After four events and four different countries, the 2008 Nissan Qashqai Challenge lands with a thump in London, taking up residence outside the Tate Modern.
The riders have been through a gruelling four rounds of qualifying, but the worlds best freeriders will be pulling out their best tricks and hoping to pull out the perfect run for a shot at the fat cheque that awaits the winner.
The course is visually striking, as we’ve come to expect from the event, and has all the elements of a legendary track. A 3 meter free fall drop in off an 8 meter start tower leads into an 8 meter wide elevated wooden rhythm line, followed by two step-up doubles, leading into a poppy trick double to a huge dirt landing. From there the riders will have one more trick double, finishing with a massive battle ship consisting of two 3 meter tall quarter-pipes flanking a dirt wedge landing.
The course has a lot of variety to test the rider’s skills, and it’s anyone’s guess as to who will take the victory. For the home crowd there’s a strong British representation with 5 riders in the top 30. Versatile riders Gee and Dan Atherton will be competing, as well as Grant Fielder, Sam Pilgrim, and front-runner Lance McDermott.
McDermott currently sits 4th overall, within striking distance of the overall title. He says: “For me this is the biggest contest of the year as it is on home ground and all my friends and family will be there. It will be nice to throw down my big tricks for everyone to see.”
Young Sam Pilgrim has had a breakout season this year and comments: “I expect another really fun, well organised event with an amazing course and hopefully a good position at the end. I have been training at home getting everything up to scratch and ready for Saturday. It’s so cool to be able to show my skills off to all the people of my country I am so glad I am able to do it!”
There will be something for everyone this weekend with a live DJ will be spinning music while the world’s most famous professional mountain bike freeriders defy gravity over huge jumps.