Staff and Wire Reports
Minden's Adam Jones not only shook up the standings in freestyle motocross in the AST Dew Tour " he took over the overall lead.
Jones won motocross freestyle at the AST Dew Toyota Challenge on Saturday in Salt Lake City, scoring 94.17 points to outdistance Australia Robbie Maddison, who was second with 92.13.
In the season points standings, Jones has moved to the top with 165 points ahead of second place Blake Williams, who has 160. Carson City's Mike Mason was fifth at Salt Lake City with 87.43 points and now stands eighth overall at 115.
Williams, 2007 champ Nate Adams, and Swiss sensation Mathieu Rebeaud led the tour coming into the Toyota Challenge, but none of them finished in the top three.
Instead, the weekend belonged to Jones. He dominated both prelims and finals competition at the Toyota Challenge. Jones was the only rider to disrupt Nate Adams' quest for an undefeated season last year, winning in Portland and finishing in second overall in 2007.
Still, he's had a shaky year in competition so far in 2008, and nobody was more surprised to see him on top in Salt Lake City than himself.
"I'm feeling spectacular (that) would probably be a pretty good word. Wonderful. Magnificent," Jones said. "I definitely feel good. It's been a while since I've felt like I'm on top of my game, and I'm definitely feeling like that right now, so it gives me a lot of confidence going into Orlando for the next event. I've had some bad events this year and been low on confidence, so I needed this."
The tour heads into its final stop next month in Orlando for the PlayStation Pro event.
Among this weekend's surprises and disappointments: Mat Rebeaud crashed in practice the day before finals, injuring his back.
Crowd favorite Nate Adams wiped out in his first finals run, posting a score of 66.13 and missed his second run. His finish bumped him down from second to fourth overall in the standings and he'll be hard pressed to defend his overall crown.
Williams was the overall points leader coming into Salt Lake City, but he took some bumps this weekend, too. Despite landing two spectacular 360 variations, he finished way down in seventh after casing a couple of landings.
"A couple guys crashed but that's just part of the sport, you know?" said Jones. "It sucks, and I never like to see my friends go down, but it happens. Luckily everybody's going to walk away from this event. Well, Bilko's gonna limp, but at least he'll be on two feet. I'm really looking forward to Orlando now, because whatever happens it's going to be exciting."
The 24-year-old Jones took the lead in his first run with a turntable to no-handed, no-footed can can, a dead body and a stripper flip to earn 94.17 points.
"I try to keep my runs unique," Jones said. "I know there are a couple big tricks that everybody is doing out there that you have to have. Apart from just one or two of those, I try to do stuff that other people aren't doing. The ones that people don't see. Even if it doesn't pay off it is still cool to do your own thing. Luckily, this week it paid off."
"I am pumped to be on top. It has been a while since I felt this good on my bike and have been this confident riding. It is an awesome way to finish the week."