New Format Brings Added Excitement

With flair, Daniel Dhers struts his stuff, winning the BMX park event on the final day of the Panasonic Open.
With flair, Daniel Dhers struts his stuff, winning the BMX park event on the final day of the Panasonic Open. (By Pouya Dianat -- The Washington Post)
By Katie Carrera
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 25, 2007

BALTIMORE, June 24 -- The BMX park finals ran an experimental format Sunday as the closing event of the Dew Action Sports Tour's Panasonic Open at the Camden Yards Sports Complex. Instead of timed individual runs, the 12 finalists were broken up into four heats of three riders for six-minute jam sessions, where all three competitors took turns making runs at the course and switched when they crashed or got tired.

The unusual format increased the number of difficult tricks and the level of enthusiasm from both riders and fans.

"I think it worked pretty well," said Ryan Nyquist, fifth-place finisher on Sunday and winner of the BMX dirt competition on Friday. "The action that you see, the level gets raised because you don't get pressured as much as you would with the old format. In the new format if you crash you've got another two, three runs to try out so you see guys taking chances they normally wouldn't take so you get a lot more leeway to get creative and get gnarly."

Several riders threw out new tricks and combinations as they skirted around the sweltering course, knowing even their failed attempts would bring pandemonium from the crowd.

Second-place finisher Mike Spinner, 19, tossed out his 720 tailwhip, where he and the bike spin twice horizontally as the back of the bike whips 360 degrees and followed it up immediately with a 900, where the rider and bike rotate vertically 2 1/2 times before landing.

"Before I drop in, I know exactly what I'm going to do and that helps me a lot," Spinner said. "The first run was a safety run, second run went for the 720 tailwhip and it went horribly wrong but I got up when I dropped in again and threw out the 720 whip and did the 900 right after, I couldn't have been more happy."

Daniel Dhers showed why he is the defending BMX park champion on the tour. The Venezuela native pulled out double whip 360s, a truckdriver-to-tailwhip combination and several types of flairs.

Rounding out the top three was 16-year-old Dennis Enarson, who showed off some impressive tricks of his own, including the first successful triple tailwhip in the tour's history.

The Fans Came Out

As fast as the Dew Tour popped up on the Baltimore landscape, it began to disappear Sunday, with only a skeleton of metal remaining from the vert ramp. The tour's first stop in Baltimore brought out the second-highest total attendance figure in its three year history with a four-day total of 54,907.

The Dew Tour has four more stops this summer, beginning with the Right Guard Open July 19-22 in Cleveland.

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