Live from Switzerland
Switzerland is famous for its good food, and of course, Mat Rebeaud. But during my trip to Switzerland, I got to eat great food like Fondue and Raclette, but I didn't happen to see Mr. Mat Rebeaud. Mat was unfortunately injured, not being able to ride the Night of the Jumps contest that took place on his home turf.
So, for the last two weeks there hasn't been any action in the European air space thanks to Iceland's Eyjafjalla volcano. A lot of riders were hassled with cancelled flights, having to wait until the sky was safe again. But, this past weekend FMX marched on as the skies cleared, allowing for the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship in Basel, Switzerland to go down. One of the cool things about Basel is that Germany and France are really close, making easy access for hardcore fans. On Saturday, around 6,000 fans came to watch the FMX action.
Now before I get into what went down in Basel, I just wanted to fill you in on one of the great things about the Night of the Jumps/FIM Freestyle MX World Championships -- these contests are very international and there's a great mixture of riders from several different continents like Europe, Australia, USA and Africa. The riding level is close and the bar is set very high. Almost everybody in the Top 5 could win the contest and that makes this series very exciting.
Another rookie with a lot of amplitude is David Rinaldo from France. David is unknown in the scene, but he will be known soon. Tricks like superman seatgrab flips, superflips and tsunami flips are standard tricks on his trick list.
Daboot rider Massimo Bianconcini looked really strong on the bike all weekend. He qualified for the final with solid backflip combos and other clean tricks like the crack nac, Rock Solid, and tsunami on both days. He also won the highest air (step up) and whip contest on Saturday.
Have you ever heard about the Izzo brothers from France? Romain and his brother Brice are riding at an insane level these days. Brice competed in Basel, proving that he's one of the best French riders, placing 5th on Saturday and 4th on Sunday -- pulling tricks like a tsunami Indian flip and cordova flips -- there's really nothing more to say.
Always in good mood is Spaniard Jose Miralles. Jose is a great guy on and off the track and since his break through last season, he is constantly jumping into the top 5 at the IFMXF FIM World Cup contests. His signature trick -- the pancake heelclicker whip -- is really big and his trick list is also creative with upside down combos and other tricks with great extension.
America's Brody Wilson is definitely Mr. Smooth when it comes to his riding style. Brody had some problems with his eyes on Saturday, nevertheless he placed 4th. But on Sunday, he was back and took home 2nd place, almost taking the win.
Back from his US trip, with new sponsors and a lot of motivation, Libor Podmol is looking better than ever. Libor looked really fresh on the bike and pulled off killer tricks like seatgrab indy backflips, the underflip indy, and cliffhanger flips. He won Saturday night and took home 3rd place on Sunday.
Sunday night's winner was Night of the Jumps newcomer Rob Adelberg from Australia. Rob really killed it with a clean run on Sunday, pulling tricks like tsunami and cordova flips. On Saturday he looked a bit off in the qualification, but pulled it together in the final, placing a solid 2nd.
All said and done, it was a great weekend. The IFMXF crew and all other involved parties did a good job at putting on a great event. And of course, the most important thing is that nobody got seriously injured. The next FIM Freestyle MX World Championship Tour stop takes place in Sanliurfa, Turkey on May 15 and 16. --Tobias Hannig
Results NIGHT of the JUMPs Basel
1. Libor Podmol
2. Rob Adelberg
3. Jose Miralles
4. Brody Wilson
5. Brice Izzo
6. Massimo Bianconcini
1. Rob Adelberg
2. Brody Wilson
3. Libor Podmol
4. Brice Izzo
5. Jose Miralles
6. Massimo Bianconcini