Returning from a nagging shoulder injury, Canadian Drew Bezanson won the BMX park prelims, beating out 31 other riders and advancing to tomorrow's finals at the Wendy's Invitational here in Portland.
One of the first riders to take the course, Craig Mast went down hard on his first run but still managed a score of 89.75. Too hurt to return for his final run, his score held up for a solid second-place finish at the end of the competition.
Brett Banasiewicz, fresh off his BMX dirt win, tried to upstage Mast by landing a huge frontflip. Brett's momentum took him straight off the course, but the youngster hopped back on, landed a tailwhip flair at the end of his run and was rewarded with the third spot in the prelims.
After an uncharacteristic fall during his first run, Dave Mirra's strong second run moved him into fourth place, as the BMX legend closed out the first heat of riders.
Drew Bezanson, the first rider to drop in for heat two, immediately took the top spot away from Mast with a run that included a huge foot jam, truck driver over the cage and 360 over the hitching post earning him an untouchable 90.00.
Andy Buckworth, who qualified for the first finals of his career in Chicago last month, continued his hot streak by taking fourth, while Mark Webb's wallride to 540 and 900 also moved the Brit into the finals.
With strong runs getting put down in the second heat, Mirra's 87.13 kept getting pushed farther and farther down in the standings, but when it was all said and done, Mirra's bubble score held up and he advanced to the finals as well.
1. Drew Bezanson, 90.00
2. Craig Mast, 89.75
3. Brett Banasiewicz, 89.13
4. Andy Buckworth, 88.63
5. Dennis Enarson, 88.13
For complete results from the BMX park prelims, click here.
The top nine from today's prelims advance to face off against Garrett Reynolds, Daniel Dhers and last month's winner Mike Spinner.
Back in 2007 and '08, Portland was the site of a heated rivalry between Dhers and Spinner, with Spinner winning the stop in '07 and Dhers the following year. Now that Spinner's back and in top form and Dhers is in unfamiliar territory, second place in the Dew Cup standings, this rivalry is sure to reignite among a slew of new contenders at the Wendy's Invitational.
For tickets to see how it all pans out tomorrow in the BMX park finals, click here.