FISE @ Montpellier – France – , 30/04/08 – 04/05/08

They’ve been 2 hard days & nights, and we’ve been working like dogs. The show was unique, the audience was constantly exultant, the sun burnt like hell, the dust ate hair and shoes, droven kms were a burden on our shoulders, the space shuttles left evey 5 minutes to the sky, here and there on the street area, the dirt area, the slope-style area. A 2 days long tasty barbeque of jumping pros together with thousand merry people, in our huge long garden by the river and its shores.  We reached Montpellier on Friday night, just the time to let our bags at the hotel and:
– first priority: we run to the FISE area to proof if the plans found on the Internet fullfilled our expectations.  No way, they were scaring.
– second priority: eat all we could. With the mouth water from what we had just seen we approached an ambiguous australiana pub, attracted by perfumes of grilles livestock. Luckily, DC god looked out on us from a gazebo in the center of the pub yard, and the room revealed itself as the most lively and crowded place in Montpellier, with lots of hamburgers ready to be bitten,  beers as big as our heads, truckers everywhere, drunken people hugging strangers, crocodiles and koalas to the walls.
A not-so-long-but-intense sleep, and “welcome to the new day”. Reached the spot, our attention was mainly captured by  bmx and mtb slopestyle contests, indeed the most charming.

The bmx street qualifications gave us surprises, both pleasant and unpleasant. For, we all know that bmx is dangerous and extreme. That’s what Thibaut Iser aka Mouton didn’t expect, falling on his back from a frontflip and not feeling his legs anymore. We just know he was under surgery two days after, we all hope he’ll be ok soon. The rest was an astonishing series of backflips of any kind, all sort of tailwhips, 360, 720, no-hands, fufanus, abubacas, supermans, flairs, x-ups, etc etc etc etc etc…..The guest star of the day was the legendary Dave Mirra, while Chase Hawk didn’t give us the time to breath regularly.
Finally ,the best ten to the final were:
1. DANIEL DHERS
2. MIKE SPINNER
3. ALESSANDRO BARBERO
4. MARK WEBB
5. ALISTER WHITTON
6. BEN HENNON
7. MAXIME CHARVERON
8. HARRY MAIN
9. DAVE MIRRA
10. MAIK LAIRD

We would like to give a special mention to Alessandro Barbero, just back from the Usa where he spent days and days training. He declared “ I’m not 100% ok, my arms hurt, I’m a little tired”… luckily he was tired, or we would have seen him jumping to Mars, directly.
On the same day, while the sun said hello to the incoming moon and goodbye to anyone, the herd moved to the dirt area, passing beside the slopestyle shores where the riders were chilling out by jumping on the top of a 5 mts. streetlamp ( a good proof service for the Montpellier community, who knows if it was fake and could have fallen on someone’s head?!).  The background was apocaliptic, within constructions sites, palm trees outlined faraway, a dense black smoke coming from the distance painting the sky. And jumps, hiiigh and looong jumps, 8-10 mts. Double backflips with a totally Barbiesh pink bmx, it didn’t seem an International pro contest at all, we were all just friends.

In the end, just 4 passed to the next event, due on 24-25th May in Rennes sur Roulettes:
1. LAGUNA RICARDO
2. GUIMEZ PATRICK
3. MAC KAY COLIN
4. AGNIEL NICOLAS

Dark finally swallowed us, and tired like pack-donkeys we found our Mecca in the Pizzeria Sun7 in the center of Montpellier, a tasty pizza indeed, the right one to send us promptly into bed, smelling feet and no intention to take a shower, too hard staying stand 5 minutes more.
The best feeling of the whole day was sensing that not only the Fise area was the challenging spot, but every ridable corner of the city gave the hundreds skaters, bmxers and mountainbikers the input to train and dare.

So was the day after, 4th May, the last but not the least, the moment to concentrate on mountain bike, on the 3-parts trail over the river made of north shores quite similar to roller-coasters ending up in 3-6 mts drops landing on the river shores …practically a suicide. But not for them, just the time to realize how high they were, and “down to hell!”, like it was the easiest act ever. Striking were mostly the 360 from the 2 jumps, one of which gave way to a 3 mts.  wallride ridden as easily as chopping a sandwich.
A special mention goes to the amateurs who won the chance to be part in the pro finals:
1. ZEDJA THOMAS
2. KLAUS LADISLAV
3. BELIN SIMON
whose only flaw was being amateurs. Amazing, really.
But as they couldn’t have everything they wanted, the final ranking was made by:
1. PILGRIM SAM
2. CANQUIL TOM
3. DESNOES DAVID
4. FERRY PIERRE
Yes, that same Pilgrim who finish 3rd at the Qasqai contest in Milan and won the Townhill Slopestyle contest in Bergamo and the Vienna Air King some days before… a nice guy, outside, a machine indeed.

We must say that, as standard humans, at our age, too many emotions associated to too much sun and weariness could damage our heart, and for avoiding collapsing, we were finally forced to say goodbye to everyone at Fise and leave home, loosing the bmx street finals, where the best 4 have been:
1. DANIEL DHERS
2. MIKE SPINNER
3. ALESSANDRO BARBERO
4. MARK WEBB

What a pity, but we are not worried about the loss, ‘cause we’re sure they will have closed the most unfeasible tricks our insane mind can imagine.
A very intense and adrenalinic experience, a Fise experience.

Here the contest pics, and some other pics.

http://www.fise-events.com