Top riders in the world will sit on the sidelines for Sunday’s UCI World Cup finals
The best of the best took a thrashing in the Men’s BMX Freestyle Park World Cup Semi-Final on Saturday, leaving the top three riders in the circuit out of Sunday’s final round.
One of the most decorated athletes in the sport, Venezuelan Daniel Dhers, couldn’t put a solid enough combination down, after falling on course, and to many fan’s shock nor could Australian Brandon Loupos or American Daniel Sandoval.
Dhers is still very much in contention to take season’s FISE overall title, however, his absence from the top-12 in Chengdu does leave the door open for new names, including Croatian rider Marin Rantes, who took first overall for the day.
“Yesterday I fell down and I almost didn’t make it to the semi-finals. Then today, it was like okay, you cannot fall down, just do the best you can do—and it worked,” said an obviously elated Rantes.
Packing out his run with tricks, the young rider’s 720 tail-whip and 360 triple-whip exhibited the vault of a seasoned veteran and left him savouring a career high before Sunday’s final showdown. And he wasn’t the only new face to make the cut.
Twenty-four-year-old Jonathan Camacho appeared to have stolen the crowd’s heart as he earned his first trip to the finals. Signing autographs and posing for pictures, he was smashing out as many smiles and high-fives as he did tricks on the course.
“I’m really happy he made it in with the best in the world. This is awesome,” he said, with the help of translator.
Camacho figured it was the height of his flair and backflip double-whip, which sealed the deal for him. While 10th place might not leave him a strong contender for tomorrow’s UCI World Cup win, the 24-year-old will spend the night figuring out how to give it everything he has.
Daniel Dhers, meanwhile, will be watching Australian Logan Martin like a hawk. If Martin comes first in tomorrow’s competition, it will knock him out of contention for the overall title.
Men’s UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup Semi-Final standings:
1: Marin Rantes - Croatia - 88.00 PTS :
2: Logan Martin - Australia - 87.09 PTS
3: Alex Coleborn - UK - 87.08 PTS
Watch the run of Marin Rantes