At only 19 years of age, the rider from Belgium, Thomas Genon wins the Red Bull Joyride at the legendary Crankworx Festival in Whistler (Canada) – the most prestigious Slopestyle-contest in the world. The underdog surprised the mountain bike world with his victory as this young talented rider was not seen as threat for the top spot on the podium. In a tough battle with rasoulution teammate - Martin Söderström, for first place, he came out on top, leaving Martin to take a respectable 2nd place. Freeride icon Cam McCaul gained 3rd place.
It almost seemed, as if for Thomas Genon, it was more exhausting to process his spectacular win at Red Bull Joyride mentally, than to perform the run of his life. Even at the Joyride press conference later the day, Thomas appeared speechless and overwhelmed.
His performance, especially his second run in the finals, couldn´t have been any better: Genon started his winning run with a 360° x-up off the starting drop, followed by a tailwhip on the boner-log and a backflip no-hander over the first gap jump. The young Belgian impressed the worldwide audience with his smooth and perfectly timed frontflip – a trick which Thomas is renowned for. He then proceeded to execute a huge double-tailwhip over the first hip and a tuck no-hander over the second. Further down the course, Thomas Genon exited the fruit-bowl with a 360° x-up, to set himself up for the daring backflip on to the cabin feature – Thomas was the only rider during the event to attempt this. He completed his run with a 360°, dropping off the cabin rooftop, 35 feet on to the final landing. Despite an exploding back tire when landing the drop, Thomas rode through the victory-arch masterfully, taking the win and gaining his competitors´ respect. Today, August 21st, Genon celebrates his 19th birthday. Regardless of his young age, the Belgian demonstrated his tremendous skills earlier this year by winning two FMB World Tour events in Austria, the Dakine Airstrike at Saalbach and the 26TRIX-Contest in Leogang.
His toughest rival throughout the Red Bull Joyride finals was none other than Swede Martin Söderström, Martin decided to place all hopes in his final trick - attempting a 360° double-whip from the cabin kicker but unfortunately he didn’t carry enough speed in to the jump and crashed at the top of the landing. Martin, impressed everyone with his high, extremely smooth 360° tailwhips and clean flairs.
Tarek Rasouli, former Freeride-pro, who with his colleagues at rasoulution manages Thomas Genon and Martin Söderström amongst others, comments euphorically on the results from Joyride the most important Slopestyle contest of the year. “Thomas Genon’s surprising victory at this prestigious Slopestyle-Event is simply incredible! This success gives proof of his special talent. With Martin's additional 2nd place we’re simply super happy. Besides these great results, I’d like to highlight every rider’s performance – the event was absolutely breathtaking, as every athlete was pushing his limits. Once again, the global mountain bike community witnessed the highest quality of live entertainment while watching athletic perfection. I wish, I would have been there myself, but thank God we have live webcasts.”, says Rasouli.
Fuelling the suspense at Joyride was the failure of other big name riders to make it in to the Super-finals: Cam Zink and Yannick Granieri experienced a hard fall, just like the current FMB World Tour leader, season favorite and most picked rider for 1st place, Brandon Semenuk, who didn´t make it into the top eight and consequently the Super-finals.