Today in park prelims Mike Laird after having the 10 yard stare for years finally snapped and killed the entire front row while Norwegian death metal played in the background. Scotty Cranmer knocked a vending machine over, put some pedals on it and front flipped the jump box. Dennis McCoy crashed and damaged his rubber mask revealing what we all knew was under there all along: a robot. But seriously, straight out of Venezuela ya'll better make way, Daniel Dhers killed the course today. He has it all: flips, flairs and can perhaps travel back in time. He is also riding with a gum guard in his mouth.
Dirt Finals: The level compared to last year is much higher to say the least. If you looked quickly you would swear that Parslow was Nastazio. Huge airs and fluid style from the Aussie. Fellow countryman Cameron White landed a triple tailwhip on the second to last set. Rounding out the Mountain Aussie tour was Dave Dillewaard, Ryan Guettler and Corey Bohan. Bohan was flawless and was the only rider to not have to pedal his ass off for the last jump but instead used pure flow. Doyle rode like Doyle always does: super smooth.
The riders hit up the street course today in practice. I saw Scotty Cranmer manual over the jump box take off , over the deck and then front flip onto the landing. Pretty crazy. Later on I caught him eyeing up this huge drop off gap. We will have to wait until Sunday to see his run. Morgan Wade was blasting the corner wallrides and doing huge pocket air transfers while wearing a moustache the entire time. DMC was blasting the course like a fresh 32 year old. Daniel Dhers looked great with fluid style and he just seemed to do everything effortlessly. Kevin Kiraly looked to have double whips dialled and was pulling them over the huge step up jump which looked hard enough to clear never mind do a whip over it. DK bikes rider Brett Walker was also wearing a moustache and doing 360 barspins. Must be Pornstar month.
Vert Finals : Who else would win but the king : Jamie Bestwick. Smooth as always and landing a bar spin to X-up after the clock ran out to make himself happy. Kevin Robinson also pulled a double flair after the clock. I did not witness it or get the picture because the venue staff were distracting me. He looked very disappointed when his first run ended with a small crash but came back charging in his second run. Koji Kraft put together a great run on his T1 bike and landed a double tailwhip. Simon Tabron wins the best goon run for throwing in some bizarre amateur moves in the closing seconds of his run.
The dirt course consists of a series of hipped jumps unlike last years straight in a row set. Mike "Hucker" Clark's nose dive 360's are like nobody else's and he also went for a double flip attempt. Corey Bohan looked really, really dialled throwing in a series of combo tricks. Tim "Fuzzy" Hall built the course and pulled a 1 footed can backflip lander. 720-s were pulled by Guettler (1st), Nyquist (4th) and MacKay (10th) and it's good to have Stephen Murray back in the finals. His clean 360 flip helped him get there (6th). Dew tour leader Anthony Napolitan squeezed in in the last second and will have to do well to keep his lead because Luke Parslow is on fire these days.
San Jose is the 10th largest city in America with people driving cars fueled by vegetable oil. This can only be the Bay Area where the Toyota Challenge leg of the Mountain Dew Tour is being held. Watching vert practice and prelims it's clear that the final tomorrow will be between the king of smoothness Bestwick and Chad Kagy. Both looked really good and in control. Simon Tabron, Jimmy Walker and Tom Haugen also looked good and will be fighting for the last spot on the podium.
I haven't watched a BMX race since I was about 7 years old. The course was technical to say the least with a huge gap jump after the start and another huge double later on the track. These guys are amazing how fast they go and the distance they jump. Derek Betcher landed sideways during a semi and got some medical attention. Luckily he walked off the track a few minutes later under his own power. Robbie Miranda crashed in his semi also and missed the cut as did 56 of the other racers who had qualified for the Supercross earlier on.