It couldn’t get any closer: at the Colorado Freeride Festival slopestyle event at Winter Park Resort (USA) last weekend, only 0.1 points separated the two CANYON riders Thomas Genon and Anton Thelander after their final runs! The young Swede Anton Thelander managed to move ahead of his older team mate and entitled him to the last spot on the podium. Thomas Genon had a stomping run with impressive trick combinations but had to settle for 4th place in the end.
It’s becoming pretty clear that the two CANYON riders are feeling right at home behind the bars of their new dirt bike prototypes! Spurred on by the strong field of riders, flowy slopestyle course and good atmosphere, both athletes put impressive points on the board at the first North American FMB World Tour Gold Event in Colorado. There is no doubt that Anton Thelander is living up to his nickname “Cleanlander”: his runs are flawlessly smooth, barely disturbing the dirt beneath his tires. In his best run, the second final run, Anton showed a series of rotational tricks. He dropped in with a 360 from the flat drop, then aired the following quarter-hip with a notoriously high transfer. After the flowy burm section Anton popped on to the fruit bowl with an opposite 360 and with truck driver back down. Saving the best till last, Anton once again performed his signature trick, an awesome barrel roll which set him up for clean downside tailwhip. He ended his run with a 360 from the boner log and an impressive backflip tailwhip on the final booter. The judges rewarded the young Swede with 91.4 points – enough to secure him a place on the podium. Only his mentor and friend, Martin Soderstrom (1st place with 94.6 points) and the German rider Peter Henke (2nd place with 91.6 points) could improve on his score. However, the battle for second place was close as Peter Henke only moved ahead with a wafer-thin 0.2 points. Colorado Freeride Festival was Anton’s second podium result at a FMB World Tour Gold event after Red Bull Berg Line earlier this year in May. He also won Red Bull Phenom during X Games Munich in July. After his success in Colorado Anton is heading back to Sweden to compete in the Slopefest competition and will later return to North America for the City 8 Urban Freeride contest and eventually Red Bull Joyride at Crankworx Whistler, a Diamond event on the FMB World Tour 2013 calendar. Everyone is excited to see what this young talent can pull out of the bag as he challenges his CANYON team mate Thomas Genon who is the reigning champion after a stunning victory last year.
Being separated from the podium by only 0.1 points, Thomas Genon’s performance was certainly worthy of recognition. The Belgian digged deep and pulled everything out of his CANYON bike, the result: a dazzling display of combinations and varied tricks. His last run consisted of a tailwhip from the drop, barspin to x-up on the quarter-hip, cannonball onto the fruit bowl and a truck driver to x-up back down. Then the big air tricks were let loose: Thomas showed an enormously technical barspin to tailwhip, followed by a downside double tailwhip, and a 360 opposite, finishing with a heart stopping frontflip tuck no hander. Thomas knew he had done well, raising his hand into the air as he rolled into the finishing area. He was awarded fourth place with 91.3 points. Nobody can deny that each one of those points was well earned.
Prize money is not the only thing that Thomas and Anton took home from Colorado. Their impressive results at a FMB World Tour Gold event have reaffirmed them as contenders in the FMB World Tour overall ranking. Thomas Genon is now ranked fourth, and Anton Thelander has moved up from 7th into 5th. It is still not clear who will hold the FMB World Tour champion trophy. With the upcoming events overseas, there are still plenty of points to be won. North America is still to host the Diamond event, Red Bull Joyride at Crankworx Whistler, the Gold event Bearclaw Invitational at Mount Washington and finally Red Bull Rampage on the red sands of the Utah desert. So we can still expect to see much more action from the CANYON riders this season.