Under bright lights and in brisk air conditions, the Toyota City Championships have returned to San Francisco, California and have once again taken over Fulton Street with the BMX Dirt competition.
The BMX Dirt jumps sit squarely between the Asian Art Museum and the San Francisco Public Library. Similar to last year, the jumps are huge and work their way right around Pioneers Monument. This insane set up hosted some of the best riders in the world in a way that allowed everyone to give their all.
Divided into two heats, 24 riders made their way over the massive jumps with style and ease. Each heat consisted of three rounds, the two best scores were then combined to result in the top 10 riders who will go on to the final.
Returning from a recent injury at Red Bull's Dreamline contest, Ryan Nyquist came ready to defend his win from last year's Dirt final competition with just about a week of riding under his belt to get him back up to par – there was no sign of injury from the spectators’ perspective.
With two absolutelty stacked heats of riders, the first heat brought the fire from down under when Aussie Jaie Toohey dropped into the jumps. Jaie stirred up the competition a in confident fashion by throwing big combination tricks over almost every hit. Then the young gun Daniel Sandoval proved he too had no problem with any jump and showed it with his perfect execution. Sandoval’s best run was his first which was a 360 downside whip over the first set, whip to tuck no-hander over the second set, a 360 barspin to downside whip over the third and a 360 downside whip to barspin over the last set.
Daniel Sandoval, 360 downside whip
Then in the second heat we saw the newest man to fatherhood, Kyle Baldock go huge and throw a cashroll 720 over the first hit that ultimately ended with a 360 double downside whip. Baldock won last year’s Best Trick event by throwing a front flip cliff hanger that left everyone’s jaws hanging. Well, he did it again in his semi-final run with his first-ever front flip barspin to tuck no-hander. Some other tricks he pulled; 360 flip, flip bar to no-hander, double whip to bar, a 360 double whip backflip, a flip double whip and a 450 bar - Baldock is a beast!
Kyle Baldock, front flip barspin to tuck no-hander
Landing in a near second spot at the end of the semi-final night was Baldock to no surprise. "Everyone riding here is the best in the world, so to qualify in the top 10 is amazing and to be in the top three is even better. I'm going home stoked already."
When the semi-final came to a close it was the young gun Sandoval riding out on top. "It's pretty amazing to qualify in the top three because there are so many talented riders out here. There are so many guy's that have so many tricks and I'm surprised I came out on top."
Tomorrow the top 12 riders will return to throw everything on the line for their chance to take all.
Be sure to check back shortly for a photo gallery posted to the top of this article and video recap of the session!
1st Place - Daniel Sandoval
2nd Place - Kyle Baldock
3rd Place - Jaie Toohey
4th Place – James Foster
5th Place – Mike Clark
6th Place – Ryan Nyquist
7th Place – Chris Doyle
8th Place – Colton Satterfield
9th Place – Drew Bezanson
10th Place – Kevin Peraza