ABC Contest video

So Valentin Flad manage to bang out a nice edit just a few days after the event. Definitely worth checking out, captures the whole weekend well.

Hit play.

ABC OF FLATLAND | BMX CONTEST | BY VALENTIN FLAD

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ABC Flatland Contest Report

Well, where to begin with this crazy week I had. Flying to Holland from the UK to hang out with Dutch crew (Bodean, Dez, Sietse, Gino and co), then a couple days later we took an 8 hour drive to Alencon in the north of France. Also doing a U-turn in rush hour,  just as we’re about to go through a tunnel. Didn’t think we’d fit so was time to annoy A LOT of French drivers. Big up to Bodean for not caring and to Erik for being a great traffic controller. Few more hours later, we arrived at the the ABC Flatland Contest.

Credit Maxime Cassagne

Credit Maxime Cassagne

Stepping into the venue for the contest was quite an experience, different to other typical flatland events. A grand building, La Halle au Blé. With its tall glass ceiling, perfect concrete floor, and circular structure it was almost like the colosseum, filled with riders from around the globe to prove themselves. Also notably was the screen for the live feed which would start on Saturday for people to watch around the globe.  The mayor of the city was in attendance to greet the riders and thank them for being part of the event. This was something a little unique which gave a feeling of welcoming from this small French city. Music was playing, the chairs for audience were filling up and also some snacks and food was provided for the riders and public. Good vibes and great hospitality from Kevin, also huge respect hooking up people with hotels for the weekend included in the entrance fee.

Credit Maxime Cassagne

Credit Maxime Cassagne

So, with your surroundings taken in, the next thing you couldn’t help but notice was the strong turnout, 40+ riders already tearing up the floor and others were due to arrive late Friday and Saturday morning. Rather than running with best trick contest, Kevin and the organisers went a slightly different approach. With the likes of whiplash contest, longest hang 5, also getting crowd involved by judging 30 second combos on the front and back wheel. Not something you always see, so that was pretty cool.
To end the show there was a battle of 2 teams, 5 random riders, and one combo for each and the crowd decides the winner.
Was a nice way to get all the riders talking to each other from all levels and also a bit of prize money for the winner of each challenge. After this the session was on and everyone was practicing for the contest the next day. It was a straight final format, no qualifying so people were going all out. Everybody was pulling combos and you could see that Saturday was set to be a banger.

Credit Maxime Cassagne

Credit Maxime Cassagne

So after a few drinks from Friday night, I think many riders felt prepared, some looked a bit bleary eyed, including myself but still ready to ride and up for the contest. With more guys turning up such as Kevin Nikulski, Thomas Noyer, Dez Maarsen, Viki Gomez and the UK veteran James White; you knew things were going to be serious. The organisation of the day was well implemented, a timetable was set which gave riders enough time to practice and warm up before their run.  The live stream was due to start with the day and this is an awesome idea that I think should be put across to other events. It gives people a chance to see it all happening in real time if they couldn’t make it or just wanted to catch the event online.

Credit Maxime Cassagne

Credit Maxime Cassagne

At 11am the amateur class was due to start,  I recognised some the faces in this crowd and was stoked to see these guys making it to more contests. Congrats to Gabriel Gallon for taking the win. When the Amatuer riders had finished there were some more practice sessions for the Expert Class. Nicolas Delangle took the win in this class with some nice inside peg wheelie variations like cross arm, peg grab one hand. All very controlled and smooth. Mix that with some cross arm hang 5’s to messiahs and steamrollers, a very solid run from this expert rider! A well deserved top spot.

Moving forward it was starting to hot up. All riders were in attendance and the floor was a barrage of Master, and Pro class riders getting there warm up time in before it was called for Master class only. 16 riders were entered in this it was to make for some good viewing. Markus Schwital who took the win at Com’in Lyon had a determined look in his eyes, and was hitting combos in practice but unfortunately his run didn’t work out so well and landing him in 11th place. I swear everytime I watch Master class at an event I am always staggered at how good everyone is. Not only with tricks themselves but consistency, so I was looking forward to it. Gurvan Le Bloch was a new name and face to me, and that kid has got some skills; super smooth turbine peg wheelies into time machines, cross arm mc circles, some nice steam roller variations. All with a pretty solid run and maybe a couple of touches. Congrats to Gurvan and look forward to seeing more of this rider in the future.

Credit Maxime Cassagne

Credit Maxime Cassagne

Now moving onto Pro, for me I always say I’d hate to judge this class and this event was no exception as to why I continue to think so. It was split into 3 groups for the 30 riders, and it consisted of some heavy hitters so I think it would be safe to say that everyone was expecting a pretty close and crazy pro class. If I’m honest I don’t really remember many specifics due to so much going on. But, BUT there definitely a few things that stuck out. So here’s a quick run down, then I’ll post the videos and let you see for yourself.

Viki; the winner from the first ABC also managed to place top spot this year. His usual flowing combination of backwheel tricks all pieced together with some new bits and pieces that video will be able to say more than I can, lets just leave it at that. Also mixing it up on the front wheel with some things I don’t think I’ve seen from him before in a contest which was awesome to see. Viki was so dialled as soon as he got on this bike it was tough to see if anyone could match this.

Credit Maxime Cassagne

Credit Maxime Cassagne

One person I thought was an extremely close second; going back to the fact I don’t like to judge at events, this would have been a perfect example. Dez recently was hooked up to Orbea and rightly so, I’m sure many have witnessed his Facebook videos with his crazy combos. Half hiker 360 flip to halfpacker from both sides, in a combo. That is just insane, I don’t think its ever been in a contest so huge respect to Dez for pulling that out the bag and gets a well deserved second place.

Credit Maxime Cassagne

Credit Maxime Cassagne

Third place goes to Dortmunds finest spinner, Kevin Nikulski. His usual flurry of turbine steamrollers, with big barflips and crazy fast pedal time machines it wasn’t hard why he placed third. With being stylish in his tricks and having a solid run, congratulations to Kevin.

Credit Maxime Cassagne

Credit Maxime Cassagne

Pro class was over, but so much more information to take in above these top three places I feared my brain might explode so everyone, as you do at a contest, got ready for the party. With beers everywhere and things starting to get lively the results were announced and it was time for celebrations with all the riders who made the weekend. I think the less I say about this the better, the German riders were making the most of their time in France and really partying hard which resulted in some heavy hangovers and a Kevin Nikulski sleeping in his bike bag the next day.

Now the main event was over, the Sunday consisted of a jam for whoever could make it or was still there. Around 3pm, we headed back to Holland either sleeping off a hangover or just being stoked on the event. So huge respect to Kevin Meyer for holding the ABC of Flatland and thanks to everyone who made the weekend possible. It was greatly organised, in an amazing location and look forward to coming back. Apologies to the residents of Alencon as I’m sure 40+ BMX riders in an unsightly prospect but I’m sure we’ll see you next year.

Credit Maxime Cassagne

Credit Maxime Cassagne

For full results from the contest click here

For the top 10 Pro runs and more from the ABC contest check out the Youtube page here

Thanks to Maxime Cassagne for the photos, check him out on Facebook or Tumblr.

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Updates a’comin.

So sorry for the delay with some updates. Been busy with riding and more riding, so not always a bad thing! Coming your way in the next 24 hours will be the report from the ABC Flatland Contest which was held in Alencon, France. It was a pretty good weekend, high level of riding with nice vibes all round.

Stay tuned for the report, here’s a picture to wet your whistle in the mean time!

Credit to Maxime Cassagne

Credit to Maxime Cassagne

I’m off to ride now, so check back later for more!

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Motivation

A few weeks into 2014 and a lot of things are starting to take shape for the coming year. Progression in riding is one of them, and it’s not only me who is learning new tricks and pushing their own boundaries and creativity. Top professional from France, Matthias Dandois released a new welcome video for his partnership with La Cremerie. I don’t really need to say anything else apart from watch this, get motivated and go and ride!

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Bring in 2014

So happy new year, hope 2013 was a great year for everybody and that you’re all ready for what this year will bring. For me 2013 was really taking my riding and doing it for me.

More contests and progression than in previous years and I feel motivated to keep doing the same and more, so this year is going to be good without a shadow of doubt.

So over the last few months I had been filming my progression and uploading via Instagram mainly. I took these clips and put them in a compilation video to round up my year. Was really nice for me too see it all in one video so I hope you enjoy it too. Happy 2014 to you all, hope it brings it all you want and more.

http://vimeo.com/82922697

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Music Time

So, most people when they ride listen to music. Whether it’s for motivation, distraction or just because they want to hear some of their favourite tracks.

That brings me to this post right now, I thought I’d share with you what will be getting me out on my bike this weekend. I’m mostly into chilled hip-hop beats, sometimes something a bit more bumpin’ but it changes daily.

Get an earful of this 51 track album courtesy of Sinoptic. It’s called “Pure Dopeness vol. 7” and it’s a good listen.

Click HERE for the album, and have a good weekend ! 

Ride on!

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Thomas Noyer – Frontyard work

Keeping with the French theme, Thomas Noyer is a hugely underrated rider. I’ve met him a few times, super nice guy, down to earth and absolutely kills it on a bike. Style for miles and getting speed from no where, its a real treat to watch. He busts out an original trick at the end of this video, so dialled. Keep an eye out for this guy!

Now stop reading and start watching!

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Com’In Lyon 2013 Report

My journey started at 3am Friday morning from Bristol to London to catch an early flight for what I hoped to be an amazing weekend at Com’in Lyon, and I’ll tell you now I wasn’t let down. By 11am I was in Lyon and greeted by Kevin Jacob, Stephan Bar and Sebastian Grubinger. We went to get some food and chill at the BMX Force headquarters while waiting for the word to head to the contest site to help set up the floor for the next day.


In the meantime the guys were working hard to get all the final pieces ready for Saturday. This went from screen printing the Com’in Lyon logo on some t-shirts and then tie-dying them, which turned out really nice, to finalising sticker prints and making arrangements to pick up riders and make them feel at home.
So after a few beers with Sebastian and trying to warm up next to the heater in the cold workshop, it was time to head to the contest site.

image (7)

We arrived late on Friday night and the location was a real treat, a huge gymnasium at the highest point in Lyon looking over the city with a view for miles. Entering the gymnasium we were presented with around 20 riders all running around with boards, tape, fences, chairs, speakers and the rest. It worked out great and in an hour or so the floor was set up and ready to ride. Quentin Pelorson was the first to the floor, straight off the bat killing it with some smooth nose manual turbine whiplash combos. A few hours later and the session came to a close, everybody was tired as it was the early hours and the cold was creeping in. Off to bed for the first night, to rise early for day 1 of Com’in Lyon.


SATURDAY.

Waking up early at Kevin Jacobs place, we took through the streets of Lyon up to the gymnasium, which is enough of a warm up in itself. There was a huge turn-out. Overall there was just over 60 riders spread across the 4 classes, 22 in pro class alone. So after saying hello to everyone and catching up with some of the guys, I quickly got to riding.
Practice was really good, extremely busy as everyone wanted to get in on the floor to make the most of it before their runs.

image (10)

The vibe was really chilled with Hip-Hop banging all day from the DJ, everyone was ready for their runs and got their place around the area ready to watch the amateur class. It was really great to see some of the kids coming up in France, even at a young age they were pulling backwards hitch hikers, surfers, tail whips and barspins. Definitely future talents in that class.

Next up were expert riders, watching these guys made me think of how good the scene in France really is. A barflip  from bar-split hang 5 into half packer was a trick that really stood out to me, I didn’t get the name but I think he took the top place on Saturday with a solid run. There was so much going on in this class, was really stoked on seeing people stepping it up.


Master class was awesome, Markus Schwital who took first place on Saturday with smooth front wheel turbines and throwing down spinning hikers and decades on the back wheel. Kevin Meyer was on form with his backpackers and no handed backpacker whips a’la Sam Foakes. With these guys tearing up the floor in this class you can definitely say that a lot of these riders will be taking the step to pro class in the next year or so!

Then it was pro class, practice as expected was crazy. With a bit of time to get warmed up I was hitting combos and was looking forward to my run, but unfortunately didn’t go so well and took joint 20th for the day. Matthieu Bonnecule was busting out completely original moves, one to watch for sure. Kevin Jacob who was my host for the weekend, smoothly doing jump lashes, and whiplashes on the stem! With 2 groups, 11 in each class it quickly heated up during the first day of runs. Matthias Dandois had a flawless run putting him in top spot, busting out front and back wheel combos with ease.


After the flatland we had about an hour to ride before setting outside the back for the street event. Two quarter pipes and the shadow conspiracy coffin was the set up, it was so cold but seeing some guys sending themselves was pretty crazy. I’m not sure on the results but some tech grinds and BMX Force main man Remi was also involved, street, flat, whatever! All while this was going on they were setting up for a hip hop show courtesy of Godfather from Infamous Mobb / Mobb Deep. After this we took to the BMX force headquarters for BMX films and some partying.

SUNDAY.

Sunday came round for the last day of the 5th edition of Com’in Lyon. Everyone turned up, some looking as if they hadn’t slept and some were making up the hours on the Monster bean bags. Watching the finals was great, a bigger crowd had come for the last day and the room was filled with energy. It was a nice idea to give everyone a second run as they could have another chance to boost themselves up rankings or to hold down their positions. The heat was on!

image

I didn’t make many notes through the day so can’t really say much about today. In pro class Mathieu Bonnecuelle threw down a no handed whiplashes defying the laws of gravity which in my opinion was trick of the day. I’m sure many will agree. Matthias had a few small touches but came back with some new combos adding bits to ever growing tricktionary. Quentin killed it yet again with spinning hang 10 Barflips to halfpacker, followed by a really slick barflip ride out. If there is any footage anywhere please send it over!

RESULTS

Amatuer

1. Mikael Vest

2. Anatole Rahain

3. Thibaud

Expert 

1. Laurent Perrier

2. Cyril Laurent

3. Kevin Fessenmeyer

Master

1. Markus Schwital

2. Yannick Cheuvel

3. Kevin Meyer

Pro

1. Matthias Dandois

2.  Mathieu Bonnecuelle

3. Quentin Perlorson

Congratulations to everyone who entered and huge respect to the guys who made this possible. Com’in Lyon is an amazing event, really nice vibes and great community between all the riders. I’ve been told that for the 6th edition it’s going to be even bigger so keep an ear out for details on next year. It’s an event everyone should make a date for on their calendar.
Thanks again to Kevin Jacob for letting me stay, BMX force and all who helped organise this awesome event!

See you next year at Com’in Lyon 2014.

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All packed and ready to go.

So I’m all packed. After a few trips away this year with my new bag, I’ve finally nailed down how to pack it quickly, and neatly! Can’ wait to go to Lyon.

I’ll put some updates up over the weekend, and you can follow my instagram @joshbriars for more!

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COM’IN LYON 2013

So this Friday (15th November) I will be travelling to Lyon for my last contest of the year. I first went to Com’in Lyon in 2009 and am looking forward to going again this time round. I can’t wait to see all of the riders from France, and also Moya from Spain will be making an appearance. It’s gonna be an awesome weekend for Flatland!

Check out more info on Com’in Lyon here.

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