As the dust settled on the dirt track of the 2020 USA BMX Grands National competition Thanksgiving weekend, one thing was certain; Zahne Bogart had cemented his love for BMX racing.
The nine-year-old Cut Bank native, who is currently in fourth grade at Anna Jeffries Elementary School, competed in the Race of Champions and in the Grands at the BMX National competition in Tulsa, OK from Nov. 25-29. The event marked the first national contest for Zahne who held his own among a crowd of nearly 3,500 racers across all fields.
Despite an early exit in both events, Zahne was able to take a victory in a preliminary race of the Race of Champions. The week in Tulsa showed the progress he has made in his short racing career.
Zahne has been zipping through the streets of his neighborhood in Cut Bank on a bike since he can remember. This racing prodigy had his training wheels removed from his bike when he was three years old.
After years of taking Zahne to see an auto racing show at Montana Raceway Park in Kalispell, his father, Andy Bogart, noticed there was a bicycle race for children mixed into the events on kid’s night. The next year at the event, Andy signed Zahne up in the bicycle race and he took to it naturally.
“He entered into the race and we really didn’t think much of it,” Andy said. “It was more of something for him to have fun doing but he did really well and ended up getting second in the field. We really couldn’t be prouder of him and how he has carried himself through 2020 and everything that has come with it.”
From that point on Zahne and his parents became involved in competitive racing and have never looked back.
When asked about his favorite aspect of BMX racing, Zahne said it’s a blast to race and compete but nothing beats winning.
For the most part, he has done nothing but win in the 2020 BMX season. He has competed in 29 races with 29 podium finishes. Of those, 18 have been first-place finishes, eight have been second-place and three have been third-place. He racked up 12 consecutive wins, which allowed him to advance from the novice ranking to the intermediate level.
“It was really exciting to be in Tulsa with him and for him to compete the way he did,” Ronda Bogart, Zahne’s mother, said. “It was great for him to be invited to a national meet like that and we had a blast cheering him on.”
That childhood love of riding his bike down the street has evolved into a fiercer passion for racing and has already taken Zahne throughout Montana and to several other states, including Washington and Oklahoma.
“I want to be a pro,” Zahne replied when asked what he was looking forward to about riding in the future. “I love racing and I have a lot of fun doing it.”