|June 19-22: Panasonic Open - Baltimore, MD.|
www.dewtour.com, june 2008: It's officially on: the 2008 Dew Tour kicked off for the BMX competitors on Thursday in Baltimore with Dirt Prelims. The premier Action Sports Tour will produce the craziest contest riding of the year, and the stage is set for Ryan Nyquist to defend his Dirt title, Cameron White to drop jaws with his backflip variations, Corey Bohan to fold unique tricks into his signature smooth style, and youngsters like Dennis Enarson and James Foster to push the envelope with progressive new tricks. By virtue of their overall finishes on the '07 Tour, Nyquist, White, and Enarson were automatic qualifiers, so they were able to sit back and watch as everybody else worked their way through the course. Nyquist spent Prelims chatting with Stephen Murray, who everyone was glad to see on-site; Stephen was injured in Baltimore at the Tour opener last year, and he's assisting Fuzzy Hall with course design this year as he pours everything into his recovery. Speaking of the course, it featured a step-down after the drop-in that was giving some riders problems, but it didn't stop most of them from throwing tricks over it. The wind was a major factor as well. Many runs were cut short, and some riders had to put the brakes on the second stage of two-stage variations after getting hit by a gust of wind. Corey Bohan emerged on top of the pack, laying down a solid line with progressive moves. He hit his patented one-footed invert 360, then kicked up the difficulty factor with a truckdriver and a 360 tailwhip, both in his opposite direction. With silky style, Bohan's a guy who doesn't necessarily need to kick off the season with brand-new tricks, but you never know what's going to happen once the Finals go down. Diogo Canina took the second-place spot with the first triple tailwhip of the 2008 Tour, preceded by regular and opposite 360s. The top three was rounded out by James Foster, who also has the triple whip on his trick roster but didn't need it for the Prelims. He opted for a clean turndown, solid double tailwhip, and a perfect backflip tailwhip to get it done. Josh Hult proved that's he's a contender for the "most improved in the off-season" award, throwing tailwhips in both directions and capping his run with a downside whip 360. It's always good to see Cory "Nasty" Nastazio in the Finals; he made it happen in Baltimore with big front flips and backflip tailwhips. Chris Gerber pounded a double whip and a double whip 360 in the same run to make it in, and Colin MacKay hit his own double whip 360 for his spot. Chris Doyle made it look good as always, banging out his patented 360 turndown and a clean 720. 2005 AST Dew Tour Dirt champion Ryan Guettler was throwing 720s left and right, but it looked like the wind was taking its toll on him, shutting down the variations he wanted to throw while he was spinning. Regardless, he still got some sevens and a frontflip done and was sitting on the bubble in 9th place when Luke Parslow took his second run. Parslow fired out a huge frontflip and a barspin to turndown backflip and squeezed out Guettler at the last minute. Guettler was obviously bummed, but he's a huge threat in Park Prelims on Saturday, so he still has another chance to kick off the season on top. Dirt Finals go down Friday night under the lights, and it's sure to be a wild scene. Get ready for the biggest tricks from the best riders, followed by a blowout concert by Good Charlotte. The AST Dew Tour is officially back, and better than ever!
Dirt Qualifying Results (Top 9 Move To Finals): 1.Corey Bohan 2.Diogo Canina 3.James Foster 4.Josh Hult 5.Cory Nastazio 6.Chris Gerber 7.Luke Parslow 8.Colin Mackay 9.Chris Doyle
10.Ryan Guettler 11.TJ Ellis 12.Rob Darden 13.Nate Berkheimer 14.Scott Wirch 15.Anthony Napolitan 16.Kyle O'hara 17.Adam Aloise 18.Allan Cooke 19.Charlie Bowers 20.Morgan Wade 21.Brad Gethard 22.Josh Stead 23.Michael Clark 24.Ben Voyles 25.Steven McCann 26.Brandon Dosch 27.Jed Mildon
NOTE: Ryan Nyquist, Cameron White, and Dennis Enarson are automatically qualified for the top three spots in the Final.
www.dewtour.com, june 2008: There was a heartfelt vibe at the Camden Yards Sports Complex for Friday night's BMX Dirt Final. One year ago, Stephen Murray was injured at the '07 Dew Tour opener here in Baltimore, so the night began with a playing of the song "Soldier," which was recorded by TJ Lavin and Simon and Pippa Tabron to benefit Murray's family, along with an interview with Stephen himself. It was awesome to have him on site; several of the riders even switched out their front wheels with special yellow wheels, similar to the ones Murray rode last year. BMX riders are a tight-knit group, and it was a great way to kick off the contest. The good vibes carried through to the course, with amazing runs going down right off the bat. With the top two of three scores averaged to determine the final placings, there was plenty of drama as the hottest tricks went down and the lead constantly bounced around. Here are some of the highlights for the top riders:
Corey Bohan, 5th place: Bohan had some troubles in his first run, so he stomped his second with an opposite 360 whip to table. He stepped up again in run three, landing a sick cannonball to no-footed can-can.
Diogo Canina , 4th place: Diogo's always a firecracker in Dirt Finals; you just never know what's he going to come up with. This time, it was an opposite 360 lookback, a triple tailwhip, a downside whip 360, and a double whip 360.
Cameron White, 3rd place: Unbelievable consistency was the name of White's game, with not one but two perfect barspin to tailwhip backflips over the second set. That trick is a giant gamble, so to know you have it dialed enough to do it mid-rhythm definitely puts him on a different level. He also nailed double whips, a flip whip, and a 360 whip to x-up as clean as can be.
James Foster, 2nd place: With triple tailwhips in all three runs, Foster moved into the lead after his third run with only five riders left. He won the Dew Tour's Salt Lake City stop in '07, and was sitting pretty to kick off the '08 season at the top of the points chart. He complimented his triple whips with a perfect flip whip and a windshield wiper, the tailwhip-to-tailwhip-back variation he unveiled in '07. If it had been anybody but Ryan Nyquist on the roll-in, he just might have left Baltimore with the win.
Ryan Nyquist, 1st place: Nyquist has found himself in the position of taking his last run of the Finals while sitting way off the podium several times in his career, and it's simply not an enviable position to be in. He ripped the highest score of the night on his first run, throwing a truckdriver, a suicide no-handed 360, and a brand-new and completely ridiculous double barspin 720. Unfortunately, he fumbled over the second set in his second run and couldn't post another high score, falling well down on the leader board. He was defending his title and needed to finish as high as possible to keep himself in the '08 points race, because you definitely don't want to be sitting behind guys like White and Foster after the first round. He also needed a high score to top Foster for the night, so he put it all on the line. A perfect double barspin backflip and his new powerball a double barspin cannonball, hanging off the back of the bike hoping he can get back to the bars in time resulted in a score even higher than his run one score. He finished .33 points ahead of Foster. The race for the Dirt Dew Cup is going to be another crazy one this year, with the stakes rising higher at every stop. If tonight's contest was any indication, the frontrunners are so closely matched that the title will come down the wire, and it's going to be a nail-biter at every stop.
Results: 1.Ryan Nyquist 2.James Foster 3.Cameron White 4.Diogo Canina 5.Corey Bohan 6.Luke Parslow 7.Dennis Enarson 8.Chris Gerber 9.Cory Nastazio 10.Colin Mackay 11.Chris Doyle 12.Josh Hult
www.dewtour.com, june 2008: Since the first two stops of the AST Dew Tour are Open Qualifiers, there's always a chance that a previously unknown rider could emerge as a player on the Tour. That's precisely what happened in Saturday's BMX Park Prelim event; Kansas City, Missouri's Seth Klinger finished 8th in Open Qualifiers on Friday, earning the right to ride with the big dogs in Prelims. Once there, he brought the fire and rocketed all the way to the number two spot. That means he'll be going up against the best riders in the world in the Final on Sunday, the last event of the Panasonic Open. Talk about nerve-wracking. So how did he do it? How about massive frontflips up the big step-up along with a double tailwhip 360 and a superman seatgrab 360 over the box. We'll have to see how his nerves hold up against two-time Park Dew Cup winner Daniel Dhers, who, along with Mike Spinner and Ryan Nyquist, were automatically qualified for the Final based on their overall 2007 Tour standings. Ryan Guettler was also a big story in Prelims, spinning a clean 1080 to start his first run. He looked solid all over the course and he's no stranger to winning, having clinched the very first Park Dew Cup back in 2005. He's definitely hungry for a repeat performance, so he'll be putting the heat on Dhers for sure. Rounding out the top three was 17-year-old Dennis Enarson, who double whipped the step-down, hit a flip whip over the box, and landed a tech foojam nosepick to fakie on the hitching post. Enarson actually won a tie-breaker with Morgan Wade to take the number three spot; Wade blasted a jaw-dropping invert on the big quarter that was easily over 12 feet out, along with a clean 720 up the step-up, a tailwhip to icepick, and a perfect backflip to fakie. The rest of the nine qualifiers included Craig Mast, who also spun a 720 along with a frontflip up the step-up, landed a triple tailwhip, and nailed flairs on an impossibly small quarter. Steven McCann brought his Vert chops with him, hitting a no-handed flair on the big quarter, and he also did no-handed and turndown 720s. Marcus Tooker took seventh with a barspin to barspin backflip, 720s over the spine, and a perfect double whip 360. Rob Darden stood out by lacing his run almost entirely with big ramp-to-ramp transfers, keeping his foot on the gas the whole way through. Ben Wallace took the last qualifying spot with wild double downside whip 360s over the box and stylish lookback 360s on the spine. There's a lot on the line for Sunday's Final. Can Dhers get yet another win and start his bid for his third Dew Cup in a row? Will Guettler drop some new variations and climb back to the top of the heap? Can Klinger maintain a top-three standing? Some of the qualifiers will have more tricks to throw in the Final, and we haven't even seen Dhers, Spinner, and Nyquist ride yet. Whatever happens, it's going to be a wild one.
Park Qualifying Results: 1.Ryan Guettler 2.Seth Klinger 3.Dennis Enarson 4.Morgan Wade 5.Craig Mast 6.Steven McCann 7.Marcus Tooker 8.Rob Darden 9.Ben Wallace (Top 9 move on to finals.)
10.Garrett Reynolds 11.Dave Mirra 12.Allan Cooke 13.Alistair Whitton 14.Jaie Toohey 15.Anthony Napolitan 16.Austin Coleman 17.James Foster 18.Brandon Dosch 19.Alessandro Barbero 20.Josh Harrington 21.Brew Bezanson 22.Colin Mackay 23.Scott Wirch 24.Brian Hunt 25.Gary Young 26.Kevin Kiraly 27.Diogo Canina 28.Mike Laird 29.Dan Sieg 30.Sean Sexton 31.Koji Kraft 32. Jeremiah Smith (Did Not Ride)
NOTE: Daniel Dhers, Mike Spinner, and Ryan Nyquist are already pre-qualified for the Finals
www.dewtour.com: Sometimes things go your way and sometimes they don't. Unless you're Daniel Dhers, who experienced both of those situations in Sunday's Park Final at the Panasonic Open. The defending two-time Dew Cup champ was facing some heated competition when he dropped in, and no one expected him to be sitting in 11th place when his first run was over. 2005 Dew Cup champion Ryan Guettler was ruling the roost, having run through a barrage of tricks in his first run, including a no-footed can-can flair and a squeaky clean 1080. Mike Spinner fell in behind Guettler with his own 1080 and two knockout triple tailwhips, one over a transfer and one on the big quarter. Steven McCann was sitting in third, somehow tapping into his energy reserves after having already competed in Dirt and Vert here in Baltimore. His turndown and no-handed 720s were definitely crowd favorites. The pressure was on Dhers, but he's no stranger to that. Unfortunately, he didn't stick the landing on his first trick, a 360 whip over the massive step-down, and it totally threw off his rhythm. He got through a couple more tricks before a crash ended his run early. He was left with one chance to climb back up to the top of the heap, a seemingly insurmountable task given the performances from Guettler and Spinner. Meanwhile, there was plenty of shuffling going down in the rest of the pack. Ryan Nyquist pulled a killer 720 over a giant hip transfer, along with a barpin 720 and his new powerball over the box. He had some problems in his second run, as did rookie Seth Klinger. Klinger came out of the box with a frontflip over the step-up, a double tailwhip 360, and a superman seatgrab 360, but took a nasty fall at the start of run two and had to settle for 7th place, which is definitely not bad for your first Dew Tour appearance. Dennis Enarson had a few slipped pedals in run one that cost him, but he made his second trip to the course count with double tailwhips over the step-down and a flip whip over the box. Morgan Wade took to the skies once again, blasting the big quarter to the moon. He lost a close tie-breaker to Marcus Tooker, who threw down a barspin to barspin flip and a 360 whip to barspin. Both Spinner and Guettler couldn't get anything going in their second runs, but Guettler did manage to do the craziest stalled-out superman backflip, jumping back to the pedals at the very last minute.That left Dhers, who had no choice but to run it wide open to put himself back in podium contention. He did just that, three-whipping the step-down and twisting a perfect no-handed flatspin 720 over the box. He followed with a double tailwhip 360, a 720, and a no-footed can-can to late tailwhip 360 over the spine, along with a new opposite flair. When the dust had settled, he had rocketed all the way to the top once again. With this victory, Dhers put the start of the Dew Cup race in familiar hands. The three top finishers are closely matched, and Nyquist and Enarson are close behind to capitalize on any mistakes the leaders make. Taking home a good score at next month's Right Guard Open in Cleveland will be critical, and new tricks will likely be unveiled there. Stop one of the Tour may be over, but the intense battle for the Dew Cup has just begun.
Park Final Results: 1.Daniel Dhers 2.Ryan Guettler 3.Mike Spinner 4.Steven McCann 5.Ryan Nyquist 6.Dennis Enarson 7.Seth Klinger 8.Marcus Tooker 9.Morgan Wade 10.Rob Darden 11.Craig Mast 12.Ben Wallace
www.dewtour.com, june 2008: It's always a safe bet that some of the wildest action of the AST Dew Tour will go down in the BMX Vert competitions, and the Prelims on Thursday in Baltimore were a good preview. Since the top three overall finishers from '07 (Jamie Bestwick, Simon Tabron, and Steven McCann) were automatically qualified for the Finals, the remaining 17 riders battled it out for a scant seven spots. Some new tricks got done, a few big crashes went down, and the Dew Tour's Vert season officially got moving. Chad Kagy was out for two of last season's five stops with a broken collarbone, so he's back with a vengeance, eager to take home his first Dew Cup and end Jamie Bestwick's three-year reign. He got off to a good start by making it to the top of the heap in Prelims, throwing many of his trademark tricks along with a barspin to tailwhip and a brand-new opposite flair whip. He and Bestwick were goofing around with each other on the decks, but things get serious once they drop in. They'll be pushing each other to fire out the best riding of their careers on this year's Tour, and we're just lucky enough to witness it. Austin Coleman blasted into second place with his one-handed opposite tailwhips, downside whips, and no-handed flairs. John Parker lit up the crowd of riders on the decks when he barely made the catch at the last minute on a barspin to barspin back, and got high marks from the judges for his opposite flair and no-footed can-can to tailwhip. Cheers went up from the decks for Jay Eggleston's huge 540 as well, and he backed it up with loads of other variations like one-footed rocket inverts to land in fourth. Always a top-five favorite, Kevin Robinson probably had some fried nerves going into his second run; a few bobbles in his first had landed him outside of the qualifying seven, so he had to pour it on to make the cut. Robinson is no rookie though, so he had no problem coming through with his no-handed and opposite flairs and switch-handed and tabletop 540s to earn his ticket to the big show. Dennis McCoy has a lot on his mind at the AST Dew Tour, and it's not just the pressure of competition. He and his wife Paridy run all of the BMX events through their own production company, so he's definitely got his hands full. You'd never know it by the way he rides though you'd also never know that he's actually the oldest competitor on the Tour at 41. He's still firing out big 540s on the 15-foot section, flairs, and barspin 540s with no problems, and he's been known to spin the 900 in the Finals, so keep your eyes on this guy. Jimmy Walker rounded out the top seven with no-handers, turndowns, and inverts packed into 540s and flairs. Francisco "Coco" Zurita just missed the cut with double whips, flairs, and his trademark trails-inspired style airs, and Zack Warden landed perfect barspins to tailwhips and double whips, but he rode out a bikeflip transfer on his top tube, which zapped his momentum and he just couldn't get it together in his second run. Since Vert is one of the burliest disciplines in BMX, the level of riding usually goes from relatively conservative in the Prelims to balls-to-the-wall during the Finals, so Friday's event should produce full-tilt action and never-before-seen tricks. If you're anywhere near Baltimore, get yourself to the Camden Yards Sports Complex to catch the show.
Vert Qualifying Results (Top 7 Move To Finals): 1.Chad Kagy 2.Austin Coleman 3.John Parker 4.Jay Eggleston 5.Kevin Robinson 6.Dennis McCoy 7.Jimmy Walker - 86.50
8.Francisco Zurita 9.Zack Warden 10.Tom Stober 11.Art D'Ambrosio 12.Koji Kraft 13.Jorge Jovel 14.Ben Snowden 15.Danny Williams 16.Mike Mancuso 17.Keith McElhinney
NOTE: Jamie Bestwick, Simon Tabron, and Steve McCann are automatically qualified for the Final event.
www.dewtour.com, june 2008: There's no better way to start the season in the risky world of Vert riding than to have everyone finish at least one solid run with big tricks and walk away unscathed. With the exception of Jay Eggleston, who opted to sit out of the Finals after hanging up in practice and ringing his bell a bit, that's exactly what happened in Baltimore. The podium finishers all had incredible tricks, but Jamie Bestwick finished head and shoulders above them, almost three full points ahead, in fact. Any nerves Bestwick might have had about the start of the season and/or living up to Chad Kagy's and Simon Tabron's first runs certainly didn't show. He fired out amazing moves at height all over the ramp, and was the undisputed leader once the dust settled. Killer downside tailwhips to x-up and a set of flairs that included opposite, turndown, tailwhip, and fastplant opposite versions sealed the deal. Of course, his alley-oop downside whip that sent him traveling across several sheets of the ramp backwards is what really got a reaction from the judges. There were rumors that he had a few new moves in his pocket for this first contest, but he didn't need to break them out after such a perfect first run. Chad Kagy stepped up to the plate as well, with a great first run that included a dialed barspin to tailwhip, his unique flatspin flair whip, and his brand new opposite flair whip. He even went for a barspin flair at the end of his run but missed the grab and slid out. In his second run, he put all his chips on the table with a double tailwhip flatspin flair and came so close, but he couldn't land it. He has landed it before though, and if he's willing to fire it out without thinking twice, this is going to be a good year for Vert. Simon Tabron also made his first run count with no-handed and turndown 540s, a flair, and a perfect 900. As a testament to his consistency, he turned in a second great run as well that scored less than a point lower than his first. Kevin Robinson, fresh off his world-record-setting high air of 27 feet out of a 27-foot quarterpipe in New York City's Central Park last week, turned in another great performance to finish in fourth. His second run included his trademark no-handed flairs and a big alley-oop 540, as well as a tech 540 tailwhip from the smaller section into the 15-foot section of the ramp. Austin Coleman rounded out the top five with an alley-oop no-hander to x-up, opposite and downside tailwhips, and a no-handed one-footed flair. He attempted a double downside whip in his second run, but his bike got away from him. Other highlights included John Parker's perfect nothing (no-hander no-footer), Steve McCann's triple-catch barspins and double tailwhips, Dennis McCoy's barspin 540s and back-to-back 540s on the 15-foot section, and Jimmy Walker's no-handed and barspin 540s. Hopefully the rest of the season will feature the same progressive moves and low crash count as the battle between Bestwick, Kagy, and Tabron takes shape. Of course, they'll also be fending off high-caliber riding from Robinson, McCann, and the rest of the field, including young up-and-comer Zack Warden, who surprisingly wasn't able to make the Final cut in Baltimore. They're all back to their home halfpipes for now, honing their skills to make another bid for the overall Dew Cup title in Cleveland next month.
Fat Tony, www.ridebmx.com, june 2008: Vert just wrapped up here in Baltimore and once again Jamie Bestwick is on top. His first run was like a flawless and casual demo and blew everyone out of the water, even though Chad Kagy had already done a flair whip and Simon Tabron had done a perfect 900.
Vert final results: 1.Jamie Bestwick 2.Chad Kagy 3.Simon Tabron 4.Kevin Robinson 5.Austin Coleman 6.Steve McCann 7.Dennis McCoy 8.John Parker 9.Jimmy Walker 10.Jay Eggleston