American rider didn’t know what would happen when he dropped in at the FISE UCI-BMX Freestyle Park World Cup competition
The BMX Freestyle Park finals Sunday rang true to their name for winner Nick Bruce who said he truly didn’t know what he would do when he launched into his winning run.
With a hectic practice session beforehand, the American rider missed testing out the banger tricks he would use to thrill the crowd in the biggest event of the FISE year.
“It was kind of like a mind game. Do I play it safe or do I just go for it? And then as I was pedalling at each obstacle, I was like: ‘No I’m going for it,’” said Bruce.
Whether he felt unprepared or not, the American rider managed a lightening fast string of tricks worth of a true professional with a flair down-whip transfer, a 360 windshield whipper, 360 double down-whip and 540 flair.
The finals included the best 12 riders from Saturday’s semi-final round, each throwing down two one-minute runs for a combined score. The riders then had three tries to showcase a best trick, which were ranked and awarded as bonus points to help boost their score.
FISE opens its competitions to any athlete who wants to compete, and this year’s qualifying and semi-final rounds proved wild ones. The top 18 from qualifications joined the FISE World Series 2016 winner and top five from FISE Edmonton in the semi-finals Saturday, but three of the elite never made it past this round.
Among those forced to watch from the sidelines was Daniel Dhers, the Venezuelan rider who ended up winning the overall series. Had Australian Logan Martin won Sunday’s competition, Dhers would have lost the title, making his absence in the finals one serious upset.
“It was very insane because it was out of my hands. Logan is a very strong competitor, so I knew if somebody could win it, it would be him,” said Dhers, noting Martin’s second place meant he quite nearly succeeded in the win.
Dhers and Martin are now tied with two FISE series titles a piece, meaning 2018’s season will be a tie breaker.
Judges look for the height, flow and style in BMX Freestyle, as well as the variety of tricks, and bike and trick control a rider exhibitis. They also consider the athlete’s versatility, consistency and execution, and watch closely for how the rider lands—and their progression in the sport, and of the sport.
Stay tuned this month as FISE will announce its 2018 calendar, so you can follow the Martin and Dhers rivalry into the next season.
FISE UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup final standings:
1. Nick Bruce, USA watch his run
2. Logan Martin, AUS watch his run
3. Colton Walker, USA watch his run
Watch the replay of final :