BMX Freestyle crowned its first UCI World Cup leaders of the year in the Japanese city of Hiroshima at the weekend. The first round of the UCI BMX Freestyle Park and Flatland World Cup saw spectacular performances throughout the two days of competition.
In the first-ever UCI World Cup event for BMX Freestyle Flatland, the host nation lived up to its reputation in the discipline with an all-Japanese podium in the women’s competition (Katagiri Misari, Eriko Ono and Eri Funatsu). In the men’s Flatland, three Japanese athletes qualified for the eight-rider final, however it was France that dominated the podium. Victory went to Matthias Dandois and third place to Alex Jumelin. Spain’s Jorge Gomez separated the two French athletes, claiming second place.
“You could tell that the crowd knew what is was watching because the Japanese are true fans of BMX Flatland,” declared Dandois after his victory in front of a dense and receptive throng of spectators.
After narrowly qualifying for the finals of the BMX Freestyle Park, Australia’s Brandon Loupos scored an exceptional 92.10 points on the first run of the final to claim victory in front of Kenneth Tencio (Costa Rica), who scored 88.80 points. Venezuela’s Daniel Dhers came back from a heavy crash the day before to take the final spot on the podium.
At 16 years of age, American Hannah Roberts continues her domination of women’s BMX Freestyle Park, winning the first round in Hiroshima. First in Saturday’s qualifying, the reigning UCI World Champion and last year’s UCI World Cup winner went on to claim victory in Sunday’s final in front of fellow American Angie Marino and Germany’s Lara Lessmann.
The second round of the UCI BMX Freestyle Park and Flatland World Cup will take place in Montpellier (France) May 9-13.