Semenuk surges to top of standings 

Whistler rider wins Red Bull District Ride, taking Diamond Series lead with one event left

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CHRISTOPH LAUE / COURTESY OF RED BULL CONTENT POOL - District dominance Whistler's Brandon Semenuk shows off the winner's plaque at the Red Bull District Ride in Nuremberg, Germany, on Saturday, Sept. 6.
  • Photo by Christoph Laue / courtesy of red bull content pool
  • District dominance Whistler's Brandon Semenuk shows off the winner's plaque at the Red Bull District Ride in Nuremberg, Germany, on Saturday, Sept. 6.

Whistler's Brandon Semenuk now sits atop the FMB World Tour's Diamond Series standings after another tremendous performance at the Red Bull District in Germany over the weekend.

Semenuk put together an incredible second run on the course set in the heart of downtown Nuremberg on Saturday, Sept. 6, for his second Diamond Series win of the season, alongside his hometown triumph in Red Bull Joyride during Crankworx Whistler in August.

More than 60,000 fans watched as Semenuk surpassed Canadian rival Brett Rheeder on the second of two runs in the 12-man final with a score of 92.87.

"I am so happy that I managed to grab top spot on the podium," Semenuk said in a Red Bull press release. "This huge crowd makes Red Bull District Ride different from all other events. I am blown away that I was able to pull out such a good run for them."

In stark contrast to the four other events on the Diamond Series calendar, Saturday's course had a unique, urban feel and was built right into some Nuremberg's historical landmarks, requiring riders to make their way through five "districts" with different features. That included an eight-metre drop-in off the 1,000-year old Kaiserburg Castle wall, and a course-ending big air jump, for which competitors dropped in from a fourth-floor window of city hall after a mid-course elevator ride.

Rheeder held the first-run lead at 92.04, but Semenuk moved ahead with his second attempt that included a backflip to one-foot can on the drop-in off the castle wall, a double tail whip, a cork 720 with a bar spin, and ended with a backflip bar spin to one-foot can.

Rheeder was next to ride after Semenuk and was working on a nice run in response, but fell when trying a front flip with a bar spin and had to settle for second. Belgium's Thomas Genon finished in third spot with a score of 86.58, while B.C's Anthony Messere (80.86) and Poland's Szymon Godziek (78.75) rounded out the top five.

Semenuk has now accumulated 3,500 points in the Diamond Series standings, moving past Messere (3,240) in the rankings, while Rheeder is third at 3,152.

It will all come down to Red Bull Rampage to decide the overall series champion for 2014. The big mountain contest returns to the cliffs near Virgin, Utah, on Sept. 28, to wrap up the Diamond Series, and Semenuk will be looking for another strong result there to lock up the season crown.

The 23-year-old is a past winner of Rampage, topping the podium back in 2008, but he has finished outside the top 10 each of the past two years.

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