GEICO Honda's Tomac opens Bercy Supercross with unlikely victory

PARIS (Oct. 28) -- No matter when you joined the action at Palais Omnisport Friday during opening day action of the 29th annual Supercross of BERCY, a GEICO Honda 450CFR was out front.

Throughout the early test rounds, time trials and 4x4x4 race, it was reigning "King of Bercy" Justin Barcia leading the way as the 2011 Supercross Lites East champion crushed the field in every lead-in race. But when the main event rolled around it was first-time Bercy rider Eli Tomac taking a most unlikely holeshot from the second row of the starting grid and riding away for a wire-to-wire victory that makes him the early leader in this year's "King of Bercy" contest.

"I can't believe I just won that race," Tomac said. "The start was crazy and when everyone got to the first turn it was just carnage everywhere. I took an inside line and somehow slipped right past everyone. Next thing I know, I was out front. I just pinned it from there. I was smiling all the way around the track.

"I was so tight all day. The track seemed really sticky to me and I just wasn't comfortable at all. It's so different then what we have back in America. But about midway along the main event I found a nice line through the whoops and I just fell into a really good rhythm. This is a great win for the GEICO Honda team."

Although the first-turn carnage played to Tomac's favor, it was a disaster for Barcia, who watched another rider drive into his front wheel and break several spokes with his foot-peg, which rendered Barcia's bike useless.

"I won everything all day and I felt like my riding was great," Barcia said. "I feel great and I know I'm physically ready. I couldn't wait to get after it. I didn't get the best start in the main and I was about third going into the first turn when someone dive-bombed right in front of me from the outside. I could hear my spokes breaking. I just turned around and went back to the pit. There was nothing I could do.

"I'm really disappointed. There's no way I'm going to win King of Bercy again. You just can't have a DNF with the way they keep points (Olympic style). We'll just have to win the next two days and do the best we can.

"No matter what, I'm having a blast. The fans have been incredible and there's no better workout for the upcoming season than riding here and being in race mode. You can't duplicate this anywhere."

Day 2 begins at 8 p.m. and will run under the same basic schedule as Friday.

GEICO Honda rider Eli Tomac (left) took second place in the King of Bercy standings and joined Jake Weimer (right) and Kyle Chisholm (behind trophy) in accepting the overall title for the USA.