Willers, Buchanan lead in Orlando

New Zealand's Marc Willers leads a stacked Elite Men moto at the Disney Cup in Orlando, Fla. Patrick Nugent


Another October, another ABA Disney Cup -- with unseasonably mild weather in central Florida. Because much of the oncoming "Frankenstorm" is bypassing the mainland of Florida, everyone attending USA BMX's Disney Cup was in luck. Coming from near and far, this year has been the biggest Disney Cup ever held, with more than 200 motos of action. With the tight turns we have become accustomed to in Orlando, it seemed as though riders were going down in every other lap, or washing out while fighting for the top spot and their last chance at points going into the ABA Grand Nationals next month in Tulsa, Okla.

Elite Men
It was no surprise to see DK's Marc Willers and Redline's Sam Willoughby out front. The two have dominated the past few seasons and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon -- in fact, they're just getting faster. The two managed to not meet until the main event, going through motos, quarter-qualifiers and semi-qualifiers in different heats. When it was main time, there were four Olympic BMX medalists on the gates, Mike Day (silver, 2008), Carlos Oquendo (bronze, 2012), Sam Willoughby (silver 2012) and the two-time gold medalist Maris Strombergs. When the gate dropped, it was nothing but Willers, riding the new DK frame with a 20mm back axle (which he swears by), and he dominated the class. Willoughby put up a good fight, but in the end he would have to settle for second, followed by Connor Fields in third.

Elite Women
Five time ABA champion Dominique Daniels may have met her match, and she is Australian. Caroline Buchanan is making a case for the USA BMX title. Moving to the USA to race bikes after a rough showing at the Olympics, Buchanan is going to stir the pot a bit. Winning most of her laps around the track certainly helped out her street cred and when main time came, she had enough of a lead that she didn't have to worry about the first turn carnage going down behind her. End to end, she held a solid lead over Daniels and claimed the win.

Race action continues tomorrow, weather permitting. As for my flight back to New York, that is another story.