Freestyle

David Rinaldo Wins Night of The Jumps Season Opener

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NIGHT of the JUMPs entered its 15th season this weekend in Sofia (Bulgaria) with a host of the worlds top freestyle riders vying for for the win at the season opening event.

The series that has a brand new trophy at stake in 2015 "The Golden Cup." to coninside with the familiar individual championship, the points of the two best riders from each continent are aggregated to produce a team score.

This first round of 2015 was contested by riders from three continents. The honour of leading off went to Russia‰Ûªs Nick Ivankov whose run ended in spectacular fashion. In the double-up, he attempted an extravagant Stripper Flip, but under-rotated on the landing, crashed and performed an involuntary double bodyflip. After brief attention from the medics, he was able to hobble out of the arena on his own two feet.



The season got off to a fairly mediocre start for US poster boy James Carter. His run lacked conviction and was deemed worthy only of eighth position. Carter‰Ûªs continental compatriot Javier Villegas fared somewhat better. Having wrapped up the world title here in Sofia four years ago, the Chilean was determined to return to form after a long lay-off through injury, which he managed to accomplish with good runs including a Suicide Flip and Cordova Superflip combo. Even though his extension fell short of when he was at his peak, the overall display was good enough to take him through to the final in fifth spot.

Going into the event, Steve Sommerfeld was tipped as the ‰Û÷one to watch‰Ûª, and he did indeed make a solid debut on the NIGHT of the JUMPs track. Even though this particular seasoned rider didn‰Ûªt quite manage the goldie accolade, he at least made it through to the Top Ten.

For David Rinaldo, however, everything fell nicely into place. This was the venue where, in the 2013 season, the role of tragic hero was thrust upon him as he clinched the title but then slammed into the boards on his last trick, crushing his hand and foot.

There was no trace of nervousness in his final run however as the Frenchman pulled off a Doublegrab Indy Flip and California Roll to demote Australian Rob Adelberg and Maikel Melero to second and third positions respectively.

Rinaldo and Melero as ‰Û÷continental partners‰Ûª combined to claim the first ever Golden Cup in the history of NIGHT of the JUMPs.

Riders will now traveldirectly to Linz in Austria on the 16th and 17th of January, where the European Championship is due to commence with the event also playing host to round two of NIGHT of the JUMPs.



Qualifying Results:
1. Rob Adelberg, AUS - 343 Points
2. David Rinaldo, FRA - 342 Points
3. Maikel Melero, ESP - 339 Points
4. Petr Pilat, CZE - 330 Points
5. Javier Villegas, CHL - 317 Points
6. Brice Izzo, FRA - 297 Points
7. Jose Miralles, ESP - 290 Points
8. James Carter, USA - 287 Points
9. Massimo Bianconcini, ITA - 264 Points
10. Steve Sommerfeld, AUS - 252 Points
11. Nick Ivankov, RUS - 188 Points

Final Results:
1. David Rinaldo, FRA FFM Yamaha 394 Points
2. Rob Adelberg, AUS MA Yamaha 384 Points
3. Maikel Melero, ESP RFME Yamaha 378 Points
4. Petr Pilat, CZE ACCR KTM 378 Points
5. Javier Villegas, CHL FMC Honda 362 Points
6. Brice Izzo, FRA FFM Yamaha 227 Points

Results Lifeproof Best Whip Contest:
1. James Carter, USA AMA Honda
2. Massimo Bianconcini, ITA PZM KTM

Results Maxxis Highest Air :
1. Massimo Bianconcini, ITA - 9M
2. Maikel Melero, ESP - 8.60M
3. Jose Miralles, ESP - 8,00M

Top Image: David Rinaldo stands on top of the podium at the season opening round of THE NIGHT OF THE JUMPS

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