Yes, he’s done it! We knew it would come at some stage, it was a question of when, not if… and now, well here it is! Last weekend Jamie Nicholls beat some of the best riders in the world to take his first first place in a major international competition! The lad from Yorkshire took the skills he’d honed at Halifax (and perfected in the CasVegas fridge) to the slightly more exotic locale of Tokyo, beating some of the sickest jibbers on the planet in the process.
The Burton Tokyo Rail Days jam saw 17 jibbers – including the likes of Scott Stevens, Marc Swoboda and Stevie Bell – descend on the excellently-named Roppongi Hills Arena, where 3,000 screaming Japanese fans were waiting to watch them tackle one mean mutha of a jib setup. With a 10-metre down bar, a concrete ledge and a monster down-flat-down, the idea was to create a proper urban setup in a stadium atmosphere. As Greg Dacyshyn from Burton put it in the press release, “we wanted to bring a legitimate exhibition of urban riding to the center of Tokyo”.
With people like Wojtek Pawlusiak, Ethan Deiss, Zak Hale and the Russian rail-slayer Denis Leontyev getting stuck into the setup, competition was fierce. In the end, the four who made the final were Dylan Alito, local shredder Shoma Takao, Ethan, and of course our kid. While Alito was whipping out all sorts of crazy tech combos, it wasn’t enough to stop Britain’s finest, whose insane runs included a front board 270-out on the down-flat-down and a front boardslide switch up to boardslide on the down rail. Get in Jamie!!
In classic Jamie style, he sounded pretty bewildered by the win (and the US$15,000 first prize cheque) saying: “When they announced that I won, I honestly couldn’t believe it, especially because there were so many amazing riders there and everyone smashed it!” Still, sounds like he was up for making the most of it, adding “let’s just say that I love Japan, Tokyo and everyone there.” Hang on, is Jamie old enough to get groupies? ;-)
BURTON TOKYO RAIL DAYS RESULTS
1. Jamie Nicholls
2. Dylan Alito
3. Ethan Deiss
4. Shoma Takao