Bezanson leads Simple Session qualifying

Fat Tony

Fox's Drew Bezanson stretches a seatgrab Indian air on his way to locking down the top qualifying position.

Just as we expected, qualifying went off today in Tallinn! Combine 100 of the best riders from more than 30 countries around the world with the hyped up atmosphere and screaming crowd inside the Saku Suurhall, and you are left with seven straight hours of insane BMX action.ย Add to that mix the fact that only 24 of those riders would make it to the finals and the plot thickens that much more.

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DC Shoes rider Brett Banasiewicz spins a 360 downside tailwhip over the box jump.

The top three qualifiers ended up being the exact same as the top three finishers from last year's competition, starting with Canada's Drew Bezanson followed by Brett Banasiewicz (South Bend, Ind.) and Pat Casey (Yorba Linda, Ca.) right behind. Drew owned the course from the minute he stepped foot onto it and started out his run with a ninja drop from a handrail above a sub box, then continued to ride with speed and aggression, throwing massive transfers and unthinkable combos over the box jump like a pendulum to tailwhip.

Because of delayed baggage and his bike not showing up on time, Brett Banasiewicz didn't get to ride the course the past two days like everyone else and only had thirty minutes of practice before the contest started. However, it was obvious that he didn't need any more time than that because he found lines that no one else had seen and was able to fill his runs with back to back tricks on every ramp his wheel touched.

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Few people (if any) do 360 tailwhips like Monster Energy's Pat Casey -- and no one does 360 double and triple whips like him.

Tomorrow's finals will host a lot of the top name ramp riders you'd expect from a contest of this caliber, but because of the nature of the Simple Session course and jam format runs, a handful of street riders also made their way into the finals, including the U.K.'s Alex Kennedy and Simone Barraco from Italy.

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Cult's Alex Kennedy didn't touch the box jump and barely used any quarterpipes, but technical combos on the street obstacles like this crooked grind to 180 on the handrail were enough to land a spot in Sunday's finals.

Today was the perfect prelude to what will go down Sunday afternoon when the grandstands are filled to capacity and the riders unleash the tricks they were holding back on today. But keep in mind, the finals will only be part of what's going on tomorrow. Before these two dozen riders can battle it out, Tallinn will be treated to a bunnyhop contest, a best trick jam, and of course, the Sister Session ladies class.ย 

Can Drew Bezanson hold onto the title of Simple Session champion for the third year in a row? Check back on tomorrow to find out, or watch the Simple Session live feed here.

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