The 2008 Nissan Qashqai Challenge is all done and dusted but there were plenty of surprises at the grand final in London at the weekend.
And it was local riders who stole the show in the capital, witnessed by 50,000 spectators right in front of Tate Modern. Colchester’s Sam Pilgrim took the win for the biggest result of his career, and Manchester’s Lance McDermott hit paydirt when his consistency bagged him the overall title and the sport’s largest cash purse.
A sporadic head wind picked up during the qualifying and affected some of the results. Two of the top three riders going into London, Martin Soederstrom and Brendan Semenuk failed to qualify for the final. This left the door open for some of the riders who didn’t place as well in Munich, and had an impact on the overall results.
In the finals young Sam Pilgrim chalked the highest score of the day and lit the place up with a very confident set up to a tailwhip, huge 360, back flip one-footed x-up, finishing with the biggest flair of the day from the left quarter to the dirt landing. Benny Korthaus moved into second with an xup, to one-handed 360 tabletop, backflip, clean 360 tailwhip, and downside foot plant on the battle ship sub box. Lance McDermott put himself into the top three and overall winner with an ET to tuck no-hander, back flip into a front flip finishing with a clean flair on the right quarter pipe.
Phil Sundbaum had two clean 360 tailwhips in two runs and Paul Basagoitia rode very well for 5th on the day. Lance McDermott’s 4th place in Munich and 3rd place in London was enough to win him the overall title and the grand prize of 40,000 Euros. Benny Korthaus took second place overall with a 6th in Munich and 2nd in London only one point behind McDermott and earned himself 25,000 Euros.
Norway’s Trond Hansen finished in the 3rd overall position with a 2nd in Munich and 7th place in London and took home 12,500 Euros. Paul Basagoitia was 4th overall with two 5th place finishes, and Sam Pilgrim rounds out the top 5 overall with an 11th and 1st place.
The organisers deemed 2008 edition of the Nissan Qashqai Challenge a huge success, and say there are big plans for the 2009 version.