By: Mark Losey – 2009 was supposed to be the year that Dave Mirra didn't care. Don't get me wrong, everyone cares when they ride, but after being on top of the BMX game since the early '90s, Mirra had nothing to prove rolling into Dew '09. Dave's riding level is possibly at its highest level ever, but with a wife, two daughters, and a newfound love for Rally Car racing, Mirra planned to ride a couple of Dew Tour stops and then head out on the Rally circuit for the rest of the year.
But a funny thing happens when Dave Mirra doesn't care. He flat-out kills it, and he enters a zone where things seemingly just fall into place. And during practice at the Nike 6.0 Open in Chicago, it was obvious that Dave was in the zone. I don't even know if Mirra realized it, but everyone watching practice had the same thought on their mind: Dave's back.
Glimpse of the Cup
After coming out of Chicago with a win (despite knocking himself right before the event started), Dave went into the Wendy's Invitational in Portland "caring" a bit more. His win in Chicago put him in the lead for the series title, and a strong showing in Portland could put him on track to win the only piece of hardware not currently sitting on his mantle--a Dew Cup.
The weekend went well for Mirra in Portland, and he walked away with second place. He also let word out that instead of pursuing the Rally circuit, he was staying on his bike to chase the Dew Cup. Daniel Dhers also began digging himself out of a points deficit in Portland, which meant Mirra would have to deal with the Dhers machine looking for revenge, and also the new blood--Garrett Reynolds, who was leading the series after a second in Chicago and a big win in Portland.
The Salt Lake City Factor
When the Toyota Challenge rolled into Salt Lake City, Mirra was putting the pressure on, but it was more self-pressure than anything else. Instead of the seemingly "drop in and see what happens" attitude that blew everyone away in Chicago, Mirra was staring at the course at 7AM working out runs in his head. Preparation is what any top athlete does, but all of BMX was thinking the same thing: "You're thinking too much. Relax--the only one who can beat you is you." Dave had some bobbles in Salt Lake, and with the rest of the field firing at top form, Mirra wound up in sixth, with Dhers taking first and Reynolds in second.
Fireworks in Orlando
All eyes will be on Mirra at the Playstation Pro in Oralndo in two weeks. Dave has been in more clutch situations than anyone in BMX, but will his experience and incredibly deep bag of tricks be enough to get him past Garrett Reynolds and hold off a charging Dhers? Mirra definitely has the tools to get things done. I can only hope that he doesn't care, because that's when the magic happens.
While Mirra may be a familiar name to everyone, here's a look at the other two guys in the hunt for the BMX Park Dew Cup.
After winning so many contests over the past three years, some people thought Daniel might not be feeling it this year. Yeah right. Not only did he take the win in Salt Lake City, but he's also continuing to come up with tricks that only he can do, including the "cash roll," which is basically a 180 and then a flair over a box jump! Daniel knows how to put down a big run when he needs to, and in Orlando that's exactly what he'll need to come out in front of both Mirra and Reynolds. Dhers has a stable of Dew Cups at home, and he'd love to add one more to the herd.
Garrett has thrown a monkey wrench into the system for 2009 because no one saw him coming. Instead of working on contest tricks at Woodward or in Greenville, Garrett's been riding street, filming video parts, and shredding his backyard ramps at home in New Jersey. Garrett is in a no-pressure situation, and while his competitors are training for the Finals, Garrett is riding street in Spain and flying to Orlando just in time for the comp. Don't take this as a sign of a weak competitor. Take it as a sign of one of the most talented riders in BMX doing things only the way Garrett Reynolds can.
Series Points Going into Orlando
1. Garrett Reynolds – 280
2. Dave Mirra – 258
3. Daniel Dhers – 238
4. Mark Webb – 216
5. Ryan Nyquist – 196
6. Marcus Tooker – 194
7. Brandon Dosch – 180
8. Dennis Enarson – 176
9. Steve McCann – 161
10. Craig Mast – 155