Up until the last 45-seconds, Simon Tabron was winning Portland’s Wendy’s Invitational BMX vert event. He led prelims, stood in first straight through finals, and even threw a first-time trick into a brand new combo with his tire grab 540 off the first wall, straight into a no-hander one-footer.
Simon Tabron looks focused from the start, as Austin Coleman waves to the camera
That is until Jamie Bestwick dropped in on his final run.
Jamie Bestwick, Superman seat grab Dennis McCoy, invert
Showing that he is indeed human, Bestwick fell on his first run and was sitting in seventh as the last rider to go in the finals. Even with a few uncharacteristic bobbles, he linked together a big alley oop no-hander, a huge 540 invert, downside whip and flaired the channel.
He ended with a move only Bestwick could pull off, a fastplant flair just above the coping after planting his foot on the vert wall and using the momentum to spin.
“I was just reaching for everything I’ve got,” Bestwick said. “I came out of that with no speed and I was just like, ‘Please, give me enough speed to at least get to the allisports.com logo on the wall so I can stick my foot on and make it around.’ And you know what? It worked out. And it was a close contest, but it was a good contest.”
Bestwick went higher than everyone, had good flow and spun in both directions, and said sometimes that’s how you win a contest. After getting pinged off the coping and landing a bit low and front heavy on his first run, he was ready for redemption on the second.
“I laid down a run that wasn’t as sublime as Chicago, but sometimes you have to fight tooth and nail for the victory,” Bestwick said. “And while Simon put down a great run, I felt that where he didn’t capitalize, I picked up the points.”
Zack Warden, double tailwhip
Tabron was bumped into second place with his score of 92.50 to Bestwick’s winning 93.25, but Tabron was still stoked with his riding, especially the new trick.
“Doing a 540 or anything like that right on the first wall is so hard, and I’ve never done that in a contest before,” Tabron said. “And it all worked so perfectly that I was just on a roll then and I just kept going with it.”
Steve McCann finished in third after also falling on his first run. He joked afterward that they all planned the falls so it would make for a good TV show. He was bringing a new trick in his first run, but slid out on the no-handed flair and took a hard slam.
‘In theory it always works at home, then you bring it to the contest and I don’t know what it is, nerves or what,” McCann said of the slam. “I was going really high too when I went into it, and I think that played a factor. I was a lot higher than I ever usually go in that particular trick.”
He came back in his last run with an alley oop tailwhip, turndown flair and pulled off an insane 540 tailwhip at the buzzer to score a 90.38.
Steven McCann, 540 tailwhip Francisco Zurita, table top
In keeping with the new-trick theme of Portland’s finals, Chad Kagy was sitting in eighth place after spinning out on a barspin flatspin in his first run. He went for broke in his last run with a ridiculous flair barspin tuck no-hander, and although he wasn’t able to pull it cleanly, it bumped him up to sixth.
When you’re up against Bestwick, who just collected his seventh-straight Dew Tour win, seems like the only thing to do is put it all on the line. But it will have to wait until next month’s Toyota Challenge in Salt Lake City to see what these guys come back with.
For the Alli photo gallery from the event, click here.
Check out a video recap of the finals below