On Sunday the second Freestyle of Nations competition for 2022 took hold in front of more than 8,000 spectators in Cologne’s LANXESS arena with the teams from Italy, Spain and Germany going head to head. Two of the world’s best riders, Luc Ackermann and David Rinaldo, both world champions and X Games gold medallists were in the German team which was complimented by the return of Kai Haase after his supercross training accident in the USA.

Team Italy rounded up an incredibly strong team with the Highest Air record holder, 5-time World Champion and X Games medalist Massimo Bianconcini with the stylish duo of Leonardo Fini and Davide Rossi. Team Spain, on the other hand, was led by the young gun Marc Pinyol who recently recovered from a huge crash only 10 days prior to competition and joined by the tandem duo of Rocky Florensa and Antonio Navas as well as the young Czech Matej Cesak who completed the “Selección”. Rinaldo was added as a wild card to Team Germany and Cesak to Team Spain.

Germany started the event as the event favourites going into the first round.  Berlin’s Kai Haase (GER) surprised everyone after 6 months off the bike from injury to return with his Lazyboy Flip and finishing with the unexpected Front Flip. In doing so, he relegated Marc Pinyol (ESP) and Massimo Bianconcini (ITA) to second and third places respectively. The Italian freestyle legend tried to counter this in the Best Whip Contest. ‘Bianco’ made it to the semifinals against Matej Cesak and Kai Haase but had to say goodbye as Matej and Kai went head to head in an epic Whip final with Kai Haase narrowly beating the young Cesak with crowd decision and scored 100 bonus points for Team Germany.

The Frenchman David Rinaldo, who filled in for his good friend Hannes Ackermann who was unable to ride for Germany, dominated the second Freestyle Round. With electricity inside the arena at a high, Rinaldo turned it on with extremely difficult tricks with the California roll and finished his Double-Up with a dead sailor, but returned with a Double Hart Flip just for the crowd.  It was still just enough to be at the top of the round, despite the mistake. The Italian, Davide Rossi moved into second place with a Cliffhanger Backflip and Ruler Flip, which relegated the Spanish Tandem duo of Navas & Rocky to third place after impressing the crowd with their unique tricks like the Superman and Ruler at the same time.

In the synchro contest, Team Germany and Team Spain fought a spectacular battle. With two perfectly synchronized Indy Flips, and a mistake from Team Germany, Marc Pinyol and Matej Cesak managed to secure the most important 100 points for the Iberians to keep them in the race.

In the third freestyle round, Matej performed spectacularly with a Tsunami Flip and a Seatgrab Flip. But Leonardo Fini countered with tricks like the Hart Attack Flip and technical Rowedova Flip. Then it was time for the German FMX Terminator Luc Ackermann. Having flown in from Prague with only two hours of sleep, the German World Champion was still unstoppable and ignited a veritable fireworks display of tricks. With the biggest Tsunami Flip of the evening, Flatspin 360, Holygrab and finishing with a clean Double Flip as the crowning finale, he received the highest score of the evening with 96 points as the crowd inside the LANXESS arena roared.

Team Germany put the icing on the cake after winning the Best Trick with a Rock Solid Backflip by David Rinaldo and another Double Backflip by Luc Ackermann and secured overall victory with 547 points. Spain came in second with 449 points ahead of Italy in third with 408 points.

The next NIGHT of the JUMPs will be in the Mercedes Benz Arena in Berlin on February 24th and 25th, 2023. Tickets for the entire 2023 tour are already on sale at Eventim and Ticketmaster.

VIDEO LINK NIGHT of the JUMPs Cologne 2022: