After a full season of FMB Diamond Series stops, the grand finale went down Monday on the red sands of Utah at Red Bull Rampage. The Spaniard Andreu Lacondeguy can call himself the new Red Bull Rampage champion, but it was Brandon Semenuk that was crowned king of the world. Leading into the final stop of the FMB Diamond Series World Tour it was a battle between Trek C3 Project team riders, Brandon Semenuk and Brett Rheeder, for the FMB World Tour overall title. In the end, Brandon Semenuk took his third title after 2011 and 2012, after placing third at Red Bull Rampage.
Heading to the final round of the FMB, Brandon Semenuk was in the lead and only Brett Rheeder could have stopped him. Both athletes had less than desirable starts at Crankworx Les 2 Alpes. The young Canadian, Anthony Messere, took the win at round 1 and led the standings. From there, it was a battle of inches to get onto the podium and move into the top spot. Semenuk pulled back the lead of the FMB Diamond Series standings after round 4, Red Bull District Ride. Separated by Messere, Rheeder was sitting in third heading to Red Bull Rampage. Deciding not to ride, Messere bowed out of the battle for the title, which meant Rampage was Rheeder's last hope of taking the title. The task was monumental.
The two Canadians both showed a great performance packed with backflips, 360 opposites and an impressive combination of big-mountain and slopestyle riding. The judges scored Semenuk's second run higher than Rheeder's, who ranked third after run 1. But due to perfect execution, and his smooth and polished riding style, Semenuk finished 3rd place (89.25 points), before Kyle Strait (89.00) and Rheeder (88.50), enough to once again take the champion trophy back home to Squamish, Canada.
But there were 2 athletes pulling even more incredible performances out of their bag Monday: second place went to Cam Zink (89.50), who also was awarded Best Trick and an extra $5,000 for his massive and perfectly executed 360 off a mammoth drop, and the man of the day, Andreu Lacondeguy, who after an absolute convincing first run, put up more than 5 points than second-ranked Zink with 95.25 points. Trick-wise it wasn't the most impressive run of the day–some whips, a backflip–but it was his flow, style, smoothness, speed and the gigantic amplitude of his jumps that made the difference. At the end there was no debate that the Spaniard should be crowned champion of the day.
Congratulations to the big mountain lover from Barcelona!
More from the FMB Diamond Series: