LG Championships of BMX
Pomona, California

The LG Action Sports Championships was a unique event.It combined four sports (BMX, skate, inline, and motocross), live music, breakdancing and graffiti demos, and a crapload of money to close the book on the 2003 competitive calendar. Everything was in place for a landmark event; unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned.

Ryan Nyquist was probably the only guy happy that the park finals were cancelled. Suicide three over the spine for a cool $30,000.  credit: Keith Mulligan

The Good
BMX had its own two-day stint at the contest; riders didn’t have to hang around for the entire week-long affair. Practice was closed to spectators, so it just felt like a laid-back session instead of a hyped-up circus show. The qualifying criteria included a wide range of contests, which meant we got to see guys like Ruben Alcantara and Taj Mihelich riding the course with Allan Cooke and Colin Mackay, which doesn’t happen often. The main plus, however, was that there was $200,000 up for grabs between park and vert--even the guys who placed 11th through 20th were going to pick up $1,000 each.

Jamie Bestwick, really high and really inverted. Really.  credit: Kevin McAvoy

The Bad
The BMX days were Thursday and Friday, and the event was held at the fairgrounds in Pomona, which is a bit off the beaten path. Add parking and spectator fees to the mid-week schedule, and the massive crowds that were expected never materialized. I was there during practice, and couldn’t even tell when they opened the gates because nobody showed up in the stands. Park qualifiers took forever because the TV crew took so long to get all their headshots. The finals were scheduled at around 8PM both nights, and even if it doesn’t snow in Southern California in the winter, it still gets pretty cold when you’re near the desert; the park course ramps wound up covered in dew, too slippery to ride. It was decided at the last minute that the qualifying results would serve as the final standings, which made plenty of riders that had ridden conservatively in the qualifiers mighty unhappy. Missing a crack at a $30,000 first prize can do that to a person. At least the vert riders were told before competing the following day that there would be no qualifiers.

Dennis McCoy rode well, and even came super close to pulling an alley-oop 900.  credit: Kevin McAvoy

The Verdict
Although I’m happy a handful of riders got paid really well, this contest felt like a waste of time. The organizers are definitely capable of putting on a good event, but holding it in a remote location in November was a really bad idea. Hopefully they’ll make a few changes next year and the Championships of BMX will live up to the hype.

Scotty Cranmer skipped a few days of school to make it to the contest, but the $3,000 he picked up should get him some private tutoring to make up for it.  credit: Kevin McAvoy

Results

Vert
1. Jamie Bestwick
2. John Parker
3. Kevin Robinson
4. Dennis McCoy
5. Koji Kraft
6. Eduardo Terreros
7. Tom Stober
8. Jay Eggleston<
9. Jim Burgess
10. Jimmy Walker

Park
1. Ryan Nyquist
2. Mike Aitken
3. Morgan Wade
4. Steve McCann
5. Alistair Whitton
6. Josh Harrington
7. Colin Mackay
8. Scott Cranmer
9. Sergio Layos
10. Gary Young