Gagnon and Guettler Capture the First 2009 ASA Action Sports World Tour Titles
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (April 25, 2009) — The second stop of the ASA Action Sports World Tour (ASA ASWT) had as many thrills and spills and unexpected twists and turns as a NASCAR race when the first Skateboard Vert and Big Air BMX Triples contests of the season took place tonight at Target Center in Minneapolis. Twenty-two athletes took to the ramps – 10 skateboarders and 12 bikers – to start paving their way toward this year’s Action Sports World Championships. For two men the trip has begun; Pierre-Luc Gagnon(Montreal, Canada) and Ryan Guettler (Queensland, Australia) captured first place titles in Skateboard Vert and Big Air BMX Triples, respectively, and amazed the audience with the skill and big tricks they had come to see.
The ‘usual suspects’ took a while to find their groove in Skateboard Vert. Gagnon and Danny Mayer(Omaha, Nebraska) each failed to put together a successful 10-wall run for the first two rounds of the four allotted in the contest. Going into the third round Marcelo Bastos(Sao Paulo, Brazil), Rob Lorifice (Encinitas, Calif.) and Adam Taylor(Cocoa Beach, Fla.) were in podium position with Buster Halterman(Wellsville, Penn.) and Alex Perelson (San Diego, Calif.) hot on their heels. Round three, however, saw Gagnon and Mayer lay down the boards and pass the competition, sliding into their comfort zones of first and second place. When the contest ended PLG had captured his 6th consecutive ASA Action Sports World Tour Skateboard Vert title and Mayer held onto second, with Bastos rolling into third.
After claiming virtually all the major titles in 2008, including the LG World Championships and X Games Gold, and winning the early contests in 2009, Gagnon seems to be unstoppable. What does it take to beat PLG?
“I don’t know,” Gagnon answered when posed with the question. “Danny’s [Mayer] been killing it lately. He’s always there. I’m just going to keep training – hard.”
Mayer makes no secret that he wants take a title from his friend. “I’m still happy with second, but I want to beat PLG. Tonight I got a slow start. But, if I had hit all of my tricks, I think I could have had a good chance. Pierre’s looking so good through. He’s hard to beat.”
In Big Air BMX Triples the competition was intense right from the start. The degree of difficulty displayed in the early rounds of the head to head format challenged the men to push themselves harder than expected, resulting in more risk and yet, also more rewards. The contest began minus one competitor, hometown rider Tom Haugen, who took a nasty spill during the warm-up practice session, resulting in his opponent’s, Daniel Dhers ‘ (Caracas, Brazil), automatic advancement to the semi-finals. Dhers was seeded second and expected to be a finalist, but in the semi-finals Dhers’ too suffered a contest-ending mishap, allowing his match-up, Guettler, to advance. In the finals, TJ Ellis (Moreno Valley, Calif.), Ryan Guettlerand Rob Darden (Greenville, NC) had two runs each to prove their worthiness.
Ellis captured the crowd’s vote with the double back flip, triple tailwhip combination he executed in his first run, but Guettler’s 1080 to double tailwhip received the judge’s nod and the gold medal. Guettler had recently lost to Ellis when each had previously performed the same run of tricks, but tonight Guettler’s execution prevailed.
“I thought I had lost,” said Guettler in shock after his win. “I thought he had beaten me again after hearing the crowd’s reaction. I knew I was going to have to step it up in my last run. But, I choked and had to rely on my first run, and tonight it was enough. ” Ellis finished in second and Darden landed in third.
Two athletes made the Minneapolis ASA ASWT stop their debut in pro competition. Zach Miller (Del Mar, Calif.) faced the Skateboard Vert ramp and Colton Satterfield (Salt Lake City, Utah) took on the Big Air BMX Triples course for the first time.
The ASA Action Sports World Tour enjoys programming on a variety of domestic networks including, CBS Sports, VERSUS, FUEL TV, and Fox Sports Net, as well as distribution internationally via 32 network partners. Stay tuned to ActionSportsTour.com for the TV schedule for the 2009 season.
Next week the ASA Action Sports World Tour visits Chicago, Illinois’ Sears Centre Arena for the third stop of the season on Friday, May 1st. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com. For photos or more information about the Minneapolis ASA Action Sports World Tour event or future ASA ASWT stops, please Denise M. Abbott, ASA Director of Media Relations & Marketing at 310 410 3020 ext. 309 or via email at email@example.com, or visit actionsportstour.com.
About ASA Entertainment:
Founded in 1994, ASA Entertainment, LLC is an action sports event, television and content production agency focused on creating and executing customized, turn-key marketing programs that range in scale from grassroots to global. ASA’s events, featuring skateboarding, freestyle BMX, inline skating, free-skiing, freestyle motocross, snowboarding and music, are broadcast domestically on CBS, Spike, VERSUS, FUEL TV and Fox Sports Net, and distributed during 937 hours of programming to more than 1 billion HH globally via our 32 international broadcast partners. ASA’s productions span the spectrum from large, international competitions such as the LG Action Sports World Championships to amateur contests, lifestyle and branded entertainment events, demonstrations, exhibitions and mobile tours. As one of the most established organizations in action sports, ASA Entertainment strives to develop premium content around the fastest growing sector of American sports. ASA Entertainment is a member of the Omnicom Group. For more information, visit asaentertainment.com oractionsportstour.com.
Denise M. Abbott
310 410 3020 ext.309