Contest season is in full swing, and when the dust settles in Portland next week, there will have been three full weeks of heavy competition. What we've seen so far is a podium mix of the old guard and new blood, with a deep talent pool trailing closely behind. So the notion of someone new stepping up to the podium in the near future won't be a surprise, but almost a certainty.
At the Nike 6.0 BMX Open in Chicago, Jamie Bestwick was the usual suspect to win vert, Mike Spinner made a miraculous comeback for the park title and 15-year-old Brett Banasiewicz entered his first Dew Tour dirt comp and left with the win.
Bestwick,Tailwhip Bestwick, Can-Can
Then, at last weekend's X Games 16 in L.A., the golds were handed out and vert was snatched by Bestwick again, but this time Daniel Dhers came out on top in park, Chad Kagy broke the bridesmaid curse and won the Big Air and Garrett Reynolds worked his signature style to take his third straight gold in street on the new, unique course.
X Games Park Podium l-r, Enarson, 2nd; Dhers, 1st; Young, 3rd
It's like musical chairs on the podium for these guys, but with a few new faces jockeying for the first through fourth place. If the last two contests are any indicator of podium positioning, things could get interesting at next week's Wendy's Invitational in Portland, from Aug. 12-15.
Enarson collected two silvers at X for park and street, and he was ripping. Then last month at Dew Tour, he landed off the podium in dirt and park, but he was for sure a rider's favorite. All the guys were laughing and cheering for him after he would fall in his run and lay there with his bike on top of him and joke around. Then in dirt, he casually acid dropped about 10-ft to flat from the dirt container and then rode backwards to high-five his buddies. He's won Dew Tour dirt in Portland before, and got podium in park too, and with his solid performance at X Games, we could see similar results from him in Portland.
Dhers lookback on X Games Superpark course
Mike Spinner's name was missing from the X Games, but he won the last stop of the Dew Tour and is leading the standings right now. But with a new crop of kids with a new crop of moves, things could get tricky. Twenty-year-old Australian dirt and park ripper Andrew Buckworth is now an X Games Big Air silver medalist. This could be just the momentum he needs to land on the podium in Portland. As an all-around rider in dirt, park and now Big Air, he's got a lot of chances to succeed.
Another Australian, Steven McCann, left X Games with a collection of medals after earning silver in vert and Big Air. He finished third at the Dew Tour in vert and is one of the guys Bestwick considers the future of vert.
McCann throwing a Can-Can
So with the Nike 6.0 HB BMX Pro event going down this week in Huntington Beach, followed by Dew Tour, there's no guessing these guys will be contest ready when the Wendy's Invitational rolls around.