Thousands of spectators were on the verge of a heart attack as the best athletes from NIGHT of the JUMPs flew through the Olympiahalle on Friday night. 10 Freestyle MX riders from eight nations competed in the third round of the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship in the Bavarian capital city.
For the first time in NIGHT of the JUMPs history in Munich, the crowd were treated to a full World Championship fight. The riders field reflected the highest level in competitions with the 5-time FIM FMX World Champion, Maikel Melero (ESP, WC 2014-2018), Libor Podmol (CZE, WC 2010), Javier Villegas (CHL, WC 2009), Nitro World Games winner Pat Bowden (AUS, 2018), X Games Gold Medallists Rob Adelberg (AUS, 2018) and Adam Jones (USA, 2007), as well as the best riders of their countries, Fred Kyrillos from Brazil and Leonardo Fini from Italy were in the starting field. To close out the riders list was the young gun from the Czech Republic, Filip Podmol and last but not least, the German European Champion, Luc Ackermann.
The first riders were two of the returnees to NIGHT of the JUMPs after many years, Fred Kyrillos and Adam Jones. While the American showed his huge tricks like the Deadbody Flip with huge extension and the upright technical combos like the Turntable to Saran Wrap to make it into the final, it wasn’t enough for the South American who suffered a crash in training and wasn’t able to capitalise on his return to NIGHT of the JUMPs. Leo Fini who had such a good showing in Berlin, was unable to go through to the final after crashing his Egg Roll on the first jump of his run, but continued on to save some much needed championship points. The competition was so tight, even X Games Gold Medallist Rob Adelberg, had to sit out of the Top 6 final. Even Filip Podmol who had a huge 360 and California Roll in his repertoire was relegated to 7th in qualifying.
The crowd were witnessing the battle between the two behemoths of the World Championship in the opening round, with Maikel Melero and Luc Ackermann not giving each other an inch with both riders landing flairs, front flips and even Ackermann stomped a Double Backflip in Qualifying to secure pole position leading into the final. The Top 6 was rounded out by Maikel Melero, Pat Bowden, Javier Villegas and Libor Podmol.
The Whip Contest saw 6 of the best ‘whippers’ ride in trains in a jam session. But it was the surprise Racer-style whip from Javier Villegas that saw him enter the final against the Whip King, Pat Bowden. In the final though, Pat turned his Yamaha almost 180 degrees before bringing it back in to land to take the trophy. In the subsequent Synchro Contest, the Podmol Brothers triumphed with the natural synergy of brothers who train together.
The Top-6 Final started with the former World Champion, Libor Podmol. After a run filled with variety and big tricks including the LP Roll, the Base-jumper, Supercan Flip and Surfer Tsunami Flip. But it was the California Roll which could have delivered him a Podium result, however the Libor was unable to get back over the seat after he spun the body varial and had to throw the bike away and crashed out of the competition.
Representing Latin America in the final, Javier Villegas had the unenviable position of being the next rider out after watching a friend and competitor crashing out. But with professionalism and a big bag of tricks, Villegas put together a clean run which showed why he was the 2011 World Champion. Even with a slight bobble on the Superman Egg-Roll where he washed out on landing, Javier still amassed an impressive score for his return to the finals.
The story of Adam Jones’ return to NIGHT of the JUMPs only got better, as he put together his technical upright tricks of Turntable to Saran Wrap, No Hand Barhop to McMetz to No Hand Lander, Cliffhanger Flip, Ruler Flip, Double Grab Flip, huge Highlighter Indy and finishing with a Deadbody Flip. With a run filled with so many big bangers, the Chilean had to vacate the Hot Seat for the American.
It was up to the Aussie, Pat Bowden to fight for his place on the podium. With 12 tricks, two more than necessary, it still wasn’t enough for him to pip Adam Jones for the Hot Seat. With tricks like the Double Grab Flip, Cliffhanger to No Hand Lander + Cliffhanger Flip to No Hand Lander, Hart Flip and Ruler Flip, but it was 10 points less than Jones, which left Bowden taking 4th position for the round.
It was time for the Show-down between the top two riders of the tour in 2018 and currently in 2019, Luc and Maikel. The Spaniard had to start, and with his Egg Roll, Nac Flair, Seatgrab Flip, Cali Roll, Ruler Flip, Lazy Flip and No Hand Front Flip which he held for close to eternity, he managed to jump onto the Hot Seat with only 4 points over Adam Jones.
With the support of the Munich crowd, the German FMX Terminator knew what he needed to do to seal the victory: Front Flip, Hart Indy Flip, 360, Egg Roll, Surfer Tsunami Flip and a Double Backflip in his run. Then when Luc pulled the Double Flip with a Nac, getting all twisted up and almost under-rotated, he managed to muscle the bike around and land, which at that point the Olympiahalle erupted with uber-proud Germans.
With the Hat-Trick of World Championship wins for the young German, he is still sitting comfortably in first position overall with 60 points for the tour over Maikel Melero, who is currently sitting in 2nd position with 54 points.
The battle will rage on Saturday night, with the fight for 20 more World Championship points for the winner. For all those who aren’t able to make it to the Munich Olympiahalle, there is a LiveStream on www.nightofthejumps.tv
NIGHT of the JUMPs/FIM Freestyle MX World Championship
München, 26. Februar 2019 – Runde 3
Results NIGHT of the JUMPs – Final
1. Luc Ackermann GER DMSB Husqvarna 390 Points
2. Maikel Melero ESP RFME KTM 346 Points
3. Adam Jones USA AMA Yamaha 342 Points
4. Pat Bowden AUS MA Yamaha 332 Points
5. Javier Villegas CHL FMC Suzuki 314 Points
6. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Husqvarna 262 Points
Results Best Whip Contest
1. Pat Bowden AUS MA Yamaha
2. Javier Villegas CHL FMC Suzuki
1. Libor Podmol (CZE) / Filip Podmol (CZE)
2. Adam Jones (USA) / Pat Bowden (AUS)
FIM Freestyle MX World Championship 2019
Ranking (after 3rd contest)
1. Luc Ackermann GER DMSB Husqvarna 60 Points
2. Maikel Melero ESP RFME KTM 54 Points
3. Libor Podmol CZE ACCR Husqvarna 42 Points
4. Pat Bowden AUS MA Yamaha 42 Points
5. Rob Adelberg AUS MA Yamaha 32 Points
6. Javier Villegas CHL FMC Suzuki 29 Points
7. Leonardo Fini ITA PZM KTM 27 Points
8. Filip Podmol CZE ACCR Yamaha 21 Points
9. Kai Haase GER DMSB Suzuki 17 Points
10. Adam Jones USA AMA Yamaha 16 Points
11. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 13 Points
12. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Husqvarna 11 Points
13. Fred Kyrillos BRA CBM Honda 6 Points
NIGHT of the JUMPs Press-Office