2012 Claymore Challenge - Finals' Recap and Pics

Jul 21, 2012 at 23:43
by Lee Trumpore  
  Four Peat - Brandon Semenuk Wins His Fourth Claymore Challenge

The Claymore Challenge has once again provided riders with the canvas to paint the portrait of progression. The two-run finals saw some of the most impressive riding witnessed on the FMBA World Tour this year by a field of riders from around the world.

All of the riders threw super impressive runs, but in the end it was reigning champion Brandon Semenuk who would take the top spot. Semenuk, whose run included a flip-whip on the Red Bull Freebird and a 360° whip, attacked the course with precision and focus, landing his winning run on in the first heat of finals.

  Brandon was fending off the young, up and comer Brett Rheeder, finishing second, and Martin Soderstrom, third, both of whom had runs that gave Semenuk a run for his money

Sexy and I know it
  British rider Sam Pilgrim barely missed the podium with an unbelievable run that included a gainer backlip off the AYR Academy drop and a massive back-flip no hander off the Freebird jump.

Knighted then into the beaver pond
Work is done time to party. Kyle Strait knows how to keep the fans happy. Your media crew for the weekend Pinkbike Vital and Lucent Productions with some well deserved beers . Kara and Aaron Chase high-five to both f them for all the work they put into this event. Cheers

To check out the action again, check out Pinkbike for the full replay.

About Highland Mountain Bike Park: Highland Mountain Bike Park is the world's only lift access mountain entirely dedicated to biking. The park is located just 90 minutes north of Boston in beautiful Northfield, New Hampshire. Boasting an extensive downhill and cross country trail network, skill building areas, a 9,100 square foot indoor training facility and NEW for 2012, another step in progression, a 50’ x 50’ “Ayr Bag”. Highland offers lessons and camps for all abilities and is home to the Ayr Academy, a week long, overnight camp taught by the best celebrity pros in the business. Highland Mountain Bike Park is America’s Bike Park…100%.


View all of Lee's Pictures from finals here.


  • 54 6
 I watched the event live and thought the judges did an ok job. Maybe they could have scored rheeder higher and forced Semenuk to go again. That would have made the comp that much more exciting. But as for Sam's run if you compare it to Brandon's, Semenuk's was better. Semenuk tricked every stunt.

12 jumps on course
Semenuk Pilgrim
1. bar spin 1. dead sailor
2. backflip table 2. flip tuck
3. 360 table 3. 360 X-up
4. tailwhip 4. 360
5. 360 bar spin 5. tuck no hander
6. drop oppo 360 6. drop back flip
7. cork 720 (backflip360) 7. flip whip
8. tailwhip 8. 360 x-up
9. tailwhip 9. dangler
10 transfer blackflip 10 transfer backflip table
11. one foot table 11. dead sailor
12. flip whip 12. super flip

If I was judging I would have also given Brandon a higher score. Sam dead sailored 2 stunts and pulled a tuck no hander and a dangler. Both had some big tricks. But Brandon had a better all around run.
  • 25 12
 but thats a comparison between 1st and 4th place...
  • 33 14
 many people think Sam's run was better....
  • 11 0
 just for complete 8. was oppo whip , and 11 un turdown
  • 12 2
 It's been a really tough battle for the podium and after all it's easy to say that the judges were unfair and that Pilgrim or even Rheeder were robbed..
At such a top level of tricks the judges simply have to look at how the riders landed their tricks, Semenuk is just riding so securely and accurately extending every trick like no one else! I definitely wouldn't have wanted to be one of the judges and they have done a good job, if you ask me Wink
  • 14 5
 Thanks for putting up the comparison of runs, it does get old when every second comment is some pom having a whinge about Pilgrim being robbed. Semenuk stomped all of his tricks perfectly, and he deservedly won.
  • 10 11
 1. Semenuk 2. Rheeder 3. Pilgrim
  • 7 5
 You did make a GREAT point though:

If they would have given Rheeder first after his second run and forced Brandon to go again if would have made for an exciting finish!
  • 11 6
 People need to stop freaking out about who should or shouldn't have won. The contest is over. Semenuk won cause he did the best in the judges eyes. That's all.
  • 7 3
 If you compare the runs trick vs. trick they were basically equal. But Semenuk landed his tricks much smoother than Pilgrim. Everything about Semenuk's run is more stylish and smooth.
  • 4 1
 forgot the oppo tailwhip by semenuk in this comparison Big Grin
  • 19 0
 Why would you give someone a higher score just for the purpose of making the person in 1st place to risk injury and go again? That's the worst judging move ever... that's X-Games judging.
  • 9 3
 Personally I think there was very little between those runs, however I feel Brandon deserved to win. But it seems to have been overlooked than sam did the first ever flat drop backflip in competition. For me, Soderstrom's and Rheeder's runs were just as good if not better than Sams, but I feel the judges should have counted the world's first competition flat drop backflip for more than they did. There's a reason it hasn't been done before and that's because it's shit hard and I think more props should be given for breaking boundaries - because that's what pushes the sport forwards. I think second would have been fair.
  • 3 2
 Im not saying Semenuk didnt deserved the win, but what Im saying is that Pilgrims second score was just shit.
His second run was much better than his first and his score increased buy what? less than 0.5 ??
Thats just wrong
  • 6 0
  • 4 0
 now compare it to soderstroms...
  • 1 1
 sam didn't trick three possible jumps (right at the start before the stepdown, after the stepup and the wallride), so semenuk, rheeder and söderström had 2-3 more tricks in their runs. that's why he ended in 4th place. also pilgrim and söderström did tuck no hander, one handed tables, nac nacs ect. where semenuk and rheeder threw tailwhips and threes. as cool as those tricks are, they are not enough to win a competition. clear advantage for semenuk and rheeder! i think semenuk won because of his opposite tricks, but rheeder was real close
  • 1 0
 Semenuk did 360s back to back. That also means more points.
  • 3 0
 Soderstroms tuck no had.a late barspin in it...
  • 25 2
 Sam Pilgram needs a clothing sponsor...
  • 7 1
 .. and he needs a tanktop. just like his last 1st podiums..
  • 4 0
 I think he's sponsored by OBG, haven't seen him wearing one of their kits though...
  • 1 0
 He was wearing the deeeeeepest v neck ive ever seen in qualifying
  • 5 1
 he needs a sword
  • 5 1
 The event was awesome! I was covered in champagne from the podium! I was just out of frame in most of those pictures, for example Brandon's foot hit me on his way to the pond. None of my friends understand why that's cool and I wanted to share with a group of people who can appreciate it. Pink Dress girl get at me!
  • 7 0
 ahhh now i see why that adidas t shirt has an upside down logo
  • 1 0
 I've never noticed that before
  • 1 0
 haha, that's just awesome lol
  • 7 0
  • 1 0
 my point of veiw is no1 is perfect and mayb some of the others scores shouldve been higher and with every organization there are mistakes made ....but saying that i wish there would be fairer judging....it would be hard being a judge....really i think if there would be more rider judged comp.'s out there....riders know the difficulty of tricks and all the rest....just my point of veiw
  • 5 1
 Semenuks bike's graphic look so awesome this year!
  • 2 2
 I'd love to see Semenuk have to throw down a second run for once (how long has it been?), but to all the complainers, the judges must be seeing things that you're not if they didn't even see fit to have any of those guys trump his first round score. It shows that to them, it wasn't even close.
  • 1 0
 Is it just me or does it look like Semenuk combed/gave his hair some order prior to being dumped in the pond. Either or he's crazy as!
  • 1 0
 I was loving Cam's post run interviews. The chick's standing by the Red Bull truck were Hottttttt! Oh ya, the event was pretty bitchin' too!!
  • 3 1
 Bangers. Bangers everywhere.
  • 1 1
 Hey, are there already any vids of Semenuk's runs? I first see the phrase 'Dead Sailor', and want to know how it looks like Wink

Okaay nevermind. Got it
  • 1 0
 What wha wha.....!?!?!! Sam Pilgram owns other shirts than just tank tops?!?!?!
Such a sick comp! solid runs by everyone!
  • 1 0
 Another great jop by Trumpore!
  • 1 0
 Dope shots, Lee! Nicely done.
  • 2 2
 I think it should be the average of BOTH runs, that way everyone has to go all out on both, no joy ride down.
  • 1 0
 Jumps look better every year, will stop by soon to rip a few runs in nh.
  • 1 0
 Sam deserved 3rd place at least. I was shocked to see him get the 4th spot
  • 1 0
 that guys arm...
  • 1 0
 suicide girl@pinkbike
  • 1 0
 So sik
  • 1 0
 it was such a sick day!!
  • 1 0
  • 1 2
 Semenuk could arm a militia with all his long swords!
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