Right Guard Open Preview
As the Dew Action Sports Tour approaches the second stop of the 2006 season, the Right Guard Open, many new faces sit atop the leader board and new rivalries have formed.
In the six combined disciplines of Skateboard (Vert, Park), BMX (Park, Dirt and Vert) and Freestyle Motocross, only two winners from last season prevailed at the first Tour stop, the Panasonic Open, including Scotty Cranmer (winner of the PlayStation Pro) and Ryan Sheckler (defending Skateboard Park Champion and Athlete of the Year). First time winners on the Tour included Anthony Napolitan in BMX Dirt, Simon Tabron in BMX Vert, Bob Burnquist in Skateboard Vert and Nate Adams in Freestyle Motocross.
The closest finish in Dew Tour history occurred in BMX Dirt at the Panasonic Open. Napolitan, 20, of Youngstown, Ohio, and Luke Parslow, 21, of Australia, tied for first with scores of 94.5 on their second run. Napolitan won the tie-breaker with a 88.75 first run to Parslow’s 80.75. Look for these two to battle it out in Denver to stay atop the season points standings. Australians Corey Bohan, Cam White and defending champion Ryan Guettler are also contenders to win the Right Guard Open.
“I’m so excited I can’t even explain it, said Napolitan, who finished last in the 2005 Dew Action Sports Tour season standings. “This win means everything to me. Training at (Camp) Woodward (Pennsylvania) has improved my riding -- trying things during the day and dreaming about them during the night.
Tabron narrowly edged 2005 Dew Cup champion Jamie Bestwick in BMX Vert. This was Bestwick’s first defeat in Dew Tour competition. Last season, Bestwick missed the Panasonic Open due to the birth of his child, but came back to win all remaining stops of the season.
“I’m very grateful for this win, Tabron said. “I’ve been working hard and trying new things.
The Skateboard Vert title is up for grabs with veterans Burnquist, Bucky Lasek, Pierre-Luc Gagnon and Andy Macdonald all vying for the top spot. Burnquist took the early points lead with his win at the Panasonic Open, but look for these skaters to battle it out in Denver.
“It feels great to finally come out on top, Burnquist said. “Most of the time this doesn’t happen to me but I really felt solid today. I had an image in my head of what I wanted. So I have been working hard, adding more technical tricks and believed in myself.”
Adams, 22, of Glendale, Ariz., took home the FMX title at the Panasonic Open by completing the first backflip cordova in Dew Tour competition. Trailing Adams in the standings is Travis Pastrana, 22, of Davidsonville, MD, who placed second by only .77 of a point at the Panasonic Open.
“It’s great, Adams said. “It’s probably mean to say this, but I love beating (Bartram). Everybody says he’s the best, and I love beating him.”
Cranmer, 19, of Jackson, NJ, began the season right where he left off last season by winning the Panasonic Open in BMX Park. In 2005, Cranmer placed second in BMX Park to Ryan Guettler, 22, of Australia, who was the Tour’s top money winner.
“I went into this Dew Tour season with a goal of trying to stay consistent,” Cranmer said. “Somebody told me to do my tricks with a bing-bang-boom. Start with a bing, then a bang and end with a boom. I rode my bike everyday during the off season; that doesn’t sound exciting but it makes a difference in the end.”
The biggest rivalry developing this season is between the two youngest athletes on tour: Ryan Sheckler, 16, of San Clemente, Calif., and wunderkid Nyjah Huston, 11, of Davis, Calif. Huston, who qualified for the 2006 season as a wild card, gave Sheckler a run for his money in Skateboard Park competition by placing second. Sheckler is no stranger to the podium, having won three tour stops last season.
“I came out and did exactly what I wanted to do and took it again, Sheckler said. “I came into the tour very prepared and was able to come out on top. I worked really hard for it.
Thursday, July 13 tickets – Half price for adults $7.50/advance, $9/day of
Pre sale tickets for Friday-Sunday: Adults – $15/advance, $18/day of; Kids – $7.50/advance, $9/day of
Four-day pass – $40/adults, $20/kids
Tickets to the Right Guard Open are available via Ticketmaster, Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone and Pepsi Center box offices.
Please note that all tickets are subject to convenience and handling charges.
Mountain Dew Sport Shorts Contest
Sports Shorts features local athletes from Dew Action Sports Tour host cities competing to win a year-long Mountain Dew amateur sponsorship: a $1,000 cash “Scholarship” to be used for skate/BMX gear, entry into contests, and travel costs. They will also offer a VIP Trip for two to any 2007 Dew Tour stop of their choice.
The chosen amateur athletes will “compete against one another and a winner will be selected through fan voting after clips of the athletes are promoted on-air on NBC and online at dewactionsportstour.com.
This program is being executed at the Louisville, Denver, Portland, and San Jose tour stops. The four winners from each city will then compete for the Grand Prize in October at the final stop of the Tour, the PlayStation® Pro, in Orlando. These four winners will also be featured in the Saturday, October 14th NBC Sports telecast with the grand prize winner being featured in the Sunday Orlando Sport Short.
Fans will be able to view and vote on 90-second clips of the amateur athletes. The clips will also incorporate athlete hosts from the Dew Tour including Paul Rodriguez, Shaun White, Chad Kagy, and Allan Cooke. Two amateur athletes will be featured per sport short (e.g. 2 skateboarders on Saturday, 2 BMX riders on Sunday of event weekends). Dewactionsportstour.com will host the voting and video elements of the competition. Fans will be able to view and vote for their favorite amateur athlete from Thursday through the following Sunday of each tour stop. Right Guard Open voting begins Thursday, July 13 and concludes Sunday, July 23.