Who all made it then? Scott Malyon and Tobias Wicke both qualified but turned down their spot as they were too injured to ride the finals. This moved Sergej Geier and Ben Manuel into the top 16. Ben used most of his run for a huge quarterpipe to halfpipe transfer that he pulled, but only after the contest was over. He finished 16th.
Clint Millar flew in from Australia and wasn't one to turn down any of the nightlife. This showed (a little) during his final run when he could not stick his downside tailwhip to nosepick. Aze Etzold had just finished the vert finals and he was back on the street course for more. Aze = Action. The German did a rad transfer in the halfpipe in his qualifying run but for the finals he saved another big move. He came close to a 360 flip three times and he knows he can pull it. 14th for Atze.
Ben Shenker rode a solid run and was all over the course. He nailed a barspin to abubaca on a sub box on his second try. RAD. Das Bommel (Bjorn Mager) is one to watch. He's picking up tricks faster than some people can drink. He goes for stuff and sometimes pulls it, sometimes he doesn't. But it's original and hard tricks he's going for. Federal's Sergej Geier made it to spot 11 with lots of tech stuff.
Two Czech riders made it to the finals. Jan Janeka and Michal Beran, and damn right they deserved a spot. Michal Beran is only 15 years old but has skills of a veteran pro. The times that the young kids started with an x-up or barspin are gone. Make that front flips, 3-whips and flips with variations. Whether they learn that stuff in a foam pit or not, whatever. The wooden jump box in Tallinn was the same for everyone. Tailwhip tailtaps? They're becoming standard for the new generation and Michal (sponsored by Red Bull, Etnies and Vehicle) finished in the top 10 in a very strong field of riders. Congrats. Jan Janecka double whipped his Monkey bike to 9th place and for last trick Jan threw a 360 in his double whip as well. Very impressive performance from the Czech riders in Estonia.
Germany's Bjorn Heyer rides fast and his whip transfer to wallride was awesome. Mark Koenig had a solid first run in the jam session format. Mark is a tech rider and has his off days but this wasn't one of them. He was on it. Chris Mahoney from the UK was well warmed up after the vert finals and took it straight to the street course. X-up flips, whips, lookbacks, one-footed inverts, tricks on different ramps on all corners on the course. His superman seatgrab over the box was stretched! another paycheck for the Felt rider (6th).
In top 5 we find Kye Forte. The Brit did go upside down more than I've ever seen him do. That includes flips and now also big flairs. Kye's speed around the course is unmatched and this results in bigger airs and higher wallrides among other tricks. Place 4 was for Josh Harrington (Premium/Vans). The tall rider from North Carolina did toothpick to over grinds, cannonball jumps over the box, barspin walltaps and 3-whips over the spine. The x-up grind down the rail was pretty sick as well. All these tricks I'm trying to remember out of my head and the contest took place a week ago (sorry for the delay) so bear with me.
Benny Korthaus (Germany) did rodeo style backflips and even transferred one of them to a different landing. He's got 3-whips down and goes coast to coast on the wall. Benny was stoked to finish on the podium next to Gary Young and Ryan Nyquist.
Gary Young got second place. His bike did finally show up and in practice he was still in the same clothes as that bag had not made it yet. Gary's riding is just different from others in the way that Gary likes to search for lines on the course that nobody else does (or thinks of). With so many riders in practice and a packed course, it was impossible to even try the lines before the final jam. Gary got the MacNeil going and cruised around the course doing DirtBros style tables, turndown 360-s and whips wherever possible. His last trick was a huge wallride where he did a sprocket chuck on top of the coping. Nuts!
The top of the wall, that's where Ryan Nyquist started his first run of the 8 minute jam session with a ninja drop. You don't want to think about looping out or missing a hand/pedal on this move. Ryan did 360's over the box backwards, threw double barspins in little transfer airs and went for a no-foot cancan nothing to barspin over the box that he pulled. It's just easier to watch the videos if you're down with all the tricks. When time was up and Ben Manuel was still trying his transfer into the vert ramp, Ryan got back on the roll in ramp and aimed for the jump box. He was visibly nervous dropping in so this was going to be good (or bad). He had never pulled the trick before but he pulled two nothing backflips in Tallinn. The crowd went bananas.
After the prize givings it was time for some food and the R.I.F.F. for the good bye party. Tallinn, we will be back.
1. Ryan Nyquist USA
2. Gary Young USA
3. Benny Korthaus GER
4. Josh Harrington USA
5. Kye Forte GBR
6. Chris Mahoney GBR
7. Mark König GER
8. Bjoern Heyer GER
9. Jan Janecka CZE
10. Michal Beran CZE
11. Sergej Geier GER
12. Björn Mager GER
13. Ben Shenker GER
14. Aze Etzold GER
15 .Clint Millar AUS
16. Ben Manuel GBR
17. Tobias Wicke GER (finalist but injured)
18. Scott Malyon GBR (finalist but injured)