Sick sixteen - Bike Magic

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Sick sixteen

The latest incarnation of Race Face’s Ultimate Freeride Challenge competition is moving into the final stages with the announcement of the 16 finalists. For those not familiar with the UFC, it’s a video-based contest with a $25,000 professional contract as the prize. Race Face has teamed up with Giant and Manitou to run the competition, and representatives of the three companies sat on a judging panel alongside pro riders Andrew Shandro, Tyler Klassen and Corey LeClerc, filmmakers Derek Westerlund and Ambrose Weingart and photographer Sterling Lorence.

UFC entrants submitted videos to the panel, who whittled them down to the 16 finalists. The final decision, though, is down to you. The 16 videos have been divided into four groups of four, and each group will be posted on Race Face’s website. Visitors vote for their favourite in each group, with the four winners going through to the next round. The last two riders will be taken to the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California and the winner will be announced on 16 April.

The first round of voting starts on 4 March, with each group of videos being up on the site for a week. And here they are:

Round 1 (4-11 March)

  • Dave McLaughlin (19)
  • Jesse Meerkerk (19)
  • Jadyn Welch (21)
  • Dustin Bryant (21)

Round 2 (11-18 March)

  • Garett Buehler (13)
  • Matt Leitch (22)
  • Derek Peltzer (26)
  • Kurt Sorge (16)

Round 3 (18-25 March)

  • Matt Brooks/Jared Gatzka (19/27)
  • James Doerfling (18)
  • Ryan Berrecloth (26)
  • Darrell Knelson (19)

Round 4 (25 March – 1 April)

  • Joe Perrizo (20)
  • Derek Alexander (18)
  • Jonas Green (24)
  • Steve Tuchiwksky (19)

As old giffers ourselves, it’s reassuring to see that not all of the competitors are child prodigies. There’s over ten years between youngest and oldest, and it’ll be interesting to see if it’s the youngsters or the more mature competitors who make it through.

Before voting proper, there’s a teaser video available to showcase all 16 competitors. Check it out at


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