For the second round of the 2008 Nissan Qashqai Challenge the riders, organisers and course designers set up residence in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium (home of some football club called Real Madrid) and put on one of the best courses so far.
Riders needed to put up a good ride in order to qualify to the two final Qashqai Challenge events in Munich and London, so a high placing was needed. Doing just that was Andreu Lacondeguy, who blew everyone with the highest score of the day with a Superman back flip, a 360 on the step-up to turn-down on the step-down, to a huge extended superman, followed by a clean 360 tailwhip to pedals.
Greg Watts was close with a suicide back flip to barspin, into a no-footed cancan on the step up, barspin on the step down, superman seat-grab, into a truck driver to reverse bar spin. Benny Korthaus pulled of the biggest 360-tables of the day and a couple perfect 360-whips, Kyle Strait had his double whips dialled, and Amir Kabbani showed off also rode incredibly well rounding out the top five.
The competition for the final 5 qualifying slots was incredibly tight. Mitchell Chubey, Bartek Obukowicz, Alex Reveles, Tyler McCaul and Andi Wittman made the cut, and will be heading to Munich this weekend. In an unprecendented move that stunned everybody, the organisers and judges decided to award five additional wildcard slots to Munich, such was the impressively high level of riding. So with the final lineup now 30 riders, Martin Soederstroem (winner of Milan’s qualifying), Marius Hoppensack (10th in Milan), Andrew Taylor, Geoff Gulevich and Cameron Zink can count themselves lucky.
And it’s bags packed as the Nissan Qashqai Challenge moves to Munich for the first of two final rounds that will decide the overall winner and the fat $250,000 cheque that is up for grabs too.
The start list is a veritable who’s who of freeriding, with 28 of the most talented riders ready to do their thing. But with Munich being a one-day event, they’ll have a lot less time to practise their tricks and sort their lines. With just a short practise session in the morning, the pressure will surely be on.
The course is expected to be a stunner, and raise the level already set fairly high at the two previous events. Featuring a 6m start ramp which is followed by two 6m doubles, with the second landing into a 90 degree right hand berm which then sends the rider down a grassy slope off a 10 meter long x 4 meter high drop, followed by a 10 meter double finishing with a poppy 6 meter trick jump. The construction team has built a huge wind block at the top of the course to minimize cross winds.
General admission to all the Nissan Qashqai Challenge events is free.