FISE Montpellier Women's Finals saw a great mix of tricks, style and flow...
The sun was shining and despite the crowds not being quite as heated yet as we are used to here in Montpellier, the noise was electric enough to spur on twelve of the world's best female BMX riders in the FISE Montpellier Women's Final.
All eyes were on reigning champion Hannah Roberts to retain the stop spot, but it seems as though the field has stepped up its game since the first UCI Chengdu event back in November. With all twelve really having a solid change of taking a top spot, everyone was feeling the pressure and the judges certainly had a hard time making decisions down to the diversity of strengths the riders have.
Video by Scott Connor
Words and photos by Drummond
Angie Marino and Teresa Fernandez Miranda kept things lofty and fluid as they made use of some of the bigger ramps on the course and made it look good while doing so, and then riders such as Ellie Chew and Nina Buitrago kept hot on the toes of the top qualifiers with some unique lines and wallrides.
BUT, there will always be a podium, and filling that would be best three on the day.
Unfortunately the current champion was just shy of the top three, although putting together a decent second run and getting redemption on the flair which saw her slide out on her first visit to the course, it just wasn't enough to see off Lara Lessman the German who took third place, Nikita Ducarozz taking second and the winner of FISE Montpellier, Japanese Minato Oike.
"The judges certainly had a hard time making decisions down to the diversity of strengths the riders have."
All three women gave the judges a lot to think about, and pleased the riders, press and fans who lined the course to see who would take the win at the second stop of the FISE world series 2018.
Lara really seems to have dialled in her boost button and was hitting everything with some speed which made for a good watch, especially with her throwing in the kickflip-barspin and a truck for good measure.
It really looks like Nikita has been drilling in the combos for the last few months, as pretty much every hit saw some sort of double whammy. Can-can to one footed X-up, No hander to can, one footed table, and finishing off her second run with a solid 540 that she has been at odds with for the last couple of months. Props to her for pulling it out the bag!
Top spot was worked for and Minato’s first run firmly ensured the victory. Cranked turndowns, whip clean to pedals on the box, and stretched no handers, amongst dialled combos peppered on each of the ramps on the park course made a long lasting impression on the judges that guaranteed her the win - along with the honour of making her second visit a trophy run, although the excitement maybe got the better of her, and went down about 10 seconds in.
However, she walked away unscathed and with a tear in her eye bowed to the crowd and punched the air with sheer satisfaction and triumph. A well deserved win.
FISE Montpellier Women's Final Podium:
- Minato Oike
- Nikita Ducarroz
- Lara Lessman