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After a commanding second run, Anthony Messere (CAN) has taken the win at the Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle. With a final score of 90.50, Messere's win makes him the first Diamond Series winner on the Freeride Mountain Bike (FMB) World Series for 2014, and the toast of Crankworx and the mountain bike world.

"The feeling is just insane. It feels like I'm in a dream," said Messere after the win. "I'm so happy to be here, and I'm so happy to be standing here right now. Everybody absolutely slayed it. And to be up on top with all these other dudes' runs? Just, wow."

 

 

The 19-year-old's victory seemed to be solidified after a massive second run that wrapped up with a flawless front flip tuck no hander that had the crowd on its feet.

The win is Messere's first major win at this level of competition.

Joining Messere on the podium were Thomas Genon (BEL) in second and Sam Reynolds (GBR) in third.

"I'm really stoked on my place, I'm really stoked on Anthony's place," said Genon after the awards presentation.

As for Reynolds, the third place finish was a sign of redemption.

"I broke my back here two years ago. Last year I split my stomach open, so I've never even made the start line here, let alone the finish line with a run I'm really happy with. I can't even believe how happy I am, and now I've got one of the most prestigious things you can get, a Crankworx medal!"

The diamond day in Les 2 Alpes got underway with more than a few surprises. Martin Soderstrom (SWE) did not compete, after suffering a concussion two weeks ago. Joining him on the sidelines were Greg Watts (USA), Tyler McCaul (USA) and Sam Pilgrim (GBR). Since all the riders participated in training, they will collect injury points that will go toward their FMB standing.

Once competition began though, all focus was on the lineup of 16 riders who came to win in front of a massive crowd - the largest turnout ever for a Crankworx Les 2 Alpes event.

The big story during the first half of the competition was Sam Reynolds - he landed a huge air whip and finished his first run with a big flip whip, earning him the nickname "the dangling man" from announcer Ryan Meyer. The run earned him a score of 80.25, and the top spot on the leader board.

Reynolds was still sitting in first place when the incumbent, Brandon Semenuk, took to the course. Semenuk landed a massive cork 720 mid-run, but unfortunately missed his pedals twice at the end, leaving him in fourth place.

Going into the second half of the event, Anthony Messere kicked things into high gear pretty fast. Riding fourth, after a disappointing first run, Messere stomped trick after trick. He ended it with a huge front flip tuck no hander, edged Reynolds out of first place, and put the pressure on the remaining 12 riders.

"Everything I did is exactly what I planned out...as soon as I landed this last jump I was so excited I couldn't even see where I was going. It was just stars and black and white."

What followed was a series of riders who simply could not touch Messere. Cam Zink (USA) landed an amazing backflip superman seat grab but blew a pedal before he crossed the finish line. Logan Peat (CAN) took a nasty looking spill off the side of a feature - he recovered, but ended his first Diamond Series event of the year in ninth place.

Sitting in fifth spot going into his second run, Genon laid it all out on the course.

"I was not really nervous about my ranking. But when I pulled my run I was really stoked about it," said Genon from the finish corral after finding out he came in second.

But before it could all be decided, some heavy hitters remained.

Semenuk came to play on his last run, landing a huge cork 720, but unfortunately the day was not his. He took a spill on the last feature, leaving the door open for a new champ.

By the time it came for Reynolds, the rider, who had been bumped from first to third by Messere and Genon, opted to play it safe and not take his second run.

"This event haunts me," he said, referencing his injuries in 2012 and 2013. "Even at the top I was shaking - I felt sick up there."

Messere takes away an 8500€ prize, the title of champion of the 2014 Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle, and a level of stoke that's likely off the charts.

"I'm insanely stoked. Too stoked to explain how stoked I am."

There was one other person in Les 2 Alpes whose excitement may have come close to Messere's.

"I feel so excited. I'm so happy for him - he's worked really hard," said Roberta Schram, Messere's mom, from below the podium. "I'm just shaking right now. I'm so proud."

The end of competition today wraps the first Diamond Series event on the FMB World Tour. Riders will be looking to Whistler next, where the legends of the mountain biking world will touch down on Saturday, August 16 in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park for the Red Bull Joyride, once again bringing the best slopestyle riders in the world to do battle.