Last weekend saw the 4th Freestyle BMX Nationals held at RampFest Indoor Skate Park in Braybrook. Since helping launch the Nationals in 2018, the event has been held twice in QLD, so everyone was looking forward to getting the largest BMX event in Australia back to Melbourne.
Australia is currently the top-ranked nation in Men's Freestyle - with world #1 Brandon Loupos, world #2 Logan Martin, and a host of local riders all ranked in the world top 50 - such as Alec Danelutti, Jake Wallwork & Liam Quinlivan (all locals who ride RampFest for training).
Event qualifying threw up a few surprises - with young Josh Dove qualifying in 2nd place behind Logan Martin in 1st, and ahead of Brandon Loupos in 3rd. Dove is only 17, and as the youngest rider in the field, he was turning a few heads with his unique style and more air-time than anyone else. Other riders like Jake Wallwork, Alec Danelutti and Jason Watts also cruised into the Finals with solid riding.
In Freestyle BMX events, the biggest difference between Qualifying and Finals is how your score is calculated. Each rider gets 2x 1min runs in both to impress the judges - who give a score out of 100 based on difficulty, execution, style, variety, amplitude etc. But in qualifying, both runs are combined for an average score - so solid, consistent riding is key. But in Finals, it's Best Run Counts - meaning all the really big tricks come out, and riders get 2x chances to nail their perfect run (with crashes dropping your score dramatically - almost certainly out of medal contention).
With this in mind, everyone went up a gear in the Finals, and it was World 1 & 2 who showed everyone their big bag of tricks. Both Logan & Brandon put together amazing runs, with big 1080 spins, multiple flair combinations, and heaps of technical tricks linked back-to-back. Today though, Logan took home the win - making it 3x Aussie Titles in a row for the QLD'er. Brandon Loupos took 2nd place, and Josh Matthews (also from QLD) scored his 2nd national podium with the biggest tricks of the day (like a double backflip). However Josh wasn't able to match the flawless execution of the top 2.
Josh Dove came in 4th with more smooth riding, but was unable to go with the others when it came to trick difficulty - but will no doubt be one to watch in future years.
A huge thanks to all the competitors for coming out and riding, thanks to all the spectators who gave the event such an awesome atmosphere and lastly, thanks to the staff, judges, officials and behind the scenes workers who helped make it happen. And of course, thanks to AusCycling and the Victorian State Government for their support.
Event photography at the Nationals was by Live Breathe Ride.com - and photos from all competition classes are online and available for purchase. You can purchase great quality prints, high-res digital downloads etc - links to all the photos are as follows:
We'd be stoked if you would support their work by purchasing some of their amazing photos (they'll look great on the wall!) - it's through their support that we are able to make events like the Nationals happen.