New Redline recruit SAM WILLOUGHBY and Redline’s main man on the U.S. scene – DENZEL STEIN, both found themselves in the Grands main event. This was great redemption for Denzel; who’d crashed out last year in practice and with a broken wrist, was forced to sit on the sidelines for the ’08 Grands. This year, Denzel more than made up for it, and in the first main event demonstrated to everyone how much horsepower he has.
In Round 1, Denzel grabbed the holeshot from his inside lane and never looked back. If he had, in fact, looked back, he would’ve seen Olympic Gold medalist Maris Straumsberg nippin on his back tire and reelin’ him in after the last turn. Pushin’ his Redline bike at the line, he and Maris sprinted to finish, with the Latvian powerhouse stealing away the win from our hero. Denzel 2nd, and right behind him was new teammate Sam Willoughby.
2nd main, it was the No.1 title contenders (Stumpy and Bennett) taking the lead, but Willoughby was right there in the mix again – holding down the third spot, with Denzel battlin’ for fourth.
Sam: 3 + 3 = 6. Denzel: 2 + 4 = 6
Going in to the third and final main for the big show – Denzel and Sam were sitting tied for 2nd, to Kyle Bennett’s 5, and ahead of Stumpy’s 7. With a title on the line for either Stumpy and Bennett, it was looking like Redline pros could play a factor and spoil somebody’s party. And in fact, once the gate dropped — the two pesky Redline riders were again up toward the front messin’ with the title-chasers dream of hoisting a No.1 Cup above their heads. As Bennett and Stumpy fought out front, Denzel and Sam were right in there. Denzel swooped right in there for the third, but Maris came underneath and took his line; riding Denzel up to the top of the berm and out. Meanwhile, Willoughby was able to take advantage of this, and moved up in to the 4th position to dice with the Gold medalist.
In the end, maris and Sam tied with 11 points each; which gave third place to the better finish in the last main (that’d be Maris). Sam would have to settle for a close 4th place this year.
Coincidentally, ALISE POST too – had an incredible first and second main, followed by a not-so-good third main. After scoring a dominating win in round one, and then backing it up with a 2nd in round two, Alise went in to the third and final main tied with Aussie Caroline Buchanon (w/ 3 points each).
But with lane 8 in the last race, and furthermore with Dominque Daniels’ in lane seven, Post had her work cut out for her if she were to hold off Caroline.
In the end, Alise couldn’t make anything happen in the third round, but still wound up on the Grands podium – with a 3rd place to wrap up her season.