Tuner Evolution 2013 – Round Report
In 2011, Tuner Evolution, the biggest and baddest tuner car show on the East Coast, asked to have flatland showcased as part of their show. Thousands of spectators were exposed to BMX in a form they may not have seen before. For 2013 the show moved from York, PA to a much larger indoor facility in Philadelphia, PA.
The contest was held over two days. Friday was the Novice and Veteran Classes followed by a few hours of open practice for the Expert and Pro Class. Friday is “roll in” day for the hundreds of show cars that would be on display the following day. After a morning of floor maintenance and layout, the Novice Class was ready to go just before the cars began rolling in. Jason Rodriguez aka Jay Rod was manning the mic for the weekend and the riders were hype and ready to go.
First up, Novice Class. Four riders showed up. Novice Class had a two run, best run counts format. The level of riding that went down was nothing close to the definition of novice. These guys ripped it and the fight for the podium was tight. With four riders, one had to be the odd man out. Marc Joseph, is super talented and has some great backwheel links. On this day though he took the four spot. Andrew Shaltraw has been at all the stops on the circuit this year and finally made the podium with some original tricks and crazy ride outs. He took 3rd. Troy Haynes made it out to his first AMFLT event, struggled in one run, rebounded in the other and took home 2nd. Will Smith showed he could fit in with the Expert Class with some great front and backwheel lines. He took the number one spot and got to stand tall on the podium. Congrats to all these up and coming riders.
The Veteran Class has steadily been growing. About ten riders at each stop. Here at Tuner Evolution, eight riders, including Jay Rod announcing his own run, would compete for valuable circuit points. Two runs best counts format. There was some really fun riding all around. A great mix of new and old school flavor. Craig Gaudet has been at all the stops this year. He’s been putting in the time and it showed. His mix of mid/new school riding earned him 3rd place. AMFLT circuit staple, Tony Strickler is so smooth. Awesome rolling tricks and a unique style earned him a 2nd Place finish. For the second stop in a row, Danny Sirkin was dialed in. With technical tricks combined with very few touches, Danny brought home the win.
Scores were calculated, and awards were handed out to the top 3 riders in each class from Day 1. The floor was opened up for practice the rest of the evening.
Day 2 started off early with practice at 10am. By noon the car show was open for business and spectators/car lovers began to fill the place up. Throughout the whole day there was a constant stream of spectators lined up around the flatland area, cellphones and cameras out catching the action. The sport we love reached a lot of people. Spectators seemed to really be digging what they saw.
First up was the Expert Class. The format would be two runs, best counts, top 8 make the finals. 17 riders were registered and ready to compete for the top spot. The class was broken into three heats. Each heat would cycle through twice so riders would be able to stay hot and not have a 16 rider wait. This seemed to work out really well. Some guys who stood out from qualifying were Steve Jordan, Bryan Huffman, Todd Carter, Luke Malone, Joe Cicman and Ivan Ademaic. Ivan had a second qualifying run that had the crowd electric. Shaun Lapsley rode great as well and came up just short of making his first qualifier in his first year since winning Novice Class Year End in 2012. After the dust settled, the top 8 were announced and were given one run to try to secure a podium spot. Todd Carter has made himself a hard man to beat at any given event. He rode great but couldn’t quite hang on to a top spot. Todd finished 3rd. Newly sponsored (Reklamation Bikes) Bryan Huffman, didn’t come to fool around. He killed it in the qualifying round and only improved for the finals. Great riding, great guy, 2nd Place. Rarely seen outside his garage, Luke Malone showed up and decided to compete. It was a wise decision. Super controlled, difficult front wheel whiplash and hang 5 combos we are all used to. He was able to put it all together for a great final run and locked in the top spot! Well done, Luke!
Just as the car show was in full gear, the best pro flatland riders North America has to offer got ready for their piece of the $3000 Pro Purse. Ten pro riders came to Philly to compete. The format was two, two and a half minute runs, best run counts. The mix of talent on display was really fun to watch. Prasheel Gopal is a constant face at basically every contest in North America. Regardless of placing or how he rides, he always brings a great attitude to an event. Isaiah Jordan hasn’t competed in an AMFLT circuit event in a few years. His riding is progressing fast and it was a treat to see him live at the event. Todd Gully made the last minute decision to drive out with Ron Monis. To watch Steph Cerra ride in person is always a dope experience. He is such a great, chill guy. He was killing it all weekend. Percy Marshall recently made a huge move from North Western Canada to Southern Ontario Canada. This put him much closer to Philadelphia and everyone was super stoked that he made the trip. He is such an energetic, fun loving guy. Its hard not to smile when you are around him. By the way, Percy kills it on a bike! Crazy fast blenders, darkside tricks, and super long combos got Percy 6th. The level of riding at this years event was through the roof! The top five riders got paid out. They also made judging boardeline impossible. It was super tight. One problem you come across with great riding, at a great event, and super competitive riders is only one can win.
Terry Adams was locked in all weekend. He always brings the bangers and gets the crowd going. Terry had a few new things thrown in as well as basically a flawless run and finished 5th. Jean-Francois Boulianne aka JFB is one of the nicest and friendliest guys around. He always makes an effort to great every rider the minute he walks in. Fresh off the announcement that he is the newest Quest BMX pro rider, JFB was his usual, on point self. He too had an almost perfect run. He was able to do enough to just squeak past Terry for 4th. Jason Plourde is a new face to the AMFLT circuit. Coming all the way from Quebec to compete. Jason destroys the back wheel. Crazy spin variations. Super original lines. He had some crazy brakeless decade variations as well. As stated before, the competition was super tight. Terry or JFB could have easily gotten on the podium, but this day it was Jason who eaked out his fellow riders and earned 3rd Place. It comes down to Jean-William Prevost aka Dub and Matt Wilhelm, two totally different but equally impressive styles. Dub brings such progressive and flowing riding to the game. Phenomenal back wheel combos linked with crazy original and difficult tricks. It’s so refreshing to watch. Here in Philly however, Matt’s flawless first run was too much to over come. Dub took home 2nd and Matt took the top spot. Matt won the previous Tuner Evolution as well. Maybe fast cars and fast spins go hand in hand. A highlight of the contest was during Matt’s second run. After posting a flawless first run, Matt decided to go for a trick he says he’s never landed in a contest run, his bike flip from the pedals. Halfway through his run he started gearing up for it. After a few tries you could tell he wasn’t stopping till he landed it. About four or five attempts deep and he landed it clean linked it to some spins and rode out. You have to watch the video! Great way to finish off a great weekend!
Huge thanks to all the riders who cane out and supported the event. Thanks to Erik Otto(http://www.flickr.com/photos/27452355@N05/sets/72157635081144547/) and Jon Stettler(http://www.flickr.com/photos/27564484@N04/) for shooting pics and video all weekend. Thanks to all the judges. Not an easy job at this event. Thanks to Kink Bikes, Solon Bicycles, Flatland Fuel, Quest BMX, and Freegun Underwear. October 26th is the final round of the AMFLT circuit. Taking place in Columbus, Ohio at the Terradome, this will prove to be a must attend event!
Last year Joe Miller and Angie Davis organized Anarchy in Anderson in Anderson, IN. Not knowing what to expect, riders still came from all over to compete. What they got when they arrived was one of the best riding surfaces, a well run event, incredible hospitality from Joe and staff and above all, a great time. Fast forward a year. Same contest, same location, same outcome… Tons of fun!
Kicking things off was an all day practice/jam on Friday as riders were arriving from all over North America. A little music, a ton of sun, a little altercation with some local skaters, and a ton of fun. These parts of contests are where riders catch up with old friends, swap riding stories, push each others riding level, meet new people, and have a great time. I think most riders would agree that the pre-jam is the best part of a contest weekend. Despite the fact that it was super hot and humid, it seemed like everyone was having so much fun.
Saturday morning things kicked off at 1130am. The public outdoor cement skatepark is made of three sections. Each section has a large flat and smooth surface perfect for flatland. The area closest to the skate shop was reserved for the contest with the other two areas available for practice throughout the entire event. Plenty of warm up space is something most contests lack, so this was very cool.
Novice Class was up first with one, 1min30sec run. This year there were three riders under 13 competing. Seven riders competed in this class. It is awesome to see new riders having so much fun. The energy level to start the day was so high. 2012 Expert Class Champion, Todd Carter, brought his two sons along to complete in their first ever event. Camden Carter is 10 years old and got the crowd cheering with a dope run! He ended up with 5th Place. 10 year old Libby Armstrong competed at last year’s event, returned this year and killed it. She pulled off 3rd place. The older Carter brother, 13 year old Colin, had a great run. He was having so much fun and landed almost all his stuff. He pulled in 2nd Place. Ryan Horsham from Baltimore, is a street rider competing in his first flatland event and took the Novice Class win with some great hop skills and a whopper.
Next up with one 2min run, the Veteran Class. These guys were killing it all weekend. This class has evolved a ton over the last few events/year. Rather than an “old school” class, it’s more an “older” guys who shred class. Hiro Tsuchida has been a ripper for years and showed he still has it with a 3rd Place finish. “Yellow” Brian Gavagan rides hard. His style is super smooth, super fast and super fun. Yellow has been hitting up most of the AMFLT stops over the last year and continues to make podium. He got a well deserved 2nd Place. The top spot went to none other than the “MetaGuru” himself Danny Sirkin. I’m not sure if I saw a foot touch the ground his whole run. Smooth back wheel links, and stylish front wheel combos put Danny above the rest for the win.
17 riders made up the Expert Class. The intention was to have two 2min 30sec runs, best run counts and then a one run 2min 30sec final, with top 8 qualifying. However, the forecast called for a chance of rain. The organizers wanted to make sure the Pro Class got a run in before that happen so the Expert finals were cut and the outcome would be based on the best of two run format. Some great riding went down in some serious heat. The judges didn’t have an easy day to say the least.
Bryan Huffman has been a staple at AMFLT events since the start. This year he started off strong at Round 1 with a 3rd Place finish. Bryan matched that with a 3rd Place finish at Round 2. Great riding all day from Bryan.
Flatland machine, Todd Carter, is so good and dialed. Pretty soon I think his mail is going to start getting delivered to the podium since he is there so often. Todd matched his Round 1 spot as well with 2nd Place. Dax Wolford is a face we haven’t seen on the circuit yet. He has crushed it at past VooDoo Jams but I have yet to see him ride in person. Dax is an intense rider. His riding is so strong yet so controlled. He makes some crazy hard stuff look smooth and easy. He earned a well deserved spot at the top of the Expert podium.
As was stated before, the forecast called for a chance of rain. Right after the Expert Class finished up their second runs, a decision was made to not run a final. The Pro Class had 6 riders who would have two 3 min runs, best run counts. The sky got a little ugly but the pros started. Jean-Francois Boulianne, Andy Cooper, James McGraw, Todd Gully, Prasheel Gopal and Mark Kuhlmann all got one run in outdoors.
The wind picked up and the music turned off during Prasheel’s and James McGraw’s runs… And then it poured! A decision was made to run the second runs inside the skate shop where last year’s pro contest took place. After some scrambling to get the DJ equipment indoors, tents put away, spectators gathered and bikes brought under cover the contest was back in session. The atmosphere created by the tight quarters and crammed crowd was electric. The riders were really feeling it. Each rider was able to somehow adapt really well to the less than perfect conditions and put on quite the show. Mark struggled a little bit but was still able to pull a new combo he has been working on. He got 6th place but I know he was super stoked to have landed one of his harder links in front of people. Andy Cooper rode great inside and outside. The competition was so close at the top though and Andy finished 5th.
Todd Gully does crazy “death defying” tricks. His decade to lardyard to stick b to perverted decade to lard to stick to decade combo is crazy!! (This description may be incorrect, and doesn’t do it justice anyways). Gully Monster snagged 4th. Prasheel Gopal turned pro less than a year ago. Last year he got 3rd in this event in Expert Class. He has been training hard and competing all over. He pulled off a phenomenal run inside the packed skate shop. He somehow was able to hang on in some of his links showing great control. Prasheel’s pivots are so clean! He has shown really impressive progression. He is always smiling and having fun everytime you see him ride. Congrats on getting on the pro podium and a 3rd place finish. 1st and 2nd seemed like it could have gone either way. James McGraw threw down a nasty no touch 1st run outside. JFB had an incredible run inside. James has brought his riding to another level this year! It is so great to watch him compete and progress each time out. It seemed that JFB’s level of difficulty was a little bit higher and JFB took home the win for the second year in a row with James getting the number two spot.
A huge shout out and thanks to Jody Donnelly who did an outstanding job MCing the whole day! Also DJ Funraizer did a great job keeping to tunes going all day!
As always thanks to the sponsors who helped make this event great, Joe and Angie for putting this together, the riders who showed up and the city of Anderson, IN.
Full Contest Results
Check out our AMFLT YouTube page(Videos) for full unedited runs from the event.
Check out the Anarchy in Anderson 2 Photo Gallery(Photos).
For over 9 years the first weekend in March has marked the opening of the North American flatland contest season. The Canadian Freestyle Organization once again teamed up with the Toronto International Bike Show to present Flatland Unlimited 9. Each year seems to grow and get better and 2013 was no different, once again attracting riders from all over the world. Many regulars showed up as well as some unexpected faces. James White and Sam Foakes made the trip from England creating excitement in the building as well as all over the Internet. This almost instantly set the mood and energy level for the entire weekend. Fans would have to wait till the end of the weekend to watch Sam and the 12 other pros.
Friday is reserved as a registration/open practice day for all riders of all classes. Over 40 riders shook off the Winter’s rust and attempted to get used to the riding area.
Saturday is amateur day. Three classes of amateurs were set to compete. Novice Class was up first. Six riders had two, 1 min 30 sec runs to show the judges what they have been working on over the past few months. A wide variety of riding styles were on display. Paula Callery had some nice hang 5 variations on her way to the podium as she captured 3rd Place. Rebecca Pergentile showed that she has really been putting in work and combined back wheel and front wheel links in her run. She had the most well rounded bag of tricks of all the novice riders. Rebecca walked away with a well deserved 2nd Place finish. Top spot went to Pro Park rider, Eric Favot. Eric has been consistently at the top of the novice field over the past year. Combining street influenced tricks with flatland he walked away with 1st after landing a giant whopper to end his run! Eric is not too far off from being an expert level rider.
The Veteran Class has been slowly finding its place at events over the past few years. Participation numbers are climbing and the competition is growing. Riders had two, 2min 30sec runs. Brian “Yellow” Gavagan is high speed! Crazy hang 5 variations mixed with an all around “freestyle” vibe to his riding got him 3rd Place. Cross Arm Hang Nothings! Tony Strickler has been a staple at events all over North America. He’s been one of the top riders in the Vet Class since its inception. He has so many tricks, new and old school. Tons of flow and a smooth combination of front and back wheel links, rolling and scuffing. A well earned 2nd Place for Tony. Blurring the lines between what is Veteran or Expert (and some would say pro) is Steve Bergeron. Super high quality new school style of back wheel and front wheel. Steve has a very fluid rolling/pumping style. He took 1st and by quite a margin.
The Expert Class closed out the night. A total of 17 riders entered. The riders had two, 2min 30sec runs, best run counts. Top 8 would make the finals, which would use the same format as qualifying. After the qualifying scores were tallied the difference between 10th and 8th was 1pt. Joe Cicman and last year’s event novice winner, Kevin Gallien were left on the outside looking in getting 9th and 10th respectively.
8th went to Marty Clark, 7th Jeff Brown, 6th Trevor Oleniuk and 5th to Adam Pergentile. Great riding by all these guys but they couldn’t quite do enough to separate themselves from the Top 4.
Steve Jordan has emerged as a threat for podium every event he enters. He has street style tricks as well as super tech flat tricks. He bunny hops 360s over 2 feet high it seems and can bunny turndown! He spun his way to 4th place. Bryan Huffman couldnt have started the season off any better. After missing the top 3 in overall standings for the 2012 Am Flatland Circuit, he showed up to round 1 riding great! His super solid and fluid style put him on the podium with a 3rd place finish. Todd Carter, last years Am Flatland Circuit Champion in Expert started his title defense with a bang. Combining front and back wheel, scuffing and spinning, he displayed a huge bag of tricks. Not thrown in his run, but Todd is dropping no footed deathtrucks! The robot like Todd Carter couldn’t string together a run good enough to defeat the reigning Toronto Expert Champ, Ron Monis. Ron wins for the second time in a row. Super dialed and technical front wheel links. Ron makes flatland look easy and fun.
And then there was the pros!
It seems like a long time ago, and probably because it was, that the Toronto Comp would have over 20 pro riders. However, over the last few years Toronto has been growing and 2013 was the best turnout in recent memory. 13 riders competed. England, Czech Republic, America, Western Canada, French Canadian, Columbia all were represented countries at CFO FU9. It is great to see faces you’ve never seen before. This year featured three riders who have just recently made the jump from Expert to Pro. Pro class would have 2, 3min 30sec runs, best run counts. Mark Kuhlmann made the jump mid season last year after winning Expert at VooDoo Jam. Mark finished 13th but be on the look for this guy at future stops on the AMFLT circuit.
Another pralex member, Prasheel Gopal made the jump mid season last year also after winning the Expert class at King Of Southsea in England. Prasheel has such a smooth flow to his riding. Not many can argue that this guy is just fun to watch or hang out with. Prasheel entertains. He dropped one of his best contest runs and got 12th. New Freegun rider, Tyler Gilliard made his Toronto pro debut as well. Tyler rides hard and his style and tricks are strong and hardcore. Struggling to link some tricks together, he finally was able to drop a great line and finished 11th. Esteban Palencia made the trip all the way from Columbia. He took 10th. Bo Wade has been progressing at each event. Some solid riding got him 9th place. James McGraw hasn’t been to the Toronto event in years. Very original and technical back wheel links placed him 8th. From across the pond, English flatland legend, James White is silky smooth! Multiple one handed whips to one handed juggling hikers are so controlled. It seems as though he floats and at times seems to not be moving. Insane control! James got 7th.
If you know him or follow Percy Marshall on Facebook, you know he is a character! One of the most fun guys to watch in all of BMX. Percy has a huge bag of tricks. Super fast spinning no handed blenders! Percy is the perfect example of you have to see it to believe it. 6th place for Percy Marshall. The top 5 was heavily contested. Jean-Francois Boulianne (JFB) has been all over the world competing, traveling and riding. It shows. JF’s style is so crisp and fun to watch. There is a lot of emotion in flatland, and you can see it in JF everytime he rides. JFB gets 5th place.
The Top 4 riders this year killed it. The most difficult job of the weekend award goes to the judges. Insane riding level from the top 4 guys. Anyone of them could have walked away with the win. Dominik Nekolny was only in country for 23 hours. Last years AMFLT Champion had the banger of the year at Texas Toast in 2012 and set the bar for 2013 with a crazy half-hiker to half-packer flip/jump variation. Insane cross footed lines and barflip jumps got Dom 4th place. Terry Adams is one of the most dialed contest riders since Justin Miller. With signature trick after signature trick he got to the podium and 3rd place. One of the most anticipated riders of the weekend was Sam Foakes. His no pump or scuff style is indescribable. It has to be seen (preferably live) in order to grasp how crazy his tricks are. Spinning cliffhangers isn’t the proper term, but its the best I can do. He pulls in and out of tricks from almost a dead stop. Nuts! Sam took 2nd place. Jean-William Prevost AKA Dub, was unknown 4 years ago. I think you’d be hard pressed to find any rider who doesn’t know who he is now. Dub took 1st, his first win as a pro. The direction Dub is pushing his riding on the back wheel is insane. Super clean fast turbines from either side of the bike, pegs, pedals, it doesn’t matter. Super progressive riding put Dub on top this time.
Words don’t nearly speak the volumes that video does.
Full Contest Results
Check out our AMFLT YouTube page(Videos) for full unedited runs from the event.
Check out the Toronto 2013 Photo Gallery(Photos).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2013
2013 Am Flatland Circuit – Announces 2013 Schedule and Launches New Web Site
The AMFLT Circuit is back with four great events and a brand new Web site.
The Am Flatland Circuit is back for 2013 and will once again consist of four of the largest flatland events in North America. Toronto has been a mainstay on the AMFLT Circuit since day one and will start off the 2013 series this coming March. Anarchy in Anderson will be back in June as Round 2 after a successful debut in 2012. Round 3 adds Philadelphia as a new city to the Circuit as we partner up with the Tuner Evolution car show for what will no doubt be an event to remember. And finally, the year-end winners will be crowned when the Circuit returns to Texas to hold the finals as we join forces with the Texas Flatland Round-Up event.
The 2012 Am Flatland Circuit was a great success, and we all look forward to next year, including the 2012 Pro Class Champion out of Czech Republic, Dominik Nekolny: “I’m really happy I [was a] part of the Circuit. This kind of thing is very important for the scene and for new riders who can track their progress and keep motivated for the whole year. I really look forward to participating in the 2013 AMFLT Circuit and hope I will make it to all the events.”
Todd Carter, the 2012 Expert Class Champion will also be back to defend his title next year… “The AMFLT Circuit is a great setting for riding, energy, and of course a ton of fun! …I have felt a strong sense of belonging and encouragement with other riders that continues long after the timer hits zero. I am so stoked for all of the 2013 Circuit stops, and am so excited to be able to ride my bike with so many people that I call friends.”
2013 AM Flatland Circuit Schedule:
Round 1: March 1-3, 2013
CFO’s Flatland Unlimited 9
Toronto, ON (CAN)
Round 2: June 22, 2013
Anarchy In Anderson 2
Anderson, IN (USA)
Round 3: August 3, 2013
Tuner Evolution 2013
Philadelphia, PA (USA)
Round 4: October 2013
Texas Flatland Round-Up 9
*Exact date and city TBA.
New AMFLT Circuit Web Site
With the announcement of our upcoming schedule, we are also proud to introduce the all-new Am Flatland Circuit Web site. Throughout the year you can see information about each event, results from past events, and current year-end points standings. For more, click on www.amflatlandcircuit.com.
# # # #
1 (716) 812-1762