Event: AFA Masters 1986 round 2.
Place: Colombus, Ohio.
Eddie Fiola flatland run 1986 AFA,Columbus, Ohio.
|Lew, Freestylin october 2005: Sunday, May 25. Columbus, Ohio. If you weren't there, you missed: a seven foot 540 courtesy of Michael (you could see the smile on his face from the stands after he pulled off that one). The big turnout -136 entries, and quadruple that number of spectators. Todd Huffman running wildly through the practice area, peppering the bleachers with handfuls of stickers, then sprinting on to the next attack zone. A hundred kids following him. Rick Moliterno's flawless ground run. Hugo. Attempted alley-oop from the quarter-pipe to the wedge ramp. He aborted at the last second, but it was still bid. Not to mention his one-handed-lookback-sticker-toss-aerial. The screaming crowd reaction to some of the biggies in flatland freestyle -Aparijo, R.L. Cid, McCoy, Moliterno, Karl Rothe. The regular AFA crew plus Ohio affiliate Randy Loop are the ones to thank. It was a well-run, well-attended, exciting, no-major-bogs contest.|
|NOVICES AND INTERMEDIATES|
|The 71 novice and intermediate entries were run on Saturday, leaving Sunday open for the experts and pros. Think about that one for a second. 71 entries -more than the pro and expert classes combined. Consider the fact that most of the novices and intermediates were Midwesterners. Proof that Middle America is happening when it comes to freestyle. Keep shreddin', guys.
16 and over intermediate flatland: 1.Pete Kearney 2.Brian Hamel 3.Mark Roldan 4.Joe Ortiz
16 and over intermediate ramp: 1.Brian Hamel 2.Brian DahI 3.Glen Pickle 4.Todd Arturovich
16 & OVER INTERMEDIATE OVERALL: Brian Hamel
16 and over novice flatland: 1.Jim Ehrbar 2.Max Mclnture 3.James Fox 4.Bryan Kealing
14-15 intermediate flatland: 1.Gene Kneishly 2.Gene Smith 3.Mike Jones 4.Rick Well
14-15 intermediate ramp: 1.William Traub 2.Jeff McNaught
14-15 INTERMEDIATE OVERALL: William Traub.
14-15 novice ground: 1.David Pak 2.Scott Hope 3.Tom Byers 4.(tie) Joe Ferrari 4.(tie) Mak Lundy 4.(tie) Bill Neuman
13 and under novice ground: 1.Chris Smith 2.Sean Detard
|The little guys were first. Trevor Hernandez had no trouble wasting the rest of the 13 and Under Experts since Scotty Freeman moved up an age class. The crowd response to Trevor routine was LOUD.
Freeman found his new class a bit more difficult than his old one. Despite a great run, he had to settle with a third behind Brian Belcher and Gary Pollack. Do you remember Belcher from the spring Velodrome contest? In Ohio, he showed up riding for General Bicycles and he shredded. He would've won but one thing stopped him. Gary Pollack. Wins on the ground, ramps, and overall proved why Gary's full factory CW... this guy blazed. Watch for him at the Madison Square Gardens contest. Belcher in the meanwhile, took second behind Gary on the ground and third in ramps. T.J. Fallon was the guy who finished in front of Brian. Yet another unknown' to place rather high.
One more dude to be on the lookout for in the 14-15 expert flatland class is Chris Romeo. He won his class in Oklahoma and ended up with a fourth behind Freeman in Ohio. Romeo used to be on the same trick team as Rick Moliterno before Rick got on Hutch. The only thing more amazing than Chris's flatland routine is the fact that he's not sponsored. Somebody better snag this guy quick-he's GOOD.
The 16 and over expert flatland class consisted of the usual unreal talent. Karl and Chris Rothe, Jason Parkes, Rick Moliterno, Eddie Roman, and Josh White to name a few. Combine those names with a few you may not have heard of, like Pete Kearney, who came out of nowhere and ended up with fifth place ... not an easy feat. Then there was Mark Mckee, the legendary local from Nor. Cal., who flew to Ohio on his own money and ended up tied for seventh, proving once again he can hang with the best.
Several people came up to me throughout the day and told me about a guy from Oregon by the name of Gavin Beattie, the alleged inventor of the backwards gut lever AND the backwards infinity roll. Watch for this dude. He didn't do too well in the competition, but he SHREDS. He has a LOT of smokin' original moves that dropped jaws in Ohio.
So who took the win in 16 and Over Expert Flatland? Smilin' Rick Moliterno left NO doubt in anyone's mind who it would be. His run was SO clean. Even El Cid said it was one of the best ground routines he's ever seen. Not too shabby, Rick.
There was a run-off for second between Karl Rothe and Josh White. One minute, do-or-die. Karl edged out Josh for the win, but it wasn't because Josh wasn't trying. Josh didn't seem too bummed about his ground placing, though. Maybe his win in the ramp class helped. Oh, by the way ... he won the overall, too. Congratulations, Mr. White.
The pits were chaotic ... Sure there was PLENTY of room for people to practice on the smooth-as-glass floor, but everyone seemed to be more interested in sliding their bikes under the guard ropes than practicing. They'd pedal lull speed, pitch it sideways, drop it down into a knee-slide, and duck as they went under the ropes. Guilty parties included Fiola, Hugo, Tony Murray, and Eddie Roman, plus a bunch of imitators.
A lot of people were complaining that quarter-pipes were not of the highest caliber and that you could catch more air off the stall ramps. You could tell who was detuned by the weird transitions and who wasn't. Josh White took it all in stride and walked away with yet another win. You're probably thinking
Tony Murray took the second place. His teammate Joe Johnson, finished in front of him. Joe is another rapidly rising star. Rick Moliterno didn't have as good a ... he did on the ground, but he still managed a fourth in the air.
16 and over expert flatland: 1.Rick Molilerno 2.Karl Rothe 3.Josh White 4.Eddie Roman
16 and over expert ramp: 1.Josh White 2.Joe Johnson 3.Tony Murray 4.Rick Molilerno
16 & OVER EXPERT OVERALL: Josh White
14-15 expert flatland: 1.Gary Pollack 2.Brian Belcher 3.Scott Freeman 4.Chris Romeo
14-15 expert ramp: 1.Gary Pollack 2.T.J. Fallon 3.Brian Belcher 4.(tie) Bill Swoope 4.(tie) Jamie Broughton
14-15 EXPERT OVERALL: Gary Pollack
13&under expert ground: 1.Trevor Hernandez 2.Luke Deavelle 3. Jeff Mernecke
|The action Sunday was as intense as it gets. Only a handlull of notables in the pro class were missing ... Nourie, Wilkerson, Woody, Pete Augustin, and Brian Blyther.
Pro ground. Every person in the entire building focused all attention to the center of the arena. The favorite going in were El Cid Osborn, Martin Aparijo, Dennis McCoy, and Eddie Fiola.
Eddie Fiola rode first. When they announced him, the crowd broke loose with applause that didn't stop until after he finished his run. Plenty of flair, showmanship, and smooth trick earned him a tie for fifth place with Rich Sigur.
Finishing just in front of the King, riding to five minutes worth of reggae music, was Robert Peterson. Bert's style is changin ... he's throwing a lot more rolling tricks into his routine. It paid off.
Fancy footwork and total showmanship are what Dennis McCoy is for. During his run, he played three different songs ... the first two were long forgotten top 40 metal, and the music didn't seem to really fit his style. This was where he made most of his mistakes during his run -the first three minutes. The third song was a fast, twangy rockabilly song. As soon as that song started, something seemed to click inside McCoy's head. He started with his footwork and began nailing trick after trick. Naturally, it was absolute pandemonium in the arena. Third place was what he ended up with, just three tenths of a point in front of Peterson.
In order to win a pro flatland contest, you must be able to ride non-stop for five minutes straight and do insanely hard tricks without sketching out. Plus, you must execute them smoothly and naturally, as if it were the easiest thing in the world to do. Martin is VERY good at winning pro contests. He rarely takes second place. In Ohio, it happened. Martin got beat by R.L. El Cid's incredibly clean run was well choreographed and was the epitome of a contest winning performance. There was a short break before the pro air class to let the pros get used to the ramps. It was pretty gnarly looking two people pedaling full speed towards one ramp, guys trying do rollbacks off the stall ramps, people trying to drop-in while other guys did airs, and riders cutting across the arena to hand tapes to the sound man. After five minutes or so, things calmed down a bit and it looked like they were ready to roll.
There was a new rule in effect at Ohio, one the pros decided on just prior to the contest on Sunday. If your bike broke in the first 40 seconds of your run, you would be allowed to take your run over after the rest of the riders had ridden. No doubt this had something to do with the Wilkerson controversy in Oklahoma. Two people took advantage of the new rule -Ron Wilton and Hugo Gonzales.
Dennis McCoy didn't seem to be as psyched in Ohio as he usually is. He had trouble adjusting to the ramps, and on top of that, the hotel forgot his wakeup call, which caused him to oversleep and miss ramp practice sunday morning. That does wonders for your mental attitude. Dennis did a wide range of tricks, but bails cost him. He tied Rich Sigur for fifth, in front of Ron Wilton. Sigur seemed a little detuned by the ramps, too. A couple of bails during 540 attempts brought down his score a bit, but don't get the idea that Rich wasn't his usual bio self. His win in Oklahoma, combined with the score from Ohio, puts him in fifth place for the series title.
Hugo, the madman, started off his first run with a one-handed-lookback-sticker-toss air. As soon as the stickers began drifting down, about 30 kids ran out in front of the ramp to hoard as many as possible. The announcer started yelling at kids to get out of the way, and said that Hugo's run was over with. Hugo simply waited until things got back under control, and then went for another air. That was when he hung up on a gnarly sprocket-grinder. Hugo's second run was intense... I don't think I've ever seen him ride better. A 540 about four feet out, massive airs, and the trick of death ... an alley-oop carve from the quarter-pipe to the stall ramp, easily a 12-foot canyon. He bailed, but it was still completely insane. Obviously, Hugo is losing all sense of reality. But that's what it takes to be competitive-a certain aggressiveness. Fourth place.
Red Line should be pleased... Todd Anderson put on a command performance that earned him third place. Midway through his run, his stem started slipping, but he didn't let it bother him too much. What else can we say? Todd is RADICAL.
Just like the battle between Martin and R.L. on the ground, the two aerial gods went at it on the ramps -Fiola and Dominguez. Eddie threw in all of his style and fluidness, but it wasn't enough to stop Michael. Dominguez used the amount of air he gets to his advantage blasting higher than anyone all day long. He did a 540 higher than I've ever seen anyone do ... it had to be around seven feet out. Until you see him ride you will never understand why Michael amazes so many people.
Michael may have won the pro air class, but Eddie did something pretty amazing himself ... he won the overall Congrats, Edward.
Ohio proved to be a big success. bringing out a TON of hot unknown talent. We can only hope the contest New York will turn out as cool. Until then, stay vert.
Pro flatland: 1.RL. Osborn 2.Martin Aparijo 3.Dennis McCoy 4.Robert Peterson 5.Eddie Fiola 6.Rich Sigur 7.Rick Allison 8.Maurice Meyer 9.Ron Wilton
Pro ramp: 1.Michael Dominguez 2.Eddie Fiola 3.Todd Anderson 4.Hugo Gonzales 5.(tie) Rich Sigur 5.(tie) Dennis McCoy 7.Ron Wilton
PRO OVERALL: Eddie Fiola