|Date: february 26-27, 1994.|
Place: Moreno Valley, California.
|James Shepherd, Ride BMX UK june 1994: It didn't take a genius to figure out that the flatland area sucked. It was too small, dusty, and on an incline. In the Hoffman crew's defence, I would like to point out that it's almost impossible to find skateparks that are suited for all the events [this skatepark just recently let bikes in at all]. Even though the site was pretty bad, I didn't hear much complaining, which is cool. Since the finals were held on Sunday [for scheduling reasons], I just thought I'd mention a few of the more noteworthy parts of qualifying. In the expert class, the big news was Chase Gouin's retirement from both the contest and sponsorship scene. He hasn't stopped riding, he just no longer wants to be known as 'pro' or 'sponsored'. More power to him. As far as the pros that were competing goes, I had my money on Chad Degroot before the contest. With several second place finishes under his belt, Chad is long overdue for a win. Well, I'm lucky the contest wasn't in Las Vegas, because things kind of fell apart early in Chad's run. He ended up not making it out of qualifying, but I still think he's long overdue. So who looked good? None other than Arizona golden boy Trevor Meyer. His run was clean and he snapped out of most every trick. I'm not sure if he qualified first, but it looked like he did.
James Shepherd, Ride BMX UK june 1994: Sunday morning's flatland finals. In the expert class, Richie Rich [a crazy Austrian] got 3rd place, first place qualifier Leif Valin missed a couple of tricks, and settled for second, and Sean Peters took the win. Sean has been turning up the top spots for some time now, so do yourself a favour and remember his name.
In the pro flat class, four of the top five finishers were Southern California riders. Day Smith had trouble staying on his bike and wound up in 5th place. Edgar Placenscia managed to land his crazy spinning tricks and nailed down 4th place. Sean McKinney rode with the same smooth and consistent style he's known for - 3rd place. Second place went to Jesse Puente, who rode with the attitude and crazy links that have taken him into the winner's circle in the past. If you haven't already guessed, Trevor Meyer won the class. In the past, Trevor seemed to lack what it takes to be a consistent winner. If he can keep riding like he did here, he could be a new heavy in the pro class, but only time will tell.
Chase Gouin has retired from contests and was a good victim to be a judge.
Sergio, june 2005: Jesse Puente won first place in qualifying on Saturday, February 27, 1994. The picture on the cover of Ride #10 was taken during that qualifying run. Flatland finals were held the following morning, Sunday, February 28, 1994. Jesse touched too much and got 2nd Place. First place went to Trevor Meyer, whose near flawless run was a near duplicate of a Chase Gouin/Dorkin' 5 vid. During finals on Sunday, Jesse pulled a slow, one-handed bankroll (only about one rotation), and a spinning stick-bitch perfectly. He started his run with a jump-lash to g-turn on the front peg to rolling junk-yard, to cross-footed lardyard, to backwards peg-wheelie, jumped to lardyard on his normal side, attempted to roll that to time-machine w/ bike backwards, but was going too slow and crashed. It's the same combo you see in "Wheelies." The day before (Saturday, when that cover pic was taken), during qualifying, Jesse drove the crowd mad when he g-turned a dump-truck. This move was common between him and Richard Zabzdyr (check out Richard in "Ring the Gack"). Jesse did a high-speed dump-truck, g-turned the bike and started rolling backwards holding the front tire with his free hand for control, and then, brought the bike to a dead stop with his scuffing foot and started doing a stick-bitch. The crowd went nuts as it was an improvised move that no one, probably not even Jesse, was expecting. He pulled the stick-bitch and seconds later, he began the combo that included the lardyard which appears on the cover of Ride #10.
After the comp, Trevor Meyer landed a full factory ride with GT.
STUNTMEN FLAT RESULTS: 1-Trevor Meyer 2-Jesse Puente 3-Sean McKinney 4-Edgar Placenscia 5-Day Smith 6-Chris Young
Jesse Puente on the cover of Ride BMX US.
Hoffman Bikes' SoCal flatlander Day Smith backpacker. Photo by Brad McDonald.
Mark Losey and Day Smith.
|James Shepherd, Ride BMX UK june 1994: In the expert class, Jimmy Walker took third place with a good blend of lip tricks and airs. GT's Pat Miller rode in the first ever 2 Hip mini ramp contest and did five foot airs. Back then, I wondered why I never saw him ride vert. Well, a few years have passed and Pat now rips on vert - 2nd place. By the way Rob Sigaty rode the eleven foot vert ramp you would never figure he only has a crappy eight foot halfpipe to practice on back home. Rob ended each of his runs with flip fakies that he came close to pulling. First place for Hoffman Bikes' other Canadian rider.
In the pro class, Dennis McCoy ended his two contest winning streak, but not once did he fly off the ramps into an unsuspecting bystander, if that says anything. Dennis had a little trouble landing his big tricks [540 with a 360 barspin], which held him back to third place. New pro John Parker seems to be holding his own like the rest of the veterans [ie. he flings himself blindly into the air, lands on his head, and gets up for more]. In my mind, his roll in straight into a seven foot no-hander was his best trick. He couldn't quite hit a flair and more of his other big tricks left him on the flat bottom. The one big trick that could have put him in the top spot was his 540 tailwhip. He didn't pull it, so second place was the best he would get today. I'm sure you already know that Jay Miron won, so I'll spare you the corny crap and just tell you what he did: not one, but two double barspin airs, backwards icepick grinds, and a big 540 straight into a tailwhip air straight into a backflip fakie [pulled perfectly]. To tell you the truth, Jay could have sat down the rest of the comp after the flip. I don't think a single person thought Jay had anything but first.
Rob Sigaty was close of a backflip and a flip twist.
Pat Miller won with big airs and a double tailwhip attempt.
STUNTBOYS VERT RESULTS: 1.Rob Sigaty 2.Pat Miller 3.Jimmy Walker
John Parker went for a 540 tailwhip.
Jay Miron took the win with double barspins airs, a clean 540 bus driver and a pulled flip fakie.
Matt Hoffman who has cut all his air off was there but didn't ride since he was recovering from various bionic operations.
STUNTMEN VERT: 1-Jay Miron 2-John Parker 3-Dennis McCoy 4-Alexander Reinke
|James Shepherd, Ride BMX UK june 1994: Picture a seven foot tall nearly vert ramp with a bowled corner and an elbowed hip [it looks like a boomerang]. About twenty four feet of the fifty or sixty foot wide ramp is spined, with pool coping and an extension on the face of the wall behind the spine. The pool coping side hipped via a roll-in to a five foot tall spined and hipped mini. The masonite surface on all the ramps was a little slick, but the biggest problem had to be the masonite on the decks, slick and flush with the coping. Before the comp, a park employee removed the masonite on one of the decks which made things a little better. As far as lines go, there's a channel that can be aired from the five foot spine to the vert ramp, and another canyon that goes off the end of the seven foot mini ramp into a three foot bowled mini. Now that you have a completely distorted mental picture of the ramps, here are some even more confusing qualifying highlights: Jody Donnelly didn't qualify, but he did bomb drop from the deck of the vert ramp into the transition [not flat bottom] of the five foot spine. Dave Clymer couldn't get a straight line to the five foot spine, so he rode through the flatland area, cut between the five foot mini and the vert ramp, hopped onto the flat bottom, and backflipped the five foot spine. The trick of qualifying had to be Mike Escamilla's feeble grind down the handrail that went from the vert ramp to the deck of the five foot. The rail is an easy six inches above handlebar height, the drop off the side is thirteen feet, and regardless of how well he pulled it, there is or was another rail directly in his path at the bottom. Even with almost no lighting and hundreds of blood thirsty spectators waiting for him to die, Mike pulled it first time, and yes, crashed right through the next railing.
James Shepherd, Ride BMX UK june 1994: Mini ramp finals. In the expert class Jon Luc-E Englebert showed up with a new sponsor, RibCo, and got 5th place with tricks like spine transfer toothpick to half barspin. Mike Escamilla also came to the comp with a new sponsor, Family Bikes. His runs in the finals seemed to be more flowing and even a little conservative, but that's only by his standards. He still managed big bus-driver fakie attempts, 540's over the elbow, 540's from the five foot spine to the vert ramp, and a barspin from the seven foot to the three foot bowl for 4th place. After winning the last street comp, Haro's jack-of-all-trades Todd Lyons was thinking about entering the intermediate class [because he never rides mini ramps]. After being heckled by his peers, Todd rode expert and made up for his lack of technical tricks by doing tricks as big as possible. Tricks like five foot airs to tail taps, fastplants from the five foot mini over a railing to dive into the seven foot, and several flip twist attempts over the five foot hip [one of which resulted in an ass to coping impact]. Third place and a lot of Ben Gay. RibCo's Joe Rich rode with a green cast on his wrist, which I'm sure affected his riding, but it's hard to tell with Joe. His lip tricks are still as tech as it gets, but his flow was not quite as good as normal. He still almost pulled a truckdriver [360 barspin in the middle of a 360] over the 7f spine. Without the cast, who knows what could have happened. Second place for Joe. After winning the last mini ramp contest, Albe's rider Taj Mihelich seemed to be the man to beat here. His runs were not quite as clean as he would have liked, but they were most definitely burly. Big carve airs over the 7ft spine, backwards icepick grinds to transfers over the same spine, and big downside tailwhip air attempts over the elbow [sort of like an alley oop]. Another first place for Mark Losey's favourite rider.
The pro class wasn't the biggest or best it's ever been, but it was the peak of the mini ramp action. Alex Reinke from Germany had a smooth, flowing style but was held back to 5th place by bike trouble. Stephan Prantl is also from Germany and is one of the most flowing riders around, 270 nosepick to 50/50 stall over the seven foot spine, manuals to lawnmower, and a huge abubaca on the railing at the back of the 7ft mini - 4th place. It seems like GT rider Rob Nolli places a little bit higher at every contest he enters. This 3rd place finish is his highest placing to date. He got it by doing what he does best - pulling big tricks and staying on his bike. Flip flyouts on the five foot ramp, long nose wheelies, and tailwhips over the elbow took Rob to 3rd place. There's not a lot that can be said about Dennis McCoy that hasn't been said before. He's been there and done that as far as riding goes, but he just keeps getting better. With six foot airs over the spine, 360's about that high, and several flair attempts, second place was all Dennis'. While everyone else had trouble adjusting to the slick ramps, Jay Miron went off. From the first time Jay dropped into the ramps, school was in session. Nobody rode as clean as Jay. His first run was flawless except for a missed 180 over the spine [after his time was up], and the rest of his runs were close too. Jay's trick list included 270 to 50/50 transfers over the spine, long fast icepick grinds, seven foot high 360's over the spine, carve airs to bottom side icepick bonks on the spine, and just about everything else you can imagine. Like I said, school was in session - first place.
6th Mike Ocoboc is only 15 years old but rides like a man. Icepick barspin, barspin to nosepick.
5th Luc-E alley oop axel over the spine and back
4th Rooftop fakie busdriver, feeble grind from the halfpipe down to the platform of the 5ft ramp on a railing made out of wood.
3rd Tood Lyons, 2nd Joe Rich, 1st Taj Mihelich.
STUNTBOYS MINI RESULTS: 1-Taj Mihelich 2-Joe Rich 3-Todd Lyons 4-Mike rooftop Escamilla 5-John luc-e Englebert 6-Mike Ocoboc 7-Dave Clymer
5th Alexander Reinke busdriver disasters over the spine
4th Stephan Prantl incredible abubaca on a rail on one of the deck of the 7' mini.
3rd Rob Nolli tailwhip spine
2nd DMC barspin 540 tailtap, 900 tailtap, truckdriver spine.
1st Jay Miron alley oop bus over the hip, big 360 spine, bottom side icepick grind.
STUNTMEN MINI RESULTS: 1-Jay Miron 2-Dennis McCoy 3-Rob Nolli 4-Stephan Prantl 5-Alex Reinke
Ed Koenning tailwhipping the hip on the cover of Ride BMX UK june 1994. Photo by Brad McDonald.
|BREAK DANCING CONTEST|
|James Shepherd, Ride BMX UK june 1994: After mini ramp qualifiers, things usually pick back up with flatland finals, but since flatland was being held on Sunday, they needed something to kill time while the points were being added up. They chose the most logical time killer, a break dancng contest. One would have thought that it would be more of a joke than a contest, but after things got going, it looked more like a battle scene in Beat Street than a bike contest. There was even a guy who stopped by the contest site in the morning, heard about the breakin' deal, and came back that night with a few of his boys, all of whom paid five bucks to break on the flat bottom of the mini ramp. Day Smith, Armen from France, Sean McKinney, Mike Castillo, Chris Young, Vic Murphy, and Ruben Castillo all proved that Puma running suits mean more than just retro fashion. When the battle finally ended, the crowd chose Ruben as the victor. His attitude, headspins, and groin-grabbing windmills that hopped six inches off the ground were simply too much for the other competitors.|