Fighting at Nats? Yes, you heard it here Sunday. It was a sour ending to an otherwise stellar championships weekend, but there were enough incorrect rumors swirling around that some press is unfortunately warranted.
Baker vs. Myerson
Courtesy of “LunaCycles” comment during our Live Coverage of Day 4, perhaps you heard about the Adam Myerson / Jonathan Baker scuffle in real time. Although LunaCycles incorrectly reported that Myerson took Baker down, a punch was thrown by Baker and the Colorado-based rider could be subject to a one year suspension.
What happened? As the riders were sitting in 10th and 11th position, on the downhill, Baker wiped out in a corner. Myerson had nowhere to go, and t-boned the rider. Both events are not uncommon in racing. But with their bikes in a tangled mess, both tried to pick up their machine and rejoin the race. However, with Myerson’s handlebars stuck in Baker’s rear wheel, tensions rose, and profanities were muttered. And then as Myerson tried to ride away, Baker threw a punch at Myerson’s head.
Myerson said, “I was putting my bike down on the ground and getting ready to get back on when he dropped his bike, took a few steps toward me winding up, and punched me in the head as I was turning away from him to remount.” He said instead of fighting back he responded with “Are you crazy? You’re going to get suspended!” and continued his race, finishing in 32nd. Baker did not finish, and could not be reached for comment.
Hecklers vs. Jonathan Page & Planet Bike vs. Richard Sachs.
Over the last few days, we’ve been asked:
“Did you hear how some guys were trying to steal Richard Sachs’ bikes and had to be tackled?”
“Tell us more about how the Planet Bike team and Richard Sachs team were fighting.”
“Why does Brad Huff not like Jonathan Page?”
So, here are the facts as we’ve gathered them:
- Nobody was trying to steal Richard Sachs’ bikes.
- Jonathan Page and Planet Bike are on great terms with Richard Sachs and were not fighting each other. Page used to ride for Sachs and won a national title on a Richard Sachs frame.
- Brad Huff, the pro road racer was shirtless during the day, but was not one of the two hecklers involved.
During Dave Towle’s interview with Page after the race, Page was gracious in defeat. (Audio is here, listen for yourself: Jonathan Page Interview Post 2008 Nationals) But two spectators were loudly jeering Page during the interview and Page’s brother in law and wife confronted the two, told them to stop and be respectful. A pushing match ensued behind the Verge trailer where the interview was taking place.
Verge had driven out 40+ bikes to Kansas City in their trailer, including Richard Sachs’ team bikes, and they were on the ground behind the trailer waiting for the return journey home. Unfortunately this is where the pushing match ensued, and both the hecklers and Page’s brother in law ended up landing on the bikes. Justin Spinelli’s fork was dented, along with other damages, and Richard Sachs is seeking compensation.
The scuffle didn’t end there. The hecklers wanted an apology by Page’s crew and approached the Planet Bike van later in the parking lot. Bob Downs of Planet Bike recalls, “The drunk guys came up to our van demanding an apology and when we heard exactly what happened, the guys were quickly told to [get] out of our faces. More scufflling and some shouting happened and the cops were called since they would not let it go.”