Text by Risto Kalmre.
Three-times Simpel Session silver medalist Gary Young finally took home the gold. In usual Gary Young's fashion, he blazed his way around the course firing out all sorts of jumping variations, doing gaps to rails and finding lines that no one else could. All of this was done at really high speeds. Gary treated the big course as it was a childrens playground. His flow and fluidity of lines is simply unmatched. Alex Coleborn proved that he's a trick machine and sessioned the huge boxjump with a barrelroll whip and other variations. The British rider also fired out moves like triple whip from the huge quarter bank set-up and ended the contest with a bang – a massive flair to footjam out of the 8-foot quarter to the top of the 7 foot bank. A crowd favourite for sure – silver medal. Daniel Tünte was impressing the judges pulling all his hard trick with first try. He had both the street moves and some impressive ramp tricks, both pulled with an effortless style. All this secured the German rider the bronze medal. Alessandro Barbero got 4th and among other big moves he whipped the bike both ways on one go. Spaniard Naran had so many tricks and he did them all with style the Fly bikes posse is known for. Talking about style, then it's hard to not talk about Tommi "Dang Dang" Dugan – one of the most anticipated riders to arrive to the Summer Session. This was the first Simpel Session event for the Texan after missing out three previous ones due injures or cancelled flights. Tommi was excited to finally get to the north side of Europe and fired out indescribable airs and smooth lines. He had the tricks too, the young American pulled a massive 360 over the long flat rail all the way to flat and surprised everyone with a 180 transfer that noone was thinking was possible. Dang Dang even tried to fly all the way over the whole street-setup and was very close of making it. All this put him on 6th place. He was so stoked on it that got naked and did a rebel run for the amazement of Finnish the audience.
The rest of the Finalists were killing it as well and it definately wasn't easy for the judges to pick the first six awarded spots. Daniel Wedemejier pulled a huge icepick on the big vert wall. Markus Reuss was very consistent and went big. Greg Illingworth proved to be a Simpel Session's favorite showing a very powerful, yet stylish and effortless riding. The air was just packed with energy when this South-African dropped in. Corey and Nathan had all the street moves and even sessioned the jumps. Ondra Slez was demonstrating that landing any hard trick backwards is as easy as a breeze. Kevin Kalkoff, Sergio Layos and Stefan Lantschners runs were fully packed with style and a real treat to watch. The whole Fly Bikes team really have something unreal about their bike handling abilities.
Two of the lads who also qualified were Paul Ryan (11th in Qualif) and Andres Lainevool (13th in Qualif). Both had so many tricks and combos, pulling almost everything. Unfortunately some small injures kept them out from riding the Finals. Even beyond the finals the riders were shredding making this the highest level summer contest the Simpel Session has ever put on.
All photos by Mats Kahlström.
Gary Young wins Simpel Summer Session in Helsinki
On 20th of August, tens of thousands of passing spectators on Helsinki main square witnessed the second Stadi Summer Session, summertime edition of Simpel Session, going down to the history books as the biggest BMX contest ever thrown in Finland. The open-air contest brought together 67 top riders from 20 countries, with Gary Young (USA) stealing the show, Alex Coleborn (UK) coming second and Daniel Tünte (GER) taking the third place.
“The event was a big success – the line-up was better than ever before at the Simpel Session’s summer contests, the weather was great despite the worrisome forecasts, and the course was constantly surrounded by a cheering crowd. With BMX legends Darryl Nau and Andy Zeiss as announcers, the whole Helsinki main square was filled with energy, firing up one of the most amazing and inspiring Simpel Session contests so far,” said Risto Kalmre, founder and main organizer of Simpel Session.
A total of 67 riders competed in the contest, with close to half of them from Scandinavian and Baltic countries, to whom the contest serves as a qualification for the Simpel Session main contest, Europe’s biggest BMX- and skateboarding wintertime event taking place in February 2012 in Tallinn, Estonia (to be announced). The prize for Best Scandinavian performance went to the 21-year-old Adrian Malmberg from Sweden, placing 21st in the qualifications. The only Nordic rider who qualified to the finals was the Estonian shredder Andres Lainevool, who in the end did not ride the finals because of an injury, but was still recognized with the Best Baltic Rider award.
Three-time Simpel Session silver medalist Gary Young blazed his way around the course in his usual fashion, firing out all sorts of jumping variations, doing gaps to rails and finding lines that no one else could, keeping his flow and fluidity of lines at an unmatched level and earning the gold medal.
Silver medalist Alex Coleborn proved that he’s a trick machine and sessioned the huge boxjump with a barrelroll whip and other variations. The British rider also fired out moves like triple whip from the huge quarter bank set-up and ended the contest with a bang – a massive flair to footjam out of the 8-foot quarter to the top of the 7-foot bank.
Daniel Tünte secured his bronze medal by impressing the judges with pulling all his hard tricks on the first try. He had both the street moves and impressive ramp tricks, both pulled with an effortless style.
Other notable contestants included several top names from the Etnies and Sunday Bikes USA teams, and members of Fly Bikes, Vans and Nike European teams: among them Alessandro Barbero (ITA), Tommy Dugan (USA), Daniel Wedemejier (NL), Markus Reuss (GER), Corey Martinez (USA), Nathan Williams (USA), Kevin Kalkoff (FRA), Sergio Layos (SPA), Stefan Lantschner (ITA), Paul Ryan (GBR), Daniel Penafiel (SPA) and other athletes such as Greg Illingworth (ZA) and Ondra Zlez (CZE).
The contest bikepark was once again designed by Nate Wessel, responsible for many historic action sports courses of X-Games, Woodward Camps and beyond. It was built by Simpel Sessions own dedicated crew.