That’s it. The finals are over, the winners have been announced and the FISE World Series stop in Chengdu is history. In front of at least 15.000 people and broadcasted live and all over the world, blading had maximum exposure. But let me start with last night.
Text: Johannes Jacobi
Photos: Dominik Wagner
Since we had to be ready for the amateur competition at 9 in the morning I decided to stay home once again but luckily Dominik decided to go out and shoot some photos.
He ended up in the 21st floor again and decided that it wasn’t high enough. They went on the roof of the 23 stories building and started to climb up a sketchy advertising construction to get an even better view. Looks amazing on photos but it definitely wasn’t the smartest idea. Back on the dance floor downstairs the Saturday night Chengdu party crowd gave its best and as you can see Dominik had fun with his camera. But only until he left club and spotted a BMX rider that got just totally beaten up by a Chinese gang. We don’t know what the reason was, but he looked terrible and they brought him back to the hotel since he refused to go to a hospital. Worst possible ending of a night.
Today started with the amateur contest and considering the fact that it’s the first time that the FISE is in China one could see the potential. If some of these guys get to skate bigger ramps more often there’s a bright future with loads of great Chinese riders to expect.
But then there was the Pro final. Around 15.000 people gathered to watch the show and they got behind the riders from the very beginning. 12 riders, including 3 Chinese locals, skated in heats of 3 people in jam session one by one format, plus best trick.
Maxime Genoud took the 4th place and his big wheels definitely helped him leave an impression. He skated faster than anyone and his lines and transfers were a great promotion of blading in general. Third place went to Julien Cudot and next to his amazing flat spins he left the crowd speechless with a backside royal on the biggest wall I’ve ever seen in a skatepark. Dominik Wagner was once again not only taking pictures all day, he also made use of the whole park and his incredible lines, huge wallrides and the creative approach to the course got him second place. Not bad for someone that joined us for China as a photographer eh? But there was one more guy to come. Not only did Stephane Alfanoland all of his tricks during the jam session, he also hammered two last tricks first try. One being a 1260 on the jump box and the other a soulstall on the around 3 meter high VIP platform located next to the skatepark. First place for him and the over all win of the FISE World Series!
Afterwards we went to see the BMX finals and since there were so many people we decided that the DJ booth was a great spot to sit. Secured by 7 policemen that made sure no one was joining us there we had the best seats in the building.
On the way back to the hotel we took a tuk tuk again and since it was rush hour it was just another final “trip” we went on. Now we are all gathered in the hotel, ready for the last and final FISE party.
Thank you to the FISE for taking us on this wild ride, thank you to Chengdu for having us and thank you to all the riders for the amazing show today. We will be back next year.