Wednesday, May 13, 2009


OK, you’ve got a little while to dig out those Mandarin language CD-ROMs your parents gave you for your birthday: Alli’s premiere international event, the China Invitational, has been officially slotted to go down in Beijing, May 8-10.

Featuring skateboard Park and Vert and BMX Vert, the second-annual China Invitational will host top athletes such as Greg Lutzka and Austen Seaholm in the Skate Park competition; Pierre Luc Gagnon and Andy MacDonald in Skate Vert; and Jamie Bestwick and Chad Kagy in BMX Vert. Hey-yo! These dominant riders were invited based on their 2008 Dew Tour season rankings.

But we’re not the only ones ready to go. Skateboard phenom and Southern-California resident Greg Lutzka said he’s stoked to compete in front of Beijing fans. “I think this will be a great warm-up for the upcoming Dew Tour season,” he said.

The China Invitational will be held in the Beijing University of Technology's indoor Gymnasium, a 2008 Summer Olympic venue which then accommodated badminton and rhythmic gymnastics (--don’t act like you didn’t watch the rhythmic gymnastics). Stadium seating accommodates 6,900 spectators.

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring the China Invitational,” said Zhou Qiang, President of Xingyi New Media Investment Company. He added that with strong media partners such as BTV 6 and CSPN in China and NBC stateside, “we believe the China Invitational will continue to generate unprecedented Chinese interest in action sports.”

Alli Vice President Chris Prybylo said he and his company are thrilled to return to China, adding that last year’s inaugural event received a tremendous fan turn-out. With the addition of BMX Vert as a judged competition this year, “The China Invitational will once again bring the best skateboard and BMX athletes in the world to the fans in China.”

Last year marked the inauguration of the China Invitational, (photos here) which was held at the open-air Beijing Coliseum. In the Vert Final, Pierre-Luc Gagnon and Andy MacDonald went back and forth with clean and technical runs. In the end, it was the authority with which PLG stomped his tricks (i.e. a switch frontside heelflip 360 and multiple 540 variations) that earned him a first-place score of 91.75. Andy Mac followed in second with 89.50, and then-18-year-old Adam Taylor finished third, which remains his singular podium-finish at an Alli event. The Brazilian Sandro Dias earned the Vert Best Trick competition by landing the first-ever 900 in China.

The 2008 Skateboard Park Final was cancelled due to rain, yet that didn’t stop skaters from barging about the coliseum’s marble hallways. Both skateboard and BMX pros were treated to sightseeing tours of Beijing and of a portion of the Great Wall, which Andy Mac relished by getting his shred on. This year, both Park and Vert competitions will be held under the closed-ceiling of the Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium.

The complete 2009 list of confirmed competitors is as follows:

Skateboard Park: Greg Lutzka, Austen Seaholm, Rodolfo Ramos, Carlos De Andrade, Danilo Do Rosario, Fabrizio Santos, and Chris Mendes.

Skateboard Vert: Pierre Luc Gagnon, Andy Macdonald, Bob Burnquist, Adam Taylor, Sandro Dias, Buster Halterman, and Renton Millar.

BMX Vert: Jamie Bestwick, Chad Kagy, Simon Tabron, Steven McCann, Dennis McCoy, Jimmy Walker, and Zack Warden.

NBC will broadcast the China Invitational on Sunday, June 14, 2009, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST. Time is subject to change; check your local listings.

The Beijing China invitational attracted the cream of the crop of vert skaters from around the world. Seven skaters, selected from the end of season 2008 Dew Cup rankings, provided an intense show for the captive Chinese audience.

The brand new 80-foot-wide G Ramp had the field flying. A new element to this ramp was a “bubble” style bridge, over the roll in, which led to some supreme tricks such as Andy Mac's backside crail slides and Pierre-Luc Gagnon’s crooked grind to fakie.

The contest saw the elite group of seven battle it out to start on top for the 2009 season. The list of PL, Andy Mac, Bob Burnquist, Buster Halterman, Renton Millar, Sandro Dias, and Adam Taylor ensured the Chinese crowd an all-star cast.

The intense competition meant that the field were busting out their trump cards. Renton Millar had a solid run in which he crossed the bridge both ways and used the whole 80-feet to nail a kickflip frontside air and a 540 grind--lifting him to fourth overall. Buster banged out a huge McTwist and a stalefish 540 which put him in sixth place behind Bob Burnquist. Sandro was battling knee and luggage injuries and slipped into seventh.

In third place was youngster Adam Taylor, with the consistency of a seasoned veteran, who displayed huge McTwists and an array of flip tricks. Adam's presence is surely making the veterans a little nervous.

PL, one of the most dominant men in vert skating at present, was intense as always as he hucked melon 720s and switch heelflip frontside air reverts. But, after pounding each round, PL settled for second place behind Andy Mac.

In his final run, Andy Mac nailed some insane combos like lien rodeo into nollie heelflip indy before hammering out the cleanest mute 720. He earned a competition-winning 90 points for his efforts.

Skate Vert Finals

1 Andy Macdonald 90.00
2 Pierre-Luc Gagnon 88.25
3 Adam Taylor 85.50
4 Renton Millar 76.50
5 Bob Burnquist 68.00
6 Buster Halterman 67.50
7 Sandro Dias 65.50

View Tour Standings Skate Park Finals

1 Rodolfo Ramos 89.60
2 Austen Seaholm 83.70
3 Carlos De Andrade 83.20
4 Danilo do Rosario 81.50
5 Chris Mendes 80.40
6 Chad Bartie 73.50
7 Lin Che 63.75
8 Fabrizio Santos 58.25
9 Zhi Xing Li 54.00

Alli is the Alliance of Actions Sports. An Alliance that brings together the best sports properties, athletes, and brands globally for the fans of action sports.