|Date: August 17-22, 2000.|
Place: San Francisco, California.
|New asphalt and endless practice time.
Flatland was the most international class with competitors from all over Europe: France (Jumelin), Spain (Phil), England (Effraim), Finland (Haakana/Kuoppa), Germany (Röse/Steingraeber), Japan, Canada and the USA.
Mat Wilhelm was spinning fast in practise but it looked like he had spun too much and got dizzy during his qualifying run. The Powell rider didn't make the cut. Neither did Scott Powell (of Powell bikes), Takashi Ito, Brian Tunney and Art Thomason.
There was only one rider from the USA who made the cut and that was three time gold medal winner Trevor Meyer. Trevor's rear axle broke right before his final run. A quick pit stop wheel-change was made and Nathan Pononzek's wheel was the solution for the GT rider. However, the ever consistent Trevor had little difficulty during his runs. He still rode good but it wasn't good enough for first. Trevor was disappointed and mentioned he would never compete again.
Top three went to Europe. Phil Dolan was a happy man after his first final run. He scored well which took the pressure off of him going into his second final run. Highest score counted. Judges scored the GT Europe 2000 world champion third place.
Brakeless Michael Steingraeber from Germany got second place.
Martti Kuoppa, no-handed pedalpicker spin, front wheel undertaker. His final runs were almost touchless and he did the hardest tricks known to men today.
FLAT 1.Martti Kuoppa 2.Michael Steingraber 3.Phil Dolan 4.Trevor Meyer 5.Nathan Penonzec 6.Andrew Faris 7.Alexandre Jumelin 8.Matti Rose 9.Takashi Ito 10.York Uno
Trevor Meyer, Solitaire 2.
|This event isn't called STREET anymore but PARK RIDING. The course looks more like a skatepark than
an average street indeed. VPI industries of Santa Rosa built the ramps and according to Jay Miron it was built to suit Dave
20 riders had two 90 second runs to try to make it to the final. The clock started ticking as soon as the TV crew was done filming the close-up shot of the rider, the editing crew was ready and Mark Owen gave you the sign to go for it. The whole contest is a TV production. The riding that goes on in front of the camera's is amazing. After practise the Mirra-cle Boy was the man to beat. He pulled a double backflip out of his ass like it was nothing. Dave is cruising and flowing and goes big at the same time. Incredible.
Dave Osato had won the BS street title, Gravity Games (street) and World Championships (mini) and was ready to destroy the ramps.
Jay Miron (Schwinn, Oakley, Axion, Toyota, SST, XS, Right Guard, Araya, Topeak, Wellgo, Viscount, Profile, WTP, Woodward, Krusher, Ten Pack, Chase, and all others who support the Beast) was in pain riding his bike around.
Seth Kimbrough (H*B) is a fresh addition to the pro class. He rides around the park in high speed and sees lines that no one had seen before. Seth made it to the final with a whole lot of variety in his run.
Both European competitors, being Markus Wilke (DF) and Ruben Alcantara (Mongoose-1) had no major problems making the cut. Ruben even qualified in 2nd behind Dave Mirra. His "really" wall-ride was so cool. It makes you think why no one else has thought of that trick before. Picture a bank to wall, do a 180 turn, land with both wheels on the wall, pull off the wall and land back in the ramp.
Colin MacKay (Aussie/Specialized) did a super rad barspin fufanu on a huge subbox and had enough other tricks to make it to the top ten.
Ryan Nyquist (Haro) is a good rider. He has his tricks wired and just pushes the Play button when he drops in.
Chad Kagy (H*B) was going huge. He got knocked out a couple of times this weekend but didn't hold back. Huge transfers, huge jumps, huge, huge, huge.
When Dave Voelker (GT) felt he wasn't going to make it to the final he decided to go out with a big stunt (Voelker style). He pedalled as hard as he could but nobody knew where he was heading. Jimmy Levan might have gotten in trouble for a similar stunt but when Voelker jumped over a fence out of the park on the FMX track, all cameras had the slo-mo going in no-time. During qualifying on Thursday the sun was in the eyes of the riders heading for the jump box. It was decided to change the schedule for the finals. Not 5pm-7pm, but 11am! on Friday morning. Lots of people (press, crowd and others) had no clue about the change, arrived in the afternoon after they had slept in, and found out that the final was over and they had missed it.
Come final time it wasn't double O Osato or Jay Miron tearing shit up. In fact, it was Jay's worst contest (ever?) and Osato's worst score of the year. They will be back............
Nyquist used the spine, subbox and jump box during most of his runs to show flips, tailwhips and multiple barspins. He kept it going but should have used a bit more of the other ramps if he wanted to repeat his golden dirt result. Bronze this time.
Silver was a surprise. With Ruben Alcantara messing up his final runs it left the door open for another "street" rider. Welcome Markus Wilke. For some reason Markus pulls all his tricks when it matters. Two solid street oriented runs, using the obstacles all over the course, resulted in a second place finish and a whole lot of cash in the pocket of a stoked German.
Everyone had been waiting for the big trick. A 4-men camera crew from England and photographer Steve Jackson had booked last minute tickets to San Francisco to capture the trick on film. Little did they know that the scheduled had changed............. after rushing to the Airport taxi's, a fast ride to Pier 30-32, some problems getting the right credentials, they found out that Dave Mirra had pulled a clean double backflip 20 minutes ago. Dave was on fire. He aired out of the huge wall, did fufanu's and icepicks on wall where others couldn't even come close, did X-up flips, a grind or two here and there, barspin-1-handed landers, huge no-handed 360-s, wallrides to the left and wallrides to the right and was hands down the winner of the X-Games winning his 11th gold medal. ESPN's wonder boy had done it again.
PARK 1.Dave Mirra 2.Markus Wilke 3.Ryan Nyquist 4.Seth Kimbrough 5.Dave Osato 6.Chad Kagy 7.Colin MacKay 8.Alan Cooke 9.Jay Miron 10.Ruben Alcantara
Ride BMX UK #49
Ruben Alcantara on the cover of Ride BMX US.
Dave Mirra, Double Flip.
|The course consisted of a huge roll-in, followed by two sets before the second starting hill. After the second
drop in, a last single set followed.
The dirt finals took place on Thursday already, one day after qualifying.
Mark Losey, www.ridebmx.com: Tenth place went to Todd Walkowiak. Todd can ride better at contests, but he still pulled some good stuff, especially his no-handed one-footers.
Ninth place went to Ryan "Biz" Jordan. Biz flat-out rules, but he didn't get too wild during the finals. The best trick he did was a tailwhip-to-X-up over the second set.
Eighth place went to Chris Doyle who was 360ing with variations like X-to-X, turndown-to-X, and a lot more.
Seventh place went to Joey Garcia. Joey looked a little more tense than he did during qualifying. I guess the X Games pressure was finally getting to him. Joey did a tailwhip over the first set-to-tailwhip over the second set, and then it looked like he wanted to barspin-to-tailwhip over the last set. The last jump didn't give him the boost he needed though, so he did the barspin and left it at that.
Sixth place went to Josh Stricker, who, as usual, was transfering like crazy. He 360-transferred the first set and then did a big no-hander over the second. After this X Games Stricker is moving in with Van Homan and crew in Philadelphia, and Van was glad Stricker made enough prize money to pay rent.
Fifth place went to Mike Aitken. Lookback 360's and a ton of moto style were what Mikey was all about.
Fourth place went to Mike Parenti, which is really impressive since Mike was riding with a wrecked knee. Mike did a huge superman-seatgrab transfer over the second set along with a lot of other cool stuff at Voelker-style height.
Third went to T.J. Lavin, who a lot of people thought was going to win. T.J. crashed a lookdown flip on the first set during his first run, but from then on, there was no holding back. His best run was probably when he flip-turndowned the first set, then threw a one-handed barspin over the second, to his signature 360 tailwhip over the last set. At the height he throws these at, it's not a wonder the crowd lost it.
Second belonged to Mr. Nasty himself, Cory Nastazio. When your runs consist of X-up transfers over the first set-to-backflip X-up table over the second, then a big superman-seatgrab over the third; you don't have to be a brain surgeon to see why Nasty was up there. Nasty and Nyquist went head-to-head, and while Nasty got the silver, it definitely wasn't from a lack of creativity or effort.
X Games Gold belonged to Ryan Nyquist. He and Nasty duked it out round after round, but in the end, Nyquist's pulled a smooth 720 over the last set sent him over the top. One of the best Nyquist runs was the one where he truckdrivered the first set, then double-trucked the second landing with his bars backwards, rode up the wedge box, flipped them around, then pulled a huge tailwhip over the last set. During another run Ryan barspin-flipped the first set, did a 360-barspin-to-barspin back (backtrail) over the second, and then did a triple-truckdriver in suicide style (his first since 1997 ?) over the last set. That's right, triple truckdriver. First place and a big, well-deserved check were waiting for Ryan at the end of the day.
DIRT RESULTS 1.Ryan Nyquist 2.Cory Nastazio 3.TJ Lavin 4.Mike Parenti 5.Mike Aitken 6.Josh Stricker 7.Joey Garcia 8.Chris Doyle 9.Ryan Jordan 10.Todd Walkowiak 11.Romuald Noirot
Cory Nastazio. Photo by Chris Hallman.
|The average score of both runs would be the final score.
Judges: Bart de Jong, Brian Tunney, Big Island, Andrew Arroyo and Chris Hallman.
Jay Miron, the Canadian Beast, pulled a smooth nosewheely over the canyon and a backwards nosewheely on the same deck. He crashed on a huge boomerang air but finished his run with a one-footed tailwhip. In the final run number two Jay slammed hard on a double tailwhip. Last contest for Schwinn.
Kevin Robinson (H*B) is getting the air, getting the variations and is working on the big tricks that you need to do to make it to the top. He dropped in and did a big flair on the other side of the ramp for 6th place
Dennis McCoy (K2) shouldn't have been riding this weekend according to his doctor but hey, it's the X-Games and if you're qualified you should climb on top of that ramp and at least drop in. It didn't show that Dennis was having any problems. At age 33 he busted a high table, huge 540, turndown, barspin, called a time out to switch bikes and take a little breather and continued with a barspin to barspin back. DMC finished his run with a flair that he crashed. 86.6 points for his first run.
John Parker showed up in jeans and a Hotwheels shirt. No-hander, alley-oop X-up, cancan, superman, switch-handed one-footer, tailwhip, 540 to alley oop 540 and a double tailwhip attempt. A killer second run with a semi-pulled double tailwhip and a nice no-handed 540, had him move up to 4th place
5th place went to Trek's Simon Tabron who could not pull off that 900 this time. Even the alley ooped version stranded on the flat bottom. Simon did plenty of tricks such as invert, barspin to barspin, candybar, X-up, cancan-1-hander, no-handed 540, ...
Mat Hoffman's crew was running the contest and with Mat being the boss he had plenty of things on his mind all week long. The Condor dropped in for his run and forgot about all the stress for 60 seconds. How Mat manages to think of all the different variations during his run is a mystery to me. Check it out: No-hander to peg grab, no-hand one footer, no-footed cancan, followed by a rocket barspin to barspin back to no-footer, peg grab no-footer, tailwhip, no-hander, rocket barspin, no-handed 540, downside icepick and he ended with a double tailwhip crash.
Dave Mirra (Haro) didn't compete (or win) much all year long but when he needs to be there, he'll make sure that he's ready for it. Powerful runs brought the Miracle boy into the leading position after the first run. No-hander, opposite 1-footed X-up, 1 handed barspin with lookback style (new!), X-up, huge 540, 2 and a half barspin air (mistake but pulled it), opposite 1-h-X-up, tailwhip over the canyon, candybar, opposite barspin, no-footed cancan, opposite 1-h-1-footer, tailwhip and after the buzzer rang he pulled two clean flairs. Un-fucking-believable run. The crowd were waving the signs in the air and ESPN loved it. 94.4 and in the winner's seat. Dave's second run was killer again. Opposite double busdrivers and a sweet one-handed tailwhip
Jamie Bestwick (GT) moved to Woodward training camp. Jamie must have done his first final run over and over again. The timing was exactly right. No-hander, opposite X down, double busdriver, 1-h-1footer, alley oop 1-handed invert, alley oop front peg grab, X-up, turndown to X-up, opposite 1 footed X-up, no-handed barspin, candybar, alley oop X-up, rocket X-up, alley oop no-handed 540 and to finish off his first run Jamie pulled two flairs in a row and topped it off with a tailwhip at coping height. In his second run, Jamie pulled the first turndown flair in competitive history. Gold for Jamie.
Daniel Dodd, www.expn.com, august 22, 2000: "I'm on top of the world right now. That's where I am." And so with that, Jamie Bestwick got a big hug from his wife and let it all sink in. He had just dethroned five-time bicycle vert champion Dave Mirra on Piers 30-32 in San Francisco at ESPN's X Games. He did it with a combination of consistency, technical ability and downright dazzling tricks. With a solid first run that included a double peg grab, a no-hander barspin and an alley-oop no-hander 540, Bestwick was in the lead heading into the final run. But Dave Mirra pulled out a gutsy performance like he always does with a one-hander tailwhip transfer over the canyon and a no-hander 540 in his final run to put the pressure on Bestwick to hold onto first place. The best known rider to ever come out of Europe, Bestwick dropped in needing a 94.1 to claim the gold medal. He landed a double barspin, no-footer can-can and a no-hander 540 before getting his speed up to attempt the first-ever turndown flair in competitive history. He landed the turndown flair with no problems, and his score for the run of 95.4 was enough to claim his first ever X Games gold medal. Bestwick knew that he wasn't exactly the favorite to win the event, but it didn't matter to him. "A lot of people forget that they start out with 20 riders and then boil it down to 10. Everybody is busting out their best tricks and that is what makes for such a good contest," said Bestwick. "There were some damn good riders out there; Jay Miron, Dave Mirra, Ryan Nyquist, they are the best riders in the world. "Dave is the five-time medalist and I think a lot of people bypassed the other riders and without the other riders you don't have a contest," Bestwick continued. "It's been a great day. There were a lot of great tricks thrown down. Dave Mirra rode awesome. Mat Hoffman rode awesome. Kevin Robertson. Simon Tabron. The list just goes on and on." Bestwick maintains that he didn't feel any pressure going into his final run, knowing that one slip-up could give Mirra the gold. Instead, he focused on pulling off the tailwhip flair in his final trick. "No pressure. Not at all," said Bestwick with a smile. "I knew what was coming last off and I was just more worried that I would stick the trick than crack halfway through my run. But I wasn't worried at all, I'm English." Dave Mirra, who took home a gold just two days before in the park competition, came in second and was content with his performance. He now has 12 X Games medals, including nine gold medals. "I got a silver in vert and a gold in park so I can't complain," said Mirra. "I'm happy." Bike stunt legend Mat Hoffman came in third with a solid performance that included some huge airs that only Hoffman can pull of and a double front peg grab and a no-hander 360. After the contest, when the chaos had subsided somewhat, and Bestwick had some time to think about what had just gone down, he summed everything up in one sentence. "I don't like to play my own trumpet, but damn!" The bicycle vert final Tuesday was the last official event at ESPN's 2000 X Games.
VERT RESULTS 1.Jamie Bestwick 2.Dave Mirra 3.Mat Hoffman 4.John Parker 5.Simon Tabron 6.Kevin Robinson 7.Dennis McCoy 8.Jay Miron 9.Jimmy Walker 10.Rick Thorne