Brandon Semenuk wins Red Bull Joyride. Years in the making, Semenuk finally put down the run of his life on his home mountain to take the ultimate event of Kokanee Crankworx.
Words and Photos by David Peacock
This year Kokanee Crankworx moved away from it’s tried and true Slopestyle name to host the revamped Joyride. With the backing of Red Bull, it was clear from the start that it would be an event for the ages. What is now being called one of the greatest slopestyle events ever is history, and Brandon Semenuk managed to ride away with the first place position and 25,000 dollars. In second place was Reno, NV native Cam Zink, and third place went to the newcomer Anthony Messere.
The event was full of drama, and provided no shortage of massive airs, huge crashes and incredible tricks. Among the most notable were Andreu Lacondeguy’s picture perfect double backflip, Cam Zink’s front flip on the Kokanee Cabin, and Anthony Messere boosting higher than anyone, despite only being 15 years old. In the end though, it was Semenuk’s consistency and technicality that clinched him the win. His run was highlighted by a 360 X-up on the first drop, a cork flip on the dividing hip, a truck driver out of the satellite dish and finally a flip whip on the Kokanee Cabin. His run earned a score over 95 points. Semenuk fell on his first attempt at the flip whip, but was able to land cleanly on his second try. Prior to the event, the Whistler village was absolutely saturated with “Semenuk” branded hats and shirts; the pressure was unlike anything Brandon has ever experienced. With 25 000 dollars and that elusive Crankworx victory now in his possession, it’s safe to say that Brandon deals well with pressure.
Cam Zink’s run was also a stunning display of skill on a bike. Totalling 94 points, Zink 360’d the first drop, landed a picture-perfect backflip superman seatgrab, 540’d the big hip and front flipped the Kokanee Cabin. Anthony Messere was certainly a crowd favourite; the tiny rider from the lower mainland of BC had an impressively technical run that was capped off with a flip whip on the Kokanee Cabin.
To everyone who rode in Joyride this year, well done. Well done indeed.
The scene was set in the Whistler village. Thousands of spectators lined the course and filed in an unruly fashion into the finish corral as riders like Geoff Gulevich (pictuired) took to the Joyride course.
Darren Berrecloth is not known for taking it mellow, but today he rode solid tricks and stayed in control for a top ten finish that he was happy with. A content Claw said, “I just broke my back a few months ago, so just being out here and riding is more than I could ask for.” We expect to see Darren back on top soon enough.
The brothers McCaul both had incredible runs. Tyler and Cam both made super finals, where Cam, despite riding with a shoulder injury, managed to throw a superman front flip on the big step up. Tyler unfortunately had a crash in his final run, but he walked away and should be ready to ride come Crankworx Colorado.
Semenuk celebrates in front of a raucous hometown crowd. Congrats Brandon, you earned it!
We’ll have a lot more from Joyride to you soon, so stay tuned to Bikemag and Ridemonkey!