Presented by Monster Energy as the headline sponsor, the BMX Triple Challenge competition series attracts the best riders in freestyle BMX. For more than six years, the open invite event has provided a platform for the sport’s leading professionals as well as upcoming riders looking to break into the big leagues.
As in previous years, the 2022 BMX Triple Challenge took place during select Monster Energy Supercross events. After starting out in Anaheim, California, in January, the tour proceeded in Arlington, Texas, late February. With a $100K total prize purse on the line, the stop at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver marked the grand finale and last chance to clinch the overall win by ranking points.
One of the top contenders for the title included Monster Energy’s Daniel Sandoval, who made his presence known this year after a short hiatus from competing in the tour. “Honestly, it’s been about three years since I’ve rode a Triple Challenge. I have been wanting an X Games Dirt invite, but never got it so I figured if I push hard in this series, I’d finally get that chance.”
After starting the 2022 BMX Triple Challenge season with a second place in Anaheim and claiming the win in Arlington, the 27-year-old came to Denver in first place on 2022 season rankings. But Sandoval was not alone at the top: With 45 points overall, he was tied with Florida’s Brian Fox and Monster Energy teammate Andy Buckworth.
For the final tour stop, the course in Denver challenged riders with a three-jump design instead of the usual two jumps. After inclement weather had cut short the previous tour stop in Arlington, points from Denver counted 1.5-times on season rankings, while results from Best Trick also factored into overall standings.
When it came time to send it in the finals, Sandoval dug deep into his massive bag of tricks. He unleashed several wild combos on the three-jump format, including an unreal looking dipped 360 super seatgrab for second place. Speaking on the three-jump course, Sandoval said: “It’s better for all the riders to show more skill and not just pick two tricks. I feel that the majority of the field would rather have three jumps. And I feel it’s probably better for the judges.”
When the action moved into Best Trick attempts, the level of progressive tricks escalated quickly. For a worthy finale of an epic season, riders were sending their best airs across the massive jumps outside Empower Field. Rising above the pack, Sandoval threw down a flawless double decade to clinch the win in Best Trick. And just like that, he wrapped his first season on Team Monster Energy at the very top.
What’s next for Sandoval? “I want to jump in on a few jams this year to just see more fans and riders since Covid stopped that a little,” said the newly minted champion while also looking ahead at the next Triple Challenge season. “Now that I’ve won the overall title, I’m coming in even hotter next year to back it up!”