The fourth edition of the Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championships is wrapped up for another year. Last week, riders from 21 countries and 5 continents travelled to Santiago, Chile, for a shot at the rainbow jersey.
The series first emerged in 2018 as the brainchild of Claudio Caluori and his team at Velosolutions. Springdale, Arkansas, hosted the first World Final, where Christa von Niederhäusern and David Graf were crowned the founding Pump Track World Champions.
The following year, the series was officially recognised by the UCI, and riders have been chasing those rainbow stripes ever since. Excluding a Covid-induced hiatus in 2020, I've had the privilege of documenting the series each year since its birth, and every time we return, the series only proves to be bigger and better than the last.
In 2021, we saw France's Eddy Clerte and Belgium's Aiko Gommers claim the World Champs title in Lisbon, Portugal, and this year they were amongst 65 riders, battling it out again, this time in the Southern Hemisphere.
Photos and Words by Dan Griffiths
Hosting this year's finals was Santa Fe Bike Park. Located in San Carlos de Apoquindo, just below the Andes mountain range. The pump track was constructed last year by Velosolutions within a space of 2075m2, offering incredible views of Santiago.
Relationships between riders on the pump track series are positive. During early practice, most session together and bounce off each other's learnings.
Most turns are greeted by a city backdrop. At the speed riders were hitting them, there wasn't much time to take it in.
Pump tracks hosting World Champs get the subtle addition of rainbow stripes, so if you see those, you know you're in business. The World Champs course was ready for action.
The riders connected with the crowd before zoning in for finals. Anaia Istil was repping it for #PumpForPeace - Claudio Caluori's passion project provides pump tracks and cycling opportunities for underprivileged communities.
It was full commitment all around as the competition whittled down, and everybody did their best to stay in it.
Shortly afterwards, Eddy took a huge slam in turn 3 and was swiftly lifted to the hospital.