Britain's Sam Pilgrim claimed his third straight Vienna Air King title in the season opening event of the 2012 FMB World Tour.
Poor weather conditions in Vienna this weekend couldn't stop the main event from taking place on Sunday afternoon, although temperatures in the Austrian capital were far from ideal for riding.
29 riders started the final in Vienna's Rathausplatz Square. One of the favourites for the podium this weekend, Martin Soderstrom, suffered a crash in practice and did not take part.
The weekend's top qualifier, Louis Reboul led early on from the Samson brothers after his first run, before Szymon Godziek took over top spot with a fantastic opening run. Pilgrim's score of 90 set the bar high for the second run
Andreu Lacondeguy was next to take over at the top after a great run that scored 86.33, but the lead lasted a matter of moments before Pilgrim took over the lead with an outstanding run that scored 90 points.
After his first practice runs it was pretty clear that the British rider was on a different level of riding. One of those runs was – backflip, tabletop on the step-down, backflip no-hand, 360 tailwhip and a really clean 720 on the last jump.
Fellow Brit, Sam Reynolds was also on form, scoring an impressive 88 points to take second, but it was Pilgrim who led when the first run was completed.
As the wind picked up in Vienna, most riders declined to do a second run so it ended up as a British one-two at Vienna Air King 2012.
Sam Pilgrim: "Today was a very hard day in the office. It was quite windy actually and the sun was going in and out so conditions were quite bad.
"Luckily, on the first runs there was a break in the weather to put in some tricks. My run went to plan and I led from then until the end so it was cool.Luckily for me for my first run the weather was all good.”
Sam Reynolds: "We've been waiting for two days because of the wind and rain," Reynolds said. "And there's actually a fallen over tree somehow in the middle of the street! The weather wasn't perfect, it was still windy in the finals, that's why I didn't do anything in the second run. Luckily for me for my first run the weather was all good and we could all get our final runs in.
"Yeah, I'm well happy, that was a good day. Obviously the best trick was Antoine Bizet's flip no-hands on that drop, which is like absurd. I couldn't even think imagine doing that. You have to pull back as hard as you can just to flip that thing and he managed to do that no-hander so that was pretty impressive.”
Bienvenido Aguado Alba: "I liked the contest but the weather was too bad for doing a real practice. There was no place for crazy tricks, almost anyone who tried one, crashed, or at least messed his run. Martin Söderström had a pretty bad-looking crash during practice (barspin to tailwhip attempt, to be precise) but fortunately not as serious as it looked. If not landing on their faces, many riders had problems with pulling their runs."
Vienna Air King – Results
1) Sam Pilgrim (GBR) 90.00 points
2) Sam Reynolds (GBR) 88.00
3) Andreu Lacondeguy (ESP) 86.33
4) Szymon Godziek (POL) 82.33
5) Linus Sjöholm (SWE) 81.00
6) Jakub Vencl (CZE) 80.00
7) Amir Kabbani (GER) 79.00
8) Louis Reboul (FRA) 76.00