LIVE broadcasts keep fans in the loop all weekend long
BMX Park Freestyle, FIRS Roller Freestyle, FIG Parkour and Slopestyle mountain biking series winners determined this weekend
Three days of competition launched in Chengdu, China’s Nan Hu Park today as the fourth and final stop of the FISE World Tour opened its doors for a weekend of LIVE action sports.
Followed by 1 million spectators worldwide, the festival will wrap up its 20th season here in Chengdu before a curious, highly-enthusiastic crowd.
“They smile, they’re happy…So for the riders, it’s fun because we discover a new type of person,” said Alex Jumelin, the only rider who has been with FISE since its inception.
Staging a demonstration of Flatland BMX Friday afternoon, Jumelin said no one could have predicted where FISE would wind up two decades after it launched on the beachfront French town of Montpellier.
“Most of the organizers are riders, so they know what’s up and they follow the evolution of the sport and what the rider wants. They just adapt themselves to the wishes of all the riders. Year after year they really listen to what we want,” he said, noting he believes it’s the secret behind the FISE success story.
For the Chinese public, it certainly seems to resonate. Riders were posing for pictures on the sidelines of every qualifying and practice round, with cameras and smiles going at Skateboarding, Slopestyle Mountain Biking and in both BMX areas Friday afternoon.
This weekend will see World Cup titles awarded in UCI BMX Park Freestyle, for both men and women, in FIRS Roller Freestyle, FIG Parkour, and the FISE trophy for Slopestyle Mountain Biking, and the riders will be looking to that crowd for energy.
The competitions bring freestyle athletes from every corner of the globe and are open to both amateur and professional athletes, with Friday opening the showdown with a string of qualifiers.
“I’m definitely nervous, but it’s pretty exciting. FISE is an amazing contest and I can’t wait to ride with all my friends,” said 16-year-old American Hannah Roberts, the reigning FISE World Cup Champion in BMX Park Freestyle.
Sitting just 2000 points down from her nearest competitor, fellow American rider Nikita Ducarroz, securing that FISE World Cup will have Roberts gunning hard in Saturday’s finals, hopefully landing more Flares, the backflip-180 she thrilled the crowd with Friday.
BMX Park is expected to attract a lot of attention this weekend as the event marks the final UCI-sanctioned competition before next week’s inaugural World Championships, where the best in the world are vying for their chance to compete in the BMX Park Freestyle debut at the 2020 Olympics.
The competition will share the stage with broadcasts of Roller Freestyle, Slopestyle mountain biking, and Street Skateboarding, as well as Flatland BMX and Parkour on site.
In Slopestyle mountain biking, all eyes will be on French rider Mehdi Gani, the top rider in contention for the FISE trophy, while in Roller Freestyle, spectators will be watching for athletes like Julien Cudot, Romain Godenaire and Yuma Baudoin. In the men’s BMX Freestyle Park riders like Daniel Dhers, Brandon Loupos and Sandoval Daniel will be drawing eyes, while Garbaccio Joseph, George Poole and Tory Richard hold court in the skateboarding competition.