FISE Montpellier 2018... With 22 years of steeped history and an unrivalled heritage of pure energy and vigour behind the spread of extreme sports, the Montpellier stop of the FISE series will always go down as the brightest jewel in the World Series' heavily encrusted crown.
The crowds are like no other, the atmosphere feels ultimately distorted in its chemical composition, so much used and abused oxygen, exhausted in roars and vigorous applause.
It is estimated the crowds exceeded 120,000 but whatever said number truly is it feels ten times more impressive once things get underway.
Since the last stop the points have been in Aussie Brute, Brandon Loupos’ court and the pressure was only double for him to retain his lead with Ozzie machine Logan Martin back in action after breaking his collar bone earlier in the year.
Words and photos by Mike Drummond
Videos by Scott Connor
The unusual setup in Japan ended up seeing some riders having difficulty getting comfortable with some of the obstacles really seperating out the field of riders...
The Montpellier course brought back the straight jump... FIVE FOLD!
This allowed for the heavy hitters to really fly, be that on the step-up spine, step up box, 1 or 2 and the tranny to tranny box which saw some casual bangers thrown out mid run.
With the course design shared with the riders up to 2 weeks in advance, there is an air of opportunity to focus on lines, and course before on site practice begins, but for many the reality sets in during practise that you can't be as free as you might like when 24 other riders are out there hitting the same hip.
Fortunately there weren't any collisions this time round but the UK team did see a whole bunch of riders miss out on places due to injuries sustained in practice and qualifiers.
James Jones managed to dislocate his elbow, Ben Wallace missed a hand on bars to toboggan that put him out of his second run pretty early, which left him catching his breath but walking away OK and Cam Peake bounced from a hang up on the vert bowl section down to terra firma, hurting or breaking something in his hand.
There was a great amount of anticipation surrounding the semis and finals, and with warnings in place for some serious rain on the Sunday, it seemed like everyone laid down their A-game during semi finals just in case the heavens did fall. Brian Fox was a prime example – he didn't hold anything back. 1080 over that mad spine and a double flip transfer across two boxes? OK then. See below for the video.
They were right to do so – it seemed that only flatland managed to get its finals in just minutes before the first bit of rain started to pepper the black flat bottoms of each BMX venue. The Spine Mini Finals were first to get blasted by some quality sideways precipitation and that was only the beginning.
"With some serious rain forecast for Sunday, it seemed like everyone laid down their A-game during semi finals just in case the heavens did fall..."
15 hours later and the rain chilled out… But left what can only be described as a scene from Glastonbury in its wake. Submerged tents, lakes of mud and trodden plywood walkways. Not to mention a variety of mighty fine ramps, rails and ledge left unrideable unless perhaps you are Eric Holley and that shit don't phase you.
That being the case Spine qualis became finals, Park Semis became finals, and Street qualis did the same. It was unfortunate but sometimes sessions get rained out – so why not major international competitions.
Let's hope the sun keeps its fresh brimmer bowler on for the next stop of the FISE World Series in Canada...
FISE Montpellier 2018 BMX Park Results:
- Nick Bruce
- Logan Martin
- Marin Rante
FISE Montpellier 2018 BMX Spine Results:
- Pat Casey
- Torres Gil Jose
- Justin Dowell