Fans in the Olympiahalle enjoyed a spectacle of extreme sport, including the most amazing tricks that are the hallmark of international FMX sport at the highest level. With current European Championship leader Libor Podmol out through injury, the pursuing bunch were pulling out all the stops to claim victory in Munich and move to the top of the standings.
Remi Bizouard and Maikel Melero in particular sought to exploit the situation by performing Hart Attack Flips and Doublegrab Backflips as early as the qualifying stage. Petr Pilat came up with a trick premiere – a Sidesaddle Takeoff Flip to Candybar Landing – which safely saw him through to the next round. Brice Izzo also delighted the arena with his new combo – a One-Hand Takeoff Can Can Flip to One-Hand Landing. Joining these four in the final were Australia’s Rob Adelberg and 16-year-old Luc Ackermann from the village of Niederdorla in Thuringia. The Red Bull youngster pulled off two world premieres with his own creation which he calls ‘the Tornado’ (a sort of Tsunami Flip 360 combo) and a Surfer Takeoff Tsunami Flip over the Long Distance. Luc was ecstatic and the home crowd of 9,000 raised the roof of the Olympiahalle.
The other two flag bearers for Germany, Lukas Weis and Hannes Ackermann, failed to qualify along with Massimo Bianconcini, Jose Miralles and Dany Torres. The Spaniard’s run contained no fewer than three Dead Sailors, which relegated him to a disappointing tenth place.
Local favourite Lukas Weis triumphed in the Rockwell Watch Best Whip contest. In the Maxxis Race & Style Contest, Brice Izzo displayed the best racer skills to secure the trophy. Emma McFerran once again had her own slot in the programme, becoming the world’s first female rider to execute FMX tricks over the 21-metre distance. Next on the bill was a display by the Stadler Fahrradshow troupe of mountain bikers performing a sequence of front flips. By this time, the fans were well and truly warmed up for the final showdown.
Luc Ackermann went first and pulled off yet another incredible run, albeit still only rated sixth best on the night. Brice Izzo also excelled with plenty of style and new combos that hoisted him up to fourth position. This was at the expense of Petr Pilat who dropped down a place despite a repertoire containing new tricks.
Remi Bizouard’s Ruler Backflips were judged good enough to take him past Rob Adelberg; this was despite a clean run from the Aussie, but a Cliffhanger Backflip in the double-up still wasn’t enough to protect his qualifying result against the challenge from the Frenchman. Victory in Munich went to Maikel Melero who received top marks for his Surfer Tsunami, Seatgrab Indy Flip, Cliffhanger No-Hand-Lander and Doublegrab Backflip. The Spaniard later celebrated backstage with FC Bayern star Javier Martinez who had bought tickets for NIGHT of the JUMPs to cheer on his fellow countrymen and join in the fun at the FMX party after the show.
This win for Melero pushes him up to second place in the Freestyle MX European Championship standings. Meanwhile, runner-up on the night was enough for Remi Bizouard to take over at the top of the table. The highest-placed German contestant is Luc Ackermann, currently in seventh position: the judges deemed his Tornado to be ‘Trick of the Day’, scoring the highest mark for a single jump.
The extreme riders now have two weeks off before returning to action at the SAP Arena in Mannheim on 10th May when the outcome of the Freestyle MX European Championship will be decided at NIGHT of the JUMPS.