Rose Quarter, Portland, Oregon. August 17-20, 2006.
|Steve Lemig, www.lat34.com: The much-anticipated Vans Invitational BMX Dirt Finals exploded onto the Dew Tour scene in Portland Friday night. The top three riders overall coming into Friday nights event were 20 year-old Anthony Napolitan, BMX veteran Ryan Nyquist and Aussie Luke Parlsow. And Ryan Guettler, who has had a rough 2006 season so far, found his rhythm again in Thursdays Dirt Prelims with a 1st place finish showing everyone that he wasnt going down in the Tour without a fight.
All 12 qualifying riders came into the Finals looking ready to fight for a much needed win in Portland , the crucial half-way point in the Dew Tour series. But when the dust settled it was none other than Cameron White filling the top spot. The Aussies first run was only good enough for 6th place. But, then White came back to kill his second run starting off with a triple tailwhip and ending with a backflip turndown.
Luke Parslow, who came into the Dirt Finals from the Prelims in 3rd, held off Napolitan and Guettler to grab 2nd place. His scoring run consisted of a backflip tailwhip, front flip, 360 x-up and a backflip x-up.
Anthony Napolitan, who looked consistent and smooth as ever, barely brushed past Guettler to land 3rd place in the Finals. He relied on his tried and true sequence of no-hand front flip, double whip, 360 x-up into the berm and 360 double whip at the end. Napolitan has had an amazing 2006 season highlighted by 1st and 2nd place finishes in Louisville and Denver, and a Bronze at the X-Games.
Guettlers first run of a double whip, back to back 720s and front flip looked like it would be good enough for 1st or 2nd. But somehow the rest of field was able to step it up and keep him in 4th place.
Other highlights were James Fosters crazy truckdriver downside x-up that he first debuted at Thursdays Prelims. And while it wasnt necessarily a highlight, it was notable that Dave Dillewaard had a bad crash that left him on the ground for a minute or two after the second set. The indoor Dirt course here in Portland at the Rose Quarter Memorial Coliseum was more difficult than previous Dirt courses making the contest even more exciting. The course included a tight berm and an additional 4th jump. Riders took the extra degree of difficulty in stride and tackled the Dirt course with no major crashes a big relief for riders after several bad crashes in Denver.
www.dewactionsportstour.com: Another BMX Dirt Final is in the Dew Tour books, showcasing the biggest tricks, the best action, and yet another new face on top of the podium. Since six of the twelve finalists were Australian, it would have been a fairly safe bet that one of them would end up on top, especially with frequent winners Ryan Guettler and Corey Bohan in the mix. However, the planets finally aligned for two other riders who fired out the perfect runs theyve been chasing all season.
Luke Parslow, a frequent podium visitor in the second and third place spots, sat in first place for most of the contest. Lukes been placing consistently high, but always seems to just miss out on the win for one reason or another. Hes the only guy hitting perfect flipwhips over the first set, which he followed in Portland with a frontflip, an x-up 360, and a barspin to x-up backflip. It seemed that on this night his score would stand and hed finally be able to claim a long-awaited first-place finish.
However, qualifying right behind Luke was his countryman Cameron White. Cams one of two riders to have pulled triple tailwhips in competition, but he just hasnt been able to put together a complete run after the triple so far this season. He played it smart and delivered a solid first run which included a double whip and a whip to barspin, opening him up to take the risk with the triple in run two. He nailed it as usual, followed by a clean frontflip, and it finally looked like it would all come together for him. He finished with an x-up 360 into the berm and a flip turndown on the last jump, which pushed him into the top spot. Cams got the triple so tightly dialed that he could probably change the Australian battle cry from Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi! to Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Tailwhip! Tailwhip! Tailwhip! Admittedly, its not nearly as catchy.
Guettler was holding down third place after throwing two 720s in his first run, but he was edged out by 06 golden child Anthony Napolitan late in the contest. James Foster ignited the other pros in attendance with a clean truckdriver to downside whip, Chris Gerber attempted a crazy tailwhip frontflip, Allan Cooke stretched a perfect superman seatgrab backflip, and Steve McCann pulled a big no-handed 720, but their full runs couldnt get them above the podium finishers.
If theres one thing weve learned from the Dew Tour Dirt contests, its that theyre anything but predictable. Napolitan is one step closer to winning the Dew Cup war, but any rider could claim victory at the San Jose and Orlando battles. Every contest sends the riders back home, psyched up to push the envelope even further, so were expecting even more new tricks for the rest of the Tour.
|Dirt final results:
1st White, Cameron 93.75
2nd Parslow, Luke 92.50
3rd Napolitan, Anthony 91.75
4th Guettler, Ryan 90.50
5th Bohan, Corey 90.25
6th Foster, James 89.75
7th McCann, Steven 89.75
8th Gerber, Chris 86.25
9th Cooke, Allan 85.75
10th Nyquist, Ryan 83.25
11th Dillewaard, Dave 81.75
12th Young, Gary 81.75
www.dewactionsportstour.com: Trying to narrow the field of BMX Park riders from 35 to the 12 allowed into the Final is no easy task. Everybody has something to offer, but only the 12 riders with the best complete runs get to move on to Sundays Final at the Rose Garden. In case you didnt catch the action in the Prelim round, heres a list of the qualifying riders, along with a recap of what got them there.
12. Alistair Whitton - Ali squeaked in at the last minute, keeping his pursuit of the Dew Cup alive. Ali is known for his showmanship, as well as for putting together thought-out lines with lots of tricks. He fired out big downside footplants and walltaps over the sub, downside 360 whips and turndown flips over the box, and lookbacks out of the quarters and hips.
11. Austin Coleman - Austin made his first Dew Tour appearance of 2006 in Denver, where he also made the Final. Austin goes big, dropping huge downside whips on the big quarter, crazy decades and one-handed tailwhips over the step-down out of the mini, and a few flip variations. Austin does a lot of shows, so he knows what it takes to get the crowd fired up.
10. Rob Darden - Rob is an ultra-solid rider, throwing down smooth runs with variations over every obstacle. He double-whipped the box, spun x-up 360s over the step-down gap and over the box backwards, and did a barspin 360 tailtap to icepick over the spine.
9. Garrett Reynolds - This youngster made another Final with his mastery of technical moves. Barspin to turndown over the box, stretched no-handers over the box backwards, a barspin to icepick on the sub, and a tailwhip pocket air helped him make the cut.
8. Diogo Canina - Diogo is an all-or-nothing kind of rider, so youll either see some unbelievable moves from him or hell get piled into a heap on the floor of the course. Fortunately, he stayed upright and pulled 720s over the step-down gap, flairs, and an opposite 360 over the spine.
7. Josh Harrington - Josh usually finds a way to do some of the biggest stuff on the course and today was no exception. Barspin drops off the highest point of the course, icepick to x-up all the way at the top of the Vans wall, whips over the box backwards, and cannonballs over the step-down kept his go big tradition going strong.
6. Gary Young - Few riders attack the course with the voracity of Gary Young. He finds lines no one sees, and drops tricks in places no one can find. He got the crowd riled up with a footplant over the rail and got respect from his peers with nosebonk 360s over the spine.
5. Morgan Wade - Full throttle always comes to mind when watching Morgan ride. Theres no testing the waters with him; if he decides hes going to do something, hes fully committed. 720s over the step-down and a perfect whip to icepick on the sub are just glimpses of what hell unleash in the Final.
4. Steven McCann - Stevies making up for lost time after being sidelined with an injury most of last year. He spun himself silly with 360 whips, 540s, and a no-handed 720, and is determined to finish high in the final standings.
3. Daniel Dhers - The current points leader barely broke a sweat, throwing a no-footed can-can to tailwhip 360, table flairs, a no-handed 360 over the step-down, and a double whip over the box. Its a safe bet that well see more from Daniel in the Final.
2. Ryan Nyquist - How well could you ride with a torn ligament in your knee? If youre lucky, just as well as Nyquist does. He put his injury out of his mind and dropped a suicide flip, a barspin 540 transfer out of the mini, a truckdriver over the step-down, and a suicide 360 over the spine. He came here to win, so his performance in the Final will be something to watch for sure.
1. Scotty Cranmer - Scotty's trick machine is stuck on rapid-fire. He must not be a fan of single tricks, because he double-whipped the step-down, 360 double-whipped the box, and did a 360 tailwhip tailtap to tailwhip out over the spine. There have been a few rumors of some new moves Scottys got for the Final; lets just say its going to be pretty nuts.
The Final goes down on Sunday at high noon, and all twelve riders will be locked and loaded. Cranmer needs to win to close the gap on Dhers, but Daniel wont exactly roll over and play dead. Tune in tomorrow to see how the Park Final plays out.
Cody Allen, www.lat34.com: About a week ago Ryan Nyqiust flew from Greenville, North Carolina to Las Vegas, Nevada. He was on his way to Portland, Oregon for the Vans Invitational. He had absolutely no BMX gear with him and the ACL in his left knee was torn completely in half, the result of a bad fall which he took during practice at the X Games not even two weeks earlier. When he took off in North Carolina, he had no plan to actually compete in Portland, but by the time he hit the tarmac in Nevada he knew what he had to do. Nyquist rented a car in Vegas, drove to San Diego, picked up his gear and the absolute best knee brace he could find, and took an early flight the next morning to Oregon. Nyquist started riding the course in Portland on Wednesday, and began what would be a long, but worthwhile half-week of training. By the end of the day on Wednesday he was able to do 360s over the box and he was psyched. If no one else could see it, he knew what was possible. When Nyquist dropped in today at the BMX Park Finals nobody was expecting a show-stopping run, but he had already shown what he was capable of when he qualified second the day before, so no one knew what to think. Nearly an hour later, the first runs of the final were over with and everyone was shocked to look up at the scoreboard and see Nyquist in first place. Daniel Dhers, Steven McCann, and Diogo Canina were some of the riders just below him, but everyone knew the dark horse was Scotty Cranmer. After falling on his first run, Cranmer (who had qualified first) was sitting in 12th (last) place, but he had one more run to make the most of and attempt to tear the course apart and bump Nyquist out of the top spot. Nyquist knew this, as he sat on his bike in the center of a packed stadium on a course where the only person left on it with him was Cranmer himself. Nyquist would have to ride first and hope that whatever he scored would be strong enough to protect him from Cranmer, who he knew was perfectly capable of winning. Nyquist took his second run and when his score was announced nearly three minutes later, he remained in first place with a 90.25. He was safe for now, but Cranmer was about to drop and the entire stadium sat on the edge of its collective seat. Then Cranmer did drop, and he produced one of the most amazing runs the course had seen all day. The trick list read like a list of highlights, throwing flairs in places where most people would straight air, putting it all on the line to achieve something for which he knew he had nothing to loose. His time ran out and he settled on the side of the course awaiting his score. The stadium was quiet, with little but the constant banter from the announcer booming through the halls. Cranmer slowly rode his bicycle in circles on the edge of the elevated bike park, while Nyquist sat below, staring up at the massive televisions, which hang from the vaulted ceiling of the Rose Garden. Cranmers score illuminated the screen, and the announcers voice boomed out through the arena: Scott Cranmer scores an 89.00, which puts him in second place. Ryan Nyquist is your BMX Park Champion! Cranmer descended from the course and Nyquist was quickly embraced by those who stood around him. He had come much farther in the past five days than anyone had expected or asked, and the suicide double-barspin backflip, which surely helped him win, was unbelievable regardless of the rider or the condition of his left knee.
www.dewactionsportstour.com: Even though he hadnt even planned on attending the event due to a recent knee injury, Ryan Nyquist pulled off the win in Portland. So far on the Dew Tour, weve had three Park comps and three different winners, a testament to the fact that the Park riders are closely matched, and equally hungry for the title. The Finals went down on Sunday in front of an amped-up crowd, with the riders delivering high-energy runs full of big tricks.
As far as highlights go, Diogo Canina dropped some of the hottest moves of the day, spinning 720s over the step-down out of the elevated mini, flipwhips over the box, flairs, and double tailwhips. Morgan Wade had a spectacular crash on a 360 flip attempt over the step-down, but returned to cleanly 720 the same transfer, tailwhip to icepick the sub, and blast a big gap to handrail. Gary Young floated an opposite 360 over the step-down, hit a truckdriver over the box backwards, and did an alley-oop 360 transfer from one box to the other. Austin Coleman blasted downside tailwhips on the big quarter, did a decade over the box, and pulled a one-handed tailwhip over the step-down, as well as no-footed can-can backflip transfers out of the mini.
Steve McCann earned fourth place with great runs, including 540s in the mini, no-handed transfers from box to box, flairs, a double tailwhip 360, and a no-handed 720. McCann always placed well before breaking his wrist over a year ago, so it looks like hes finally back to reclaim his customary high contest placings.
Third place went to Daniel Dhers, who fired tailwhips all over the course to maintain his overall points lead. He let loose with an x-up to tailwhip 360, flip transfers, a no-footed can-can to whip 360 over the spine, double tailwhips, and a no-handed flair.
Second place went to Scotty Cranmer, who crashed in his first run on a double tailwhip 360 over the step-down. He knew he had to make it happen in his second run, so he stepped it up with a 360 tailwhip tailtap to tailwhip out, double whips over the step-down, and a double whip 360 over the box. As impressive as his second run was, it wasnt enough to beat Ryan Nyquist. Nyquist dropped suicide no-handed 360s and a barspin flip over the spine, double truckdrivers over the step-down, and a suicide flip to barspin. In his second run, he even mistakenly threw a two and a half barspin 360 over the stepdown, casually hitting the spine with his bars backwards. Only a seasoned pro could have gotten out of that one.
Nyquists victory shoots him into second place in the overall points chase, with Cranmer close behind and Dhers still on top. Its still a tight race, so all three riders will be throwing everything they can muster up on the course at the Toyota Challenge next month. Can Nyquist make a repeat performance? Will Dhers show up with yet another 360 whip variation? Will Cranmer bring back his frontflip variations to get the edge? Get to San Jose and find out for yourself.
Josh Harrington. Photo by Kevin Conners.
Park final results:
1st Nyquist, Ryan 90.25
2nd Cranmer, Scotty 89.00
3rd Dhers, Daniel 88.75
4th McCann, Steven 88.25
5th Canina, Diogo 87.75
6th Young, Gary 87.00
7th Harrington, Josh 86.25
8th Wade, Morgan 85.75
9th Whitton, Alistair 85.50
10th Coleman, Austin 85.50
11th Darden, Rob 85.00
12th Reynolds, Garrett 84.25
www.dewactionsportstour.com: Vert Prelims are almost more of a head game than the Finals themselves; most riders hold back a little in the Prelims, but miscalculating just how much to hold back could leave you on the sidelines for the Final event. Some put everything they can into the Prelim round, and some, if they get one good run out of the way, use their second run to throw a big trick theyve been working on between contests. Either way, theres always something to see in Prelims that makes them worth watching.
In the case of Vert Prelims in Portland, just about everything was worth watching. Jamie Bestwick made sure of that, just as he does every time he drops in. Jamie qualified first with a no-handed 540 followed by another 540 on the next wall, a fastplant opposite flair, and huge airs. Simon Tabron was close behind with alley-oop 540 variations, flairs, and turndown 540s. Chad Kagy delivered barspin superman seatgrabs, barspins to x-ups, flairs, and a superman seatgrab Indian air, but left his flatspin whips and barspins on deck for the Finals. Kevin Robinson blasted the biggest 540 of the day and a healthy arsenal of flairs to make the cut; he may have been holding a few variations back, but he was running at 100% in terms of speed and height.
Other notables included Koji Krafts double tailwhip and switch-hander to no-footer, Jay Egglestons turndown 540 (and probably the highest airs of the day), Tom Haugens and Francisco Zuritas double tailwhips, Jimmy Walkers stylish toboggans and 540 variations, Zach Shaws huge inverts, Mike Mancusos no-handed flairs, and Dennis McCoys redemptive second run that earned him a spot in the finals.
After prelims were over, Robinson stayed on the ramp and took a few cracks at the 540 tailwhip, a move hes been trying to master for a while. He came super close, but took a knock to the head on one of his crashes. Hell be fine for the Finals, looking to finally nail that trick for the first time in competition. Hes sitting third in the overall points chase, and as hell tell you, Ill be in first or Im going down with the ship. Kevin knows what it takes, and hes no stranger to going for it. Kagys coming off the X Games Vert win, so he knows hes capable of doing it again, and Bestwick has recovered from his early-season surgery, so its going to be a hot comp Friday night at the Rose Garden.
www.dewactionsportstour.com: The Vert Final event at the Vans® Invitational was preloaded with some history-making action that occurred the previous week at the X Games. Kevin Robinson landed his first double flair, so everyone was speculating as to whether or not hed go for one in his runs in Portland. Chad Kagy scored his very first major vert win, so second-place finisher Jamie Bestwick was most likely looking to put the hammer down at their next meeting. Kagy also dropped two new tricks, so it was going to be interesting to see if he had them dialed enough to deliver a repeat performance.
As it turned out, a highly amped and rowdy crowd did their best to pump up the riders, turning a comp that started out on a relatively mellow level into a high-energy battle. Dennis McCoy, fresh from a knee injury in prelims, threw caution to the wind with back-to-back 540s (one of them x-ed up), flairs over the channel, and a 900 attempt that ended with his bike bucking him like a wild bull. Zach Shaw blasted a huge invert on his first air, did an x-up flair, and floated over the channel to a body jar, popping the back wheel on the coping (on purpose) before landing in the ramp. Jimmy Walker swept every inch of the ramp, casually twisting variations in both directions, and Jay Eggleston turned in one of his best runs in a while, packing it with variations on every air.
The main combat went down between the top four finishers. Simon Tabron wrapped up fourth with clean 900s in both runs and a rolodex full of 540 variations. Tabrons been riding really well this year, and as a result, hes been no stranger to the podium. Edging him out in third was Robinson, who dropped big flairs immediately after dropping in, did a stalled-out table 540, and floated no-handed flairs over the channel in both directions. He dropped in for his second run, did a few variations, then started racking up set-up airs, so most of the riders watching knew what was coming. He went for the double flair, but came up short and slid out. If he gets one good run under his belt at any future contests, we just might be seeing more of the double flair.
Kagy had a good start on his first run with a superman seatgrab barspin and a flatspin whip straight into a flair, but hung up unexpectedly and bent his sprocket. A pit crew of riders surrounded Chads bike and attempted to hammer his sprocket back into shape until Austin Coleman offered his own sprocket as a replacement. Chads second run featured his double-tailwhip flatspin, which sent the crowd into a feverish uproar. It was great to have the crowd support, but his run couldnt top Bestwicks first outing, which was an authoritative statement on his dominance for the day. A casual double barspin, tailwhip flair, barspin to no-hander, barspin 540, flairs both ways, and a fastplant opposite flair were just some of the moves Jamie strung together for the win.
The competition in the vert class has always been fierce, and with some new faces entering the ranks, it looks like it wont be letting up anytime soon. You can also be sure that Robinson, Tabron, and Kagy wont be going any easier on Bestwick, so look for the next vert battle in San Jose next month.
|Vert final results: 1st Bestwick, Jamie 94.25
2nd Kagy, Chad 92.25
3rd Robinson, Kevin 91.00
4th Tabron, Simon 90.75
5th Eggleston, Jay 87.75
6th Walker, Jimmy 87.25
7th Haugen, Tom 86.75
8th McCoy, Dennis 85.75
9th Mancuso, Mike 84.75
10th Shaw, Zach 84.50
11th Kraft, Koji 83.50
12th Zurita, Francisco 82.75
|www.dewactionsportstour.com: Leave it to the Free Flow Tour to uncover some of the best unknown talent in the country. The winners of eight amateur contests in New Hampshire, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Texas, Utah, and two cities in California took to the same course the pros are riding here at the Rose Bowl on Friday. What was up for grabs? The Free Flow Tours BMX title, swag from Ogio, PSP, and Verizon, and a spot in Pro Park Prelims at the Dew Action Sports Tour Finals in Orlando, Florida.
Even though these guys were amateurs, they had no trouble handling the course. They took to the jump box, quarters, and subs with pro-level tricks like double tailwhips, flairs, and tailwhips to icepicks. Two six-minute jams narrowed the field to four competitors: Henderson, Colorados Adrian Vigil; Orange, Californias Steve Kennedy; S. Yarmouth, Massachusetts Josh Perry; and Miami, Floridas Mike Spinner. Perry took fourth with a tailwhip tailtap, a cannonball over the box, tailwhip and no-hander airs, a barspin 360 to fakie on one of the quarters, and a rollback tailwhip attempt. Kennedy came in third with a highly technical assault, including a tailwhip tailtap and a sweet barspin to icepick to barspin on one of the sub boxes. Vigil earned the second place spot with a barspin 540 and a flair in the mini, a superman seatgrab over the box, and a truckdriver drop-in on the box landing.
Mike Spinner was head, shoulders, and nappy afro above his competitors, however. His 540 tailwhip, double tailwhip, and double turndown 720 would have sealed the win, but he put the final nail in the coffin with a tailwhip 720, a trick never landed before in competition, amateur or otherwise. The pros watching on the sidelines cheered Mike on after a botched attempt, and let loose when he pulled it clean. There were rumors floating around before the comp that it was going to go down, so everyone was psyched to see it happen. I landed my first 720 whip maybe a month ago, said Mike after the contest. Its pretty scary, and Ive never done it on a box this big. That was the fourth one Ive rolled away from. Spinner stopped in at the Free Flow contest back in June at the Vans Park in Orlando, Florida, on his way up to Woodward Camp in Pennsylvania. The time at camp has obviously helped him out. Its so awesome! Mike exclaimed. I get to ride with Daniel Dhers, the guy who won the Denver stop. I wake him up in the morning to ride every day. Perhaps being able to ride with pros at camp on a regular basis is helping him deal with the prospect of riding against the big names in Orlando, because Spinner seems nonchalant about it. No pressure; Ive got nothing to lose. Ill just have fun and hang out. Its too good to be true.
|Press release, august 30, 2006: The Dew Action Sports Tour, the pro tour of action sports, today announced the winner of the PlayStation® Trick of the Week Award from the Vans® Invitational. Voting began on Monday, August 21, the day after competitions ended. Fans were able to view video clips and vote online at www.dewactionsportstour.com until Monday, August 28. Fans selected Scotty Cranmer as the PlayStation® Trick of the Week winner after he performed a Tailwhip 360 to Tailwhip In during BMX Park Finals. This trick helped Cranmer finish second while he moved into third place in the season standings. "I'm psyched to win PlayStation® Trick of the Week - especially with this particular trick because it was more of a technical trick than just one big bang," said Cranmer, 19, Jackson, N.J. "It's great to see that the voters respect and understand that!"
Cranmer faced tough competition for the PlayStation® Trick of the Week Award. Tas Pappas completed a Kickflip Varial Indy 360 during Skateboard Vert Finals. BMX Verts Chad Kagy performed a huge Double Flatwhip. BMX Dirt winner Cameron White triple tailwhipped himself to victory in that competition. Ryan Sheckler, of Skateboard Park fame, executed a Kickflip Frontside Bluntside Fakie to earn his nomination. Top Freestyle Motocross rider Travis Pastrana was also up for the award after executing a Backflip Superman which helped seal his FMX win.
Cranmer wins $5,000 and his trick will compete for the PlayStation® Trick of the Year versus all the other Trick of the Week winners from other Dew Action Sports Tour events, including the upcoming Toyota Challenge in San Jose (September 7-10). Online polls open on the Monday following each event.
Fans will vote for the PlayStation® Trick of the Year winner from the four Trick of the Week winners. Polls will be open throughout the week of Octobers PlayStation® Pro. The winner will be announced during the Dew Action Sports Tour NBC broadcast on Sunday, October 15. This athlete will take home $10,000 in cash as well as other PlayStation® prizes.