Ouest Bike Show in France
The article is updated when new videos are uploaded.
Ouest Bike Show is the oldest European stunt riding competition, with the largest winners’ pot of 15.000 euros. For many years the strongest European professional stunt riders have been coming to France, but the competition still hasn't become the world championship completely, because it takes place on the West Coast, in the city of Bourgneuf-en-Retz. The location is simply too far for the participants from Eastern and Northern Europe, let alone for the Russians. We wanted to visit this competition for a long time, and this year finally we found the suitable tickets to Nantes (the nearest airport) with one change only. The competition is known for it's high level of organization, fun contests, but most importantly French stunt riding, that you can see there!
French stunt riding school is the most stylish and innovative. It gave us a lot of tricks and opened up new ways of riding. The French rarely go to international competitions, so you have to go to them, especially since the location is amazing: the ocean, beaches, the sun, wine, oysters, and croissants. When planning your trip to the Ouest Bike Show, don't forget to plan some extra days for relaxing.
This year, the organisers have changed the format by making two qualifying runs on the first day and two final runs on the second day. The winner was chosen according to the sum of final runs. We liked it this way because we could see more stunts and styles. If the first run didn't work, there was a second attempt.
Marcin Glowacki (Poland), Foma Kalinin (Russia), and Joona Vatanen (Finland) were striving for victory. Romain Jeandrot (France) kept up with them aswell. The narrow area worked in Glowacki and Jeandrot's favour, so they became the leaders. Kalinin and Vatanen had to relieve pressure and rebuild their freestyle, as their standard programs were too fast and wide.
For the second year in a row Marcin Glowacki became the winner. He was very stable in both runs and showed his standard season program without any significant changes. For Joona Vatanen it was really hard to adapt to the size of the spot on his powerful CBR1000RR, but he managed to show almost the entire standard freestyle (except for high chair powers with outs) and won the second place. Foma Kalinin was leading after the semi-finals, but in the final he made mistakes, and his freestyle was more simple. As a result, he won the third place. Romain Jeandrot could manage the shuffle 360 only at the qualification run, but other than that, he showed the fastest and most aggressive stunt riding on 600cc with dynamic transition and insane jumps.
The best freestyle of the season was performed by Niko Sakkinen (Finland) in the second final. He did the hardest 360 kangaroo, the entire set of stoppies (HC 180, 270, kangaroo), HC powers, no hands seatdown circles. His ride was intensive, fast, and without any serious mistakes - as a result, he won the fifth place. Sarunas Kezys (Lithuania) also successfully finished the season in France, and won the sixth place. He performed fast spins with a position change, and 360 shuffle. The most experienced Angyal Zoltan continues to demonstrate a high level despite his age. Dynamic strong performance with individual tricks, confident kangaroo, as always he hits the TOP10.
There were some stylish and interesting French riders with unique stunts. For the first time we saw the no hand seatstander and no hand watchtower performed by Nicolas Markadé. There are many photos of those stunts in the Internet but we didn't know how they went further. Anthony Bléas looked like the legendary French rider Baldini with his wide deep scrapes, low drift, smooth but fast flow, and wide pants, of course. Adrien Wegrzyniak wasn't very good at the second final on his Triumph Street Tripple, but overall at the competition he showed a high professional level with continuous, fast and aggressive flow, good stoppies and drift.
Between the runs, there were contests, but we only took video of the limbo drift. The contest is funny but unfair. Riders with clip-ons had an advantage, because a stunt bike with a handlebar gets taller at the angle than in the upright position. This is clearly seen in the attempts of Jeandrot and Kalinin. In the end, Joona Vatanen beat Nicolas L'hozic.
The French stunt riding level is high, and France still remains one of the leaders in this field. You should definitely come to Ouest Bike Show and see it for yourselves.