Seventeen-year-old U.S. rider Brett Banasiewicz -- aka "Mad Dog" and better known as a BMX dirt competitor before this year -- took his first Dew Tour BMX Park victory Sunday at the 2012 Pantech Beach Championships in Ocean City, Md., by earning the Dew Cup trophy in an upset over Australian Kyle Baldock and American Scotty Cranmer, the defending champion.
Cranmer was the top qualifier coming into the event and held strong in his first two of three runs, but bowed out of his final run because of illness.
"I was sick the couple weeks leading up to this contest," Cranmer explained in an interview after the competition. "I had a problem with my throat and I couldn't breathe too well. I started feeling better right before I got here, and obviously I was able to ride, but after my second run I got so fatigued that I can't even hold my bike right now … I'm gonna play it safe and take this one off. Congratulations to Brett and Kyle: they did awesome and I'm honored to have gotten third place."
The competition course was billed as the largest BMX Park course in history and Banasiewicz made the most of it, floating massive front flips, front flip step-ups, triple tailwhip 270s, and even cash rolls in his runs on the way to the win.
"I had an idea that Scotty wouldn't take his third run but I didn't want to assume it," Banasiewicz said in an interview after the competition. "So I definitely brought it to you guys in my final run."
Banasiewicz is having a big year in 2012, with park and dirt wins at the FISE Experience in Montpellier, France; a second place finish at Simple Session in Talinn, Estonia; and a fourth-place finish just off the podium in BMX Park at X Games Los Angeles 2012.
2012 Dew Tour Pantech Beach Championship, BMX Park
French flatland specialist Matthias Dandois won $5,000 in the first BMX Flatland contest in the eight-year history of Dew Tour competition Sunday at the 2012 Pantech Beach Championships in Ocean City, Md., beating out U.S. rider Terry Adams, his Odyssey BMX teammate, in a head-to-head finals battle.
"I won the Dew Tour!" Dandois tweeted after the competition.
Matt Wilhem -- best known as an "America's Got Talent" semi-finalist last year -- and French rider Alex Jumelin were eliminated in the first round Sunday.
"I am stoked because flatland definitely deserves to be in the mix," Adams told ESPN.com earlier this week. "Flatland is just as progressive as the other forms of BMX, so it's great to have the Dew Tour backing what we do."
Zack Warden edged out BMX Mega favorite and top qualifier Chad Kagy in a tie-breaker finish Sunday in the MegaRamp 2.0 competition at the 2012 Dew Tour Pantech Beach Championships in Ocean City, Md.
"With the big jump and the big quarter pipe you can allow yourself to do more technical moves and bigger moves, and that's what I came here to do," Warden said, in a post-podium interview.
Warden sealed the deal and claimed the $20,000 top prize with his fourth and final run, bumping his score to 91.63 with a backflip bike flip over the gap and a triple tailwhip on the quarterpipe. Warden had the better score in his second best run, giving hm the win over Kagy.
"It was the last chance and there were only two things that were going to happen: I was going to fall or I was going to pull it [off]. I just kept my head down and luckily I have the MiniMega at Woodward East and I can train whenever I want. It paid off today," Warden said. "I'm grateful to Woodward and I'm grateful to Chad for always being there to ride with me. It's an amazing day. I don't know what to say."
Vince Byron, who left the venue on a stretcher after slamming on a decade 540, managed to hold on for third place.
"Crashed a 540 decade today at @megaramp finals," Byron posted to his Facebook account later in the day, along with a photo of his black right eye. "Got a concussion and this shiner! No broken bones and walked away with 3rd place. Thanks to @dewtour medical and the paramedics for looking after me!"
Kevin Robinson, a perennial Big Air favorite, also left the venue on a stretcher after a similar fall, ultimately finishing in eighth place.
"I'm all good from my crash on @MegaRamp 2.0 @DewTour," Robinson tweeted, several hours after the competition. "It happens. Off to Brazil on Wednesday to ride the REAL MEGARAMP."
2012 Dew Tour Pantech Beach Championship, BMX Mega
Not surprisingly, Jamie Bestwick has won another vert contest. This instance, Bestwick edged out the competition at the Dew Tour Pantech Beach Championships in Ocean City, Md. Trailing behind Bestwick in second place was Monster Energy teammate Vince Byron in second place, and fellow UK vert veteran Simon Tabron in third place. In related news, the Earth is round.
Rounding out the top six competitors, who advanced from yesterday's semifinals, was Steve McCann in fourth place, Chad Kagy in fifth place and Coco Zurita in sixth place.
According to the Dew Tour, Bestwick trailed behind the competition in last place going into the second round. As he dropped in for his second run, Bestwick dropped a turndown flair, tailwhip flair and downside whip to turndown, as well as a seatgrab nac-nac, invert 540 and opposite flair. His score, a 92.75, pushed him into first place ahead of Byron, who scored a 92.13.
Bestwick, 41, expressed happiness about his win. "I'm happy to win," he said. He also toted his experience at the Dew Tour and in putting runs together as the reason why he won. "I'm probably the most experienced on the ramp, and most experienced at the Dew Tour and I know how to put a run together," he added.
According to the Dew Tour, Bestwick's win in Ocean City is his "eighth consecutive overall BMX Vert title at the Dew Tour," meaning his previous four-time per year battle for the Dew Cup is over. His performance tonight awarded him the equivalent of the Dew Cup, which he was won for vert every year since the Dew Tour started in 2005.
Ocean City is only the second large-scale BMX vert comp of the year, following behind X Games Los Angeles in late June. If Bestwick was awarded the overall win earlier tonight, that means that the Dew Tour City stop in San Francisco, Calif. in October will not include BMX vert, making 2012 a scant year for professional BMX vert competitions on U.S. soil.