A BMX competition featuring world-class riders is set to become an annual event in Queenstown.
Red Bull – which sponsored Saturday’s epic contest at Gorge Road Jump Park – has confirmed it is likely to return year after year.
Hundreds of spectators watched in awe as an international field of pro riders and talented amateurs performed an endless variety of incredible gravity-defying tricks at the Red Bull Roast It.
Red Bull spokeswoman Anna Fitzpatrick says: “After such a successful event, we will definitely be looking at making this an annual event.”
The addition of an annual international BMX jam will cement Queenstown’s reputation as an extreme sports mecca.
Kiwi Paul Langlands won best rider and the $3000 top prize. Langlands pulled out a tireless performance in the 16-rider one-hour super final, throwing down scores of technical tricks in run after run.
Auckland rider George Bolter and tattooed US pro Brandon Dosch shared best line of the day.
A charging Dosch landed a double-whip across a transfer from one jump to another that nobody else even attempted. Bolter brought the house down with his inverted 360-degree transfer out of the curved shark fin jump.
Best trick went to an elated Jed Mildon for a double backflip. The Kiwi landed the sport’s first triple back flip last April.
Langlands says: “It is such a good event. It is a casual jam set-up so you are riding with your mates and at the same time having fun, but you are all pushing it too.
“I really didn’t expect the win. There are some huge names here so when people started telling me they voted for me, I was so surprised.”
The jam format saw five heats and then the final, with riders voting on their peers throughout the day’s competition.
Several riders knocked themselves unconscious during the grand final and big crashes became frequent.
Built and maintained by enthusiasts from the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club, the park is now considered one of the best in the world.
Club member and the park supervisor Nathan Greenwood says: “The riders were fairly over the moon.
“They couldn’t believe this place existed and is an unfunded, public facility. We’re always ap-
plying to the council for funding. Hopefully one day they’ll assist us and realise the asset we have made them.”
Crowd favourite Mike ‘Hucker’ Clark, who signed for Red Bull at the X Games two weeks ago, was one of the day’s top riders.
Clark says: “This place is unbelievable.
“The jumps are amazing, they flow perfect and you can go so high on them. You can do any tricks you want.
“They’re perfectly built for all styles of riding.
“It was awesome, way better than I could have ever imagined,” Clark says.
“Everyone ran really good, killed it and had a really good time and that’s all that matters.”