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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Brandon Semenuk defies the odds to take his fifth Red Bull Joyride victory at Crankworx Whistler

Brandon Semenuk can never be counted out when it comes to Red Bull Joyride. Despite noticeably cutting down on his competition appearances, Semenuk continues to hone his skills and redefine the sport every time he slings his leg over a bike. But with a significant lack of FMB Championship points, the multiple-time champ was relegated to the first-rider-on-course position.

No one wins from that spot. The rider who drops first is the one who tests the waters, so to speak. He kicks off the competition. He sets the scoring curve that the judges use as a baseline for each rider that follows — and it is a score that is typically pretty low. In other words, Brandon’s first round score was meant to be a throwaway, meaning that, in theory, he really only had his second-round run to score points. That theory turned out to be wrong.

Strong and sometimes-gusty winds plagued Joyride practice all week. Semenuk figured that he’d probably gotten a grand total of two hours of non-windy practice since the Joyride course had opened.

Semenuk’s first round run was clean. He had trick combinations in his head that he did not execute, but the clean top-to-bottom with the tricks he did execute were solid enough for the first round points lead. 

And that was good enough. The rest of the world’s top slopestylers either couldn’t touch Brandon’s score or couldn’t make it to the bottom without a crash. 

You can’t win Joyride if you start first. Brandon Semenuk proved can’t wrong. 

Brandon rode his custom TREK Ticket S slopestyle bike equipped with a SRAM X01 drivetrainSRAM X0 hubs with RockShox PIKE DJ and RockShox Deluxe RT3 suspension and Avid cable actuated disc brakes. 

- Photos by Adrian Marcoux and Sven Martin

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