With the Olympic news being announced the day before the contest, the riders were stoked to ride Pannonian Challenge in Osijek, Croatia. With 2016 UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup champion Logan Martin on the starters list, the grandstands packed up quickly. In sunny weather the finals kicked off at 18:00hr sharp on a course that was used for a UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup last year. For those who could not make it we had the live feed up on FATBMX so by now you've probably seen the tricks and know that Logan Martin won the €2600 check for first place while most of his fellow top Park riders were fighting over 6 X-Games spots in Boise, USA at the same time. Logan is pre-qualified for that one so he could fly to Croatia to ride the comp. Local Marin Rantes was fit enough to ride after his hand injury from two weeks ago in Montpellier. He had to skip riding the Pro Freestyle comp but made the trip to the Pannonian Challenge (18th edition!) to give it a shot. Once his bike showed up (2 days late) he gave it a shot and crashed in practice injuring his knee. But when the stands pack up and the biggest contest of the year in your own country is about to start, you can bite through the pain. Marin did great and had the crowd behind him. He even made Logan Martin step it up for his second and last run to secure the win. Marin got second and was well stoked on that. Erik Figar (CZE) has a killer second run and stepped on the podium in Osijek together with two of his heroes. Unfortunately Michael Beran (CZE) was too hurt to ride but some talent is coming out of Slovenia in the name of Matej Zan who has incredible bike control, style and does his tricks with good amplitude. David Janac from the Czech Republic completed the top 5 at the 2017 edition of the Pannonian Challenge.
On June 9-10, the world’s top athletes took over Rhodes Skate Park in Boise, Idaho to secure their invitations to X Games Minneapolis. Over 7,000 fans witnessed six Men’s Skateboard and BMX athletes and four Women’s skateboarders punch their tickets to Minneapolis. In the final competition of the day, the BMX athletes upped the amplitude in the park with a mix of flips and whips. X Games rookie Nick Bruce surprised the crowd by taking the top spot in front of perennial X Games BMX Park medalists Daniel Sandoval and Kevin Peraza. Bruce qualified first in the elimination and rode that momentum all the way through the final. Sitting in second place behind Sandoval, Bruce threw a run highlighted by a huge downside flairwhip in the final run of the competition to seal his spot
Pro Freestyle is in its third year and we see lots of progression from event to event. The venue this year was spot on. The Beach Stadium in Scheveningen is the best location you could wish for if the weather cooperates. It was dry for five days in a row which was a big help. Only downfall was the strong wind from time to time but the kitesurfers weren't complaining about that one. The multiple sports event had BMX Street and BMX Park (Am and Pro classes) on the program to sign up for which were open for anyone who wanted to enter. Events like Pro Freestyle are needed for those riders who want to compete and hang out to see other riders do well in their runs. It brings the scene together and it's a way to unite with fellow 'urban sports athletes'. With a Park set up by 040BMXPARK and a Street set-up by Nine Yards the riders had plenty to choose from. The surrounding grandstands and office/bar next to the arena with pumptrack and sponsor stands nearby, it was the place to be.
As usual the best Park riders in AM could have entered Pro and in fact winner Maxime Vautrinot was a rider from France who had signed up for Pro but later decided to ride Amateur. Local Jari Roggeveen (NED) pulled it together for second place just in front of Gunis Atmats who made the trip over from Latvia with loads of others.
The Vans BMX Pro Cup Series saw an incredible close to the final global qualifier event in Guadalajara, Mexico this past weekend as more than 30 world renowned BMX riders pursued their last chance to win before the Vans BMX Championships this season. Scouring the terrain with unpredictable and unique lines, Australia’s Jason Watts grasped his first major tour victory, highlighting an excellent performance merging technical manuals with back-to-back tricks throughout Montenegro’s vast course.
An emotional Watts states, “I’m speechless, winning this event is mind-boggling. Everyone rips it out there, I didn’t think this day would ever come. I have too much fun riding my bike to ever think about it.”
Trailing closely behind Watts, USA native and crowd favorite Larry Edgar earned a hard-earned second place, showcasing the contest’s greatest airs along with enormous trick combinations, while Spain’s Sergio Layos’ consistent riding and fearless speed merited him third, and also marks his third consecutive podium win in the series. Layos’ remarkable consistency throughout the series proves his momentum as a star contender to watch in the Championships.
Tom Dugan took home the event’s Best Trick award for a massive 360 bowl transfer, and Jamie Cooper-Ellis earned the event’s Best Line award in his first series appearance, landing an elevated bank transfer into the deep bowl.
Pro Freestyle Park Final results, The Hague 5 June 2017. 1. Michael Beran (CZE) 2. Jack Clark (GBR) 3. Tom van den Bogaard (NED) 4. Kostya Andreev (RUS) 5. Kenneth Tancre (BEL) 6. Daniel Wedemeijer (NED) 7. Ernest Zebolds (LAT) 8. Kevin Liehn (GER) 9. Arjan Ellens (NED) 10. Tom Selbeck (NED) 11. Brian Fox (USA) 12. Sem Kok (NED)
Best Trick winner: Brian Fox. Double backflip transfer
The Vans BMX Pro Cup closed out the final rounds of the third regional qualifier event this afternoon, securing the final competitive field of 31 promising BMX talents and top-ranking tour pros to compete Sunday, June 4 in global qualifiers at the city’s beloved Montenegro Skatepark. The crowds in Guadalajara, Mexico witnessed Brazil’s Cauan Madona surpass 50 local and international riders in today’s open prelims with his fluid riding style and powerful tricks to claim a victorious first-place, securing his invite to the Vans BMX Pro Cup Championship in California and earning a sweet $1,000 USD prize. Tracking close behind, local hero Jose Gabriel Torres Gomez showcased unstoppable energy and diverse trick choices to earn second-place, while Brazilian Caio
Today Pro Park qualifications took place at Pro Freestyle in Scheveningen. The set-up is placed inside the Beach Stadium which makes for a fantastic setting. With Park finals tomorrow as well as a full Street contest, you've got to stay tuned for the results tomorrow night, or better, you can watch the live feed here on FATBMX.
BMX Park Pro Qualification Pro Freestyle Scheveningen, Netherlands. 1 Brian Fox 2 Michael Beran 3 Kostya Andreev 4 Daniel Wedemeijer 5 Tom van den Bogaard 6 Jack Clark 7 Ernest Zebolds 8 Kenneth Tancre 9 Sem Kok 10 Tom Selbeck 11 Kevin Liehn