Ramped Up

Bikers and boarders grind into town.

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Austintown native Anthony Napolitan defends his title as the nation’s top BMX dirt biker at this weekend’s Right Guard Open. But he doesn’t plan to repeat the wipeout that knocked him on his ass during his signature tailwhip move at last month’s Panasonic Open in Baltimore. “The wind caught me in the air and sent me into the landing,” he says. “I drove my shoulder into the ground and ended up with a joint separation. But I’m dealing with it.”

Napolitan, 21, is one of 250 bikers and skateboarders competing in the Action Sports Pro Tour Dew Tour, which also hits Salt Lake City, Orlando, and Portland, Oregon, this summer. During his debut season last year, Napolitan won his division and snagged part of the $2.5 million purse, topping opponents like Luke Parslow and Corey Bohan. “We’re all great friends, but everyone tries to call it a rivalry,” says Napolitan. “We just sit back and laugh about this added drama.” The Cleveland leg of the tour starts this afternoon with skateboarding and BMX dirt finals -- where Napolitan will execute front flips, tailwhips, and no-handed jumps. The skateboarding vert showdown and BMX vert face-off are on tap tomorrow. The competition culminates on Sunday with freestyle motocross finals. “I’ll put in some consistent runs and keep it a little chill at the start, because I don’t want to push too hard,” says Napolitan of his strategy. “Then in the finals, I’ll put all my cards in and go for it.”
Fri., July 20, 3 p.m.; July 21-22, 1 p.m.

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