In 2014 the MTB world will see a new series inside the FMB World Tour: The FMB Diamond Series. Five of the biggest events, top athletes, one champion. If you ever wondered which rider's are a part of the series, this is how it goes:
The top ten riders from last years FMB World Tour have automatically pre-qualified for the FMB Diamond Series stop. The first five riders were selected based on the 52 Week Seeding List (World Ranking) from October 14th2013. The following 5 riders were selected from the final FMB Overall Ranking, also after Red Bull Rampage last year. You might ask: why does it work like this?
Well, the life of a professional athlete is far more than contests and the FMBA recognizes that they should be given the time to pursue new and exiting projects. The FMB World Tour should give them a platform to compete at the highest level possible, while not interfering with their other commitments or activities.
52 Week Seeding List (Currently known as World Ranking)
After taking a well-deserved break from the FMB World Tour series last year, the two time world champion, Brandon Semenuk is back to challenge for a third title. In 2013, the battle between current FMB World Tour Champion Sam Pilgrim, Brett Rheeder and Martin Soderstrom was fierce. Pilgrim will be looking to defend his title but Rheeder will not make the road easy for him. Soderstrom has had a trying off-season but after his six-month rehabilitation, the Swedish giant is motivated to show his fans and rivals that the fire is still burning -- maybe even more than ever!
The big guns: Kelly McGarry, Cam Zink, Darren Berrecloth and Yannick Granieri are all in there as well. Looking to throw a spanner in the mix, grab some major points and climb up the ranking.
The young guns: Thomas Genon and Anton Thelander will be watched closely this season. Both riders ride for the Canyon Factory Freeride Team, which is currently leading the FMB Factory Team ranking.
Aside from the ten pre-qualified riders, the next 8 riders on the World Ranking (3 weeks prior to the contest) will be invited as set riders and each event host can award a total of 6 Wildcards. One of the 6 Wildcards for each event will be awarded at Gold stops throughout the season to give aspiring athletes a chance to win an invite to the biggest contests on the calendar. The Wildcards from Gold events are awarded to the highest ranked rider who is not already invited to the Diamond stop.
The first Diamond stop will be Crankworx Les 2 Alpes on July 5th. Make sure you follow the FMB Diamond Series live webcasts on www.fmbworldtour.com and Redbull.com/bike .