Josh Hult: Taking a Chance, Landing on Top

Josh Hult has been riding for awhile now. Yet, while lots of other riders knew he had it in him, he’d never landed on the very top of a podium. That is, until he beat out a stacked field of names who you see at the top of podiums plenty (Nyquist and last year’s Dew Cup winner Cam White), to take the win in Dirt at the Nike 6.0 BMX Open in Chicago. It was a tight competition, as he had to beat out Brandon Dosch, who was on fire all weekend. But, with some bangers like double whips in both directions, a 360 to downside whip packed into this last two runs, he beat the field with style. With the win, Hult goes into the Wendy’s Invitational ranked first in the Dew Cup standings. 

It wasn’t an easy road to get to this point, though. Not too long before the Nike 6.0 Open, Hult had been laid off from a government job, and had, in his words been working “just trying to make ends meat.” He was using his spare time to ride a ton, though, and work to get his runs dialed. But still, it wasn’t until he ran into Jamie Bestwick, that he really got motivated for the 2009 season. “Seeing Bestwick, talking to him, it just really got me going,” he said. So, he buckled down, kept practicing, and went into Chicago with an all or nothing attitude. After having to fight through Open Qualifiers and Prelims, he took the win. it’s been a few weeks since that win now, but you can bet he’ll try to carry that momentum with him to Portland. 

So, Josh, you got your first major competition win, taking first place in Dirt at the Nike 6.0 BMX Open. What was different this time?
Honestly, it’s just a fact that I’ve had bad luck before, like I’ve slipped a pedal or something. For me, it’s usually all or nothing. I finally had a week where I rode how I should always ride. 

Can you talk us through your runs during the Dirt Finals in Chicago?
My first run, I messed up. My second run was good, but I didn’t want to just do the same. I’d kinda been playing with a 360 to downside whip, but I hadn’t landed it clean. So, I gambled, I threw the dice–just see what happens. Everything fell into place, it was just perfect. The second my feet touched the pedals, I was so excited. I came around the corner and was just psyched. 

You were not Pre-Qualified, so you had to ride in Open Qualifiers and then Prelims in just two days?
I was so happy to make it the whole way through OQ. It’s scary and hectic, it’s just so easy to mess up two runs, and with OQ and Prelims, you have that many more chances to mess up.

What was it like to get your first major contest win?
It’s amazing, so surprising because the heavy hitters still had great runs. It wouldn’t be as important to me had people crashed or not rode well.

And now you are at the top of the Dew Tour standings going into the Wendy’s Invitational.
It’s just crazy. I’m not the big name dude, I don’t win all the stuff.  I think people are psyched to see someone who is a regular dude win. 

Your family must be so excited.
Everyone’s at home. They were all watching online to keep up. They are just real supportive, super supportive. 

You weren’t the only Idaho local to do well. You’ve got a good little scene going in Idaho?
Yeah, two other kids from Idaho Falls, they’re usually riding in my backyard, and both just rode well. Excited to have a scene going on, and some stuff to ride. But, it’s good to be able to come to something like a Dew Tour and ride with different people too.