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Saturday, May 19, 2012
Ben Wallace qualifies first at Empire of Dirt


TJ Ellis, curved wallride through the 2012 Red Bull Empire of Dirt course.

Mongoose UK rider Ben Wallace qualified in the top spot at the 2012 Red Bull Empire of Dirt contest in London, England earlier today, followed by dirt veteran Ryan Nyquist in second place and Mike "Hucker" Clark in third place. Rounding out the top five qualifiers was DK's Drew Bezanson in fourth place and Redline's Brandon Dosch in fifth.

The Empire of Dirt course, which takes the riders nearly a minute to complete from start to finish, proved difficult for some of the top names in the sport. And of the 36 invited riders, names that did not qualify into the finals included Corey Nastazio, Ryan Guettler, Geoff Slattery and Anthony Napolitan, among others. The top 16 riders, listed below, will move to Sunday's finals, provided the rain holds out.

"I'm really happy," said Ryan Nyquist via Twitter. "I just got my runs in and I'm in second. For qualifying anyways, haha," he continued. The Empire of Dirt is Nyquist's first major competition since breaking his hand in August of 2011. Nyquist's runs included opposite and regular 360s throughout the course, and a double barspin over the Empire of Dirt spine.

Brandon Dosch, turndown on his way to fifth place in qualifying at the Empire of Dirt.

Additional highlights included Mike "Hucker" Clark's hang-5 down the start hill straight into an x-up flip on the first jump. According to reports, the notoriously rainy and wet London weather is holding out, and every qualified rider is keeping their fingers crossed for a dry Sunday. Check back tomorrow for final results and more from the 2012 Red Bull Empire of Dirt.

QUALIFYING RESULTS, 2012 Red Bull Empire of Dirt
1. Ben Wallace
2. Ryan Nyquist
3. Mike Clark
4. Drew Bezanson
5. Brandon Dosch
6. Maxime Charveron
7. Rob Darden
8. Chris Doyle
9. Alistair Whitton
10. Ben Hennon
11. Corey Bohan
12. Matt Priest
13. Kye Forte
14. Sergio Layos
15. TJ Ellis
16. Paul Langlands