Stormy UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup Park in Brussels. BMX Freestyle is amazing in many ways and if the platform is provided to the riders to perform at their very best, it becomes an incredible show time after time. The location at the 2023 Urban Sessions with the sloping hill is unique, but works in many ways. It creates a festival style vibe with the crowd hanging out overlooking the BMX Freestyle Park and other activities provided by the local organizer. With the UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup being the main attraction, the event started on Thursday with an 11-hour non-stop practice session followed by 11 hours of BMX Freestyle riding on the FOP on Friday for the qualification phase. Brussels has become the second largest UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup of the series (after Montpellier) which shows the riders and federations embrace the event.
With hot days during training and qualification, a surprising hail storm appeared on Saturday right after Women Park warm-up calling off the semi-final for the women. The sun came out again afterwards on Saturday which made completing the Semi Final for the men a possibility. The cut from 80 (qualification) to 24 (semi-final) to 12 (final) is a tough one especially when all of the riders show a run that they had in mind and leave the decision with the judges. In the end 2 Americans made it in (Marcus Christopher and Justin Dowell), three Brits (Kieran Reilly, Declan Brooks, Shaun Gornall), UCI World Champ Rim Nakamura (Japan), Olympic gold medalist Logan Martin (AUS), former UCI World Cup winner Anthony Jeanjean from France, crowd favorite Kevin Peraza (MEX), Jose Torres from Argentina, Tom
van den Bogaard (NED) and Gustavo Batista de Oliviera representing Brazil. Four continents were represented in the final in Brussels.
With another big storm on the horizon to arrive on Sunday afternoon, the decision was made to have a 24-Women final on Sunday morning followed by the 12-Men final right after that trying to beat the incoming storm. It turned out to be a race against the clock. With 5 riders from China in the top 8 in the Women Park final results it’s fair to say that their domination in this category is real. Their work ethic has brought them where they are, leaving others to catch up with their progression. Taking home the points for 8th , 6th , 5th , 3rd and 1st was unheard of only 2 years ago but team China, who had been staying in Europe since the last UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup in Montpellier, made that a reality in Belgium. Xia Honglin’s 87,90 got her on the podium right behind UCI World Champ Hannah Roberts (USA) and Zhou Huimin whose 91,40 got her the gold at Urban Sessions 2023. With double truckdrivers, double barspins, flairs, flips, nothings to barspin, and tailwhips becoming regular tricks it sure gets more interesting by the event. Making it to the next round during competition is not a given any longer, you sure need to deliver at all times. Between the Chinese delegation Switzerland’s Nikita Ducarroz got 4 th after qualifying in first and Natalya Diehm, back from injury, settled for place 7. America’s Chelsea Wolfe and Colombia’s Queen Villegas Serna completed the top 10.
With the Men final still on the program the storm was nearing Brussels rapidly. After a 30- minute warm-up for the 12 finalists there was no time to waste to get the final done before the rain arrived. Luckily everyone understood that and the joint effort was made to deliver a good final for the crowd that made it to Parc Josaphat on Sunday morning. When the introduction to the riders was made, a tribute to Pat Casey (RIP) followed before the first heat of 6 riders made it on top of the ramps to drop in for their final runs of the weekend.
Tom van den Bogaard was first up and set the bar high. It was now up to the others to go over or stay under. With runs not going the way he planned it, Marcus Christopher finished on spot 12. If he’d pulled what he had in mind It would not have been a surprise to see him on the podium for Brussels. We might see what he is capable off at the UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow which is just a few weeks away. With two runs of 60 seconds in the final the worst of the two scores gets dropped. Kevin Peraza’s first run was the keeper and even though he had a little crash in run 2, he still put on a show for the crowd. That’s why the BMX community loves him. When we enter the top 5 we find first place qualifier Justin Dowell on spot 5 with his own tricks and plenty more. Kieran Reilly has won a comp or two in 2023 but just missed out on the podium. Australia’s Logan Martin’s 89.41 second run score was good for 3 rd in Schaerbeek. Nakamura opened the throttle in run one to get in the ‘90s range with a 91.56 but like in 2022, it was Anthony Jeanjean who left the competition in awe with two amazing runs that would both have won the competition. After the worst score was taken away the 92.56 remained. Another UCI BMX Park World Cup win for the Frenchman and well deserved. Just moments after the prize giving, rain started to drop. Timing is key.
UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup winners from China/Australia/Japan/France celebrate in Montpellier in front of the biggest crowd in BMX. The biggest event on the 2023 UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup calendar took place in Montpellier, France. The Festival International des Sports Extreme attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The multiple sports festival in the city in the South of France hosted the UCI BMX Freestyle Park and Flatland World Cups. For Park it was the second stop on the calendar where the flatland riders met up for the first time in France this year. Due to the huge number of participants, practice started as early as Tuesday with Wednesday schedule for a pre-qualification phase in BMX Park Men. The first cut was made from 110 riders to 72 for the qualification round down to 24 for semifinals. Due to the weather forecast for Sunday it was decided to turn this semifinal into the final round giving 24 riders the chance to shine in front of the thousands of spectators that had come to watch from the banks at the Rives Du Lez.
The first UCI final of four produced amazing riding. The field of play offered many different lines for the riders to choose from with the step down spine and step up ramp along the river being two ramps that were chosen to execute their tricks on. On first sight a jump box was missing on this Park course but the high ramp with transitions on both sides connected to the new tipi ramp turned into a box jump for the braves. High risks were taken on this one but to stand out, you have to ride in a different way and take some risks.
Introducing the UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup to Saudi Arabia. Roberts and Martin claim the wins. From the beginning a warm welcome was felt when foot was set in Diriyah, home of the first UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup, and not just because the temperature was higher than in most countries during winter. Just 30 minutes outside of Riyadh a new BMX Freestyle facility was created and the set-up was nothing short of impressive. Mountains were moved (literally) to create an area for the event and the nearby training ramps with resi sections were well used by riders to prepare for their UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup runs. The plan is for the facility to stay around for the local riders to develop BMX Freestyle and for international athletes to come train.
Thursday’s Men qualification was the first part of the event which eliminated over 30 riders and transfered 24 to ride Friday’s Semi-Final. Youngster Marcus Christopher’s 87,5 score was the highest score all day followed by fellow countryman Justin Dowell (USA) and British phenom Kieran Reilly in third. Olympic gold medalist Logan Martin made sure he remained part of the competition by getting 4 th followed by 2022 UCI BMX Park World Champion Rim Nakamura from Japan. Next to the trick machines, flow riders like Kevin Peraza (Mexico- 8th), Joji Mizogaki (Japan-9th) and Paul Thoelen (Germany-22nd) made it through providing a wide variety of BMX Freestyle riding in the first UCI World Cup semi-final of the year.
It was under the sun of Bazhong, in Sichuan Province, that the 24 Pro Men semi-finalists performed their best runs this Saturday to qualify for the final of the 2023 UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup (Park) in China.
UCI BMX Freestyle - Park: Men qualify for the final
1. BRUCE Nick, USA 2. HESSEY Dylan, GBR 3. JEANJEAN Anthony, FRA 4. MARTIN Logan, AUS 5. REILLY Kieran, GBR
The final stage of the 2023 UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup (Park) kicked off in Bazhong, China this Friday! After Diriyah in Saudi Arabia, Montpellier in France and Brussels in Belgium, the 2023 UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup (Park) comes to an end in China this weekend, in the heart of the mountains of Sichuan Province. On this qualifying day, the best international riders ensured a high level of entertainment in front of the public, to compete for victory in their quest for the 2023 UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup title in Park and to score points towards qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Favorites for the title, live broadcasts, event programme... everything you need to know before the final round of the 2023 UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup. The final stage of the 2023 UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup (Park) kicks off in Bazhong on Friday! After Diriyah in Saudi Arabia, Montpellier in France and Brussels in Belgium, the 2023 UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup will come to a close in China from October 12 to 15. During four days, the best international riders will be in China to compete for victory in their quest for the 2023 UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup title in Park and to score points towards qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
UCI BMX FREESTYLE WORLD CUP (PARK) BAZHONG, CHINA SICHUAN PROVINCE 12 - 15 OCTOBER 2023
After Diriyah in Saudi Arabia, Montpellier in France and Brussels in Belgium the 2023 UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup (Park) will come to a close in China from October 12 to 15. Alongside the competitions open to Amateurs and Juniors, this final round promises a top-level event as athletes in the Elite categories (Men and Women) will compete for victory to score points towards qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
UCI BMX FREESTYLE WORLD CUP (PARK) BAZHONG, CHINA. SICHUAN PROVINCE 12 - 15 OCTOBER 2023
MEN’S FINALS HIGHLGHTS - UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup BRUSSELS 2023. The finals at Fise Brussels were absolutely insane, The competitive bar keeps getting raised and it looks like everyone is keeping up. Seriously the level of riding is making my head spin. Don’t let me keep you, head over to that play button and enjoy.
The UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup event in Brussels has seen an impressive evolution in women's BMX park. Talented female riders have made remarkable progress, pushing the boundaries of the sport year after year. With their trick choices and fearless approach, they inspire a new generation of riders.
We saw lots of consistent riding and big moves at the Brussels stop of the UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup 2023 Men’s park qualifying. I wouldn’t like to be a judge right about now. The level of riding is out of this world. Hit play and see what I mean…