Flying the flag for Germany will be Hannes Ackermann, Lukas Weis and youngster Luc Ackermann. The 16-year-old from Thuringia will be looking to outdo the elite from Italy and the USA in the high-jump competition and leave the rest of the field behind him, as he did recently in Mannheim at the NIGHT of the JUMPs. “Skywalker” Lukas Weis will be taking to the ramp in the Best Whip discipline while Hannes Ackermann mixes it with the best of them in the Freestyle Contest.
The US team, which slipped in shortly before the close of registrations, will arrive in the form of Matt Buyten, Mike Mason and Todd Potter. The three riders have notched up a total of 10 X Games gold medals, putting them among the hot favourites to take the World Championship Team title.
But they won’t have an easy time of it. The French team made up of David Rinaldo, World Championship runner-up Brice Izzo and Jeremy Rouanet is in with a good chance to land a place on the rostrum, as are the Spaniards – Red Bull X-Fighters champion Dany Torres, Maikel Melero, winner of four NIGHT of the JUMPs contests in this season alone, and the popular Jose Miralles.
The Czech team is likewise in the running for a medal. Captain Libor Podmol won the FIM Freestyle MX World Championship in 2010 and has pulled off a succession of new trick combinations lately. Red Bull rider Petr Pilat, too, recently unveiled a number of world firsts at the NIGHT of the JUMPs. And old hand Martin Koren rounds off the team.
The Italians are seen as long shots. Although Massimo Bianconcini is a hot tip in the high-jump event, Ivan Zucconi and Leonardo Fini are not seen as being experienced enough to make a mark. The same goes for the Australians: Joel Brown did well in the Freestyle discipline at the NIGHT of the JUMPs early in the year and Metal Mulisha rider Truman Caroll and Robbie Marschall both have a sizeable repertoire of tricks and combinations, but in view of their modest international experience it remains to be seen whether that will be enough to bring in the medals.
Completing the line-up will be the Brazilian team, composed of Fred Kyrillos, Marcelo Simoes and Jeff Campacci, and Russia, who will field Nikoly Ivankov, Mihael Yarygin and Vladimir Yarygin.
Before the tournament begins for real, however, one of the nine teams will be eliminated in the heats on 30th May. On the Saturday just eight teams will go head-to-head in the first ever FIM Freestyle of Nations.
Teams Freestyle of Nations
Team Germany: Hannes Ackermann, Luc Ackermann, Lukas Weis
Team Spain: Dany Torres, Maikel Melero, Jose Miralles
Team Czech Republic: Libor Podmol, Petr Pilat, Martin Koren
Team USA: Todd Potter, Matt Buyten, Mike Mason
Team France: David Rinaldo, Brice Izzo, Jeremy Rouanet
Team Italy: Massimo Bianconcini, Ivan Zucconi, Leonardo Fini
Team Australia: Joel Brown, Truman Carroll, Robbie Marshall
Team Brasil: Fred Kyrillos, Marcelo Simoes, Jeff Campacci
Team Russia: Nikolay Ivankov, Mihael Yarygin, Vladimir Yarygin
*only best eight teams after prequalification (day before) will advance into main competition
FIM Freestyle of Nations presented by Roller
31st May 2014
Gelsenkirchen / Germany
The FIM FREESTYLE OF NATIONS will take place on 31st May 2014 in the VELTINS Arena. Ticket prices start at 29.90 euros; children can attend for as little as 19.90 euros.
Tickets are available in person from the S04 Service Centre at the FC Schalke 04 offices (Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-2pm), by calling the ticket hotline on 01806-15 08 10 (20 cents/call from landlines; max 60 cents/call from mobile phones; Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-2pm) or by visiting www.tickets-aufschalke.de.
Further information: www.freestyle-of-nations.com.