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Locals rule CrankWorx

Baker, Whiteman, Buchar, Gracia and Morland among top riders; 17-year-old BMX star takes slopestyle

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Siemens Mobile Slopestyle

Although some of the top names in freeride mountain biking were on the prequalified list for this year, some of the best competition came from Friday’s qualifier.

The course, which was also designed by Richie Schley, had a lot of everything for the riders to choose from – huge gap jumps, drops, a road gap, a wall ride, a quarterpipe, a massive teeter-totter, and a step up onto some scaffolding.

Organizers estimate that the crowd was 10,000 strong for the main event, which got underway at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Riders got to make two runs in the first round, after which point judges would narrowed the field down to eight. After another round of eliminations the field narrowed down to two riders who were to compete for the top prize.

There were too many highlights to mention, but some memorable moments from the competition include Kirt Voreis’ crash and recovery on the teeter-totter, huge moves by Richie Schley and Cedric Gracia off the road gap, backflips over the big gaps by Kyle Ebbett and Cameron Zink, Kyle Strait’s backflip onto the scaffolding in the semi-finals, and Cameron McCauls’s huge BMX tricks, backflips and quarterpipe moves.

Big points also have to go to:

Wade Simmons, who crashed on a 360 attempt on the top gap then rode the rest of the way down with no seat – tempting fate by pulling a no-footer over one of the big gaps;

Gareth Dyer for the biggest wall ride of the day;

Cory Derpak, a late qualifier who pulled a huge tail whip on the massive road gap;

Ryder Kasprick, who landed his first ever backflip in a contest.

At the end of the evening there were just two riders left, Timo Pritzel, who was landing backflips and 360 combinations over the gaps, and 17-year-old Paul Basagoitia, who was one of the most entertaining riders of the day.

In the finals Basagoitia pulled a tailwhip off the boxes, landed a backflip over the gaps, did another tailwhip on the quarterpipe, and finished with a backflip onto the scaffolding. He lost control of the landing, but somehow managed to throw another tailwhip as he rode off the scaffolding onto the final transition.

Not to be outdone, Pritzel pulled a backflip up top, then gapped the entire box jump. He threw in a couple of BMX moves over the big gaps before he attempted to jump the entire scaffolding section, getting the biggest air of the day.

He was more than 25 feet over the transition when he realized he was going to clear the transition, and attempted to bail out. He crashed hard, breaking his ankle and his wrist.