../events/Euro X-Games 2001

Sources: Freedom #40, Wheelies #4, www.fatbmx.com, www.theflatlander.com, Ride BMX UK october 2001, vimeo.com/user472715, ...
If you want to add any info, please contact buissonrouge@23mag.com.
Date: july 19-22, 2001
Place: Barcelona, Spain.

Barcelona, Spain, will host the first annual European X Games Qualifier. European athletes will flock to the Barcelona Pier, an insanely beautiful beachfront site, for three days of solid competition. Skateboarders, bicycle stunt riders, in liners and wakeboarders will be vying for a spot from one of nine sport categories to the 2001 X Games in Philadelphia.
Brandon Fenton www.theflatlander.com: This summer was my first trip to Europe, so you get to hear the impressions of a euro virgin. Well, I made the trip with David Artzone from France as well as Martti and his lady Eva, in a van that was also to be a camper for Dave and I for a few nights. The site for the X Games was right off the beach and also conveniently close to a strip of bars. This was also my first experience with the X Games so all and all it was an entirely new experience.
Let me say to start, when I arrived on the scene I saw Jorge 'Viki' Gomez ride for the first time and was stoked on his originality and style. The first day the riders were expected to ride on this crappy set up of plywood on stilts. Needless to say it was shady that someone would even think that was a reasonable flat surface. Anyway, by the end of the day the good people at the X Games moved it to a paved area in front of the Adidas truck at the entrance. Everyone seemed happy with the new riding area.
The pro class was stacked but only ten spots would qualify. So here's the breakdown on my impressions of the qualifiers. In tenth place was Alexis Desolneux, in my opinion he did some of the most difficult tricks I had seen all weekend including a cross footed Karl cruiser to cross footed half packer step through. However, with tricks that hard, consistency is difficult to maintain and he landed in tenth. Ninth place went to Michael Sommer of Austria, who flowed with intensity. Frank Lukas made the trip from Germany and, upside-down pedaling megaspin-ed his way to eighth place. Alex Jumelin looks dialed as hell on tape but when I saw him in person he was going so fast that it looked liked he could hardly hang on but, that's what gives him his cool look, seventh place.
Michael Steingräber has tricks that no one will ever see, he blew my mind in Cologne earlier in the month. When he is on, look out, brakeless insanity and sixth place. Kimmo Haakana, now brakeless, had just about any steam roller to tomahawk variation you could think of dialed, many of which were done while standing on the bars. He also had some nice back wheel flow for fifth. Matti Röse is the embodiment of flow, one of the sickest combo riders you will ever see, if you get the chance. Backwards straddle time machines for fourth place.
The top three was super tight but, when all was said and done Phil Dolan got third with an amazing barrage of pinky links, some sick multiple hitch whips to cross footed pedal nose wheelies and what I call a backwards pedal-escalator straddle rope, you know what I'm talkin' about. The top two guys ended up in a tie but after the low score was dropped the reigning X Games champion got second place with unreal kick-flip switches that he makes look easy. On top of that he let the bomb drop with the spinning no handed pedal truck, I believe he calls it the blender. Martti is seriously pushing into new realms of flatland where few could imagine being.
The champion of the day was none other then Spain's Jorge Gomez, his qualifier was flawless and he backed it up with an unreal final run, totally original and extremely difficult combos pulled with miles of style, a well deserved win. With that I suggest that everyone make at least one trip over to visit our European brothers and experience a different culture that really makes flatland an enjoyable lifestyle; videos can only show you so much.

PRO FLAT: 1.Jorge Gomez* 2.Martti Kuoppa 3.Phil Dolan 4.Matti Rose* 5.Kimmo Haakana 6.Michael Steingraber 7.Alex Jumelin 8.Frank Lukas 9.Michael Sommer10.Alexis Desolneux

(*qualified for the X Games at this event.)
Bart de Jong www.fatbmx.com: The park course was rather small for American standards but for European standards I would say it wasn't bad at all. Pretty compact and not that many possibilities for original lines but plenty of transition and wedges to show what you're worth. Jurgen Funk made it to the final with his original street style. He crashed a few times in the final which held him back to 8th place but the Felt rider could have been a big surprise for everyone at the USA X-Games.
A rider who could have made it had he finished his second run is Chris Mahoney. The Dragonfly/Mutation rider from England was representing the HDT hard at night but showed he was pro enough to rip up the street course during the day. His double loop attempt in qualifying was close. It was too windy to give it a go in the finals but Chris had more to show than a few loops. Watch out for stuntman Chris, you will hear more of him.
4th to 6th place went to the German squad with MOSHing Wilke in 4th, flowing Hampl (DF) in 5th and party Sven (H*B) in 6th. Surprise of the day was Sebastian Keep. The Hastings local finally got to show the international freestyle scene what he is up to. His no handers on the quarterpipe were the raddest and fufanu's on extensions in both directions are a treat as well. Bronze medal in the pocket for BAZ (Hoffman Bikes).
Ruben Alcantara had not qualified for the X-Games yet and needed to throw some sick shit into his runs to make it in this strong field of riders. Ruben had a hard time riding with a hurt hand and couldn't really pull all the tricks that he had in mind. The original lines, the few hard tricks and a bag of style were worth 0.5 points more than Baz's run. It was a close call for Ruben but he's going to Philly.
Without a doubt winner of the day was MacNeil's Alistair Whitton. This British talent is all over the place, spins his bike in vertical and horizontal directions and lets his limps loose when he needs to. A good mixture of tech and going big but everything under control. First place bucks and the golden medal. Dave Mirra watch out.

PRO PARK: 1.Alistair Whitton* 2.Ruben Alcantara* 3.Sebastian Keep 4.Markus Wilke 5.Markus Hampl 6.Sven Fanghanel 7.Chris Mahoney 8.Juergen Funk 9.Alex Bender 10.Sergio Layos

(*qualified for the X Games at this event.)
Bart de Jong www.fatbmx.com: Vert was Simon Tabron's (Mongoose). The rider who learns everything the hard way (no resi, no foampit) ruled on the brand new Vertical ramp. His flow is insane and his tricks are easy to catch on film as he holds his variations for a couple of seconds. Simon rules the European vert scene and hopefully his 900's (with variations?) will help him battle with Jamie Bestwick and Dave Mirra for the gold.
O.B.G Stefan Geisler (KHE no more) rode well and pulled most of his tricks. A good mix of lip tricks and big stuff like topside no-footed cancans and double barspins. 540's, tailwhips and boomerang airs too for Stefan.
Jason Davies (Mongoose) throws down when he needs to. He can ride all day just getting used to the ramp doing no tricks at all and then WHAM! all tricks come out during the finals. Back to back variations for the Phoenix resident. This was Jason's last chance of qualifying for Philly and the Englishman did it with a bronze medal in Barcelona. Cheers.
Man of the contest actually was Eduardo Terreros. His airs were huge, both in practise and in during his runs. Watching him ride scares me though, you never know when he is going to hang up or land deep but you can count on it that it will happen. The Spanish crowd went wild and Malaga front man Pablo started a chair throwing riot in the riders section celebrating Eduardo's radical runs. ESPN, welcome to Europe.
Zach Shaw (WTP) has always missed out on the X-Games but happened to qualify in Barcelona for the main event of the year. Clean runs with a flowing English riding style scored him an average of 88.5. His first run was considerably better than his second one but that didn't get the smile off his face.
Reinke did good and finished 6th followed by Eglington, Fath, Eichert and Kopp.

PRO VERT: 1.Simon Tabron 2.Stefan Geisler 3.Jason Davies* 4.Eduardo Terreros 5.Zach Shaw* 6.Alex Reinke 7.Shaun Eglington 8.Romaric Fath 9.Tim Eichert 10.Benjamin Kopp

(*qualified for the X Games at this event.)