A slopestyle weekend full of surprises
The FMB Gold Event 26TRIX is proving to become a true talent factory. Well-known pros and many newcomers signed up for the pre-qualification round, making it the biggest pre-qualification ever. Amongst the participants were also BMX legend Drew Bezanson and the only female competitor Gemma Corbera, who took part in their first big FMB contest. Due to steady rainfall on Saturday, the qualification runs stood as the final results. The Italian Diego Caverzasi sent a huge run and celebrated his breakthrough on an international stage. He was followed by the Frenchmen Antoine Bizet and Mehdi Gani, who completed the podium. The GoPro Best Trick winner was Nico Scholze from Germany.
Rain – Sun – Rain: Whilst the weather kept the organizers on their feet, the athletes left the crowd open-mouthed in awe. Both the pre-qualification on Thursday and the final on Saturday had to be cancelled due to steady rainfall, making it impossible to ride. But there was no reason to get upset. The weather god had mercy on Friday and awarded the riders and crowd with perfect weather conditions. Due to the postponement of the pre-qualifying on Thursday, there was a lot going on: the pre-qualifiers were allowed to drop into the course at long last and split up into two heats; they thrilled the fans with an unbelievably high trick level. Out of 42 competitors 12 progressed to the qualifying round, taking place in the afternoon. The spotlight was particularly focused on one very young talent: the 16-year-old Emil Johansson from Sweden sent very clean runs and great tick combinations, stunning the crowd.
With the weather forecast not looking good for the weekend, one had the feeling that newcomers wanted to go “all in” in the qualification. The 22-year-old Diego Caverzasi catapulted himself into the top three with his first run of the day and improved his score on his second attempt, which put him in pole position ahead of Antoine Bizet and Mehdi Gani. The ingredients for his winning run were: frontflip-barspin, 360 barspin to x-up, backflip-barspin-to-whip, double whip, one-foot-tabletop and backflip-cliffhanger. Whilst other established riders took it easy, thinking they had the final still ahead of them, Emil Johansson went full-throttle and positioned himself in the top 5 just in front of Thomas Genon (87.33 vs. 87.00).
After a sensational day of slopestyle action on Friday, the weather on Saturday disappointed. The steady rain and the bad weather forecast for Sunday forced the decision makers to cancel the final, and to take the outcome from the qualification round as the final result. This sealed the first FMB World Tour win in Diego Caverzasi’s career: “I was thinking about my runs early, because I had an idea, that qualification may be the final. The weather forecast didn’t look good, so I decided to do my best run and include a backflip-cliffhanger – a new trick for me.”
Emil’s sensational fifth place, secured him one of the FMB Wildcards to the FMB Diamond Event “Swatch Prime Line at MASH”. The second wildcard went to Nico Scholze, who also won the GoPro Best Trick contest with a massive backflip tsunami.
The Out of Bounds Festival is not over yet though! There is still one more highlight on the cards: the best downhill pros in the world will be sending it on the new course in Bikepark Leogang during the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. The finals start on Sunday at 12 o’clock, when the Juniors open a day of finals and will be battling with rock gardens and root sections. If you cannot be there to see all the action, Red Bull TV is streaming the contest LIVE from 2.30 pm CEST / 5.00 am PDT: www.redbull.tv/live/AP-1KR6H13P11W11/uci-mountain-bike-world-cup