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Event Coverage [Event Archive]

Completely (back)flipped out in Hamburg!
text by kj & pics by

The best from the European and American Freestyle Series battle it out in Germany! Ailo Gaup (NORWAY) takes fisrt place in Hamburg!
12 of the world’s best riders converge on Hamburg for the highlight of the IFMXF season 2004. The contest promises to be an action packed and adrenalin charged event with big-names like living legend “Cowboy” Kenny Bartram from the US and current European ranking leader, Ailo Gaup from Norway attending to battle it out over the world champ title.

Opening with pyro show and nice sound performance

The powerful line-up is complemented with high flyers like Kris Brock from the UK, Oystein Kjörstad out of Norway, Mathieu Rebeaud from Switzerland and Fredrik Johansson from Sweden. Busty Wolter from Germany who recently took gold at the IFMXF comp in Bern, Switzerland last April is geared to use his hometown advantage and is surely a strong candidate for the finals. Also reappearing on the scene is Fabian Bauersachs from Germany who is celebrating a grand comeback after taking a six-month break due to injuries. Fabian was forced from 1st to 11th place in the IFMXF rankings since his injury and is back to hit the dirt and regain the momentum that he once had.

Fab Bauersachs came back and looked good after his injury

The Americans are represented by IFMA big shots "Cowboy" Kenny Bartram, Adam Jones and Ronnie Renner from the USA as well as Jeff Fehr, the shooting star out of Canada. Jeff is in Hamburg to replace Derek Burlew who had to pull out only a few days before the contest because of a cracked tibia. Jimmy Verburgh completes the line-up to represent Belgium in his 4th year with the IFMXF.

Frederik Johansson/SWE pulling a backflip | 3rd overall

One of the biggest events of the year in Europe, the SUZUKI Freestyle Motocross World Championship has pulled out all the stops to offer the 8.500 spectators a day that they are soon not to forget. A massive festival (LOUIS – Summer Bike Festival) kicked off the day in front of the Color Line Arena with 60 exhibition stands, show trucks and live bands as well as a Harley Davidson biker gathering and FMX demo-show getting every one in the mood for an extreme night of great freestyle. The venue is stocked to the roof with the finest in show lighting and pyrotechnics that seems to be geared more for an AC/DC concert than a freestyle contest. Babes from the world famous dollhouse from the “Reeperbahn” in downtown Hamburg are also set to offer the athletes that much needed encouragement to go to the limit and beyond.

Have a break - have a ... Kenny Batram and our buddy Reimi chilling

Now to the event and the first qualification round of the evening with the 11 riders fighting to get into the six strong finals. German rider Busty Wolter has to pull out at the last minute because of a sprained ankle. A one and a half minute run is all these great athletes have to get those important points from the 5-stong panel of Judges. Head Judge, Jason Moriarty, from South Africa is sure to be biting at his nails to distribute the points fairly. Included in the qualification is the “Oakley best trick contest” that will have one lucky rider taking home the first trophy of the night.

EvilIII Rider Kris Brock pulling a nice Double Hartattack | 5th place

The qualification round is packed with the best in FMX seen today. A highlight being the backflip from Ailo Gaup over 20 meters, which also at the same time is his premier at such a distance at a freestyle comp. This flip also earns the smooth rider from up north the Oakley best trick award.

Ronnie Renner won the Whip contest - who else ;-)

The whip contest is battled-out between Ronnie Renner and Kris Brock both known for their great pancake whips and cool moves. Kris isn’t up to snuff though and so Ronnie whips his way to first place taking the trophy.

Mat Rebeaud and Ronnie Renner shared the Step Up title

Step up is next in line with the 4 riders all making it to 7,20m. Two riders have to call it quits while both Mathieu Rebeaud and Ronnie Renner stay in to battles it out. Mat from Switzerland takes the dirt jump a bit skewed and ends up crashing into the Step-up bars bending one of them in half. Step-Up is a draw and surely a spectacular ending to a great competition.

Kenny Bartram with a nice Catnac

The final six are now set. And the battle is truly amazing. All the runs are packed with top-of-the-line FMX. Mathieu Rebeaud takes a surprise 2nd with his racing style around the track he has achieved two more jumps then the rest of the riders which in turn pushes his points ahead of the rest of the riders. In the end it just isn’t enough for Mat to beat multiple gold winner Ailo Gaup from Norway out of pole position. Ailo again takes the long 20m-backflip jump and earns a well-deserved 283 points lending him the title “SUZUKI Freestyle MX World Champion”. (Ailo is the only rider who flipped the long distance in Hamburg- long distance flipper and favourite for the evening win, Kenny Bartram seems to be struggling with his long break due to sustained injuries and only takes home 4th in the finals).

And the winner is: Ailo Gaup from Norway! He did a flip over 19 meters!

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