Brandon Semenuk - 2012 FMB World Tour Champion

Oct 9, 2012 at 0:01
Oct 9, 2012
by FMB World Tour  
 
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Brandon Semenuk dominated the 2012 FMB World Tour season and after a nail biting head to head battle with Martin Soderstrom at Red Bull Rampage, he was able to take his second consecutive FMB World Tour title and the golden CamelBak Better Bottle. The 2012 FMB World Tour Podium is completed with Martin Soderstrom (SWE) in 2nd and Thomas Genon (BEL) in 3rd position.


Three riders could have taken the FMB World Tour title at Red Bull Rampage – Thomas Genon sadly didn’t make it to the finals meaning Martin Soderstrom and Brandon were going head to head on the blood red sand. At Red Bull Rampage, Brandon came out the gate in true ripper style, taking probably the hardest line on the mountain. Successfully manoeuvring down the slippy loose rock on almost vertical faces, with multiple drops and a never seen before step down transfer but unfortunately crashed later in the middle section. After Brandon’s first crash, Martin could almost touch the golden Camelbak Better Bottle but as fate would have it, he also crashed on a 360 off a massive step down. So it all came down to the second runs. Realising that the judges were highly rewarding the upper section of the mountain and the line difficulty, Semenuk kept his gnarly technical upper line and flew down the mountain but later crashed while landing a backflip on the soft soil in the middle section. Martin’s eyes lit up! This was his final chance to win the 2012 FMB World Tour title after battling for it all year – all he needed was a minimum of 69.0 points (7th place finish) for his run. Martin chose a typical flowy and fluid upper section and once again set himself up for the 360, but he also became a victim of the mountain, slightly over rotating and his bike along with his hopes of winning the title sank into the soft desert sand.


With Soderstrom not scoring at Rampage Semenuk didn’t need another top score to secure the title and so it was his great earlier performance with six victories at Jumpship, Chatel Mountain Style, Crankworx Les 2 Alpes, Claymore Challenge, Colorado Freeride Festival and Bearclaw invitational that once again earned him the FMB World Tour Championship.


Aside from the battle between Soderstrom and Semenuk for the podium, this year has been particularly competitive and the top ten in the overall ranking consists of a very high calibre of riders. Thomas Genon stunned the world with his win at Red Bull Joyride and a 3rd place overall – a fantastic result for the 19 year old rider from Belgium. Placed 4th overall was newcomer and Canadian young gun – Brett Rheeder. This young talent shone through at Claymore Challenge, placing second, only just missing out to Brandon Semenuk. He carried on climbing up the ranking with further podium finishes. We can expect to see a lot more from Brett in 2013. Experienced riders Sam Pilgrim, Yannick Granieri and Sam Reynolds, were all battling for the podium until misfortunes and injuries hindered their climb to the top – but with a strong finish in the top ten they end the season with a positive result. Anthony Messere has exceeded all expectations finishing in 7th overall after scoring big with a bronze medal at Bearclaw invitational and a respectful top ten finish at other Gold events. The McCaul brothers rounding off the table in 9th and 10th can be upbeat about their finish. Cam had a great 3rd place finish at Red Bull Joyride and Tyler had a solid year with a strong 5th place at Red Bull Rampage – results which consequently lifted them into the top ten - freeride mountain bikers of 2012.


Two FMB World Tour Champion titles in a row and a second place in 2010 is an impressive demonstration of Semenuk’s strength. Does he have a secret for success? If he does, he isn’t telling! But Brandon definitely takes full advantage of the natural environment at his local area in Canada– training hard and dedicating his lifestyle to his mountain bike career. His attitude and commitment to the sport and the FMB World Tour has paid of with a consecutive title.


Slopestyle and big mountain events are not just about going bigger or faster than the rider before you. Attention to detail, technical skills, creativity, fluidity and trick skills all help put together a winning run. A FMB World Tour champion needs to have all of these attributes completely dialled. Brandon Semenuk delivered all this, giving the judges an easy job by ticking all the boxes. His consistency was unmatched and with six wins in a row, he made a statement loud and clear – he is the one to beat and once again is the one and only 2012 FMB World Tour Champion.
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71 Comments

  • + 53
 Brandon looks SO stoked with that golden water bottle...
  • + 5
 nice face in the picture
  • + 25
 I wish he had a personality....
  • + 14
 Still more facial expressions than Kristen Stewart...
  • + 3
 My dad said that the reasons why most of the best riders right now are losing this season, is either cuase they're getting coky or becuase they're getting old
  • + 1
 I think that it's because the level of riding they are at and the pressure they are under eventually just hits them and they just crack under the pressure. Being a professional mountain biker isn't all fun and games. You have to push your limits to get good results because sponsors are looking for the best. Not last place.
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  • + 30
 No disrespect to Semenuk, the kid is amazing, but if he is going to be a world champion which also means being a role model to kids ( and mine ) he really needs to get over the childish baby attitude - his behaviour at rampage was pretty dissapointing, not wanting to talk to the commentator, and waltzing off left me wanting to slap him., he should start showing a more positive outlook towards himself, It's not about winning everything, its about enjoying it.
That being said, congrats to him, he has earnt his spot, just needs to polish up his PR skills, for himself, and his sponsors. But most importantly, the kids and people he inspires every day. If i get neg props whatever.
  • + 6
 yeah, i agree with you 100%..he does not seem personable and he acts like he is 12...good rider though...
  • - 6
 typical neg propping without actually saying anything. Feel free to say im wrong. oh wait you know its right. sack ride some more cowards
  • + 10
 In which sport do the farorite to win is all smile when he loses?
  • + 5
 plenty. it's called good sportsmanship. Mcall was a favourite to win, did you see him miserable?
  • + 13
 when you train and ride every day giving 100% into what you love and care most about, and then practically throw away the top spot because of messing up on tricks you can do with your eyes closed, his response wasnt anything unusual. that was instinct kicking in and when your asked questions 30 seconds after it all happened with the #2 guy on the tour still waiting to drop in to beat you, emotions are still wayyy overpowering logic. he really didnt even have time to think about it before the mic was in his face.... give him a break
  • + 21
 Mccaul didn't mess up—his line was flawless. Of course he was probably disappointed but not in the way Semenuk was...Semenuk basically botched a winning run by messing up tricks he does all the time. Mccaul had no reason to be critical of himself. Not to mention, Semenuk just came away from crashing at Crankworx, twice. I don't know about you but he seems like the kind of person who is highly critical of every run he makes. To mess up that many times has to shake you up. If I were him, I probably wouldn't feel like smiling and say "whatever man" just seconds after throwing away an amazing run you just spent all weekend on. Plus, isn't he 21 with a shit ton of pressure on him to be perfect every.single.time? That is my take on things. I'm a huge fan and he actually seems like a really nice guy who just seems to be shy and reserved.
  • + 5
 Amen to that brotha, anyone who downs on an athlete for being disappointed in a sub-par performance has obviously never trained and competed in anything competitively. This isn't little league where they hand out participation medals and go off to Pizza Hut after games, this is the most important event in his life, and he did not perform to his best. It is completely natural to be upset with yourself for that, anyone who competes in anything at a high level can appreciate that.
  • + 3
 nice sweeping statement. He can be upset all he likes, his high profile makes him a role model wether he likes it or not. he needs to step up to the pressure and set an example, not act like a sook. One day you might understand that when you have kids, and aren't riding on his ballsack
  • + 5
 Sure he has a high profile, but everyone's human, i doubt many riders would be keen on doing an interview after such a disappointing result when he's been doing so well all year besides Joyride.
  • + 1
 Oriion—I totally get what you are saying about being a role model; however, I just view it differently in this situation. For me a bad role model is a sore looser aka getting pissed at OTHER people for YOUR mistakes, dissing other riders etc. Brandon Semenuk has never really giving me any other impression besides somebody who beats HIMSELF up for every mistake. Semenuk barely talked to the reporter after his second run but he did after his first one and he was as fine as he could be after botching his first run (from someone who wins contests on the first run). The commentators for Rampage both talked about his focus before he dropped in and said that he is the one out here who takes his job the most seriously of any of the other competitors. So yes, would it have been cool if he had simply brushed off loosing Rampage (and at that moment, possibly loosing the FMB title) like Mccaul or Berrecloth did? Of course, but I don't blame him for not looking stoked and wanting to discuss how he just messed up on the slopestyle tricks he is known for. And Semenuk isn't the only rider who gets visibly disappointed—the awesome Rheeder was visibly disappointed at Crankworx with his 4th place finish, Soderstrom at Crankworx was visibly fed up with himself (emphasis on himself) for not landing that 3 double whip even though he got 2nd place and Lacondeguy at Rampage actually threw his bike because he was disappointed and fed up for missing a trick. And we are talking about some of the smoothest, nicest and charming guys in freeriding who seem waaaay more comfortable in front of the camera then Semenuk. You can certainly say I'm biased because yah, I'm a huge Semenuk fan (and Soderstrom fan and Rheeder fan—imagine how I felt after Rampage ;P), but this was my two cents. I'm sympathetic of Semenuk because I know exactly how it feels to beat yourself up for mistakes and also, not want to talk after making said mistakes. Anyways, I'll be quiet now Smile
  • + 12
 Let me know when you guys can do a run down the Rampage course, fall on a backflip over a 30 drop botching your last chance at winning one of the biggest competitions in mountain biking, have the pressure of the world championship teetering at young fingertips and still have the ability to talk with a commentator about how you screwed up doing what you are good at.
  • + 3
 ^^ props...you said it pal
  • + 1
 Oriion—I lied...I'll be quiet after this.
I used to kind of wonder about Brandon too—like seriously? Does this guy ever smile? Is he actually a nice guy or a douche?
It was this edit that completely changed my mind about him. Yes, the guy actually smiles and has a sense of humor. And yes, he is a nice guy and a stand up dude.
www.pinkbike.com/news/Brandon-Semenuk-at-Crankworx-Behind-the-Scenes-to-Victory-2011.html
quote from article
"Brandon is a true professional, you'll notice in the Four Long Years edit, he even stops after crashing out his first run to sign autographs, despite the need to get back to the top of the hill. It's no different at the SRAM POP Up store. A true pro."
That right there speaks volumes about his character—not him in an interview after a botched run but him before a serious contest and during a serious contest...signing autographs for fans.
  • + 0
 Him being upset at Rampage might be an exception, but the guy still needs to make his impression on the world and his fans more positive. People obsess and idolize over famous/talented athletes way too much these days, i mean look at everyone trying so hard to defend him. He is just another person like you or I, getting paid big bucks to do what he loves. He should have a more happy and positive attitude.
  • + 0
 Yeah man i gotta concur. Fair enough he thought hed thrown away the title, but shit.... Who wasnt watching rampage from home thinking theyd swap their dick for a chance to ride it. Way to piss on our stoke semenuk. You won in the end aswell :-/

The Claw is a real ambassador for the sport. He ate shit and gave such a good interview after. Hes got the years under the belt tho, eh.
  • + 3
 i meeeean i didnt really like his attitude at one point either but i remember a clip of him a few years ago where he just ate a bunch of shit at crankworks then some little kid came up to him right after and asked for an autograph and he gave it to him and was all smiles.
  • - 2
 Some interesting feedback from my original post. Thank you. I have taken on board some well thought out responses and comments, but stick to my original post.
I completely respect what he has done for MTB, but when your 10 year old son who idolizes this guy comes up and asks why he wasn't nice to the presenter and walked off, then asks me if he doesn't like riding bikes anymore, kinda puts a lump in the back of your throat you know what i mean? I don't expect everyone to understand. And for those that state what about all the other stuff he did a few years back etc etc, that's awesome, thanks for pointing that out. Maybe i better point that out to my son too, since he probably doesn't understand.
Kids have simple minds, we could do well to listen to them sometimes, i know its helped with my perspective. We need to remember kids follow and want to mimmick what we do. I'm sure branden would like to look back when hes older and say he had a hand in the next generation of shredders don't you think? So its not always about us, its about the kids.
  • + 1
 I don't think people understand the focus and ambition Brandon has. All he wants is first and to do well, the pressure is huge and when that goal isn't met its crushing for him. He knew he could do better and that doing well at Rampage was what he needed. He was bummed. These last two let downs shows that hes human and that he has emotions.
  • + 1
 aaah i just noticed wildandfree posted the video hahaha
  • + 1
 ^ I totally agree with what you say—I had the same thought your son had...he looked fairly miserable. Considering the pressure he is under I just hope he still enjoys riding his bike. So in some ways I agree completely with what you say, I just had a different take on it—not bad sportsmanship but simply saddening that someone looked so miserable after riding their bike! I defend Brandon but like I said,I agree. I just feel bad for him because I don't have a dissapointed 10 year old! I just hope that he still loves riding for his sake.
  • + 2
 are you guys done giving your psychological evaluation yet? so we can get on with enjoying such a great rider
  • + 2
 Great rider, serious competitor... but being petulant is going to deter some potential fans as this thread shows.
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  • + 25
 Brandon is the killer, but i'm actually Martin fan!! Wink
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  • + 9
 I'm glad there is competition for him, and guys that are coming up that can challenge him... keeps the sport progressing! CONGRATS ON ANOTHER TITLE!
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  • + 11
 martin came soo close
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  • + 7
 Congrats to Martin! He killed it this year! Thomas Genon! How taleneted this guy is ! he showed the world! And of course congrats to Brandon!
[Reply]
  • + 8
 Yeah,I'm so happy for him !
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  • + 2
 It's too bad he blew such an insane upper line on the lower half. That transfer was truly one of a kind. That and McCaul's (and Zink's) gap were the two nuttiest things on the mountain.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 why is the final shot not Wallpaper size! Free poster for your computer made available to you from Trek, digitally signed by Brandon himself!! Come on guys, make it happen.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Canada #1 at hockey and now MTB! It's a proud moment in Canadian history.
  • - 9
 You forgot #1 at moose related deaths and axe murders also.
  • - 4
 *freestyle maybe. no way at all disciplines
with the exception of stevie smith, of course
  • - 10
 Except last year they weren't in the Stanley Cup finals...
  • - 9
 The Stanley Cup has been in the U.S for how long now...? Just saying.
  • + 23
 Due to the majority of the players being from Canada , the cup spends more time north of the border than south anyway. Home of the brave!
  • - 3
 cant argue facts haha.
  • + 3
 Oh Canada.
  • + 7
 @Connor-Smith, @RLoganSx

I hope you guys realize the LA Kings are mostly Canadians. Same with the Boston Bruins... Typical Americans thinking they're the best again...
  • + 4
 @Phillip-Mcrack

Have been for the last 236 years! Well I don't condone most political actions of the U.S. frankly I don't get involved its all bullshit really were still a good place to live with great places to ride.
  • + 2
 but kings won this year
  • + 0
 I hope you guys relise this is a mountain bike website not a hockey one and nobody cares about hockey!!
  • + 1
 ah bollocks more negative props
  • + 2
 Can't remember the last time a team from the USA didn't win the 'world series'
  • + 1
 @ DHRIDERNZ

Except for all the Canadians who make up 3/4 of this website.
  • + 1
 i can talk about whatever i want. who likes potatoes?
[Reply]
  • + 4
 His upper line doesn't even look like a line. He's inhuman!
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  • + 4
 Points for failed runs is kinda like whip cream on a shit sandwich.
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  • + 1
 Would be awesome to see soderstrom and semenuk having the exact same number of points at the end of the season and then play an epic game of bike to choose the winner
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Lamest FMB Trophy yet. Might as well have put a road bike shoe nailed to a 2x4 and called it good (has NOTHING to do with Mtn Bikes).
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i had a chance to take a picture of Semenuk in victoria during this year's jumpship competition and i think he is cool.
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  • + 2
 oh that's surprising Another gold for semenuk
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  • + 2
 Semenuk wins everything!haha
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  • + 1
 Thomas genon just looks pissed in the picture at the bottom
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