On Saturday night, Freestyle MX riders from around the world flew through the Barclaycard Arena after a 2-year hiatus in the Hanseatic port city, for the world’s longest-running Freestyle Motocross sporting series. Taking the competition to the next level since the previous visit, the Hamburg audience were treated to a special event for the first time in the North of Germany with Freestyle of Nations.
Three teams competed against each other in the fourth Freestyle of Nations competition in a bid to collect points for their team in various disciplines of Freestyle MX. The 2017 Freestyle of Nations winner was Team Overseas and in 2019, the team was made up with the most experience of all teams including Pat Bowden from Australia, Adam Jones from the USA and Jamie Squibb from England with the goal to recapture their title. The 2018 reigning champions, Team Germany put together their best riders available with the brothers Luc and Hannes Ackermann and Kai Haase. The third team to compete was the Czech Republic, with Petr Pilat, Matej Cesak and Filip Podmol.
One of the first contests of the evening was Best Whip where Kai Haase narrowly took full points for Team Germany over Jamie Squibb from Team Overseas who really took the fight to the German and also Matej Cesak in third position.
Each of the nine riders put together their best Freestyle MX run with seven tricks plus the Double Up where the riders could score up to 100 points. In the first heat, it was the same riders from Best Whip going against each other, and again Kai Haase just pipped the Englishman for the win and relegated Matej Cesak to third position. The second heat was a turn-around for Team Overseas when they won with Adam Jones‘ clinical display of perfection as he landed his Cliffhanger and Deadbody Flip in front of Petr Pilat for Team Czech and Hannes Ackermann in Team Germany. In the third heat, Filip Podmol made a valiant effort to thwart the charging of Pat Bowden and Luc Ackermann. After Ackermann’s crash on the Hart Attack Flip, he managed to finish his run with a Front Flip but it wasn’t enough to win over Pat Bowden with 95 points, and back to 90 points for Ackermann.
Team Germany took the full points on offer for the Synchro Contest when Hannes Ackermann and Kai Haase wowed the local German crowd with their tricks performed in sync. Pat Bowden and Adam Jones demonstrated the biggest tricks in the Synchro contest with side by side Cliffhanger and Tsunami Flips but it wasn’t enough to capture the full 100 points.
The competition was close coming into the final discipline of the night, Best Trick. To throw a spanner in the mix, each nation‘s captain was able to choose their favourite of the Mountain Bike riders, to join their nation to compete for the Best Trick points. Team Czech Republics leader, Petr Pilat displayed technicality in his attempt with a Side-saddle take-off Flip all the way through to Side-saddle landing. Filip Podmol stomped a huge Tsunami Flip landing to set the final points of the night’s competition. Continuing on with the Backflip Combo’s, Team Overseas‘ Pat Bowden landed one of the longest-held Cliffhanger Backflips ever witnessed, while Adam Jones showed one of the cleanest Deadbody Backflips. Even those tricks weren’t enough to win, as only the Best Trick is to be counted.
Hannes Ackermann put it all on the line for Team Germany when he attempted a No Handed Front Flip, but unfortunately, come up half a metre short and was driven hard into the ground with a spectacular crash. It was all on Luc Ackermann’s shoulders to seal a win for Team Germany and after witnessing his brother suffer a huge crash, Luc overcame the pressure to land his Double Backflip on the last jump of the night to take the win in Best Trick and also to win the overall Freestyle of Nations competition.
NIGHT of the JUMPs World Tour in 2019 is inching its way towards crowning a new World Champion. The next event on the World Tour calendar will be in Wuhan, China at the end of November, before the Grand Final in Sofia, Bulgaria where NIGHT of the JUMPs will crown the new World Champion. Looking forward into the year 2020, the new World Championship season will start at NIGHT of the JUMPs in Berlin on 21st and 22nd of February in the Mercedes Benz Arena.
NIGHT of the JUMPs – Freestyle of Nations
Hamburg, 20. September 2019
- Team Germany, L. Ackermann, H. Ackermann, K. Haase – 549 Points
- Team Overseas, P. Bowden (AUS), A. Jones (USA), J. Squibb (GBR) – 507 Points
- Team Czech, P. Pilat, F. Podmol, M. Cesak – 434 Points
Results Freestyle Heat 1
- Kai Haase, Team GER – 83 Points
- Jamie Squibb, Team Overseas – 79 Points
- Matej Cesak, Team CZE – 78 Points
Results Freestyle Heat 2
- Adam Jones, Team Overseas – 91 Points
- Petr Pilat, Team CEZ – 86 Points
- Hannes Ackermann, Team GER – 77 Points
Results Freestyle Heat 3
- Pat Bowden, Team Overseas – 95 Points
- Luc Ackermann, Team GER – 90 Points
- Filip Podmol, Team CZE – 90 Points
Results Best Whip Contest
- Kai Haase, Team GER – 100 Points
- Jamie Squibb, Team Overseas – 75 Points
- Matej Cesak, Team CZE – 50 Points
Results Synchro Contest
- Team Germany H. Ackermann, K. Haase – 100 Points
- Team Overseas P. Bowden, A. Jones – 75 Points
- Team Czech P. Pilat, F. Podmol – 50 Points
Results FMX Best Trick Contest
- Luc Ackermann, Team GER, Double Backflip – 99 Points
- Pat Bowden, Team OS, Cliffhanger Flip – 92 Points
- Petr Pilat, Team CZE, Can Takeoff Flip – 80 Points
Words and Photos: NIGHT of the JUMPs