It is official and it was just released today, the first world tour stopover of the FISE World Series will take place in Hiroshima (Japan) from april 6 to 8,2018. If you project to make a trip soon, here is a cool destination to discover. On the programme of this trip, you will get BMX, Skateboarding, Roller skating, Parkour, Bloc climbing and Breakdancing !
Focus on Hiroshima
The city is rich in culture and heritage, and it borders the Seto inland sea. 1945 is a thing of the past and even though Hiroshima was totally rebuilt, it still shows the marks of history. The great Peace Park is located at the heart of the city, many tramways make every travel easy but you will need to get on a ferry if you want to explore Miyajima, one of the best views in Japan. Don't forget to taste the local specialities : okonomiyaki (a pancake with noodles, fish or meat and rice) !
Prepare your stay
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“I tried to stay consistent and it paid off”: An interview with FISE MTB Champion 2017 Mehdi Gani
This year’s FISE World Series has been one to remember for Mehdi Gani. The French rider blew the crowd away at every stop, flipping and whipping his way to the 2017 MTB Slopestyle title. We caught up with the current champ to get the secrets of his success.
When did you first get into mountain biking?
I started riding BMX first. Then a friend introduced me to mountain biking, which was something like 10 years ago.
You are 2017 FISE MTB Slopestyle champion.
What was the FISE World Series like for you this year and where does it compare to other mountain biking contests?
I’m really happy overall this year. I got 3rd in Montpellier, 4th in Edmonton and 3rd in China, I just tried to stay consistent this year and it paid off. FISE events are part of the FMB World ranking so they are important events with fun courses. My favourite event of the season is Montpellier, the crowd is amazing there and the cool thing about FISE is that you can watch other extreme sports too.
How do you prepare for a mountain bike contest? Do you have any pre-competition routines? Or any superstitions?
Before a bike contest, I don’t really change anything about my routine. I go to the gym a few times a week and I just try to ride a lot to feel comfy on my bike and confident on my tricks. I throw salt over my shoulder before all my runs and I always have my four-leaf clover in my pocket! No, I don’t have any superstitions.
Where is your favourite place to ride in the world and why?
I really enjoy riding in Queenstown, New Zealand. They have amazing dirt jumps, going there is like a dream for a lot of riders.
What was the French scene like for mountain biking when you were starting out? Do you think the scene has improved today?
When I started 10 years ago the French scene was already good, but Yannick Granieri was one of the only French riders doing the biggest international events. Now the French scene is stronger and you can see a lot of Frenchies at most of the biggest events, which is awesome.
What do you see in the future of mountain biking?
I think the future is going to be crazy. Every year the jumps are bigger on the events and the level of tricks are more insane. I think there are no limits.
What advice would you give to aspiring mountain bikers?
I think that if you trust yourself, if you work hard and if you’re having fun, you can achieve all your goals.
This new issue honours women with a special report on the BMX freestyle girl scene with new fearless riders coming up. Let's take off to Edmonton with the judge Brian Kachinsky's Family Portrait, before landing in Chengdu with Gabriel Zander and a focus on the first UCI World Championship. That's how we finish the year on the highest note before leaving again to explore new destinations and meet new talents !
“Don’t give up before you try”: An interview with BMX champion Hannah Roberts
2017 has been a remarkable year for BMX teen sensation Hannah Roberts. The American has already won both the UCI BMX Freestyle Park Women’s World Cup and the World Championship this year and looks destined for greater things. We had a quick catch up with her and spoke about her recent successes and what lies ahead for 2018.
When did you first get into BMX?
I started riding when I was eight years old, so around 8 and a half years ago.
You are 2017 UCI BMX Freestyle Park Women’s World Cup Winner.
What was the FISE World Series like for you this year and where does it stack up in the world of BMX contests?
FISE is such a huge contest because there is no other like it, so it's definitely one of the most important series to me. This year FISE was fun - but also a huge learning experience!
Your life must be pretty hectic going to school and as well doing all of these competitions. How do you balance between the two?
I try to do my school work on the few days off that we get at events, but my teachers are really helpful and understand when it comes to me being gone.
Which BMX rider is your biggest inspiration and why?
I look up to all the riders because they are all unique in some way. But, I have always looked up to Colton [Walker] because we have been riding together for many years. He is an amazing friend and destroys it on the bike.
The ladies on the BMX scene seem to be a pretty close and get on well with each other. What do you lot do in your downtime when you aren’t training or competing?
If I’m not riding usually I am sleeping or hanging out with my friends.
What do you see in the future of Women’s BMX?
The women have been killing it this year! As for the future, I see a lot more progression on our side of the sport. Hopefully there will also be more girls getting into riding.
What advice would you give to aspiring female BMX riders?
Don’t ever give up before you try - you never know what’s going to happen until you give it a shot.
Garbaccio returns to win on course close to his heart
Chengdu China appears to be a lucky charm for 19-year-old French skateboarding star Joseph Garbaccio who won the FISE Skateboard Street Pro competition Sunday.
“I’m pretty nostalgic because my first ever international competition was FISE Chengdu three years ago—where I won as well,” said Garbaccio.
Initially the site of his breakthrough to professional sports, Chengdu proved the perfect lucky charm for a return from injury this time around. After touring Brazil with the French team and moving to the USA, the talented young rider secured the Montpellier stop then promptly hurt his ankle, sidelining him for two months of this season.
The setback wasn’t evident Sunday as he soared through the air scoring big props from both judges and crowd for his amplitude. His four-and-a-half metre transfer indie proved particularly impressive, though he packed his winning run our with a front-flip down the rail, mollie manual, back disaster, flip front-board and hurricane, to name but a few moves.
He also secured two of the three “best trick” wins, following the first leg of the competition.
The finals saw the best 12 riders from Saturday’s semi-final round showcase their talent in two one-minute runs, with the best run of two determining their result.
The judges look for the skater’s amplitude, speed, flow, and style, along with the athlete’s technical ability, the degree of difficulty of the tricks showcases, his uprightness and ability to explore the whole park.
“It was a nice contest with a high level of riders coming out from all around the world, and we have a nice experience with the Chinese crowd” said Julien **, head judge.
FISE opens each of its contests to any athlete who wants to compete. This competition had a qualification Friday, and the top 18 joined the FISE World Series 2016 winner and top five from FISE standings for a Semi-Final.
Twelve riders competed Sunday before a large Chinese crowd who showed particular affinity for the younger of the riders on course.
Stay tuned! FISE will announce its 2018 calendar later this month.
FISE CHENGDU - Skateboard Street Pro final standings:
Athletes challenged to progress the sport and push themselves with Best Trick bonus
A new competition style rocked the roller world Sunday at the FIRS Roller Freestyle World Cup in Chengdu, China as the series winner missed the podium and a man with the biggest air vaulted to first place.
The athletes had two 50-second runs to assemble a show of their professional artistry, then each got an additional four chances, immediately following their runs, to take things one step further with their biggest and best trick.
“Usually, it’s three rounds and the average of the two best count, which is good, but you can’t show all the aspects of what you can do because you can’t go that hard in a single run,” said Julien Cudot, FISE Roller Freestyle series champion for 2016 and now 2017.
The concept is designed to get riders to push themselves and progress the sport, by concentrating on the hardest thing they're capable of and risking it all, after they’ve already completed the majority of their work—and turned Sunday’s competition on its head.
French rider Yuma Baudoin found himself in first place, while his friend and the series leader, Cudot, finished off the podium, owing largely to those final big tricks.
“I’m into airtime, so it’s not really a big disappointment, and it’s a friend of mine who has won,” said Cudot, adding “I hope the competition format continues this way.”
Baudoin, a university biology student, brought a 540 true-spin top soul and 1260, three-and-a-half rotations, in the best trick component. “It’s awesome. It’s a big, big competition with lots of riders, so it’s awesome to win this,” he said.
Stay tuned! FISE will announce its 2018 calendar in early December.
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: