On the second day of the Free Flow Tour stop at Woodward East, it was the BMXers' turn to shine. Alistair Whitton took to the mic, holding it down as the emcee for the event, and plenty of local pros – including Jamie Bestwick, Steven McCann, Jeremiah Smith and former Free Flow Tour Champion Mykel Larrin – were on hand all day to cheer on the next generation.
With a big storm brewing, the schedule was switched up, and the dirt jumpers were given the first crack at qualifying for Finals. The big dirt set, which is usually not open to campers, was the perfect setup in our search for the next up-and-coming talent to bring up to the pro ranks.
With 13 riders getting 3 runs each to impress the judges, it was Michael Varga securing the top spot. Making the trip all the down from Ontario, Canada, Michael executed a tailwhip to barspin, triple whip, and a flip whip on his winning run.
Double whips and triple whips locked up the runner-up spot for Nick Bruce. Florida's Dylan Sheinberg took 3rd place with a superman seatgrab, double truckdriver, and a clean flip.
For the day's culminating event, 46 riders were all vying for the podium and the three automatic qualifying spots for Free Flow Finals that come with it. The judges had their work cut out for them, with the level of riding making their decisions nearly impossible. Unable to cut the field down to only 6 riders following many heats, the judges settled on a top 8 to advance to the final round.
Making his trip really worth it, Michael Varga completed the sweep of the 21 & under BMX contests at Woodward East. The only competitor to do a 720, the Canadian also pulled a frontflip tuck, a flip whip, and an opposite flair.
"This was the first big contest I've ever entered," the 15-year-old winner revealed. "I'm in shock that I came in 1st in one, much less both contests. I came to camp this week just for this contest, and the preparation must have worked."
With the Australian flag in hand on the podium, Dylan Pell gladly took home 2nd place and made it truly an international affair. David Lieb came in 3rd, landing a backflip x-up and a vader to fakie. During his runs, Pell also pulled a backflip to whip, a triple whip on the smallest box on the course, and a flair on the front box.
In between Varga's back-to-back victories, the Junior Jammers took to Lot 8 right as the rain started to fall outside. The open divisions may have gone to Canada, but you can score this round to Australia. The Aussie domination we've seen in recent years on this tour continued when Melbourne's Jai Bradley pulled a double truckdriver, a tailwhip on the quarter, and a double seat to top the podium for the 13 & under division.
A no-footed can-can and a superman seat grab on the resi transfer landed Ed Rovi in 2nd Place, giving him his second Junior Jam podium of the season. Nine-year-old Jayden Mucha, from Rochester, NY came in 3rd place. Rocking out with the full-face helmet, he had really strong lines through the whole park.
|BMX Dirt||BMX Park||Junior Jam|
|1.||Michael Varga||Michael Varga||Jai Bradley|
|2.||Nick Bruce||Dylan Pell||Ed Rovi|
|3.||Dylan Sheinberg||David Lieb||Jayden Mucha|
|4.||Ian Bradley||Brandon Webster||Larry Hatter|
|5.||Chase Pauza||Nick Bruce||Jake Filderman|
BMX Dirt top 3
BMX Park top 3
Junior Jam top 3