Britain’s first BMX champion of the summer named at Red Bull Empire of Dirt at Alexandra Palace
The finals of Red Bull Empire Of Dirt at ‘Ally Pally’ were nothing short of epic. 10.000 visitors got together to see the world’s best riders bomb down the hill and hit up all obstacles. Things heated up quickly with the 16 riders aiming for the 4 spots that were available for another extra run in the super final.
With a bit more time on the course, the riders started to feel more comfortable and that showed in their riding. Paul Langlands from New Zealand pulled an opposite 720 on the last set and Kye Forte (UK) did a 360 over the road which had not been done all weekend. Alistair Whitton's handplant over the spine was not to be repeated and also Brandon Dosch (USA) pulled a clean opposite 720 on the way down.
The expected rain never showed up and the crowd saw Ryan Nyquist (USA), Ben Wallace (UK), Drew Bezanson (CAN) and Mike "Hucker" Clark (USA) make the super final which gave each one of them an extra run to improve their score. Finishing in fourth was "Hucker" who did have a plan for the last set (double flip) but he never made it there to move up to a spot on the podium. On the podium however in third was Drew Bezanson whose original style, combined with his tricks got him up on the box. He had the best two days of his life riding at the EOD and the smile on his face proved that.
Never count out Ryan Nyquist. Once again he ripped it up with opposite truck drivers on the mini mega, double barspins over the spine and multiple 360 variations on the last three sets. He raised the roof in his last run and got spot number 2 on the podium.
After receiving the "Rider of the weekend" award, as voted by the riders themselves, Ben Wallace also received the number one award from the judges. For them it was clear that Ben was the winner. He'd been showing off his park and dirt skills all weekend and was clearly motivated by the presence of Stephen Murray and the great crowd.
‘I’m so stoked to have won this event on home soil”, said Wallace as he celebrated his win with fellow Super Finalists Ryan Nyquist, Drew Bezanson and Mike Clark. “This has been the best BMX event I’ve been a part of, mainly thanks to the atmosphere and the energy of the crowd. I’m pretty happy!” which echoed the thoughts of all the riders.
Kye Forte and his team spent three weeks and an estimated 23,192 man hours manhandling 720,000 shovelfuls of dirt to create the course for the contest, which aims to find the most well rounded rider from the various disciplines of BMX as they tame huge features, motocross-style jumps and snowboard type hits.
1. Ben Wallace (UK)
2. Ryan Nyquist (USA)
3. Drew Bezanson (USA)
4. Mike Clark (USA)
Rider of the weekend award: Ben Wallace (UK)
Trick of the weekend award: TJ Ellis (USA)
For more information, check out www.redbull.co.uk/empireofdirt