|ESPN.com: BMX||[Print without images]|
|After a very consistent year, Marc Willers walked away with the 2011 ABA Title. Launch Gallery »|
For those riders chasing ABA points, it's been a long year of race travel, spanning from Washington state to Puerto Rico and anywhere in between. And this weekend, it all came down to the ABA Grand Nationals in Tulsa, Okla. In both the Elite Men and Women's classes, it all came down to the final of three mains. In Elite Men, current ABA champ Sam Willoughby (Redline/Swatch) tried his best to fight off the fastest man on Earth, Marc Willers (Speed/Swatch/Burger King), while in Elite Women, the uncontested Dominique Daniels battled it out with Haro's Brooke Crain.
Willers and Willoughby have been battling all year and on Saturday, Willers came out on top taking not only the ABA title, but a $15,000 check home for his efforts. In the first main, Willers and Willoughby battled side by side, with Willers taking the slight advantage and winning the lap. For main event number two, things got sketchy. Willers and Willoughby traveled the length of the first straight side by side, but when it came to the first turn, Willoughby cut it a bit too tight, washing out almost any hope in keeping his title. A glimmer of hope did shine through when Willers bobbled the pro section and wound up finishing in fourth.
In the final main event of the day, it was all Willers uncontested. "I got nothing. Just stoked," said Willers at the end of the night. The ABA title has been a goal of Willers for years and he has finally claimed it. Next up on his list -- the Olympic Gold.
|BMX legend Eric Rupe holds it down for GT in the veteran expert class. Launch Gallery »|
In the Women's class, it was down to Haro's Brooke Crain and Dominique Daniels. Daniels has been uncontested the last few years and Crain put up a good fight. After Friday's win the at the Race of Champions, Crain's confidence level got a solid boost. But when it came main event time, it was a battle every lap. Daniels took laps one and two with Crain close behind. In the final main event, Crain went in for the kill on the third straight and ended up taking herself out along with Dominique Daniels. On Saturday night, Daniels walked away with her fourth consecutive ABA Title.
With the book closed on the 2011 season, everyone can take the much needed break before the first race of the hectic 2012 Olympic year in Reno, Nev.