With the BMX park lead changing hands so many times as each guy outdid the next, it seemed it could be anyone’s win during the Wendy’s Invitational finals. And with so many modern and progressive tricks going down, like Drew Bezanson’s foot jam on the cage mixed into his creative runs and Andy Buckworth’s Superman frontflip, it seemed there’d be a new guy pocketing the win in Portland.
But in the end, three-time Dew Cup winner Daniel Dhers stuck with what he’s good at and took the win, even throwing in his first tech trick since ’06 with a 360 tail tap to the box.
“In my case, I was like, ‘Do what you’re planning on doing, and if that doesn’t work, then you plan something else. But don’t try to get all crazy while everybody’s going,'” Dhers said. “Because you never know, the judges might actually like your run.”
He was behind going into his final run, and while his winning run included a 720 tuck on the long box, double whip on the barrier and 360 double whip on the spine, it did include a bobble.
“That just pissed me off out of proportion,” Dhers said of the fumble. “I was going to do a 7 can-can over the box, and I just sent a 7 bar can-can.”
He kept it going and 360 tail tapped the box, did a flair whip and a no handed can-can whip over the gap.
“I feel like I’ve been just riding hard lately, and I feel like the sport definitely got harder with the years,” Dhers said. “I never thought I really won easy, but I think now it’s harder, so I’m definitely trying to put in as much work as I can.”
Buckworth, who finished in third, predicted Dhers would take the win after watching him fumble on his first run.
“I lived with Daniel, and I know what Daniel is capable of,” Buckworth said. “When he dropped in, I was just like, ‘It’s on. It is on.’ Daniel, if he messes up his first run, you hear the song change and stuff gets heavy.”
Dhers took the win from 15-year-old Brett Banasiewicz, who won the previous night’s dirt competition, and finished in second with a tabletop flair, corked 720’s and a no-handed frontflip where he clapped his hands behind his back.
“It’s crazy, BMX had just got to a totally new level,” Banasiewicz said following the competition.
“My second run I just bobbled a couple jumps and I got like a 90.37 or something,” he continued. “Daniel stayed on his bike and only had a few bobbles and got 90.50, so good for him.”
For the remaining spot on the podium, it was definitely Buckworth’s Superman frontflip that helped the 20-year-old Australian earn his way up there. He’s one of only three guys that can do the Superman frontflip, and he’s the only one that can pull it on the Mega Ramp. Buckworth said he learned the trick from a fellow Ozzie, 19-year-old Todd Meyn. And the only other guy that can do them is Dew Tour rider Ryan Guettler, who’s also Australian.
The podium finish gives Buckworth good momentum heading into next month’s stop in Salt Lake.
“It’s definitely going keep my confidence high for the next stop, but you don’t want to get your confidence too high, because that’s when you set yourself up for getting let down,” Buckworth said. “I’ve achieved goals that I didn’t even dream about this year. So this year has started off amazing, and it can’t go bad from here.”
To see the photo gallery of the finals, click here.
Check out the video below for highlights of the Park Finals