The inaugural Park Lines BMX tournament took place in Benoni last weekend and it came as no surprise when Olympic BMX freestyle hopeful Vincent Leygonie came out on top after a thrilling day’s action.
The stomping ground, a fully-fledged BMX Park, offered a variety of obstacles from quarter pipes, to box jumps, to transfer lines. The setup presented riders with the perfect opportunity to showcase their skills as well as catered for the different styles and levels of riding.
With 40 riders competing through the amateur and professional divisions, the judges had their hands full as they took use-of-park, variation, style, tricks and amplitude into account when making their selection of riders advancing into the finals, and podium positions.
A strong field of up-and-coming riders took to the course in the amateur division and set out to impress the judges through two heats of runs. Progression was the name of the game as riders pushed their limits throughout the contest. In the end it was Damion Fourie that linked together a near perfect run to take the win ahead of Victor Sawkins and Zaden Davis in 2nd and 3rd.
Next on course was the hugely anticipated, and hotly contested, professional division. Through the qualifying rounds, the top 10 riders were selected for the final to battle it out for the R25,000.00 prize purse, and bragging rights.
The always technical and precise Francois Bodenstein made good use of the park with clean runs to get himself into fifth place. The battle for fourth and third was inseparable between Malcolm Peters and Matty Duffy, both landing some of the biggest and cleanest tricks of the day. In the end it was Peters who just managed to edge out Duffy for third.
Murray Loubser topped the qualifying heats and was a clear favourite for the overall win, especially with tricks like the 1 Hander Cannonball, G-Turn, Barspin to Table, Double Truckdriver, Transfer Tailwhips, the steeziest Flairs of the day, and technical mastery included into his runs. It wasn’t enough for the win though and second place it would be.
Leygonie was on form all day and put it all on the line in the finals, going higher and crazier than anyone else – 720s, Double Truckdrivers, huge Superman Tailwhips, a 450 Barspin and 450 Tailwhip over the hip where just a few of the massive tricks included into his run. Leygonie literally owned the park and claimed a well-deserved first place.
Amateur (Top 5)
1st – Damion Fourie
2nd – Victor Sawkins
3rd – Zaden Davis
4th – Mark Pienaar
5th – Jean Meyer
Pro (Top 5)
1st – Vincent Leygonie
2nd – Murray Loubser
3rd – Malcolm Peters
4th – Matty Duffy
5th – Francois Bodenstein
Dylan van Belkum