The riders were pumped and ready to go for an early start during day 2 of the GKA Freestyle World Cup Cumbuco, with approximate wind speeds of 14 to 17 knots. First in sequence was Men’s Round 3, where the winners of each heat advanced directly to Round 5, and those placing 2nd and 3rd would get a second chance in Round 4. The judging criteria remained the same as yesterday: Pure freestyle format. Riders had 7 trick attempts, with the top 4 scores counting.
Men’s Round 3
The freestyle action was intense from the start, with the riders ecstatic to be back competing in Cumbuco. Men’s Round 3saw Carlos Mario proving that he is back in business, landing an outstanding Double Heart Attack 5 scoring 8.60 points, and advancing directly to Round 5. Joining him were Manoel Soares, Jeremy Burlando, Valentin Rodriguez, Louka Pitot, Gianmaria Coccoluto, Maxime Chabloz, and Arthur Guillebert. With the top riders having locked down their Round 5 positions, the focus turned to Round 4where the remaining riders needed to finish 1st or 2nd to advance.
Men’s Round 4
The battle intensified for Men’s Round 4, as riders had to qualify in 1st or 2nd position if they wanted to remain in the competition. Heat 1 was a tight race between Juan Rodriguez from Colombia and Dominican rider Posito Martinez. Both athletes finished with almost equal points, allowing them both to advance but eliminating Ewan Jaspan whose great style and execution, unfortunately, weren’t quite enough to top the scores of the other competitors. Veteran competitor Val Garat was also eliminated after crashing 4 of his 7 trick attempts. This means that both Val and Ewan are now out of the title race.
Round 4, Heat 2 saw Erick Anderson put on a strong performance showing how comfortable he is riding on home territory, landing an impressive Slim 7 scoring 8.47 points. Anderson has always achieved good results at this event, and this year seems to be no exception. He was joined by fellow Brazilian Guilherme Costa with both advancing to Round 5.
Alex Neto is another veteran on the World Tour, and for Heat 3 he stormed his way through landing all of his trick attempts. He advanced to the next round joined by another young Brazilian rider, Matheus Mendez.
For the final heat of Round 4, Italian rider Matteo Dorotini advanced and passed through to Round 5 together with Egyptian rider Karim Mahmoud, who just managed to advance over 13-year-old Davi Ribeiro.
The pressure is high as the World Championship titles are still up for grabs, with the closest race being between Arthur Guillebert and Jeremy Burlando. If both of these riders reach the semi-finals, whichever one of them places higher will be crowned World Champion here in Cumbuco. If neither of them advance to the semi-finals, then the door opens for Posito Martinez and Karim Mahmoud. With all of this still at play, the stage is set for an intense few days of action here in Cumbuco.
Women’s Round 3
The winners of Round 3 advanced directly to the semi-finals, making it a highly competitive round from the very start. Rita Arnaus from Spain wasted no time and grabbed her spot in the semi-final beating 3x World Champion Karolina Winkoska during Heat 1. Rita landed a powered Heart Attack scoring 7.57 points, which boosted her overall score to a solid 27.61 points.
Pippa van Iersel always performs well at this location, and today was no exception as she advanced over local rider Estefania Rosa and Holly Keenan from the UK, by throwing down a clean KGB scoring 7.30 points.
Former World Champion Bruna Kajiya stormed throughHeat 3, with her Slim Chance scoring 7.76 points, allowing her to advance over Claudia Leon and Alejandra Torres, who will have to fight for the second chance in Round 4.
The highlight of the day came during the final women’s heat of Round 3, where current World Champion Mikaili Solscored a perfect 10 for her 317, a first landed for women in competition. She cleaned up with a total heat score of 33.43 and secured her spot in the semi-finals. All other competitors from this round get a second chance in Round 4.
“Honestly, I did not think I was going to make that!” said Mika. “I missed the pop completely, and just thought, okay, I’m going to go for it anyway. I was just as surprised as you guys were!” — Mikaili Sol
The first possible start for tomorrow has been called for 10.30am, as the action continues here in Cumbuco, Brazil. With the World Titles still up for grabs, anything can still happen!