Rhythm X Finals Interview Vid and Report

Canny reporter Graham ‘Cheb’ Wedderman brings us this top feature from the Mountainboard Rhythm X Champs 2018 at Sport City, Manchester

For the Rhythm X Finals at the National Cycling Centre on October 6th, I decided to go with a slightly different tack with my latest video edit.

Possibly inspired by Amon Shaw’s ‘The Darkside of Riding with a Champion’ and ‘It’s like Snowboarding but with Wheels’, I decided to do interviews with the riders throughout the event. Sadly the organiser Leon Dove wasn’t available to interview (too busy running the show!), but I got enough answers to put together quite a fun video:

 

As for the competition, it all started at a mountainboarder friendly 16:00. As more and more people arrived it was fast becoming apparent that this was a well attended event – possibly even rivalling the yearly ATBA comp in terms of numbers. With excitement in the air and air in the tyres, everyone moved through to main BMX arena. A large track in both height and length and not for the faint of heart; as evidenced by some riders feeling worse for wear after a couple of practice runs.

5-man racing stack

From the spectator stand this is a perfect venue; you can see the whole track, so if anything happens on the last berm (like say Adam Conacher thinking its safe to take a slow wide line when Hugo Heaneys around) you’d see it all playing out. Even when there were no spills, it was great watching as riders tended to pair off into personal battles. There’d be two or three of these in each race to keep track of! 6 man racing is a go!

Close racing between Alex and Robbie

The only slight downside was the races seemed to be around 5 minutes apart. At the end of the day this ended up costing the multiple small finals, but the process is still under construction and Leon is trying something new. From fairly standard qualifying rounds, riders are pushed straight into their one positional race; whether they are in the final or fighting for lower positions. Showing that race organisation doesn’t have to be as per ATBA rules if you don’t want it to be.

Ben giving the middle finger

Ben giving us the middle finger

Crash highlight was certainly Sonnie Dibben vs Amon Shaw – on the first corner they came together with an echoing snap, followed by Sonnie sliding down the berm, leaving his mark on the track – and the riding to the other boarders for the rest of the day.

The surprise that shouldn’t be a surprise goes to Amon Shaw, of course it makes sense that he’s really good at pumping, but where did that corner knowledge come from?

Finally; the ‘av a go award goes to Faure Ludovic, after a crash at the bottom of a roller with Neil Kimmins, he got back up and worked his way from 6th to 3rd – partially because Neil couldn’t get through the hilariously mis-timed road block from the battling Dan Kernahan and Ian Cooper.

5-man racing stack

After racing was complete, most boarders headed along to Beast Rampz. There were good performances from Ben Wanklyn, Thomas Jeffery and more. Adam Conacher was the obvious top dog here; doing 1 footers and other crazy shniz out of the quarters as well as making boardslides look way too easy.

Thanks to all who helped put on a show – Leon mainly, with help from Mark ‘Skully’ Sullivan and a small army of volunteers. Also thanks to all the riders who tried their hardest on track, which made it such fun to watch, and for being part of my interviews while they were prepping, tired or trying to leave. Finally a big up to those travelling from afar – Faure Ludovic and son from France and Tilen Javornik from Slovenia – making this an international event.

Manchester National Cycle Centre Full Track

All pics from James Hirst, videos and word shiz thanks to Cheb.

Find out more about the series on the RhythmX Facebook Page and dedicated website rhythmx.co.uk