“Bam Bam” Gar­cia ral­lies to re­take Ana­heim lead, win opener

Antelope Valley Press - - SPORTS - By BRIAN GOLDEN Val­ley Press Staff Writer

The dirt on the an­nual Mon­ster En­ergy AMA Su­per­cross sea­son opener is al­ways the same.

It’s 45,000 pounds of earth moved to make the erst­while home of the Los An­ge­les An­gels into the world’s coolest dirt track for two of the year’s first three week­ends.

The ma­jor change last week­end at The Big A was the TV net­work.

NBC Sports is now the home of the world’s pre­mier Su­per­cross se­ries, with Sunday re­plays on the Pea­cock and NBC Sports Net­work.

De­fend­ing Ana­heim I win­ner Justin Bar­cia put on quite a show to wel­come the new tele­vi­sion part­ner.

Bar­cia grabbed the lead on the sec­ond lap.

Then he gave it right back by fly­ing off the course in the kind of mis­take rookie Adam Cian­car­ulo would be more likely to make.

Cian­car­ulo, the 2019 AMA 250cc na­tional cham­pion, rode up front all night in his Mon­ster En­ergy AMA Su­per­cross 450SX de­but.

But then at the mid­point of the race, Cian­car­ulo went crash­ing off the course in the whoops sec­tion.

Gar­cia re­claimed the point, and never looked back.

He demon­strated for new fans of the sport why his nick­name is “Bam­Bam.”

“Ana­heim is so huge ev­ery year,” Bar­cia said. “You al­ways want to start the sea­son with a win, but es­pe­cially be­cause of all the pres­tige of Ana­heim I.

“I just feel so grate­ful to get this win the way we did. You keep mak­ing mis­takes to hurt your chances, but then your never-say­die at­ti­tude kicks in.”

De­fend­ing cham­pion Cooper Webb filled out the podium, mak­ing the sea­son opener an all-Kawasaki af­fair.

Once Bar­cia and Cian­car­ulo checked out in their match race, Webb was the best of the rest.

The se­ries moves on to the down­town dome in St. Louis for week two.

Then it’s back to The Big A for Ana­heim II on Jan 18.

Ana­heim I of­ten lays out a roadmap for the sea­son.

The 2020 roadmap sug­gests the rookie class will be heard from.

And, the de­fend­ing cham­pion’s not plan­ning on get­ting out of any­one’s way, ei­ther.

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