The Vans BMX Pro Cup is Back - and Bigger - in 2018

The Vans BMX Pro Cup series took the BMX world by storm in 2017. Good news - it’s back and even better in 2018! We caught up with the man behind all things BMX at Vans - Jerry Badders - for details on the changes and everything we have to look forward to in the coming months. Check it -


ALL PHOTOS BY COLIN MACKAY 

Vans BMX bossman Jerry Badders and the mayor of Malaga, Spain

The Vans BMX Pro Cup series had a huge buzz last year. Are there any major changes going into 2018?

Last year, the Vans BMX Pro Cup added the Woodward East Regional Qualifier at the last minute and the event didn’t get the full buzz. This year, the series has added a Regional Qualifier in Santiago, Chile and in Woodward East, expanding the World Tour. Also, Vans BMX Pro Cup is excited to announce that there will be a women’s BMX division at each stop of the Pro Tour. The Vans BMX Pro Cup World Championship will take place in Malaga, Spain in 2018.

Will the events be taking place at the same parks as last year? I heard a rumor Australia may be going down at Five Dock…

Australia is going down at Five Dock in Sydney. Huntington Beach will be on the beach during the Vans US Open of Surfing. Mexico is at the same park in Guadalajara. Spain is at a BMXer’s paradise - Ruben’s park. Santiago, Chile Regional Qualifier will be at Parque Los Reyes. Woodward Regional Qualifier at Woodward East.


Ryan Nyquist - Vans BMX Pro Cup Sydney

Chris James - Vans BMX Pro Cup HB

Justin Dowell - Vans BMX Pro Cup Woodward


I also heard a rumor the Guadalajara event may only be taking place in one part of the park - as opposed to the entire thing like last year. Any truth to this?

Yes, that’s true. We're not using the entire park this year - just the main bowl.

 

The qualifier in Chile is a new one. What prompted you to introduce this stop?

Vans Chile wanted to have a BMX contest and I figured it would make sense to give South American riders a chance to enter and ride in one of the Vans BMX Pro Cup Regional Qualifiers. Plus, there are so many good riders in South America that need some exposure.

What park in Chile is the qualifier going down at?

Parque Los Reyes in Santiago.

Last year, the series wrapped up in HB. This year, HB is the second event and the series wraps up at the World Championship in Spain. Any specific reason for the switch-up?

Ruben’s Park is made for BMX. Last year, the riding and atmosphere were amazing in Malaga.

 

The 2017 tour - and past Van Doren Invitational events - brought in numerous BMX icons to judge. Will this continue in 2018? Any names you can drop?

Yes. Joe Rich will continue to be the head judge. We will switch out and use Big Island, John Povah, Ryan Jordan, Ruben Alcantara, Dakota Roche, Gary Young, and more.

Judging on last year’s tour clearly favored style, bike control, and course usage over tricks. Any changes in judging criteria going forward?

No. 

Vans is about expressing creativity and choosing your own line. With Vans’ heritage and position in BMX, we have a responsibility to progress the culture and preserve our reputation as First In BMX. 

We don’t want to push the sport where kids are doing such big tricks that they're getting injured. You can still go big in the Vans BMX Pro Cups, but you don’t need to do 100 big tricks. We want kids to have fun and go home with smiles on their faces, whether they're riding or not riding.

I see there’s a $155,000 prize purse. That’s a lot of money. This is up from last year, right?

Yes, this is up from last year. Vans BMX Pro Cup has added some Regional Qualifiers and women's prize purse for 2018.

Larry Edgar - 2017 Vans BMX Pro Cup Champion

Any word on the breakdown of prize money per-event?

Each Regional Qualifier will be 1st - $550 plus an invite to the Pro Tour and World Championship with air and hotel paid to World Championship in Spain, 2nd - $500 plus invite to Pro Tour and World Championship with hotel paid for World Championship in Spain, 3rd - $450 plus invite to Pro Tour and World Championships with hotel paid for World Championship in Spain.

Each Pro Tour will be 1st - $6,600, 2nd - $4,000, 3rd - $2,500 and top five non-pre-qualified riders will receive an invite to Pro Tour and World Championships.

World Championship payout will be 1st - $12,500, 2nd - $7,500, 3rd - $5,000.

Vans -  and you specifically, Jerry - have always been incredibly supportive of women in BMX. What’s the game plan for the ladies this year?

The ladies will have their own contest at each Pro Tour - Australia, Huntington Beach, Mexico, and Spain.


Ellie Chew - Vans BMX Pro Cup HB

Teresa Fernández - Vans BMX Pro Cup Malaga

Nina Buitrago - Vans BMX Pro Cup Guadalajara


How are riders qualified for the first event? Is it based on last year’s overall placings?

Yes and no. We invited the top twenty from overall points from 2017 and then ten wild cards based on past results. Then, top three from the Chile Regional Qualifier will make a field of thirty-three for the Australia Pro Tour. Seven riders from the Australia Regional Qualifier will advance to the Australia Pro Tour to make a field of forty.

Which event are you most looking forward to and why?

The Vans BMX Pro Cup World Championship in Malaga, Spain. Such a good time last year, on and off the bike. Riding was at its best. This is what BMX is all about!

Gary Young - Alleyoop Table at Vans BMX Pro Cup: Malaga

When does registration for the qualifiers open?

Registration is open now for Chile and Australia regional qualifiers at www.vansbmxprocup.com or www.mccoyproevents.com.

Any other Vans contest news? Can we expect another Street Invitational in 2018?

Yes. The Vans BMX Street Invitational will be held March 31st at the Vans Huntington Beach Park in California.

Anything closing thoughts? 

I’d like to thank my crew for all their hard work on this series - Kosman, Mackay, Foley, Edelman, Schwier, Stahl, Gascon, Xavier, Nau, Crandall, Mapstone, Marco, Ruben, Zeiss, Keep, McCoys, Rich, and many more. And thank you, Vital, for this interview!


 

2018 VANS BMX PRO CUP SERIES

WORLD TOUR SCHEDULE

Regional Qualifiers

Santiago, Chile March 23 & 25

Sydney, Australia April 27

Woodward East, Pennsylvania June 28

Guadalajara, Mexico August 25

Málaga, Spain September 21

*Open Registration Information is available on vansbmxprocup.com

Pro Tour

Sydney, Australia April 29

Huntington Beach, CA August 3 & 5

Guadalajara, Mexico August 26

World Championship Málaga, Spain September 22 - 23

 

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