Nyquist squeezes into Dew Tour BMX dirt semis despite ‘bike malfunctions’

Mike Koozmin/The S.F. ExaminerGetting dirty: Amateur Nick Bruce busted out to win the Free Flow Tour BMX dirt championship

A mere day into the Dew Tour Toyota City Championships in San Francisco, and scores of extreme athletes — who rank among the best in the world at what they do — were eliminated from competition Thursday.

But Ryan Nyquist wasn’t one of them.

The Los Gatos-native was just good and gutsy enough to earn a No. 11 in the BMX dirt prelims, sneaking into the semifinals today. The top 15 advanced.

“It wasn’t as high a score as I’d like,” Nyquist said. The 33-year-old only utilized two of his three available runs, citing “Bike malfunctions.” Nyquist, who competed in the first heat, borrowed a part from a rider in the second heat. That part helped him get through his second run, but Nyquist refused a third and final go out of courtesy.  

“He helped me out. I wasn’t going to screw him out of a practice,” Nyquist said. “I definitely could’ve ridden better. That’s kind of a wakeup call for me, that I need to do something a little more extravagant tomorrow, to make sure I secure a spot in the finals.”

Nyquist wasn’t the sole rider from the Bay Area to land a spot in the BMX Dirt Semis today. Rob Darden, 31, from Concord finished 14th to advance.

One of the surprise riders to advance to the semis was Nick Bruce, who earlier in the day won the Free Flow Tour BMX dirt championship, which  earned automatic entry into the Dew Tour’s dirt prelim. The Free Flow Tour is for amateurs. Bruce was the sixth-highest qualifier with 88.63 points.

But bike riders weren’t the only ones rolling out the stunts yesterday. Of the 32 skateboarders representing eight different countries in the skateboarding street prelims, 20 advanced to the semifinals, which too will be contested today.

Outside the U.S., Brazil has the highest number of skateboarders with five.

The BMX street semis also got underway Thursday, with 15 riders advancing to the finals this Saturday. After the BMX dirt and skateboard street semis today, those finals will also take place Saturday. The tour will conclude Sunday at the Harrison Street location for the BMX and skateboard streetstyle finals.

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