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Aki Pihlaja survived his first visit to the rough and tumble Days of ’76 rodeo arena in Deadwood, South Dakota, escaping the mid-season rounds of the national snocross tour with a third place podium on Friday.

Both Pihlaja and Pro Open racer Adam Renheim experienced the difficulties that come with the bump and run style of racing that Deadwood is famous for. Aki was turned over at the start of Saturday’s final and had to race from the very back of the 15 man field. Remarkably, he was able to make his way up to the sixth position at the checker flag and still finish ahead of his closest competitor in the Pro Lite championship.

The weekend did not go as well for Renheim, who was involved in a couple of crashes and pileups which were a common occurrence. As a result, Adam was not feeling the best on Saturday and was unable to start the Pro Open main event.

The national tour will be off this weekend as the team makes its way to Aspen, Colorado for the ESPN Winter X Games. Adam will be looking to repeat or improve his performance of last season, when he captured a Silver medal at the event, propelling him to a strong second half of the national tour.

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