2013 Ride BMX NORA Cup contender -- Matthias Dandois
NORA Cup contender Matthias Dandois
This year, Ride BMX's NORA (Number one rider award) Cup celebration was pushed back a month to coincide with Odyssey's Texas Toast Jam. And with NORA Cup comes predictions, beginning with Flatland Rider of the Year. For 2013, our bets are on France's Matthias Dandois for Flatlander of the year. And here are the reasons why.
In 2013, 23-year-old Matthias Dandois was hardly just a flatland rider. Dandois debuted a full-length video part at Brian Kachinsky's Bakery in Chicago, and showed the world of BMX that he has much more than just flatland tricks to offer. Dandois' riding is rapidly expanding beyond flatland into a hybrid form of flatland and street riding.
Matthias Dandois was everywhere in 2013, promoting the lifestyle of BMX riding even when there was too much snow on the ground to do so. Dandois traveled to Tignes, France, for X Games Tignes (and didn't ride because of a snowstorm), and also threw down a few impromptu demos at X Games Barcelona, despite no flatland discipline being offered in Barcelona.
In December of last year (part of this year's NORA Cup calendar year), Dandois picked up a new bike sponsor in the form of Haro Bicycles. Haro had not sponsored a primarily flatland-oriented rider in over ten years, but Dandois' inclusion on the 2013 Haro team changed that for the better. His addition to the team signified a shift away from flatland-only brands, back to brands that focus on overall BMX.
2013 World Circuit
And did we mention flatland competitions? Dandois hasn't eased up on his hefty competition schedule in 2013. In between extensive Red Bull demo tours, Dandois has managed to lead the points rankings on the 2013 World Circuit. The finals are scheduled for late October in Kobe, Japan, and Matthias will be in attendance seeking a year-end title.
In July, Dandois appeared on TF1, a French primetime television show, as well as the French show LExpress. How many other flatland riders got primetime television exposure in 2013? Zero.
Dew Tour win
Last year, the Dew Tour instituted a new flatland competition at their Beach stop in Ocean City, Md. Dandois received an invite, and took the inaugural win. This year, the Dew Tour brought flatland back, and again, Dandois took the win. You might have seen his winning run on NBC. It was nearly flawless, and great exposure for flatland in front of a new audience.
Matthias Dandois is BMX
Matthias Dandois is known outside the world of flatland to BMX riders. Whereas some of the more dedicated flatland riders might be unknown to the BMX world at large, Dandois has successfully stepped outside the world of flatland and brought flatland riding back into the fold of BMX at large. Flatland riding is less of an alienated byproduct to the remainder of the BMX world, and that's largely because of Matthias Dandois.