Libor Podmol wins NIGHT of the JUMPs in Gdansk

Podmol (photo by Oliver Franke / NOTJ.de)On Saturday night, Round 3 of the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship was held in the context of NIGHT of the JUMPs in Gdansk (Poland).

The slate of ten regular contestants for the title was supplemented by the Polish federation’s two wild card challengers, Artur Puzio and Marcin Luksczcyk. Despite the home fans willing them on, the local duo were well out of the running for inclusion in the final.

The other ten World Championship contenders fought hard to make it through to the last six places. Hannes Ackermann and Jose Miralles ruled themselves out with one Dead Sailor each in their qualifying run. Massimo Bianconcini wasn’t on the peak of his form and had to settle for eighth. A frustrating P7 went to the Czech Republic’s Petr Pilat who was unable to complete his Seatgrab Flip and rode straight back to the changing room in disgust.

Pole position in the preliminary heat once again went to Maikel Melero after unpacking his Double Seatgrab Flip. Joining him for the showdown were Rob Adelberg, Remi Bizouard, Libor Podmol, Brice Izzo and Dany Torres.

Fans in a packed Ergo Arena were then treated to a spectacular Rockwell Watch Best Whip contest which was won by Red Bull rider Dany Torres ahead of Massimo Bianconcini and local hero Martin Luksczcyk.

‘Bianco’ may well have been saving himself for his strongest event, the Maxxis Highest Air, but Jose Miralles was to steal his thunder. The Spaniard cleared a height of 8.80 metres, while the Italian veteran tipped the bar off twice.

The final was then opened by Dany Torres. His Paris Hilton Backflip and Oxecutioner Flip were enough to protect the hot seat against the subsequent challenge of Brice Izzo but judged not quite sufficient for a podium finish. And despite pulling off a Ruler Flip in the double-up, Remi Bizouard also missed out on a trophy. Rob Adelberg secured the third podium spot with a run that included several combos and perfect extensions.

Victory on the night came down to a straight fight between Maikel Melero and Libor Podmol. Having won the first two rounds of the 2014 World Championship, Melero executed a Surfer to Tsunami, Tsunami Flip and various other tricks before finishing his run with a Doublegrab Flip. Podmol went one better in the double-up, resurrecting his Surfer to Tsunami Flip over the Kicker Ramp – this was the trick on which he had a crash in Berlin. But in the Polish Grand Prix, he was able to complete the combo cleanly and was rewarded with a score five points superior to that of Melero.

In the FMX World Championship table, Maikel Melero still leads the way on a points total of 40. This year, the scratch result for the season is already factored into the current standings. Melero’s closest pursuers are now Remi Bizouard on 36 points and Dany Torres on 32.

The FIM Freestyle MX World Championship takes only the shortest of breaks, with further action next weekend (28th/29th March) when Rounds 5 and 6 are contested at NIGHT of the JUMPs in the Sankt Jakobshalle, Basel, Switzerland.

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