New explosive duel between Jeanjean & Martin
If one of the main qualities in our freestyle sports is the ability to adapt, then the Montpellier weather has definitely pushed the Pro BMX riders to draw on all their resources. Semis turned into finals, with 24 riders fighting not only to win this flagship event of the season, but also to earn points for the FISE World Series, the UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup, and a potential spot in the Olympics next year. With so much at stake and so many talented riders, the show and the thrills were obviously there today on the Berges du Lez!
Divided into four heats of six riders, with two 60-second runs and the best of the two to earn their final score, there was no time left for questions today. For this selection of athletes coming from all over the world for this special occasion, only one goal in sight: to perform all their best tricks without the slightest mistake on this magnificent but very demanding park made by Hurricane, designed by our friend Pascal Morasse and all his team, who worked until the last minute to make sure everything was perfect. Hard work and dedication: many thanks to them!
As we all know, at this level of competition and with the world's best riders in attendance with their well-honed routines, there is little or no room for improvisation. And yet, when it comes down to the feeling itself, it's often the most creative and original riders who inspire the crowd the most. Some of them definitely won the hearts of the Montpellier audience, fond of this kind of madness. So let's start with a special mention for Paul Thölen from Germany, who imagined a different line and started off with a big transfer between the hip and the table and very personal tricks all through his run. Shoutout also to Mexican darling Kevin Peraza, for whom the term freestyle takes all its meaning with creative lines, impeccable footwork, and an infectious smile. They respectively take 16th and 10th place, far from the podium but always in our hearts.
But since we're talking about the podium, let's start with the third step occupied today by the American Marcus Christopher. After three monstrous tricks to start his first run, he fell and put all the pressure on his shoulders as he tackled his second and last run of these finals: with a monster amplitude, he laced a huge 720 on the step up and followed it up with a 900 flair, stayed on the pedals until the end this time, and boosted by the pressure, dislodged Jaie Toohey to take the third place with 90 points!
The final battle between Anthony Jeanjean and Logan Martin saw the crowd vibrate with the local boy. With big amplitude, great control, and huge tricks like his 720 on the step-down, or a 360 triple whip on the step-up, he gave everything he had on his second run to take down the Australian and got a score of 91,80 points. Enough to deserve a standing ovation from the audience, but today, the experience of the Olympic champion made the difference again. 92 points on the first run in safety mode, the machine accelerated on the second run with a triple whip on the table and incredible transfers all along. The verdict: 94.20 points, an impeccable smile, and an undeniable victory for the Australian!
As we all know, there is never a dull moment with BMX, even less so with such finals which kept all their promises despite the threat of rain. An incredible show, with a supportive crowd and riders hyped by the stakes and the inimitable atmosphere of Montpellier. Well set at the top of the FWS ranking, Logan Martin is once again victorious, and we now look forward to seeing all these beautiful people next month in Brussels for the next stop!