Name: Tom Haugen Age: 29 Hometown: Minneapolis, USA.
You've been on Free Agent for a couple of years now, how was that change from the GT days? Tom: There is no emphasis on me having to do shows with Free Agent. They just want me at as many events as possible. I have a much better exchange of communication with Free Agent as well and they really value my opinions.
Do you still do a lot of shows? Tom: When I can. With the hectic contest schedule it can be hard to find the time, but if I'm not busy I'm always willing to do them.
What sort of things does your bike sponsor ask you to do?
Name: Anthony Napolitan Age: 20 Hometown: Youngstown, Ohio
Hmm, you're not living in a particular BMX mecca. Where do you ride on a regular basis? Anthony: Well I currently live at Woodward camp, so when I wake up everyday I can choose from about 10 different skateparks to ride at, but usually I ride lot 8, the rock and the 7ft mini ramp at outdoor street on a daily basis.
Woodward seems like a place that helped you progress. What's your favorite part of the camp? Anthony: Woodward definitely was a big part in my progression over the past year. My favorite part of the camp is the variety and diversity in ramps all over the camp.
Name: Nate Berkheimer Age: 23 Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
You're doing a bit of everything. Do you feel racing helps your park and dirt riding and riding park/dirt benefits your racing? Nate: I guess they kinda work together, racing helps my other riding in times when you only have a short runway or you need more speed, and riding park and dirt makes a bmx track way more simple than they already are.
There are not too many riders who have done both. Who come to mind as overall riders? Nate: Definitely Brian Foster, he was my hero as a younger rider. Robbie Miranda also does both racing and jumping. There aren't very many riders that can be competitive at both, racing takes a lot of strength training and dirt jumping takes a lot of balls. I just try to give it my all at everything I do.
Name: Chris Doyle Age: 25 Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
What's your sponsor situation like at the moment? Chris Doyle: I ride for DK bicycles, DC shoes, Pro-Tec Helmets, Square One, Bicycle Union, Maxxis tires, and Sun Rims
You've been loyal to your sponsors, can you explain why you're like that? Chris Doyle: Well, it's a two way street. I have a good relationship with all of my sponsors, but as we all know, good relationships take time and patience. All of my sponsors have put a great deal of faith in me over the years and shown alot of loyalty towards me... It's only appropriate that I show them the same kind of support that they've shown me. I'm not one of those pros that's always on the prowl for the bbd (bigger, better, deal). I think it's better to have a relationship with my sponsors that is based on trust... not money.
You've been involved with BMX since age three. How good has it been for you?
Stephen Murray: I just want to thank my parents for supporting me and getting me involved in BMX. Not only getting me involved but keeping me involved! You go through ups and downs as a young kid and are sure to get some bangs, bruises, cuts and other things that could quite easily shy you away from a sport like BMX. They have been there since day one. Through the highs and through the lows and I am still riding the same roller coaster they put me on 23 years ago! I don't know any different, BMX has always been a lifestyle for me and I have never took a break and gave it up for a while, like you would with other hobbies as a kid. BMX is my life and has given me more than I could ever have dreamed of. Thanks!
How hard was it (paper work) to move from England to the USA?
Stephen Murray: It is a whole bunch of bulls**t. Getting into the USA is definitely a mission. I mean immigration just don't make sense to me you know!
We're going old school with John Swanguen here for a minute. John grew up riding with Bob Haro down in San Diego in the '70-s and helped out making the first HARO number plates. He is also the inventor of the Rock Walk. We tracked John down in Fontana, Ca.
Where did you ride with Bob Haro in San Diego?
John: Well, we rode Oasis skatepark of course but our biggest hang out was Skate Heaven in Spring Valley because we both grew up in Spring Valley and we lived like 4 blocks apart. Bob is two years older than me. I'm like 15 and he's like 17 and at the time I'm dating his sister. We got to be really good riding partners and rode a lot together.
Were people looking weird that you did tricks on bikes and not on skateboards at the time?
John: Yeah it was weird, it was kinda one of those things where we did not know where to take it, on account of nobody had done it yet. It was a whole new thing. We actually got the skateparks to commit to letting bikes in two days out of the week. They gave us 2 - 3 hours on bikes and we did not have to deal with skateboarders. Which at the time was quite a bit.
Doncaster is probably best know for its race course but also happens to be home to some real Riding talent...How many 16 year old riders do you know that can blast 10ft inverts, Double whips,720's and back to back Flairs? Straight out of Donnny, Liam is on the come up! So look out for this young man shredding at a park near you! Until then, check out the downloads section on valleysidedistro.com for Liam's latest rider section. Also read this interview so you can get a better picture of someone I think you will be hearing a lot more about in the future... May I introduce to you Mr Liam Hutchinson.
So, Liam, How Long have you been riding BMX for? About 4 to 5 years now.
What is the main discipline you ride? Probably park, but trails and street in summer.
BMX has become an Olympic sport. 2008 will be the first time that we see BMX racers battling for the gold. It might be a bit late but the USA Cycling has hired Doug Martin to organize the American troops. We caught up with Doug to see what he's got planned for those American racers who want to be part of the team.
-With so many international BMX squads already making appearances in the USA for some extra training and some extra racing, where does team USA stand in that respect?