By Michael Bower
A crash sent Adam Durbin to the hospital with a broken collarbone and cut short his representation of Team USA in the UCI BMX World Championships in England in May of 2012.
This year, a crash lifted the 13-year-old Poway resident to a state title.
Durbin, an eighth-grader at Meadowbrook Middle School, needed a first-place finish and the current points leader to finish in third-place or worse in the final heat of the 2013 BMX California State Championship in late August.
Both happened when Durbin, who was in third place at the time, pedaled around a crash between the first- and second-place riders at Orange County’s Orange Y Track. The two who went down were both ahead of Durbin in total points, but he surpassed them by claiming the final heat.
“I didn’t know what to think when they both went down,” Durbin said. “It was kind of a happy feeling. I was shocked, really. I was like, ‘did that really just happen.’”
Even with the crash in front of him, Durbin couldn’t just coast to victory. He had to find a way to get around the collision before claiming the state title.
“It was six inches between me crashing with them or me going over the turn,” he said. “It was like a hair and I was barely able to get by. Once I crossed the finish line, I knew I had won it.”
It was Durbin’s first state title and now he proudly display’s his No. 1 champion’s plate on his bike.
“I have already raced with it,” he said. “It is the most amazing feeling ever. It is awesome.”
Going into the state championship, Durbin figured he wouldn’t have much of a chance at winning because competitor, Bryant White of San Diego, had always beaten him. But when the door opened with White’s crash, Durbin rode right through it.
“He was able to take the championship and it was kind of a long shot,” said Mike Durbin, Adam’s dad. “He was sitting in third place and had three riders in his class that he has never beaten before. Every once in a while luck plays a part, but you have to be in that spot to benefit from it and that is what he did this year. When one of those guys didn’t perform, he took advantage of it.”
Durbin, who has a laundry list of sponsors and aspirations to ride in the 2020 Olympics, has competed in over 50 races this year. He has won several local races, but nothing even close in comparison to the state title.
He can often be found practicing at tracks in Lakeside, Chula Vista or Kearny Mesa throughout the week.
Durbin, who has a desire to race dirt bikes in the future, isn’t exactly sure what is next in his young career.
“I haven’t really thought of what I am looking forward to,” he said. “There is just so much I want to do. I really have to work hard next year. If I train hard enough, I could go for a world championship and a national championship.”