Expectations were high for last weekends Red Bull Empire Of Dirt BMX competition in at Londonâs Alexandra Palace. And with Red Bullâs reputation for throwing huge amounts of funding into their signature events this BMX extravaganza was always going to be an epic show.
The course itself was nothing short of incredible, starting under the arches of Ally Pallyâs south side it weaved and carved its way down the Palaceâs Lawn overlooking London with glimpses of Canary Wharf and The Shard on the skyline. The predicted rain held off all weekend leaving the 25,000 tons of dirt dry for the 36 Pro riders from around the world to make their mark and impress the judges any way they could.
Saturdays qualifiers kicked off in style with every rider making the most of the varied and inventive course. With so many different lines available to the riders the 16 places available in Sundayâs finals were going to be hard to secure. This meanât every competitor riding out of their skin to make the cut and the crowd were witness to some amazing riding.
Sunday then saw these top 16 riders split into two groups with the top two from each group going through to the super final. With the likes of Ben Wallace, Mike Clark, Brandon Dosch, Chris Doyle, Ally Whitton and Etnies own Sergio Layos competing against each other London was treated to a BMX masterclass. Standout riding from Paul Langards, part of which saw a super clean opposite 7 over the last set and BMX godfather Ryan Nyquist who had back-to-back 360 variations on lock down made the judges job hard. But after a short deliberation we had a super final containing Ben Wallace (UK), Ryan Nyquist (US), Drew Bezanson (CAN) and Mike âHuckerâ Clark (US).
Despite incredible riding from both Mike and Drew they were unable to stop the machine that is Ryan Nyquist pulling out all the stops to finish up 2nd on the podium and man of the minute, the UKâs very own Ben Wallace from not only taking 1st place over all but also winning the âRider of the Weekendâ award as voted for by the riders themselves.
So overall; Red Bullâs money, creating an epicly huge course plus 36 of the worldâs top BMXers and no rain made for one hell of any event. Bring on next years EOD!