LAST STOP: PLAYSTATION PRO

By Trey McConnell
Valencia Voice

Adam Butterfield, Valencia Voice
14 year old Chaz Ortiz (Adam Butterfield, Valencia Voice)

The fifth and final stop of the 2008 AST Dew Tour, Playstation Pro, made its way to Orlando’s Amway Arena this weekend; providing not only action, but plenty of upsets within the competitions.

The tour, which began on Thursday, kicked off with the freestyle motocross (FMX) preliminaries.

Immediately after the FMX preliminaries were the BMX vert preliminaries.

The top nine riders of the qualifier would meet with the big dogs and ride in the finals. The skate park preliminaries followed BMX Park and took place inside the arena.

The skate park was spray-painted like graffiti and included sponsored rails like a hand-rail painted all orange resembling Nike 6.0’s new shoe collection.

Everyone headed back outside for BMX Park preliminaries, where fans anticipated Dave Mirra and Ryan Nyquist: two legends of the extreme sport.

The last event of Thursday’s schedule was the Skate Vert preliminaries. This event was filled with big names like Pierre Luke-Gagnon (winner of the 2008 X-Games) and Bob Burnquist (need I say more). Friday’s line-up consisted mostly of practice but also included BMX Park and Vert finals.

The BMX Park finals kicked off at 4pm and filled almost every seat in the bleachers. Top contenders like Ryan Nyquist (who ultimately took first place) and Daniel Dhers (who took second place) attended and practically left the remaining riders with their brakes locked up.

BMX Vert started at 7:30pm and the crowd flocked in, grabbing the closest seats available. Riders begged for the competition to cease starting until the crowd was absolutely full, but the coordinators urged them that everything would fall into place; and that it did.

As soon as Chile’s Francisco Zurita dropped into the half pipe, the crowd was louder than the background music.

Back to back to back Dew Cup Champion, Jamie Bestwick, rode and claimed his fourth Dew Cup championship with a blowout score of 94.00 flat.

Saturday’s agenda portrayed hours of practice for the finals as well as a ‘Groms’ practice where young talents got to showcase their skills.

The BMX Dirt finals came at 4pm while the Skate Vert finals took place at 7:30pm. Pierre Luke- Gagnon upset Bob Burnquist and Bucky Lasek with a record score of 96.00 even, claiming the Dew Cup championship.

And then came Sunday; the day most fans were waiting for: Skate Park finals. The event was set up with each rider having two runs with the top six scores advancing to the jam session.

Ryan Sheckler, who has his own reality show, didn’t live up to his hype when he bailed four times in
his final run.

Chaz Ortiz, the 14-year old pro, bailed only twice in the entire event and surprised everyone when he claimed the Dew Cup championship.

With many upsets and young talents stepping up to the plate, this four-day extravaganza provided not only surprises, but also competitions around almost every corner.

Head over to the Valencia Voice Flickr to check out all the pictures from the Playstation Pro