Photo Story: Downtime in Lisbon at Pump Track World Championships

Oct 15, 2021

This Sunday will see riders from around the globe put it all on the line in a battle for the rainbow jersey at the Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championships in Lisbon, Portugal.

Over the past couple of days the riders have explored the Lisbon city centre and indulged in the local culture before they head to the Velosolutions Pump Track at Parque das Nações for the World Final.

Photos and Words by Dan Griffiths.

The Crew. From Left to right we have Payton Ridenour Niels Bensink Drew Mechielsen Tommy Zula Eddy Clerte and of course the face of Velosolutions Claudio Caluori.
The Crew: from left to right... Payton Ridenour, Niels Bensink, Drew Mechielsen, Tommy Zula, Eddy Clerte and Claudio Caluori.

Tommy Zula, straight into tourist mode.

Sun's out, shades out - it didn't take long for the local business to pick up on the fresh faces in town.

Nor did it take long for the boys to find the first spot.
Although probably not how Dom José I envisioned his statue being honoured nearly 250 years ago, the boys got a solid hour worth of fun out of this one.

Eddy Clerte stacking clips.

Niels Bensink is originally from the Netherlands but recently moved out to Canada to live with his girlfriend... this week he's back in Europe and he means business.

Navigating the big city is tiresome work... grubs up.

Niels and his partner Drew Mechielsen have flown out all the way from Langley, British Columbia for their shots at the title.

A French and a Dutch walk into a coffee shop...

Tommy's a sucker for the European caffeine.
Full approval.

Onto the next spot.

Our 2019 champ Payton Ridenour is from the USA and was along for the sightseeing tour.

And quite the sight it was.
Portuguese architecture at its finest.

One man's trash is another man's treasure... the crew made good use of the local councils waste.

If you've watched a live cycling event there's a very good chance you've heard this man's voice... earlier this year Max Cluer was commentating at the Tokyo Olympics and now he's here for the Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championships.

Smile! Line up for your photo with the Golden Gate Bridge... at least nobody will tell the difference.


Getting home brought its own challenges... like navigating the Metro.

Nah, actually it went surprisingly smooth.
The Metro stations brought the opportunity for grungy urban shots, something we don't get much opportunity for in this game.

All aboard the number 7.

Commuting like a true commuter.

What do you think they were talking about?
Mission success.

Khothalang Leuta at the Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championships in Lisbon Portugal.
Khothalang Leuta grew up in Lesotho, South Africa. She was the first girl in her village, Roma, to ride a bike and in 2019 she won Lesotho's National Pump Track race which sealed her spot at the World Championships.

Khothalang doesn't own a bike of her own and has been practicing using the local club bikes.

Khothalang Leuta and Fanie Kok at the Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championships in Lisbon Portugal.
The guys at Specialized surprised her on Wednesday evening with a bike she can take home - built up with parts sourced from Martin Soderstrom.
Fanie Kok was the man behind the handover and her reaction says enough.

Khothalang Leuta and Payton Ridenour at the Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championships in Lisbon Portugal.
She's also been learning from the best this weekend with Payton giving her tips on how to put down the fastest laps, we can't wait to see her crush it on Sunday.

Next up on the excursion list was a boat ride. Tommy Zula looking surprisingly excited for a man who can't swim.

Across the Tagus river, which could actually quite easily be mistaken for the ocean - on the other side dinner awaited.

Really summing up the size of this river, right next to the pump track is the Vasco da Gama bridge which spans the width of the Tagus. At 12km long and no opportunity to turn around, it would be a time costly mistake if you ended up on this monster by accident.

Way to make our boat feel insignificant...

Captain Claudio.

A reminder that this is not San Francisco and that is not the Golden Gate Bridge.

An hour later we arrived to Seixal and the sunset was something out of a movie, thankfully in this case, that movie wasn't Titanic.

Not bad.

Mundet Factory provided the hospitality and it was a full house.



  • 18 0
 Lots of people having fun on bikes, lots of different equipment, none of which cracks maybe $3000 USD, World Cup stripes and jeans, and the whole thing is not secretly a fork or drivetrain advertisement -- more of this, please. Best of luck to everybody riding
  • 2 1
 Wouldn't be surprised if that BMX of Eddy Clerte is beyond 3000USD, but I get your point and this is what I love about pumptrack racing. It is about the rider first and foremost. Access to these top level facilities is free for training and anyone can have a go at these qualifiers with a chance of making it to these finals. You don't need a big team, you don't need to get tangled up in secretive sponsor contracts, you don't need the latest superbike. Good vibes, let's see to it that it never gets buried under the load of commerce and egos.
  • 3 0
 Lesotho is in Southern Africa, within the borders of S. A. But you can’t say it’s in South Africa neither, being an own country.
  • 1 0
 wish we could also bring our rides inside the train just as shown in this photo story. Then again there are so many bicycles in Tokyo that it would be a complete chaos if allowed. Here we have to partially disassemble the bike, carry it in bag and ride on the first or last car of the train (that last part is more of a suggestion from the railway company).
  • 1 0
 It's the Metro in the photos, you can't take the bikes in rush hours but it's ok anytime else.You can take them in trains (and ferry's) as well without paying but only in designated spaces ussualy in carriages at start and end like you re saying.
  • 2 0
 Funny qualifiers final: one fully kitted out BMX race rider vs the Dirt jumper on swimming trunks.
  • 2 0
 Vibe looks killer, maxing and relaxing!
  • 1 0
 This is the awesome cycling culture we want

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