Sheehan wins in Bulgaria

NOTJ.com

Josh Sheehan celebrates his victory Saturday between Rmi Bizouard, left, and Libor Podmol.

Australian freestyle motocross rider Josh Sheehan was back in top form Saturday, beating out French rider Rémi Bizouard and Czech rider Libor Podmol in Sofia, Bulgaria, at the final event of the 2012 FIM Freestyle MX World Championships. Sheehan had a rough go of it since winning Moto X Freestyle bronze at the 2011 X Games in Los Angeles, where he dislocated his shoulder. He also broke his neck earlier this year and sustained a concussion less than two weeks ago.

"I couldn't be happier right now," Sheehan said after the competition, where he landed a massive 360 on his final trick to cap off a difficult, technical 10-trick run. "I had that crash just a week and a half ago and needed a bit of a break, so I had a bit of a holiday. I was feeling a bit rusty in practice but started to feel better, and then I felt great tonight. I just wanted to have fun out there and relax, and I guess it paid off. Everyone else rode awesome so it was definitely tough: I'm just happy to finish the year off on a high. You can't finish off the year without an after-party!"

Bizouard was the big winner of the year: He won his third FIM championship title this season, clinching the 2012 win back in October in Riga, Latvia, and was awarded his trophy earlier this month at the 2012 FIM Awards Gala in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Bizouard also won the UEM Freestyle MX European Championships this year, and made his debut on the Red Bull X-Fighters tour. He said he's already looking ahead to the new season.

"I really want to try my best, get some new tricks on, bring my best every weekend," Bizouard said after Saturday's competition. "I'm really happy, and I can't wait until 2013."

Podmol, the 2010 FIM champ, finished second overall for the season; French rider David Rinaldo finished third overall.

"It was a good year anyway for me," Podmol said Saturday. "No injuries, good competitions, traveling the world … it was fun! I'll be ready for 2013 for sure."

The 2013 FIM Freestyle MX World Championship series commences on Jan. 18 with the Night of the Jumps World Invitational in Linz, Austria.

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