The Dew Tour wrapped up in Salt Lake City with an FMX jam that brought the crowds, while inside the Energy Solutions Arena Jamie Bestwick, Chad Kagy and Steve McCann topped the podium for BMX Vert.
Bestwick won with tricks even he had to admit were good, though he modestly says he never expects to win. “I just go out and try to do my best, and when the pressure’s on me, I try to step it up. My alley oop five was knockout,” the BMX legend said.
The most unbelievable part is that flipping on a bike is near impossible for someone as tall as Bestwick: 6’1″. Plus, he’s 38 years old. That’s the same age as another legend: Fuzzy Hall. When asked if he wanted to ride against the Fuzz, Bestwick grinned and said, “I think you might want to ask Fuzzy if he wants to ride against me.”
Kagy took second, saying, “This has been the best stop for me yet coming out of a crazy two weeks doing demos for the troops in Iraq. I haven’t been able to ride a vert ramp for two weeks. I’m having a little problem with my left leg, so I rode with a really good outlook on life and a really odd outlook on how the comp was going to go. I was able to block out the problem with my leg. I have a thing called compartment syndrome, and don’t have any strength in my toes, so if I land on my pedal on my heel, my foot falls off the pedal because I can’t lift my toe,” he said, adding about his time in Iraq, “The demos we did were by far the most satisfying demos I’ve ever done. To be able to thank those people, who are fighting so that I can be here, I can be free to be a BMX rider, I appreciate it so much.”
McCann was delighted with his third place, though he started out looking like he was going to do better. He said, “I thought my first run would have got me up there, but unfortunately I crashed, so there was a lot of pressure on me going into my second run. But I was able to make the podium with my idols, Jamie Bestwick and Chad Kagy, so I couldn’t happier. Those guys are amazing. Jamie is one of the most awesome riders on the planet, Chad is balls to the wall and I love it, and I feel stoked to be part of that elite group.”
Dave Smitt, Monster Energy Drink sports marketing dude, said, “The Dew is always unbelievable. The BMX’er, skaters and FMX’er all get a chance to mix it up together, so they can watch each other during the day and hang out together at night, it’s such a cool thing.” Smitt carefully lined up Bestwick’s helmet with the Monster sponsor logo next to the first place trophy and took pics. Jamie can be sure his main sponsor will be back next year.
The dude everyone thought would podium got dealt a bad deal. Coco Zurita, of Santiago, Chile, had been flying so high in qualifying that everyone thought he had it made. But during his first run, his brake lever caught in his glove and he crashed on his wrist. On his second run, “I couldn’t do anything I wanted to do. But I’m going to Orlando with my A game,” he said.
Once again, the best food was reserved for the athletes. Their lounge was the only one that had smoothies. There was a Toyota sign and tee shirts that said, “BMX vs:skate, the colossal challenge!”. A smoothie maker said “Toyota made it up as a marketing device.” The room had a ping pong table, and after the vert comp, McCann had a heated game with buddy Mike Clark. A bit of joking trash talking and lots of laughing whoops filled the air as workers cleared away the leftover food — a very small amount. McCann wouldn’t dis his friend. Even though he looked like the ping pong champ, he said the score was even.
The FMX Jam showed how popular the sport is in Salt Lake City; every seat was filled, there wasn’t even room around the track fence to stand. The course had been BMX dirt, it was reformed into two big dirt jumps and three kickers for the motorcycle riders, though the start was the same. There were two “teams” of riders. Audience applause decided which riders would go head to head against each other to determine the winning team.
And now the news: when asked if the rumor was true about a girl’s skate division coming, Dew Tour manager Chris Prybylo said, “Right now our contests are open, so if women wanted to compete, they certainly could. We evaluate what we’re doing every year, but right now we don’t have any women who coming out to compete with the guys. Early in the season, the ISF (International Skate Federation), our partners, brought in women for the World Championships. Women skated vert and park. There wasn’t a lot of them,” he said.
As for Orlando, Prybylo explained, “We’ve already set the structure this year, but we evaluate our competitions every year, so at the end of the season, we’ll take a look again. But we have women in the Winter Dew in slopestyle and pipe, so it’s not an issue.”
Jeff Robbins, head of the Utah Athletic Foundation, thinks women’s comps in skate are not far off, and hopes to see it at the Dew soon. “I think that would be great. Anytime you have sports that have both genders, that’s terrific,” he said. And Monster’s Smitt goes even further. When it comes to putting a girl’s class in the Dew, he said, “They have to. They did it in Boston for skating, and they should be doing it (at all stops) this year.
So, for Brooke Whipp, that girl we told you about yesterday who had to skate outside when the Dew events were going on — keep practicing, we’ll see you next year!
- Wina Sturgeon