squad hit Slovenia, the youngsters will go to the Ukraine on April 21st in the Under 21 World Cup Qualifier. In preparation for this the 'USA Future World Cup Squad' will fly to the UK on April 6th and race in four events between the 10th and 15th. Already confirmed for the USA Future team are Mike Buman, Brad Pappalardo and Aaron Fox. There are many other riders working hard to secure one of the remaining four spots for the USA Future - names to drop are Austin Novratil, Bryce Starks, Gino Manzares, Michael Raines, John Marquez, Jason Ramirez and Dylan Black. Ricky Wells is obviously top of the Under 21 teams wanted list, though his busy UK schedule will need to be considered.
The AMA Committee consists of Jason Bonsignore, Richard Child, Bill Cumbo (AMA) Steve Evans, Billy Hamill, Dave Joiner, Josh Larsen & Ken Saillant (AMA). Each bring valuable skills and experience to the table and are committed to improving USA on the International stage as well as the domestic National Series.
Steve Evans firstname.lastname@example.org (February 13, 2012)
'Stars And Stripes Club' - Supporting the 2012 World Team Cups
Plans are very well advanced for the 2012 USA World Cup!
The primary goal is to win the qualifying round on May 5th. It won't be easy - the opposition are Slovenia (home team), Finland and Italy. The Slovenians are led by former GP star Meteij Zagar. The Finn's have several Elite and Premier League riders.
The winning team will go to the Main competition - USA would go to Poland and face the Poles, Denmark and Russia. Winner goes to the final in Sweden. 2nd and 3rd to the race off later that week, also in Sweden.
It is the belief of the AMA Committee and the riders that USA is still one of the best 9 countries in the world and so its time to show the world we are not a spent force in this competition. If we qualify, the Polish and Swedish rounds, all between 7 and 14 July, will be on Sky TV feeds.
In 2006 USA had its last big World Cup push. Everyone got behind it and we qualified and finished 6th overall. 2007 was our last year in the final stages.
The budget for such a project is massive. We are seeking corporate sponsors (which includes bib space) and also individual donors. A 'Stars and Stripes Club' has been launched. There are 5 levels of membership, each, as per usual, gives the donor some nice acknowledgments. The committee has put me in charge of fund raising.
Diamond Level is $1,000 - you get a signed race used bib, a commemorative plaque, framed team photo and more.
Platinum is $600 - Signed bib, plaque, framed team photo and more.
Gold is $250 - You get a plaque and team photo and more.
Silver is $100 - It gives a certificate and team photo and more.
Bronze is $50 - you get a certificate of thanks and more.
It's also likely the capers will be added to with the likes of programs, DVD's, etc.
Note that the club also is supporting the Under 21 World Cup and USA Future that goes before it. Down the line we'd certainly love a big fat corporate sponsor to cover the budgets with one check, but in the meantime, fan power prevails.
NOTE - Anyone who signs up at the Gumball Rally gets 10% of these levels!
I have posters for the club available - do what you can, tell your friends, spread the word. Every bit helps and if indeed we progress in the competition there will be a great deal of pride in saying you helped.
Steve Evans email@example.com (February 3, 2012)