On October the 19th the first-ever Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championship went down, and Team Sweden was there to represent. With one of the biggest cheering squads in the whole competition, the Swedish riders might not have been the fastest, but they were probably the most stoked. We caught up with some of them to find out what it was like.
With seven riders, Sweden had a big team on site just outside of Bern, Switzerland, for the first-ever UCI-approved World Championship in pump track. The Swedes had pre-qualified during rounds in Järvsö, Sweden and Leogang, Switzerland earlier this summer and included some big names like BMX racer Filip Svanberg and Slopestyle star Max Fredriksson. The group was truly mixed bag of riders, coming from different biking backgrounds and disciplines, but with one thing in common: they’d never raced pump track at this level before.
But being new to the discipline didn’t kill their spirits, instead they practiced from dusk til dawn, in rain and shine, during the week leading up to the big final. And come race day, they had the loudest and happiest team squad cheering them on.
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So cool to see the Swedes 🇸🇪 out in full force at @redbullpumptrackworlds this past weekend 💥 battling a tough long track and worlds fastest pump track riders they did awesome 👏 Well done @filip.svanberg (P21) @maxfredriksson (P29) @eriksson_adam (P38) @elinadavidson (P28) @linnolstam (P29) @sfernaeus (P31) @johannakychler (P36) 📷 @moonhead_media
“It was fantastic to see Sweden to well-represented, especially on the women’s side. And with a loud Swedish cheering squad behind them, the Swedes made a huge impression during the competition”, Johan Lindström, from the pump track building company Velosolutions Scandinavia said after the race. “The course was difficult and the competition tough, but the Swedes fought well and did their best. They were out training from early morning to evening, in all kinds of weather, to practice the course as much as possible. They left nothing to chance”.
With a loud Swedish cheering squad behind them, the Swedes made a huge impression during the competition.
On race day, five out of seven riders made it through qualifying to the Round of 32, but that’s were things got trickier. Facing a stacked field, none of the Swedes made it through to the next Round of 16. BMX racer Filip Svanberg got the best Swedish result, finishing in 21st.
“It was super fun to be there and we had such an amazing team from Sweden! Unfortunately, both me and Johanna (Kuchler) had problems with our bike bags and didn’t get them until late Thursday. So we missed two whole days of training. But the atmosphere was on top during the whole event, and it didn’t matter what kind of bike you were riding and from what country you came from – everyone cheered on each other!”, Svanberg said after the big event.
On the women’s side, it was Järvsö-winner Elina Davidsson who topped the result board in 28th place – but mereley 0.4 of a second behind her was Linn Olstam, in 29th. “It was definitely one of the coolest events I have ever been too! That I got to be there with the coolest group of Swedes made it even better. We weren’t the fastest, but we had so much fun together”, Davidsson said a few days after the race. “The course was really long, technical and insanely fast. I am really happy with my result because there were so many fast riders out there, especially the BMX racers!”.
Max Fredriksson was definitely a crowd favourite with his sick jib style on a bike
Sweden wasn’t only the loudest cheerers, but they also had the steeze machine that is Slopestyle rider Max Fredriksson in their squad, who was the biggest crowdpleaser of the day. Lindström from Velosolutions again: “Max Fredriksson was definitely a crowd favourite with his sick jib style on a bike, which he showed off in front of a stoked crowd during practice and breaks. So good!”.
All in all, the Swedes seem to have found the best team spirit on-site and they were all stoked on the competition. Hopefully, we’ll see more of them and this bike discipline in the future. Lindström feels sure this is just beginning of something great: “With this first-ever UCI approved World Championship, I think all the Swedes, including myself, felt like we were part of making bike history. Pump track will only become bigger and bigger. It wouldn’t surprise me if it becomes makes the Olympics in the future”.
- Filip Svanberg: 21st
- Elina Davidsson: 28th
- Linn Olstam: 29th
- Max Fredriksson: 29th
- Sophia Ferneaus: 31st
- Johanna Kuchler: 36th
- Adam Eriksson: 38th