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Pushing the boundaries of slopestyle mountain biking once again, Red Bull Joyride descended the Whistler Mountain Bike Park as the gravity-fueled anchor event of the Crankworx Whistler Festival. Big tricks and plenty of clean runs blew the judges away, but it was 22-year-old Whistler resident Brandon Semenuk who reclaimed the podium’s top step after his first win in 201. His second run was the highest score ever recorded at the event, and the victory earned him $25,000. Martin Söderström of Sweden took second place, followed Sam Pilgrim of the UK in third.
“Being back in my hometown in front of my friends and family, I wanted to put together the best run I could possibly think off and get the win at home,” Semenuk said.
This course fused elements of dirt jumping, slopestyle and classic North Shore mountain biking. Eighteen of the world’s best athletes held little back in front of a raucous crowd of more than 25,000 spectators, one of the largest turnouts for a single event in Whistler’s history. As the sun broke through the clouds, competitors threw massive tricks and found some unique lines on one of the longest slopestyle courses ever built, with 12 trickable features. “This year was definitely the best Joyride course yet, flowing really well and was lots of fun to ride,” said Semenuk.
Using all the features, Semenuk’s second run was clean and technical. Other than Sam Pilgrim, he was the only rider to backflip off the Red Bull Joyride cabin, a significant trick that very few riders are able to do. Semenuk’s second run edged out Martin Söderström, who had been sitting in first, but would have a second chance to reclaim the top spot. His second run was thrilling and he threw down a clean triple tailwhip in the middle of the course. Had he might have topped Semenuk, had he not slipped a pedal while trying a 360 double whip off the final jump.
RED BULL JOYRIDE RESULTS
First Place: Brandon Semenuk, Canada
Second Place: Martin Söderström, Sweden
Third Place: Sam Pilgrim, United Kingdom
Breakout Award: Anton Thelander, Sweden
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