Coming out on top, men’s tour leader Brazilian (and still unsponsored!), Manoael Soares, has made it two event wins from two this season, taking the win here in Neom as king of the desert. He led the final from the start and continued to stretch his lead as the other riders battled it out between themselves, scrambling to make their passes and somehow clean up their landings as the heat rumbled on.
Soares’ only slip up in this event came in the semi-finals when he narrowly finished second to current champion Arthur Guillebert, but other than that the Brazilian’s route to the final had been clean and consistent with heat scores over 30 points from four counting tricks.
Gianmaria Coccoluto (ITA) / Juan Rodriguez (COL) / Arthur Guillebert (FRA) / Manoel Soares (BRA)
Waiting all morning for the wind to drop back for ideal conditions seemed to only have added even more tension.
Throwing the first of their seven tricks in the final was Italian Gianmaria Coccoluto. When he heavily butt checked a heart attack 7 instead of going for his standard opening front blind mobe, or his grabbed KGB 5, the pressure of the final seemed to suddenly ripple through the fleet.
Colombian Juan Rodriguez had looked near faultless all event, but he too suddenly couldn’t make a landing stick and suffered some brutal impacts.
Current champion Arthur Guillebert was riding high off the highest heat score of the event in the semi-finals, but the Frenchman also produced a mixed bag of consistency in the final.