Fireworks launched the inaugural indoor dirt jump event in Munichs Olympic Hall on December 15th, but riders kept spectators eyes focused toward the ceiling with a flurry of flips and spinning tricks. In the end, the top three riders visited the podium: Andreu Lacondeguy (Spain), Darren Berrecloth (Canada), and Lance McDermott (United Kingdom).
The dirt jumps were some of the largest jumps ever used for a mountain bike dirt jump contest. The first jump was 35 feet long and the second one was 20 feet . Most riders were a bit apprehensive upon arrival, but after a few runs during the practice session, riders began to trick the two massive dirt jumps. Organizers added plywood to the top of the dirt roll-in to give the riders a little extra speed into the first jump.
Qualifying happened in front of 7,000 spectators. Lacondeguy came out strong with a run consisting of a backflip and a 360 tailwhip, enough to secure the top qualifying spot. Eight of the original fifteen riders qualified.
Each rider had three runs to impress the judges. McDermotts second run was a backflip, followed by a front flip. His third run was a tuck no-hander, followed by a backflip-superman. His efforts were good enough for third place.
Berrecloth came in second with a solid final run, dropping a trick new for him. Berrecloth 360d the first jump, then followed it up with a 360-tailwhip to pedals. A flawless run with a perfect 3-whip was enough to earn Bearclaw second spot.
Lacondeguy, the first qualifier, gave two good final runs. His first run was a backflip and then a 360-tailwhip, but his second run included a backflip on the first jump and on double tailwhip on the second jump. "This is my first big win and its amazing! Some years ago I was watching a supercross race and I was dreaming to be one day at a similar competition," said Lacondeguy who went home with 5,000 Euros.