BMX Park has one of the deepest fields of all Dew Tour disciplines, and yet for the past three years, one guy has continuously stood with the Dew Cup in his hands at the end of the season. Daniel Dhers is the man, and after coming in as a relative unknown in 2006 and then manhandling the competition, he has been dominating ever since. We caught up with Dhers about his favorite memories of the Dew Tour, a scene report from his hometown Caracas and his thoughts as he moves toward what may very well be his fourth consecutive Dew Cup.
How's your off-time been?
It's been great. I went home and chilled and dedicated myself to partying and seeing friends and family. It was a change for me. I really needed to be away from contests for a while. But I'm back now and I feel better than ever. I'm getting ready for this year's Dew Tour.
When you said you went back home did you go back to Caracas or Buenos Aires?
There's a Red Bull video of you sessioning a park in Caracas. Was that this past winter?
Yeah. That was after my last contest. I did the event, and it went great. A lot of people showed up. Usually I'm really glad that people back at home support BMX. I mean, it's still growing there--there's not that many people riding, but they're supporting what I'm doing, you know?
What tricks do you see making an appearance or being really popular during this 2009 season?
I think more and more people will be doing 720 variations. There are already a couple 360 flip people out there, 1080s, triple flat whips. I think it's going to be really mixed-up. There are a lot of people coming from overseas this year than in previous years.
Having won the BMX Park discipline since 2006, do you feel a lot of pressure going into this contest season?
I don't really feel any pressure; I'm just excited to ride. In some ways it's easier because I have experience, but it's also harder, because although I have new tricks, it's not like the first year when everything I did was new. There are a lot of new kids coming up who are hungry, so it will be interesting.
As a pro rider, which do you put more emphasis on, contest-riding or filming for a video part?
I've never really done a video part so I don't really know what they're like. I ride every day, just to ride, but there are tricks I've learned that I know will be useful for contests, and I will on those a little more just so I'll be more confident in contests.
What is your favorite Dew Tour experience?
I think one of my favorite Dew Tour moments was in 2006 at the PlayStation Pro in Orlando. That was my first year and I didn't really expect to win the whole thing. It wasn't something I was expecting. It's probably one of my favorite moments. Also, in Baltimore last year, I fell on my first run and I was pretty much over the whole thing. But in the second run, as soon as I heard my song, I did all the stuff I wanted to do and I ended up winning. I think those two were probably my best moments.
What did that first win in 2006 mean for you as a pro, as you understood it then.
It meant a lot. I always wanted to do well in the States, so winning the Dew Tour--I couldn't really believe it happened. I remember being home for a while, and two or three months later I was looking at the Dew Cup like, "wow, I can't believe I won that." I wasn't expecting it. I think it was the door I needed to open to get to where I am today. I'm glad I did 2006 because I didn't think I was going to compete that year..