I went to the Teva Games

Okay this post is way overdue. I have couple of excuses but they are all pretty lame, so I won't even bother. When Teva asked me if I was keen to cover the Teva games for Spoke I was pretty stoked. The event was doubling as the launch for Teva’s new MTB flat specific shoe—the Links—plus a couple of other crazy new Tevas with laces. On the mountain biking front the Teva Games slopestyle event was one of a few qualifier events for Joyride at Whistler in July. With an FMB event going down in France and Cam McCaul's (also a TEVA rider) wedding that same weekend it was looking like it could be a fun comp with a few fresh faces.

There were fresh faces but also a few old ones, some familiar to Spoke readers. Past coverboy Phil Sundbaum showed up, Kona’s Paul Basagoitia was there chasing a Joyride spot as was fellow flop hair-do dirt shredder Andrew Taylor, and Mike Montgomery was in attendance as well with his huge bag of crazy tricks.

There was a bunch of young Colorado shedders in attendance but it was 15 year old Anthony Messere and 23 year old ripper Scott Alleyn that really stood out in practice and qualifying. Scott Alleyn was throwing huge flat threes, and busting out a bunch of tricks off the boner kicker, which culminated in probably one of the best tricks of the whole comp, a super steezy tabled three in his final run. With solid riding all weekend he couldn’t pull it together in one solid run but he’ll definitely be coming up so keep an eye out.

You won’t be able to miss 15 year old Anthony Messere though, he’s already stood on the second podium step ahead of our own Kelly McGarry at the Ranch Style event a few weeks back. All weekend he was going bigger, getting more dumped and catching cleaner whips than almost everyone at the event.

The finals eventually came down to a battle between five complete rippers, Paul Bas, Mike Montgomery, Sam Dueck, Kurt Sorge and a young Anthony Messere. Montgomery put together a retarded run, that was finished off with a super solid 720 over the final jump. Paul Bas came down next and was on track to better Montgomery when—out of some possible Jed Mildon inspiration—he went for a double backflip over the final jump. It just wasn’t to be; he front wheel cased the jump on the final rotation and got sent into the face of the landing and mach chicken speed, knocking himself unconscious for over five minutes.

While the medics dealt to Paul, 15 year old Anthony Messere was sitting in the start booth having scored the highest in qualifying. At least 10 minutes had past and the judges gave him one extra practice run before his final run. It was crazy solid but not enough to unseat an on-form Montgomery and a black eyed Paul Basagoitia.

It wasn’t all slopestyle mind you; there was also the Jeff Lenosky built speed trials, which I thought would be totally lame but it was actually pretty fun to watch. From a field of 16, Dave Smutok took the $2000 cash first prize.

Final Slopestyle Results

1 - Mike Montgomery 2 - Paul Basagoitia 3 - Anthony Messere 4 - Sam Dueck 5 - Kurt Sorge 6 - Andrew Taylor 7 - Paul Genovese 8 - Mitch Chubey 9 - Jack Fogelquist 10 - Carson Storch 11 - Mike Kent 12 - Scott Alleyn 13 - Noah Brousseau 14 - Cody Gessel 15 - Nick Meyer DNF - Adam Hauck DNF - Dave Smutok

Over on the XC course there was a little bit of sandbagging going down. In a mostly Colorado semi pro field Subaru Trek pro rider JHK went for the cash and easily took the US$3000 home while wife Heather Irmiger wasn’t so lucky, being beaten by Giant rider Kelli Emmett and Lunachix rider Georgia Gould. But the real surprise was in the form of Anton Cooper-esque 18 year old Howard Grotts who stormed home to fourth place only minutes behind seasoned pro JHK.

Keep your eyes peeled for a feature in Spoke 43 that will feature a full writeup and a few more hammer shots.