In an exciting day that featured multiple swings through wildly varying weather conditions, Michigan’s Brandon Dosch bested a field of the most respected BMX dirt jumpers in the world, earning the win at the inaugural Red Bull Stomping Ground.
In the days leading up to the actual event, the weather had cycled through several states, including “looks like rain”, “threatening to rain” and “raining”. It’s not every day you get to ride a unique, 18-jump dirt course in the middle of downtown Chicago, however, so the invited competitors did their best to brave the elements in order to get a crack at the course.
The qualifying round finally went down this morning after rain and wind-forced delays, and the skies opened up once again just as the last rider completed his run. The decision was made to put the contest on hold until conditions improved, but luckily it wasn’t long before things dried up. Remarkably, the sun even made an appearance, and the brighter skies brought renewed energy to the proceedings.
Practice was firing right off the bat – experience had shown that the window of sun and calm could be short-lived, so the riders wasted no time taking stylish runs and dropping big moves. The final results would be decided by a two-run format, followed by a jam session for the Chipotle Best Trick award. First place overall brought a whopping $25,000 with the Best Trick prize being free burritos for a year, so things got serious real quick.
The pool of talent ran extremely deep, with the field ranging from teenagers to vets in their 30s, so the job of judging such a varied group of riders couldn’t have been easy. Everybody had something to offer, but the top ten riders combined killer tricks with consistency, style and flow.
TJ Ellis finished in the number ten spot, throwing frontflips and turndown backflips, solid 360 moves and a huge superman downside whip 360. Australia’s Cam White landed just ahead of TJ, despite the fact that he was riding with a fairly recent knee injury. Cam’s so strong that it didn’t really matter, so he was still able to drop many of his usual tricks, including turndown flips, double tailwhips and 720s.
Also recovering from injury is Drew Bezanson, who settled into seventh ahead of Cam. Drew had some problems in his first run, but did a giant 360 whip transfer, a cannonball and a Luc-e stall to toothpick on the vert wall in run two. Ryan Guettler packed a lot into his first run to finish seventh, doing a big flip transfer, a couple of whips and a 360 over the step-down, a 720 and a wallride to whip.
Coming in sixth was Corey Bohan, who ran into trouble after a massive 360 lookback transfer in run one, but came back swinging on his second visit to the course. Pure style and plenty of his signature one-footed table variations were simply splendid, as announcer Paul Roberts would put it.
In fifth was Ryan Nyquist, who stepped up the transfer most people were doing by crushing a 720 over it, then threw double barspins, a suicide no-handed 360 and an opposite 360 x-up. The kid who can ride anything, anywhere, anytime – Dennis Enarson – held down fourth by hitting a truckdriver to opposite truckdriver, a nothing to no-footed can-can and a wild three-stage pendulum, throwing three no-footed can-cans in one jump!
The podium was occupied by a couple of new-schoolers and one of the most consistent and stylish dirt-jumping veterans of all time. Third went to Mike “Hucker” Clark, who entertained everyone during one of the rain delays by using the tarps on the course as a slip’n’slide. Always up for a good time but just as reliable when it comes to putting on a show, Hucker landed a nosedive 360 transfer and a double tailwhip 360, followed by a truckdriver to x-up, a turndown and a frontflip for his spot on the podium.
Chris Doyle, as usual, put on a 360 how-to, stuffing every variation possible into them. He did turndown, x-up, tailwhip, invert, topside no-footed can-can and even barspin-to-barspin-back versions – all pushed to their max.
It was Dosch’s day, however. From lookback, tailwhip and downside whip 360s to double whips and a 720, Brandon was as solid as a rock. To top it off, he also ruled the Best Trick jam session by being the only rider of the day to pull the massive 31-foot transfer at the bottom of the course – with a tailwhip, naturally.
Other highlights from the jam included Hucker’s double-downside whip 360, Enarson’s double whip to opposite double whip, TJ’s so-close frontflip tailwhip, and Guettler’s wild “360 every set” run, including a nac-nac to can-can 360, all topped by a clean 720.
When you pair the world’s best dirt jumpers with a unique, challenging course, things are destined to get wild, so despite the weather complications, Red Bull Stomping Ground went off. “Red Bull contests are always the best contests there are,” Clark said after the event. “The transfer lines were good; Fuzzy and the guys did a great job building the course.”
“The contest was super awesome,” Dosch added. “My favorite part was that it was more laid back, not as stressful as some of the big tours. I think everybody had a good time!”
Check out the full gallery of Saturday’s action here.
1. Brandon Dosch
2. Chris Doyle
3. Mike “Hucker” Clark
4. Dennis Enarson
5. Ryan Nyquist
6. Corey Bohan
7. Ryan Guettler
8. Drew Bezanson
9. Cam White
10. TJ Ellis