July 2006 - Denver, Co. - Jamie Bestwick, 35, of Great Britain, scored a 94.00 on his second run in the best-of-two format in BMX Vert. He moved from second to first place with the victory. Placing second was Chad Kagy, 27, of Gilroy, Calif., with a score of 92.50. In third was Kevin Robinson, 34, of Providence, RI, with a 92.25.
“To ride with 12 of the best riders in the world is awesome,” said Bestwick. “It’s been up and down all year but I knew Denver was a good city for me. It was a great city and a great crowd.”
The pro qualifiers faced some rain on Saturday. That's why everyone made it to the final on Sunday. Also those who had already ridden on Saturday. The finals with 58 riders took place in the blistering heat on Sunday afternoon on a course that saw quite a few new obstacles. Instead of calling it Street, it should be called Park but that doesn't take things away from the riding that was going on. Riders were trying fronties over the box that had a little higher landing that messed up a few guys. Alessandro Barbero did not have any problems with it as he pulled all the latest moves on it including double whip 360-s for the victory. He's from Italy so he's used to riding in these temperatures most of the year. Chris Doyle no-footed cancan-ed the spine and found different lines for second while Hector Garcia from Mexico ripped it up for third. Hector also made it to the World's in Prague last year and impressed in pro mini there. Mark König from Germany won the adidas best trick Spine contest with a 270 Tailtap to icepick to toothpick tailwhip over the spine.
We're not sure if it was the announcement of Mat Hoffman competing at the Masters but many riders showed up to be on top of the ramp together with the legendary Condor. Mat actually had some bad luck leading up to the contest. First of all he was operated upon his knee only two weeks before the comp. He couldn't walk before that but it all healed in time (or passed Mat's pain barrier) for him to compete. On his way here, one flight got cancelled and two were delayed making his trip less than enjoyable. On arrival his gear bag did not show up forcing him to get some shoes and shorts to even be able to ride. Once on top of the vert ramp for a training session he pumped up his tire which caused a flat. Sweet. Two more flats followed on the weekend but Mat has dealt with bad luck and pain before.
His fellow riders enjoyed his company and so did the big crowd. Time was allowed for each rider to try a hard trick at the end of their run. There was no buzzer or anything like that that immediately ended everyone's run.
The World Cup might have come to an end but it felt like a sold out stadium when the Pro mini finals started. The stands were totally full and also the field in front of it was packed with people who didn't want to miss any of the final action. Instead of paying 500 Euros for a ticket to watch the finals, in Cologne it was closer to the prize of a cinema ticket for all the entertainment. We found a perfect spot on top of the adidas container where they were serving drinks as well. It was as if we were watching from a sky box and it was nice.
We're back from the BMX Masters and can finally give you an update or 2 on the happenings in Cologne. After trying to upload one photo for over an hour from the press office I gave up. The Vito hotel didn't have a connection either. Damn, it's only Monday, give me a break. Here's the dirt report to start with.
Suzuki BMX Masters Dirt The big roll-in was placed in an angle where you actually couldn't even see the jumps because of all the trees. After dropping in a 90 degree right turn lead you to the first big set, followed by another big set and then a hipper to the right and a smaller double. The 90 degree left hand turn lead you to the last set where you had to jump into a hole first. It was a nice change from the regular big jump set-up and Marcus Hampl and crew did a great job. It was easy to pick out the real trail riders from those trying to make it through.
It was a straight final for all those who entered on Saturday night.
FATBMX had landed in Cologne for the BMX Masters. The set up is huge as ever. The street course has some new ramps and pro qualifying was going on when the first rain in three weeks arrived. Typical.
The dirt course looks bitchin with a few turns in the set up. Some had it dialled, some didn't but the finals should bring some good riding. Luckily (in this case) the flatland area is covered with a huge tent so that discipline can go on even when it keeps raining.
Mat Hoffman has arrived so seeing him ride the vert ramp is on everyone's program. Mat's gearbag did not arrive and he has been buying clothes left and right at the local BMX stands. The Braun Mini ramp will see some good riding too because Dave Osato is in town.
At Red Bull they're not afraid to take things a step further. When the riders have something in mind that they want to do they go out of their way to make it happen. Take Senad's set-up for example. The photos of Senad Grosic before and after shows you that not all jumps went perfect. Click READ MORE for the action shots and a better view of the set up. Thanks to Senad for sending in the photos.
With a lot of contests being INVITE or PRO only, it is good to have events around where the amateurs can show what they've got. You need to start somewhere and at the FISE they had classes in Street, Dirt, Flatland and a Spine Mini competition.
The 2006 street course was all new and looked great. it had something for everyone. Big wallrides, sub boxes, hips, a huge quarterpipe, lots of tech parts, curved wallride, spin, jump box and then add a few original obstacles. If you couldn't find a ramp to pull your tricks on, you probably couldn't do the trick in the first place. The best thing about the FISE street contest is the crowd. They know what's up and interact in the contest. They clap and cheer for good tricks even if they're just small things. No backflips needed but when Thibault Iser did his front flip in qualifying everyone got on their feet to show their respect. Tibo shot straight to the moon, made the tuck and somehow held on to roll out of it. That, together with his tailwhip drop-in from the container earned him a spot in the Pro Street final. It is so difficult to judge one person's riding against someone else's that it took heavy discussions of who made the top 12 pro final cut. In the end Gregory missed out and Maxime Charveron, John Garcia, Dave Freimuth, Tommy Lauque, Kevin Kalkoff, Tibo, Max Vincent, Randy Brown, Mike Miller, Alessandro Barbero, John Heaton and Ben Wallace were all in.
Flatland in France is big. The media pushes it and it shows. With a couple of Germans and a few Japanese riders at the FISE the level was high. High enough for York Uno not to make the final. He played it safe by doing "easy" tricks in qualifying but the judges noticed and didn't give him a spot in the final top 8. The final was ruled by Japan though with Hiroya Morizaki spinning to first and Taka getting second. Alex Jumelin's protégée Matthias Dandois was killing it on his Bram Verhallen-KHE and finished up the top three, one of his best pro results ever. Frank "Lowcash" Lukas brought a posse of friends over from Germany for mental support (and fun). He couldn't pull every spin he tried but pulled enough to get fourth place. Adam Kun had a flat in the first group of the jam session final and rode in the last group of three. He did manage to pull some impressive combo's for 5th. In 6th we have Alexis Desolneux. With Alexis it's on or it isn't. He didn't ride terrible and with a full more tricks pulled he would have been in the top three easily but the sloping asphalt wasn't on his side in the finals.