CINCINNATI, Ohio (October 4, 2008) — The final stop on the 2008 Action Sports World Tour (ASWT) concluded tonight at the Bank of Kentucky Center on Northern Kentucky University with fan favorites capturing the top prize in their discipline and the pros pushing the sport to the next level with tricks that far surpassed the expectations of the spectators and the judges.
Vert ramp action started the evening, with 16 men competing in a BMX vert contest that showcased the flair of favorite Jamie Bestwick (Darby, UK) and saw him ride away with the $10,000 first place prize. Although at 37 he was one of the oldest riders in the competition, Bestwick's talent and skill never wavered; his execution was flawless. Tonight, perfection was necessary in order to win, for Steven McCann (Melbourne, Australia) and Simon Tabron's (Newquay, England) rides were equally as impressive as Bestwick's. McCann's remarkable full-pull presentation rewarded him with second place, while Tabron effortlessly landed the 900 for which he has become known and finished in third.
Pierre-Luc Gagnon (Montreal, Canada) continued his winning ways in 2008 and rode to victory in the skateboard vert contest, confidently nailing multiple 720s and back to back technical spin tricks in a single run that left no question as to who was the event's winner. The new 10-wall format (versus the usual 45-second run) worked well for "PLG", allowing him to plan his performance and turn out the run he had been envisioning.
"That last run I did was great," PLG said after his win. "I have been struggling with the Mountain Dew Tour ramps all season, but I love this ASWT ramp. It was amazing to pull off that run on this ramp. And, I like the format too. I can plan what I want to do and not worry about the time."
San Diego, California's 17 year-old Alex Perelson took the silver medal, and veteran Danny Mayer (Omaha, Neb.) finished in third.
Closing the night was the Big Air BMX Triple Jump contest that brought fans to their feet several times in admiration. With his first run of the night, Rob Darden (Greenville, NC) successfully rode the 165 foot long course performing three, exciting big-air stunts, then re-jumped the second jump, heading back toward the starting ramp. He is one of only two riders to jump back in the opposite direction and by the competition's end he had completed this stunt in all three of his runs. Darden was rewarded with the Big Air BMX Triple Jump title and $10,000 for his efforts.
"I ride at a skate park that is built that way, where you can ride forward and backward in a single run. The only difference here is that the jumps are taller and you can't see the landing. But the quarterpipe on this course gives you the speed you need and makes it easier to do it," explained Darden. "I just went out to have a good time, tried it, and it worked out."
Always a contender, Mike Spinner (Miami, Fla.), triple tailwhipped his way into second place, and 19 year-old Zack Warden of O'Fallon, Illinois finished third. Warden performed one of the night's most exciting tricks when he landed a bike-flip 360, a trick he calls the "iron lotus". The only rider to have ever landed the trick, Warden secured the bronze medal.
Providing the wow-factor of the Big Air BMX Triple Jump contest was T. J. Ellis with his second run of the evening. Turning in a first run during which he successfully performed a no-handed front flip, Ellis nailed a double backflip and surprised not only the crowd and the judges, but also himself.
"I've done it before on dirt courses, but never on this course. I just thought I'd try it and it worked!" The double backflip helped Ellis to advance to the Semifinals, which saw further attempts at the trick fail and keep him from advancing to the Finals.
The Cincinnati Action Sports World Tour event was the final qualifier before the prestigious LG Action Sports World Championships on October 31- November 2 in Seattle, Washington. KeyArena will see 175 of action sports pros gather in Emerald City to determine the best action sports athletes of the year.
CBS Sports will air ASA Entertainment’s Cincinnati Action Sport World Tour stop on November 8th. Please consult your local listings for the times in your area.
For more information on the Action Sports World Tour or photos from the Cincinnati tour stop and complete results, please visit actionsportstour.com or contact Denise M. Abbott at 310 430 0496 or via email at [email protected].
About ASA Entertainment:
A leader in the action sports industry since 1994, ASA Entertainment, headquartered in Culver City, California is the largest action sports event and television production company in the world. The company produces more than 200 events and 100 television programs annually around the globe that feature skateboarding, freestyle BMX, inline skating, freeskiing, freestyle motocross, snowboarding and music. Its events are broadcast on CBS, VERSUS, Spike, Fuel TV and Fox Sports Net domestically and distributed to more than 1 billion HH globally throughout Asia, Europe, USA, Africa, Canada, South & Central America and Australia. ASA's properties range from large-scale international competitions such as the LG Action Sports World Championships to grassroots amateur contests, lifestyle and branded entertainment events, demonstrations, exhibitions and mobile tours. As one of the oldest and most established organizations in action sports, ASA Entertainment leads the market in developing premium content around the fastest growing sector of American sports. For more information, visit www.actionsportstour.com <http://www.actionsportstour.com> or www.asaentertainment.com <http://www.asaentertainment.com> .