2015 Bulgaria NIGHT of the JUMPs

NIGHT of the JUMPs entered its 15th season this weekend in Sofia (Bulgaria). The campaign opened with a brand new trophy at stake – the Golden Cup. In addition to the familiar individual championship, the points of the two best riders from each continent are aggregated to produce a team score.

This first round of 2015 was contested by riders from three continents. The honor of leading off went to Russia’s Nick Ivankov whose run ended in spectacular fashion.

In the double-up, he attempted an extravagant Stripper Flip, but under-rotated on the landing, crashed and performed an involuntary double bodyflip. After brief attention from the medics, he was able to hobble out of the arena on his own two feet:

The season got off to a fairly mediocre start for US poster boy James Carter. His run lacked conviction and was deemed worthy only of eighth position. Carter’s continental compatriot Javier Villegas fared somewhat better.

Having wrapped up the world title here in Sofia four years ago, the Chilean was determined to return to form after a long lay-off through injury, which he managed to accomplish with good runs including a Suicide Flip and Cordova Superflip combo. Even though his extension fell short of when he was at his peak, the overall display was good enough to take him through to the final in fifth spot.

Going into the event, Steve Sommerfeld was tipped as the ‘one to watch’, and he did indeed make a solid debut on the NIGHT of the JUMPs track. Even though this particular oldie didn’t quite manage the goldie accolade, he at least made it through to the Top Ten.

For David Rinaldo, however, everything fell nicely into place. This was the venue where, in the 2013 season, the role of tragic hero was thrust upon him as he clinched the title but then slammed into the boards on his last trick, crushing his hand and foot. But there was no trace of nervousness in his final run.

The Frenchman pulled off a Doublegrab Indy Flip and California Roll to demote Rob Adelberg and Maikel Melero to P2 and P3 respectively. He and Melero as ‘continental partners’ thus claimed the first ever Golden Cup in the history of NIGHT of the JUMPs. At the subsequent press conference, all three members of the podium party expressed their determination to win the 2015 world title.

Most of the riders will now be traveling directly to Linz in Austria where the European Championship is due to commence next weekend in the context of NIGHT of the JUMPs (16th/17th January 2014).

Sofia Bulgaria NIGHT of the JUMPs Results:

Final:
1. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 394 Points
2. Rob Adelberg AUS MA Yamaha 384 Points
3. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 378 Points
4. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 378 Points
5. Javier Villegas CHL FMC Honda 362 Points
6. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 227 Points

Results Qualification
1. Rob Adelberg AUS MA Yamaha 343 Points
2. David Rinaldo FRA FFM Yamaha 342 Points
3. Maikel Melero ESP RFME Yamaha 339 Points
4. Petr Pilat CZE ACCR KTM 330 Points
5. Javier Villegas CHL FMC Honda 317 Points
6. Brice Izzo FRA FFM Yamaha 297 Points
7. Jose Miralles ESP RFME KTM 290 Points
8. James Carter USA AMA Honda 287 Points
9. Massimo Bianconcini ITA PZM KTM 264 Points
10. Steve Sommerfeld AUS PZM KTM 252 Points
11. Nick Ivankov RUS MFR Yamaha 188 Points

Results Lifeproof Best Whip Contest
1. James Carter USA AMA Honda
2. Massimo Bianconcini ITA PZM KTM

Results Maxxis Highest Air
1. Massimo Bianconcini ITA PZM 9,00 Meter
2. Maikel Melero ESP RFME 8,60 Meter
3. Jose Miralles ESP RFME 8,00 Meter