RESULTS: Red Bull Joyride

It was billed as a showdown for the ages, with multiple story lines to keep up with. Rogatkin had a shot a the Triple Crown of slopestyle, which nobody has ever managed to capture so far. He was also locked in a battle for the overall World Tour standings with Emil Johansson, with Brett Rheeder some ways off in the points but always on the hunt for a victory in Whistler. And then there was Semenuk...who hasn't entered any other events this past season, but who you can always count on to rise to the occasion, as he's done an unprecedented 4 times here already.

Conditions in Whistler were good, with just enough wind to keep the riders on their toes. Since Semenuk had no points in the overall FMB standings, he faced the for him very unusual task of dropping in first. He laid down a run that was close to perfect, with trademark Semenuk style and smoothness and of course a number of mind-blowing tricks, like the subtle variation on his one-foot can drop off the final feature where he in fact put his foot over the handlebar instead of to the side of the top tube...a trick dubbed the Flip Candy Bar. Watch his winning run below:

 

Challengers came and went, with nobody really getting close to Semenuk in the first round. Rogatkin had a run going which included a cash roll, a twister (1080), a triple tail whip and a front flip...only to see it all come undone on a simple barspin on the set-up jump just before the final feature. In true Rogatkin style, he ran back up the course, took some speed (not enough), and sent it short over the last feature on the course, taking a slam that would have ended the day for many a rider. It takes more than that to keep Rogatkin down of course, but in hindsight, it was extra cruel because he would then be undone by an overrotated cash roll in run two, and we were denied our big battle.

With Rheeder also crashing in both his runs, Emil Johansson looked like the only rider with a shot at dislodging Semenuk from the top spot. The young Swede delivered two flawless runs that showed exactly why Semenuk referred to him as "the next big thing in slopestyle" during the webcast, with amplitude, smoothness, and a calm that belies his age. He came up a few points short of Semenuk, but he's clearly knocking on the door.

That leaves us with one last story to tell, and it's a true fairy tale ending this one. Ryan Nyquist, the legend with every BMX title you can think of to his name has already managed to carve out a late blooming mountain bike slopestyle career for himself, sitting pretty in the overall Crankworx World Tour standings even before coming into Joyride. But even for a man who has nothing left to prove, a podium on the world's biggest scene would be something extra special, and Nyquist once again delivered under pressure. Having had third place taken away from him by Anthony Messere just a few runs ahead of him, the old dog found enough extra sauce to spice up his run and haul himself right back up there. With signature Nyquist style and composure, he went huge over the first few jumps of the course, throwing down tricks like a 720, a 360 suicide and of course his legendary one-handed X-up (this time as a backflip variation) to leave us as excited as if he had won the whole thing outright. Seeing the pure joy on his face as the score dropped just made it all that much sweeter - somewhat of a contrast to Semenuk's victory lap crash that left him trying to get his bars back straight for two minutes as opposed to joining the finish line party. But that's really just the Semenuk way. Highlights and results below:

 

2017 Red Bull Joyride Results

  1. Brandon Semenuk - 89.80
  2. Emil Johansson - 86.80
  3. Ryan Nyquist - 84.80
  4. Anthony Messere - 84.20
  5. Diego Caverzasi - 81.60

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