The first BMX vert practice at the Wendy's Invitational went down this afternoon, and a handful of pros hit the deck to get warmed up. Everyone seemed down with how the ramp felt, and the taco/elevated coping on one side gave them a new object to contend with. Today's vert crew included Dennis McCoy, Jimmy Walker, Koji Kraft, Danny Williams, Jason Branham, Austin Coleman, Francisco "Coco" Zurita, and a brief appearance by Zack Warden and Vince Byron. The rest of the vert heavies should arrive in Portland tonight, so by tomorrow things will be in full swing. Jamie Bestwick was on the deck as well, but he was taking a rest as he's still recuperating from the 540-whip crash that took him out at X Games two weeks ago.

As far as the riding today went, Coco Zurita and Koji Kraft won practice. It's normal for Koji to show up and drop hammers on his first run of the day, and he delivered as usual. Coco was blasting to the freakin' moon. Sometimes he goes sooo high, and just when you think it's a chill-air, he cracks a variation out at ridiculous height. That dude is simply fun to watch ride a bike.

You can expect this weekend's vert contest to be nuts. With only three more stops on the tour, doing well in Portland is critical for the year-end standings. Bestwick is sitting on top of the heap, but there's a whole crew of guys aiming to make moves this week. Stay tuned.

Koji Kraft Invert

Austin Coleman downside whip

Koji Kraft Tail Whip

Koji Kraft No Hander

Dennis McCoy Can Can

Jimmy Walker Inverted Seat Grab

Jimmy Walker Superman

Jimmy Walker Toboggan

Francisco Zurita Table

Francisco Zurita Toboggan