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BMX park rider Dhers gets pleasant surprise

The Baltimore Sun

After his run in yesterday's BMX park finals, defending champion Daniel Dhers thought his score wouldn't trump Michael Spinner's 92.67.

Fortunately for Dhers, the judges disagreed and he took home the event's championship at the AST Dew Tour's Panasonic Open at the Camden Yards sports complex.

Dhers' score of 93.17 overtook Spinner, and Dennis Enarson's 90.17 was good for third place.

Despite being the defending Dew Cup champion and coming into the finals ranked first overall, Dhers said he didn't feel any additional pressure.

"I ride my bike because I like having fun," he said. "I was having a good time riding. As long as I try my hardest, it will be fine."

The 22-year-old from Venezuela was joined on the podium by two other young stars that many say are the future of BMX. Spinner, 17, held the lead briefly before Dhers overtook him.

The surprise of the event might have been Enarson, a 16-year-old competing in his first finals. Enarson said he didn't think he would make it as far as he did and was happy with the result.

"I felt pretty good," he said. "I kind of hit the pedal on a couple things, I fell on one or two things, but other than that I thought it was good."

The format for this year's finals was different from the previous two years. Previously, every biker had two timed sessions, with the best score being counted.

This year, the 12 finalists were divided into four six-minute jam sessions. A jam session is when the course is occupied by multiple riders.

Spinner, who was in the third heat, had to wait until Dhers, BMX legend Dave Mirra and Allan Cooke completed their runs to see if he was going to take home the title. Dhers said he made no changes to his approach after Spinner's impressive run.

"I have the same exact things planned," he said. "I don't really get intimidated. If I have something planned, then I stick to my plan."

Adams wins FMX

Nate Adams was the 2006 overall Dew Cup champion for freestyle motocross (FMX). Yesterday, he made sure everyone knows that any challenger must go through him.

Adams won the FMX championship with a final score of 95.67, which beat Blake Williams' 93.83. Adams' victory was somewhat overshadowed by an injury Williams suffered after crashing in his second run.

"He's got a bad knee already and I think he re-injured it so I'm really bumming for him," Adams said.

"It's hard to sit here and be happy and give interviews and talk about how happy I am with the practice I put in when my friend is having needles and IVs put in him."

Adams did say he was surprised at the fan turnout at the finals.

"All through the week and in qualifying we didn't have that [many] people here. Today at the finals, the stands were packed and they were loud and rowdy," he said.

Martin impressed

Dew Tour president and general manager Wade Martin said the first event of the season was a big success.

"What a great weekend," he said. "We couldn't be more excited with the great turnout and the way the city of Baltimore embraced the event."

Murray update

A University of Maryland Hospital spokesman said last night that Stephen Murray remained in critical but stable condition. The BMX dirt bike athlete from England was injured while attempting a double back flip Friday night.


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