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Video: Winner Takes All - Pinkbike Academy Season 2 EP 10

Dec 21, 2021 at 13:42
by Pinkbike Originals  



It all comes down to this. 4 riders compete for the life-changing opportunity of a pro contract and $30,000 cash. Who will take it? Watch and find out.


Did you miss the previous episodes from Season 2 of Pinkbike Academy? Watch them here.

Emmett putting everything on the line.

Bradley digging deep.
Laura pushing on her way down Big White.

Laser focus from Flo Espineira.

Every second counts.

Laura making the most of a chance of a lifetime.

The final judges deliberation of season two.

A life-changing opportunity awaits one of these four riders.


Apply for Pinkbike Academy Season 3 TODAY!

Launch your riding career with Pinkbike Academy Season 3! We are once again looking for five men and five women from around the world to battle it out in a series of riding-related challenges in a 10-part series. Break into the ranks of professional mountain biking with the opportunity to compete for a pro contract with Orbea bikes and a career-changing cash prize. Turn your passion into your career!



Official Location Partner of Pinkbike Academy @bikebigwhite

Huge thanks to the brands who made this show possible!
Monster Hydro, Orbea, Shimano, Fox Racing, Fox Factory, Maxxis, Garmin,
Funn, Ride Concepts, Hyperice, Big White, Trailforks, ODI, WPL, and Granite.

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  • 270 9
 Just posting this here in hopes some PB staff (and Pinkers) reads it and likes the idea: I'd love to see a competition series on trail building. Like, grab 3 experienced trail teams, put them all on the same mountain, tell them each to build a trail of the same difficulty (blue, black, green, w/e), and have a panel of pros ride and judge them on a set of criteria. They can talk us through the art of building, using natural features, developing the flow of a trail, all while having fun and goofing off building a trail. AND we get dope trails built in the process that everyone can ride. Part trail build competition, part build diary. Make the build teams the stars of the show.

And do it all with land management cooperation, ideally.
  • 24 0
 Then make the PB academy race on the tracks lol
  • 22 12
 New smoking game: Everytime someone says "stoked" you have to take a bong rip
  • 3 1
 @its-joe: no home advantage that way either
  • 2 3
 @DanielP07: There is absolutely a home trail advantage for trail builders...they are familiar with everything from the soils to rocks, how things hold up in weather conditions, the local foilage and timber, etc.
  • 2 0
 @Jamminator: was replying to @its-joe saying they should then use those trails for PB academy
  • 2 0
 @jasonlucas is this something PB could run with and see if it has legs? It'd be so sick. Yeah I'm sure it's a logistical nightmare, but just imagine all the tool and craft beer sponsors. Plus last year's Toyota plug could work here too.
  • 2 0
 @wheelsmith: So sick. I'm pumped !
  • 210 0
 Bradley is such a good dude... I hope he gets recognized.
  • 19 0
 For sure, he'll be alright. Already out there winning races as of recently.
  • 34 0
 Been rooting for the left side of Bradley's mustache to come in. Jokes aside, yeah, seems like a good dude and rides with style.
  • 21 1
 Bradley rides for yeti it says so on his Instagram
  • 8 0
 I really hope he gets a good team sponsorship. Looks to me like he's got the bike handling skills and fitness, he just needs to polish it up a bit. Seems like a really solid dude that puts it all out there.
  • 13 0
 Bradley to PB, be great to have him on the site blowing up turns and doing some how to videos
  • 35 9
 Bradley and Emmett got contracts with Yeti and Norco.
  • 17 0
 @moefosho: Bradley had an existing arrangement with Yeti New Zealand prior to the academy
  • 117 1
 Shoutout to the PBA Secret Pro riders, Mike and Michelle Bear
  • 70 1
 Glad to see Flo get the contract. I don't fully understand how she hasn't been on a factory team for years already with some of the results she has put up. I hope Emmet and Brad both land somewhere as well, but they are both still super young and have time to keep building.
  • 13 1
 Also glad to see Flo win. I've been rooting for her since the first episode, but I thought Emmet was going to snag the big prize. He'll be okay though. Looking forward to see how Flo does next year. G'luck to her.
  • 9 1
 Emmet rides for Norco and a bunch of others now so I think he'll be fine
  • 3 2
 I agree , You could say “the real winners lost “ @Jules15:
  • 9 1
 Bradley with yeti, Emmett with Norco and Laura with Deviate. All the finalist benefited from the exposure in the end.
  • 1 0
 Go with the Flo!
  • 2 0
 Flo was winning since day 1.. she deserved it but it also made for a boring series
  • 64 0
 Saying that Laura is tough as nails is a great compliment to nails.
  • 64 1
 Emmett not looking so thrilled with the Shimano deal.
  • 30 1
 Agreed. Bradley would’ve been a better fit in my opinion. Even in his interview he noted how he liked demo days and product releases, etc.
  • 5 0
 i thought that too....
  • 11 0
 This will make him even more hungry. Champions feed off failure, it is what motivates them and pushes them to the next level.
  • 12 0
 Ya both those kids will crush it in time. Just receiving an ambassador position under the looming cloud that you did not receive a pro contract is a tough position to be in..
  • 9 1
 Emmett wants to race, not been an ambassador. He already knows that being an ambassador will distract him from focusing on racing and getting good results. He just might stay with Norco or go with any brand that will give him a racer only contract.
  • 9 0
 @barefootdan: shimano never has anything in stock to release
  • 8 0
 Maybe he's a SRAM guy
  • 20 0
 Didn’t look thrilled because that’s the moment he found out he lost the Orbea contract. I thought he did quite well.
  • 61 1
 Laura needs an elbow pad sponsor
  • 51 1
 I slammed this series last year....I didn't love it but it was much improved over last year. My only suggestion would be to alternate years between men and women or have a male and female spot. Just too hard to compare the men and women. Even last year it was clear none of the women would win from day 1 and guys with a shot got voted out early to keep the male female balance. Oh and second suggestion, leave the times/results on the screen for more then 1 seconds....
  • 9 0
 Totally agree. They need separate male and female awards. Flo was amazing, but its hard to see Emmitt not win when he was ultimately the fastest. Great work to all, much better than last year!
  • 3 0
 Agreed! Flo deserved it but Emmitt has more potential.
  • 46 2
 A couple of suggestions for next season;

1. Don't eliminate anyone but rather the overall winner is chosen by best combined score. If you watch 'School Of Chocolate' on Netflix it does a really good jod of showing how this might go. For the bottom contenders each week they get personal training with the pros. Not only does it provide a cushion for any single poor performance but allows for riders to get stronger over the course of the competition.

2. Let/make? the competitors do their own wrenching. In the real world they don't need to be able to rebuild a shock or fork damper, but they do need to demonstrate a significant level of know how for the issues that can come up in an all-day race. I liked having a mechanic available but it would be nice to see them show some skills like this. Also, I suspect riders like Emmet might make the choice to put tougher casing tires on, or even add inserts as they see fit. I get that Orbea and others are sponsors but even pros get to modify their bikes a lot so they perform as they like.

3. Don't pick contestants that have never raced. If you have literally never even attempted a race but think you could be a pro racers you are pretty out of touch with reality and that should be part of the selection criteria.

4. MORE ACTUAL ENDURO RACING!!! Literally make episode one be a three stage legitimate enduro race. If that's what Orbea is looking for then test that first! Don't leave the only real race to the final episode.

5. Let's see an all women's field. And an all men's field. Because of the gender differences in run times its been hard to judge who really was faster; Emmet or Flo. And although the judges hopefully had a methodology to handle this I'll bet there are other brands out there that would step up to offer a contract just for the women, and for the men. Don't make them compete because we never compete like that in real competition.

This year was a lot better than last year, so much so I actually watched all this seasons episodes, as opposed to maybe four last season. But it certainly can be improved.

We'll done Flo!
  • 6 0
 I also think the Pinkbike producers should watch “School of Chocolate”. It’s an amazing format. The riders get to stick around and compete longer, and actually learn from the professionals over time.

The last episode made it clear that there were two top competitors, and it was a direct head to head to choose the winner. That might be tricky in a race format, rather than an artistic challenge, but it could be made to work.

Really, School of Chocolate makes me never want to watch another reality TV contest with eliminations.
  • 2 0
 Totally agree. These are all points that crossed my mind in both seasons. However, I wasn't dedicated enough to list and detail them as you did. Thank you and let's hope PB takes note!
  • 39 0
  • 3 1
 In the podcast episode with Israel, he mentioned one being "the national champ", and PB just hired the former Canadian national DH champ this year, so I think you've got one figured out...
  • 8 0
 Greg Herbold and Missy Giove.
  • 9 0
 christina and evan wall
  • 1 0
  • 2 0
 It doesn't really matter does it? They were a complete non-factor in the series, to the point that they were totally removed from the last few episodes. I have no idea why, in the episode with the XC-type race, those secret pros weren't on course with them. Putting Gully on that e-bike was just a joke, it served no purpose at all.
  • 2 0
 @bcoleman3: it served as product placement for the title sponsor
  • 24 2
 Emmett’s software can’t process second place. I’ve had the pleasure of riding with him on his “recovery” days and he’s a great kid. Great to see him winning so consistently!!
  • 25 5
 Hard not to think that contestants ages played a factor in this? I do feel like Bradley and Emmitt lost out for being so young which I would argue that being that fast and focused and calm at 19 is a positive and that there's no way they are near full potential yet? Whereas an older athlete potentially has less room for improvement?

I would think with Martin Maes on Orbea he would be an awesome mentor to help Orbea mold either Emmitt or Bradley like Dan Atherton did with him.

Not hating on flo, she's a sick rider and way quicker than me haha just hard not to thing they viewed this as this might be her last chance and the boys are so young and skilled they'll get picked up which isn't how it should be judged.
But just my opinion. Still loved the series and was watching the counter for each episode
  • 40 5
 I would expect Flo to immediately make top 10 finishes in EWS. I wouldn't expect that (yet) from Emmet or Bradley. From a sponsors standpoint, I would pick Flo.
  • 11 10
 I might be mistaken, but I think Flo was the only contestant who beat the time of a secret pro during the competition
  • 12 0
 @tigerfish50: I think emmitt did twice. He did it the second event but because of the handicap rule where someone gave him a 5 second penalty he was 2 seconds behind instead of 3 up (I think that was the gap but definitely beat the pro)
  • 25 2
 I would agree that Flo, being so much older, may have less improvement ahead of her in the long run but I think Oreba thinks of it as a one year contract commitment that is unlikely to be renewed. She has the maturity to be an excellent brand ambassador and will have the best chance of doing well this season. The two 19 year old boys would both be well placed on a development team but are less likely to do anything remarkable in the next year (as has been mentioned). Also, Flo is the only one of those three that I might watch do something outside of race (such as a youtube video). She is thoughtful and kind and has a personality you want to watch. Bradley is I'm sure a nice dude, but you can only listen to "it's all about having fun and riding bikes" so much. Flo brings so much passion to her riding and has the personality to make you want to watch.
  • 1 0
 @tigerfish50: Emmit beat them once I believe
  • 2 2
 @rahrider: all valid points and for a one year contract then flo might be the best choice (I know she had had some top 20 ews finishes previous).
If orbea are looking for a polished, top 20 contender then that should be stated at the start of the contest? I can't see how in this format outside achievements should be factored because what's the point in each event each week?

I said this a few weeks ago but I'd love to know who the secret pros are and compare their times to the EWS finishes?
  • 2 9
flag tigerfish50 (Dec 23, 2021 at 11:12) (Below Threshold)
 @AlynPawlin: Of course Orbea want a polished contender. Ask yourself how much they would appreciate having an incompetent no-hoper riding their bikes on a works contract
  • 7 2
 @tigerfish50: mate that's a bit disrespectful to emmitt and Bradley calling them a no-hoper when one of them beat the secret pros (I'm sure emmitt did twice if it weren't for that handicap rule)
  • 7 1
 Not only is Flo an awesome rider , but she also brings huge marketing potential , she is Latin American so can appeal directly to another 5% of the world's population, if she plays her cards right she will have long term involvment in biking, they defo made the right decision.
  • 7 0
 @AlynPawlin: Flo brings the highest, well rounded value to the brand.

She is capable of top order race results immediately and her marketing potential among women and South America is huge.

Brad and Emmit both show long term potential but it will take them a while to get there.

Flo was the right choice.
  • 5 1
 @AlynPawlin: I definitely wasn't referrirng to Bradley and Emmitt (sic) when i used the term 'incompetent no-hopers'. Any fool can see they're both talented and likeable young riders, but people who complain about the criteria for picking a PBA winner should grasp there's a secret judge at work here, as well as secret pros - and that's Orbea themselves. They want a winner who will enhance the brand on the enduro circuit.
  • 2 0
 I think the age factor is actually a good thing here. Emmitt and Bradley will easily fit into teams after 2-3 years. They are young and will show great results and they will be recognised even more. Flo did say during the interview that this is her last chance to succeed in this sport as a professional rider. Emmitt and Bradley for sure will have a lot more chances. This is my opinion.
  • 2 0
 Actually i was surprised. Picking Emmett at age 19 could have given pinkebike "we discovered him" bragging rights for the next 15 years!
  • 2 0
 Could Emmitt even race Pro at EWS at 19?

Flo has the maturity working to her advantage.. Bradley and Emmitt given a few more years will be making things happen..
  • 14 0
 I’ve had to watch 10 falcon peak AT trail tire ads to see this, I can probably recite the whole ad.
  • 4 0
 Great tires, tbf
  • 1 0
 @ollielammas: I have them on my Van. Love them.
  • 10 0
 Flo killed it. Deserves her chance. As did Bradley and Emmett. Had to be tough deliberation. The boys are young, and I'm sure have sponsor eyes on them already. Kudos to Laura for going thru those same courses. 1 min or two off Flo in a 30+ minute enduro course is nothing to snuff at!
  • 7 0
 Well done Flo and good luck with your pro contract. If I was going into battle I would want Laura on my side, she's so tough.When you look at the path Bradley had to take to get to PBA you realise how hard it must have been for him.He did 3 or 4 EWS rounds in Europe before flying to Canada to film, pretty big travel schedule to go and race a guy on his home trails that was hitting PBA fresh. Not knocking Emmett at all but on a level playing field I think Bradley is the better rider.
  • 7 0
 Laura is just such a straight up person. Knew she wasn't gonna win and didn't bother bullshitting. Stoked for Flo- I think she's gonna crush it in EWS and it's cool to see someone from South America get in the mix. Emmett is a beast. Incredibly mature for 19 years old. I think he'll be on the scene for a while. Brad is also to tier, curious to follow his career. Really cool engaging show, bravo!
  • 5 1
 How cool! Congratulations Flo! I would have been shocked if it were anyone other than her. They are all amazing riders, Emmett will obviously have a good career ahead of him. Hoping Bradley gets support for racing! Love his riding and attitude, would definitely be the guy I would do laps with. Well done all contestants!
  • 8 0
 Congrats to the top 4. Who were the secret pro's?
  • 5 0
 No one talking about how Addison's last tool tip was to always bolt-check your bike before dropping in - the exact thing he got disqualified for last year lol
  • 2 0
 Haha well spotted
  • 7 1
 Yeah Flo!!! Congratulations
  • 9 3
 Well done Flo, the EWS is waiting for you !
  • 2 0
 Great series! I'm guessing the hosts may or may not have been the secret pros? Some interviews for closure would've been nice, unless a "catching up with the riders" or BTS episode is in the works.

I'm sure good things are coming to all of the riders in the near future. I'm excited to see where 2022 takes them after being under the spotlight!
  • 6 0
 secret pros bailed after that moo thing
  • 3 0
 Congrats to the finalists. Glad, I'm not one of the judges! It's been a while since I felt so happy for someone else! Flo's win did evoke those emotion. Vamos Flo!
  • 3 2
 Great season, congrats to Flo. I have just one note for the production team. On this episode, when Christina was in the studio, the white backlight made her looks like she has silver hair on the front shots during the inverviews. Warm filter over spotlight would be better choice. On the other hand, the whole season was filmed and edited flawlesly.
  • 5 3
 What is going on with Laura's fork. That's 2 episodes on the new bike and crashes due to the fork diving and rebounding too fast. Is it her setup choice or did someone set her fork up that badly!
  • 2 1
 Thanks PB, really enjoyed this season!

Flo deserved the win, amazing skills and attitude. None of the other women were close to Flo’s skill level, but Kyra and Laura both showed pretty inspirational attitude.

Emmett showed his skill & speed from the start. Bradley beat him in the impossible climb and the final enduro race (due to Emmett’s puncture) but despite that I’d see Emmett as the slightly better rider. Emmett has a really solid attitude too. Hope to see Emmett and Brad competing on EWS.
  • 2 1
 Hi I love watching all Pinkbike Academy 1 and 2 till last one not showing subtitle could you able update subtitle so I like to watch I see all apart this last one not showing can u fix it please thank you
  • 2 0
 If nothing else this show was SO much better than last year. Loved the racing and all of the people on the show. So rad to watch!
  • 1 0
 Awesome job to the finalists. I think the chips fell where they should of. Love the attitudes of each of them. They all showed they have a deep passion for the sport. Their vulnerability in this episode showed that.
  • 2 2
 Good luck to Flo.
She has been around 10% off the winning female times over the years and raced her first EWS in 2014.
Hopefully with more assistance she can get closer to the top women in EWS.


Emmet was around the same percentage away from Jesse in the last Canadian race.

Results show that comparing the times to the secret pros is fine, but not knowing who the secret pro is means the times are not really comparable to how the riders would do in a top level race.

Evan who has just been dropped by Orbea was much closer to Jesse than Emmet!

Hopefully PB follows Evans and Bradley and Emmet's careers to see where they end up. Good luck everyone.
  • 2 0
 Main critique is that you pretty much knew who was going to win from episode 1. The field could be tighter to keep up the suspense.
  • 1 0
 This is a great format! Congrats to pinkbike, making dreams come true. Sometimes you only need a chance! And Flo, what an inspiration. Bradley & Emmet sure gonna have their chance, they both young!
  • 3 1
 Bravo Flo!; a true inspiration in and out of the course.
What a great role model!
  • 5 1
 Kyra for privateer!!!
  • 4 2
 Did anyone else think Christina’s “Let’s go change some lives” face was a bit sinister??
  • 2 0
 I can only imagine everyone cracked up and lost their shit two seconds after making that statement and expression.
  • 1 0
 This girl is amazing! Her skills, her spirit, her vibe. She is a mountain biker through and through. won me over from the get go. Well deserved!
  • 3 0
 How about a where are they now video?
  • 1 0
 Congrats and all the best! Great season and fantastic riders/personalities. Wink
  • 2 0
 That whole Harry-Hancock battle was pretty entertaining...
  • 1 0
 Awesome season, thought the new format was so good! Good work to Jason, Christina, and everyone involved in production.
  • 1 0
 As a sponsor I'd be disappointed that Flo has absolutely nothing about her sponsors on her social media.
  • 2 1
  • 1 0
 Who were the secret pros they were racing against?
  • 3 1
  • 1 0
 CHILENA!!!!!!!!!!!!! on your face!!!!
  • 1 0
 surprised none of them pushed sponsors product during final interview.
  • 2 5
 Yeah Flo was the boring choice. We all want to ride like Emmett. The series this year so much better overall! At there least wasn't a stupid scavenger hunt for no reason other than product placement.
  • 7 0
 "we all want to ride like Emmit..."

guess I'm not part of we all, Brad was far more fun to watch then Emmit imo
  • 3 0
 @whackflyer: Bradley for steez, Emmet for speed. That huck on the last stage was sick though, full commitment.
  • 4 1
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: I've noticed that on a lot of the stages Bradley is a second or so up at the first split. This has been especially noticeable on the rocky stages which leads me to think B-rad would be faster on the techy EWS tracks. Not to discount Emmett as a rider, I just don't like the fact that Brad quit his job and put his life savings into it and didn't get anything while the local kid gets the Shimano ambassador position.
  • 2 0
 @whackflyer: Yeah they definitely have different styles it just depends on what the end goal is. Both are great riders.
  • 1 3
 Sickening final show. Emmett and Bradley went 1-2. Who was this short boy who talked funny and rode extremely slowly?
  • 4 7
  • 5 8
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