X Fusion Side flight Championships

Dec 7, 2009
by Jason Peters  
X Fusion Side Flight Champs was a "jam format" contest to bring together athletes in the true off season of our sport. This low key, friendly battle between friends showcased the talent these riders have. They were judged on Amplitude, Style and of course how sideways they can throw their bikes." - X Fusion

Look inside for photos of how things played out and results!After a wind delay and some BBQ for lunch the guys were excited to start day one practice. Graeme Pitts was the guinea pig for the day, taking the first runs.

Graeme Pitts

The aim for X Fusion's Side Flight Championships was to see riders doing big whips on their downhill bikes, over really big jumps. X Fusion Team rider Griz was in charge of building these massive jumps and he did an amazing job, I didn't hear one rider complain about the jumps.

Riders started on top of the hill and pedaled into the first jump which was a 35 ft step down.

<Deleted photo>

Ryan boosts the step down solo.

Once over the step down, riders were looking at the massive lip of a 40 foot step up. This jump drew most of the spectators and was where all the riders hung out between runs.

John Bitner


After riders cracked the biggest whips that they could and brought them back, they would give their brakes a tap to set up for the last jump which was a right hip.

Brendan Fairclough styles out the hip

Tyler McCaul does one of the flattest tables of the day.

The winds were calm for the rest of the afternoon and the riders took as many runs as they could before the sun set.

Here are some photos of just how practice went down:

Cob was blasting every jump on the course as high as anyone else.

With the setting of the sun came the camp fire and the riders celebrated a good day of riding.

The moon

The morning of day two was calm and had riders and spectators excited about the finals. But the sunny, calm Californian weather failed us and by the time the practice session started, the winds were back in full force. It was decided that finals would be put on hold until the winds died down, but they never did.

The Chicken Man waiting out the winds

Yes, that's Bender and his dog


The decision was made that it was too windy and far too dangerous to run finals so it was canceled. Results were based off Day 1 with Sean "Griz" McClendon taking home first place. Griz built the jumps and showed that he was the big man on campus, Congratulations Sean!

Tyler McCaul took second

<Deleted photo>

Ryan Howard was fourth

Video by jbombz69.pinkbike.com:
Views: 15,219    Faves: 286    Comments: 52

John Hauer
Big thanks to John from X Fusion for putting the Side Flight Champs on, and to Griz for building the coolest DH jumps I have ever seen. Rumor has it that this event will be back next year, If that's true, I will see you there!

Jason Peters


  • 15 2
 We already know who is the REAL whip champion, and his name is Vanderham.
  • 7 0
 Yes! finally someone agrees with me.
  • 5 2
 him and minnar.
  • 2 9
flag MrPulse (Dec 7, 2009 at 16:22) (Below Threshold)
 why weren't there any other tricks? was it just a whip contest?
  • 6 1
 "The aim for X Fusion's Side Flight Championships was to see riders doing big whips on their downhill bikes, over really big jumps."
  • 3 0
 Hey Jay, thanks for taking the pics and the posting up. We appreciate it!
  • 1 0
 you're welcome
  • 9 2
 I agree with griz. replace giant slalom at crankworx with a whip contest!
  • 4 1
 I would enjoy both giant slalom and a whip contest. Don't do away with a proper mountain bike orientated race, MTBing already has enough motocross influences without whip contests.
  • 3 5
 Slalom is basically an MTB supercross race...So i wouldn't consider it a MTB oriented only sport. But yeah, do both!
  • 4 0
 All but the wind it was a fun day.
At the end of the day Brendan Fairclough did this insane whip www.pinkbike.com/photo/4349136/#top

Nice photos Jason!
  • 1 0
 holy shit thats insane
  • 1 0
 if you want less wind,, then you gotta get up to the pac nw, and hit that kinda stuff in the woods. ima be right back while i go build those jumps! so radical. its seems like there should be MORE fmx infuence in mtb. whats wrong with that. bmx is bmx, mtb should go this bigg always!!!
  • 5 0
 looks crazy
  • 4 0
 sweet, those jumps look fun!
  • 6 2
 right on BENDER !! what a legend
  • 4 1
 such a shame that the wind became such a big factor... great competition, its like the downhiller's version of slopestyle
  • 3 0
 Man I wish X-Fusion would come out with some killer dual crown forks to go with their DH shocks. I'd buy for sure.
  • 2 1
 They're still trying to figure out how to copy a 40.
  • 2 0
 They should have the technology to make some pretty good ones. They should make some alright ones so they get the design down, then once they figure it out, Make some DH killers! Can't wait for them to come out with it. X-Fusion is a tight company.
  • 2 1
 is it just me or does tyler mccauls bike have a pretty high bottom bracket and just high in general or is that the way the bike should be ? i mean compared to mik hannahs and mark beaumonts it looks a lot higher and shorter
  • 3 0
 Uber steezey whip from Griz at 2.26, well deserved win! Hope it works next time.
  • 4 1
 It wasn't well deserved at all hahahah the contest never even happened... winning something for practice runs is kinda lame
  • 4 0
 Crazys men =D
  • 3 0
 Thanks for the heads up, I added your video to Jason's story.
  • 4 0
 oh wow thanks man thats awsome!
  • 2 0
 because most of the pics are of a jump after the actual "whip" jump. and also because it was practice day...
  • 2 0
 you know its f*cking windy when the turbines up there are spinning. overall, it looked kinda weak. and wheres vanderham?
  • 2 0
 Oh for sure,oh yeah it got cancelled because of wind right but changed the location
  • 3 0
 shits looks intense, some sweet ass pics
  • 2 0
 what bike was tyler mccaul using? doesnt look like a normal GT fury or is that just me?
  • 1 0
 Thats because its not a Fury.
  • 1 0
 ah that will be why then? is it a new 2010 bike? looks awesome anyway
  • 2 0
 Yeah looks like one hell of a time. We have snow here now. Razz
  • 3 0
 props to jbombz!
  • 2 0
 cool to see bender out & about
  • 2 0
 epic edit bombz. your my hero. should be VOD!!
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
 whip contest at sea otter would be awesome
  • 2 2
 Where was this held? Pine vally?
  • 2 0
 nope. some of the pics wer from ther tho
  • 1 1
 I think Vanderham woulda won if he was there. Good Contest though!!!
  • 2 0
 He was there, but the contest never happened.
  • 1 1
 Dope, step downs are sketchy but looks rad !
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