Day three of the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships on Friday saw action in all three disciplines. Qualification for the BMX Freestyle Park Men competition took place along with the Trials Men semi-finals. However, the highlight of the day was the crowning of the first ever BMX Flatland UCI World Champions.
The first UCI World title to be decided in this year’s Championships was in the Women’s BMX Flatland. The riders had just one scoring run each to impress the judges. First on to the oval stage was Eri Funatsu of Japan, who laid down the mark, scoring 62.50. Next up, Austrian Irina Sadovnik put in a flawless ride packed with rolling tricks that scored 82.25. Could either of the remaining two riders better that?
Japan’s Misaki Katagiri made a solid and technical run, yet her 78.13 only put her in second. It all came down to the final run from Julia Preuss, but the German made a few uncharacteristic mistakes and scored 70.75 to claim bronze.
Speaking after the event, an ecstatic Sadovnik said, “It was the first touchless run I’ve had. I was super happy, but a bit shaky and nervous. But I could keep calm, I’m super proud of myself right now.”
BMX Flatland Women World Championship podium
1st Irina Sadovnik (AUT) – 82.25 points
2nd Misaki Katagiri (JAP) – 78.13 points
3rd Julia Preuss (GER) – 70.75 points
With eight riders in the final, Matthieu Bonnecuelle was first up. The Frenchman’s flawless run full of unique tricks got 82.75 from the judges, forcing the other riders to dig deep. American Terry Adams did just that with some huge moves including his trademark Adams Bomb, scoring 83.13 despite one or two touches. Next, Spain’s Alberto Moya made a typically creative, slow-paced run, but touches saw him drop points to score 77.75. Despite an injured right hand, Jean William Prévost pulled off an impressive run full of super-fast combos including his signature Alien Glide. Also marked down for a few touches, the Canadian received 78.38.
Moto Sasaki’s almost flawless run of insanely long spinning combos gave the Japanese rider a leading score of 89.00. Frenchman Alexandre Jumelin had the widest breadth of tricks in the competition, showing his biggest and most technical power moves. Despite a few touches and incomplete tricks, the judges awarded him 81.63. Dominik Nekolny of the Czech Republic pulled off a mesmerising and perfect run – much of it ridden cross-footed to ramp up the difficulty still further. The impressed judges’ award of 91.08 put Nekolny in the lead. It was all down to Matthias Dandois – who put in a flawless, flowing run filled with huge spinning combos that built up to a gravity-defying, hands-free spin. The Frenchman seemed delighted, but the score of 90.13 gave him silver, and the UCI World Championship title went to Nekolny.
“I’m really happy about this run because it was what I’d practised for and I pulled off what I’d been practising back home so that’s the main goal,” said an exuberant Nekolny. “It’s really crazy because for us [BMX Flatland] it’s the first World Championship, I couldn’t be more honoured to win.”
BMX Flatland Men World Championship podium
1st Dominik Nekolny (CZE) – 91.08 points
2nd Matthias Dandois (FRA) – 90.13 points
3rd Moto Sasaki (JAP) – 89.00 points
With 32 riders from 14 countries vying for six places in the final, competition in Friday’s semis was intense. Runaway favourite, Britain’s Jack Carthy showed his dominance with substantial leads throughout all three rounds.
Second and third were hotly contested by Frenchmen Vincent Hermance and Nicolas Vallée alongside Spain’s Sergi Llongueras. The veteran Hermance just kept the upper hand for second place, with the Spaniard in third.
Trials Men Elite 26” semi-final results
1st Jack Carthy (GBR) – 860 points
2nd Vincent Hermance (FRA) – 680 points
3rd Sergi Llongueras (ESP) – 640 points
4th Nicolas Vallée (FRA) – 640 points
5th Gilles Coustellier (FRA) – 620 points
6th Joacim Nymann (SWE) – 590 points
The 29 riders from 14 nations also knew their number would be whittled down to six for Saturday’s Men’s 20” final.
Alejandro Montalvo set the tone, leading in the first two rounds to give himself first place overall while fellow Spaniard and UCI World Cup holder, Borja Conejos, finished the final round strongly to secure second. Germany’s Dominik Oswald put in a powerful final round to take third place ahead of UCI World Champion Thomas Pechhacker, of Austria.
Trials Men Elite 20” semi-final results
1st Alejandro Montalvo (ESP) – 760 points
2nd Borja Conejos (ESP) – 730 points
3rd Dominik Oswald (GER) – 710 points
4th Thomas Pechhacker (AUT) – 690 points
5th Ion Areitio (ESP) – 640 points
6th Samuel Hlavaty (SVK) – 580 points
An incredible 59 riders from 28 different countries fought for places in Saturday’s semi-finals – which only the top 24 would progress to. The biggest points haul came from Japan’s Rimu Nakamura with 85.76 points, in front of James Jones (GBR) on 84.10 and Martin Logan (AUS) on 82.86. Defending World Champion Justin Dowell (USA)’s 77.46 put him ninth. Riders from 13 countries will take to the park for Saturday’s semi-finals.
Saturday’s action will mostly revolve around trials with the finals in every category, along with qualification for BMX Freestyle Park Women semi-finals.