Eleven riders from seven different countries and three continents lined up on Sunday for the fourth competition of the Freestyle MX European Championship at the NIGHT of the JUMPS in Graz. Spectators in the Stadthalle were anxious to see if Maikel Melero could repeat his victory from the previous day and possibly overtake Podmol in the European Championship standings.
Photo Credit: Oliver Franke / NOTJ.de
Firstly though, the contenders had to get through qualifying. Maikel Melero did best, securing first place in the prelimnary round, followed by the two Frenchmen Brice Izzo and Remi Bizouard. Podmol muscled his way into the fourth position in the final with Jeremy Rouanet and Joel Brown completing the field of starters in the finals. Luc Ackermann was within a whisker of going through but did not quite make it this time.
However, to ease his disappointment, the 16-year-old gave Maikel Melero and Kevin Ferrari a good run for their money in Maxxis Highest Air. The young German nosed into second place with 7.50 meters but had to admit defeat to Melero, who jumped 7.80 meters, winning all of the weekend‘s Maxxis Highest Air competitions.
The Rockwell Watch Best Whip contest again turned into a scrap between the two Frenchmen Bizouard and Rouanet, and once again, the three-time world champion emerged triumphant.
The final was an absolute peach of a showdown. Firstly, Jeremy Rouanet executed incredible Flatliners and Shaolin Flips, then Australian Joel Brown countered with superb triple combos and a Seatgrab Indy Flip, clinching fifth place.
Libor Podmol mounted a tremendous offensive, performing his Underflips, his new Tsunami Flip and the Cliffhanger Backflip to No Hand Landing. That should have earned him a podium at least. However, it was not enough to fend off the challenge from the two Frenchmen. Remi Bizouard was the first to overtake the Czech rider with a Ruler Flip, Turntable and Cliffhanger Flip. Then it was the turn of Brice Izzo to outclass him with an Underflip, Tsunami Flip and Triple combo.
Maikel Melero hoped to see himself crowned supreme champion in Graz by clinching wins on the day in the high jump and freestyle competitions and the Spaniard was in front until his very last trick of the competition. However, he made a mess of the double up and left his hand on the handlebars during his Double Seat Grab flip. That meant he performed the Superman Seat Grab flip twice on his run, dropping down into fourth place as a consequence. And so, Remi Bizouard took the honours from fellow French rider Izzo and Podmol in third place.
Podmol continues to lead in the overall Freestyle MX European Championship after securing third place. Currently on 70 points, the Czech rider has a short lead on Bizouard (68 points). Melero follows in third place.
The FMX riders now have a break until March 6th when the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship gets under way at the NIGHT of the JUMPS in Berlin. April 26th will see the return of the European Championship in Munich. Austrian fans can look forward to being amazed by the NIGHT of the JUMPS once again in January 2015 when the riders return to Linz and Graz.
Top 3 Runs:
Highlights:[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heW6ETd880g[/youtube]
Results NIGHT of the JUMPs – Final
1. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Kawasaki 379 Points
2. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 369 Points
3. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha 364 Points
4. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 361 Points
5. Joel Brown AUS MA Yamaha 347 Points
6. Jeremy Rouanet FRA FFM Yamaha 342 Points
Results Rockwell Watch Best Whip Contest
1. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Kawasaki
2. Jeremy Rouanet FRA FFM Yamaha
1. Maikel Melero ESP RFME KTM 7,80 Meter
2. Luc Ackermann GER DMSB KTM 7,50 Meter
3. Kevin Ferrari ITA PZM KTM 7,00 Meter
Freestyle MX European Championships
Ranking (after 4th contest)
1. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha 70 Points
2. Remi Bizouard FRA FFM Kawasaki 68 Points
3. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 64 Points
4. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 62 Points
5. Joel Brown AUS MA Yamaha 40 Points
6. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 32 Points
7. Luc Ackermann GER DMSB KTM 23 Points
8. Jeremy Rouanet FRA FFM Yamaha 20 Points
9. Massimo Bianconcini ITA PZM KTM 19 Points
10. Maxime Gregoire FRA FFM Yamaha 16 Points
11. Kevin Ferrari ITA PZM KTM 15 Points
12. Leonardo Fini ITA PZM KTM 14 Points
13. Nikolay Ivankov RUS MFR Yamaha 14 Points
14. Ondrej Zaruba CZE ACCR KTM 13 Points
15. Ales Liemann CZE ACCR KTM 10 Points
16. Fred Wasner FRA FFM Yamaha 6 Points
17. Martin Koren CZE ACCR KTM 5 Points