|Date: february 24-27, 2000.
Place: Paradise Funplex, Merrit Island, Florida.
|Brian Tunney: Both the expert and pro classes were internationally stacked. Riders scanning the globe showed up to ride and have fun. There were riders from Hungary, Brazil, Japan, France, Germany and even California. The Japanese contingent of riders, including Tanaka Kotaro, Ryoji Yamamoto, York Uno and Akira Okamura are turning a lot of faces. It was great to see them riding and pulling original tricks. What everyone did would make this story too long and complicated, so I'll simply say that everyone rode awesome. And most importantly, everyone had fun riding the contest because the environment was stress-free. Alex Jumelin even suggested trying a jam format for Round Two, so we might try that and see how everything goes. But we could not have asked for a better flatland contest for Round One.
STUNTMEN FLAT 1.Nathan Penonzek 2.Chad Degroot 3.Dan Rigby 4.Stephen Cerra 5.Aaron Behnke 6.Michael Steingraber 7.York Uno 8.Matt Wilhelm 9.Jorge viki Gomez 10.Brian Tunney
STUNTBOYS 1.Kotaro Tanaka 2.Ryoji Yamamoto 3.John Dowker 4.Bret Crowther 5.Zack Demboske
SOON TO BE 1.Daisuke Suzuki 2.Alan Pinto Da Silva 3.Brandon Ryan
|Brian Tunney: Once again, everyone rode way too good. I know this for a fact because it was near impossible to judge both expert and pro. And after baking under the arid sun all morning during practice, everyone came together and pulled off one heck of a dirt comp. But before I start, we need to mention that Chris Duncan worked hard on the Florida sand they call dirt to get the jumps in working order, so Chris deserves a big thanks. Hug him the next time you see him. (He won't mind.)
Amateur dirt was not that much different from pro dirt. Trend Bike Source's Joel Moody snatched the win, followed by Steven Lilly and Mark Mulville. These guys are not far off from the pro class, pulling big 360's, tailwhips and most importantly, landing backside and tricking every set.
And now, the wild bunch of pros...
Joey Garcia pulled the win, but this was no easy feat by anyone's standards. Joey actually tailwhipped the 25 foot table to x-up over the next set to no-footed cancan over the last set. The distance to tailwhip the first table was insane, but Joey pulled it with such control that there was no way for him to go but to first place.
Grabbing second was former local Floridian Cory Nastazio. Cory flipped that first table and also pulled his patented superman seat grab snap, with height unmatched by anyone else out there.
Following in third was Bensalem, PA's Adam Aloise. Adam is a machine when it comes to pulling 360 variations and tailwhips with that smooth PA style that would make Pat Juliff happy.
Lastly deserving a mention in pro dirt is S&M's Matt Berringer. Matt actually double barspinned the first two sets to perfect front flip in qualifying, and then pulled a smooth 180 over the last set when the contest was done.If anyone were the crowd fave, that would be Matt. Proof that originality does pay off.
STUNTMEN DIRT 1.Joey Garcia (Schwinn) 2.Cory Nastazio 3.Adam Aloise 4.Chris Doyle 5.Chris Duncan 6.Van Homan 7.Josh Stricker 8.Bruce Crisman 9.Ron Kimler 10.Matt Beringer
STUNTBOYS DIRT 1.Joel Moody 2.Stephen Lilly 3.Mark Mulville 4.George Stronghilos 5.Billy Dexter
|Brian Tunney: What made vert so incredible amounted to the top three riders and a new format. That format, a 30 minute jam for the finals, proved to be a little too tiring for the riders, but it definitely worked wonders for the first 20 of those minutes. Riders may go whenever they want and they can either do a marathon contest run, or simply try for one or two big tricks.
The jam format eliminates the endurance runs and is more fun to watch in my opinion. And the guys that were the most fun to watch were:
-Jason Davies, who is back from injury and pulling bunnyhop off the deck to peg stall to revert, along with his huge 540's and variations at height. In the words of Sheps, "Davies is a vert rider's rider."
-John Parker, who pulled a double tailwhip in qualifying and even came super close to a body varial in the finals. John has a die-hard attitude that kept him getting up and trying tricks that he didn't pull. And he chalked up his first pro vert win because of it.
-Mat Hoffman, who is back in full form, pulling switch hand lookdowns and the dreaded no-handed to no-footed 540. Mat is now brakeless and everyone will agree that it was THE highlight of the weekend to see Mat riding and enjoying himself.
STUNTMEN VERT 1.John Parker 2.Mat Hoffman 3.Jason Davies 4.Rob Nolli 5.Rob Sigaty 6.Chad Kagy 7.Dave Brumiow 8.Josh Heino 9.Jim Burgess 10.Mike Laird
STUNTBOYS VERT 1.Jeremy Fanberg 2.Doug Pilkey 3.Keith McElhinney 4.Alan Cooke 5.Daniel Randall
John Parker on the cover of BMX Plus! june 2000.
|Brian Tunney: The vert jam format went to the street course as well, and it was a bit confusing after it exceeded the time limit. Riders just kept going for it, and who were we to stop them? So many good tricks and lines were exhibited throughout the day, but I think there were a handful of things that stood out to me, including:
Van Homan, who icepicked the wall atop the wave ramp and then gapped off of an 8 foot quarter to bank landing.
Joey Garcia again, who went for a barspin to tailwhip and came damn close.
Josh Heino, who attempted the sickest fufanu ever. He came real close and my words will never do justice to the insanity that that fufanu was.
Ruben Alcantara, who bunnyhopped up a 2 foot high handrail (3 inch wide) and tailwhip bunnyhopped off of the top of it, along with simple bump jumps that show how much control Ruben actually has over his bike. Ruben is control, plain and simple.
STUNTMEN STREET 1.Rob Nolli 2.Seth Kimbrough 3.Van Homan 4.Josh Heino 5.Joey Garcia 6.Ruben Alcantara 7.Daniel Randall 8.Allan Cooke 9.John Heaton 10.Chad Degroot
STUNTBOYS 1.Jeremy Fanberg 2.Mike Daye 3.Josh Harrington 4.Rob Darden 5.Chris Eimen
SOON TO BE 1.Dustin Eggers 2.Chris Stacy 3.Scott Twiford
Josh Heino, fufanu.