British rider Lance McDermott took top honors over Canadian Darren Berrecloth and American Paul Basagoitia at the fourth round of the Qashqui Challenge in Cologne, Germany. The competition is now on hiatus. The final round wraps up in Paris June 22-23.
Basagoitia started his first run with a 360 off the starting drop, then tabletopped on his way to the top of the roll-in for the box jump. He dropped in and as he went upside down, decided that this fifteen-foot box would be perfect for a flipwhip. Basagoitia kept his run going with a 360 over the spine, footplant over the hitching post, and at the end of his run, another flair.
Berrecloth was the next rider to go, and he followed Basagoitia with a 360-table off the starting drop. Bearclaw landed a stretched out indian air superman on the box jump and proceeded to make his way back to the top of the Qashqai wallride. He took a deep breath and dropped into the roll-in, pedaling as hard as he possibly could towards the big quarter next to the starting drop. Bearclaw boosted the big quarter into a one handed table across the ramps, into a banked ramp. After landing his big gap, The Claw capped his run with an opposite 360 from the spine to the take off of the box jump.
The pressure was on for McDermott, who qualified first and was the last rider to ride in the first round of finals. He flipped the first drop and pedaled across the top of the monster wall to get speed for the box jump. He continued his run with a perfect front flip over the huge box, into a backflip over the spine. McDermott came back to the other spine and 360 tailtapped it on his way to the big quarter, which he tailwhipped. He handplanted the hitching post on his way back from that, then ended his amazing run with a 360-handplant on the spine.
The riders went right into the second round of finals, but most were quite happy with their first round, so they used their second run to dial in their lines or try some tricks that they didn't do in their first run. For example, Bearclaw stuck a perfect 360-tailtap on the hitching post of the spine during his second round and Benny Korthaus landed the flair that he was attempting all weekend.
Basgoitia's second round was the most remarkable, as he began his run as normal on the top of the starting drop. The starting area was perched approximately forty feet above the ground, and he decided that he would try a new line from the start ramp. He skipped the step-down ramp altogether and bunnyhopped from the very top of the starting area into the transition of the big quarter that was next to the starting area. After landing it clean and riding away to continue a run filled with flairs, tailwhips, and 360's.
At the end of the second round, the riders were quite curious to see if Basgoitia's crazy start was enough to take the win from riders like McDermott and Bearclaw, who both put in some incredible runs. The final runs from all twelve riders were spectacular, but it was clear that all three are hungry for the overall win which comes with a prize of 50,000 Euros.
The judges deliberated for quite some time while the riders discussed their runs and high-fived each other, but Basagoitia would come out on top. Each of the top three riders has one win under their belt now, which brings the overall standings even closer.