Vincent Leygonie Wins First-Ever BMX Freestyle South African Championship

Johannesburg, South Africa, 28 May 2023 – The inaugural BMX Freestyle South African Champions were crowned this past Saturday at the 2023 Park Lines BMX Tournament – a Cycling South Africa and UCI-sanctioned event, presented by LW Mag and Dragon Energy Drink in association with Dickies, Garmin, GoPro, Leatt and Mongoose Bikes. Vincent Leygonie put on an impressive display of skill and determination to claim the overall Pro title.

The tournament took place at the legendary Stoneridge Skatepark in Edenvale, Johannesburg, providing a perfect platform with various obstacle and line choices for the competing riders to use and showcase their skills through the qualifying rounds and into the finals.

Over 50 riders competed within the Amateur and Pro divisions as judges took use-of-park, amplitude, execution, trick variation and difficulty into account when scoring riders’ runs. The qualifying Pro riders competed for their share of the R37 500.00 prize money, Garmin Instinct 2 Solar smartwatches, and other prizes. The winner of the Amateur division took home a new Mongoose BMX. The Best Trick competition ended the day with the winner walking away with a GoPro HERO11 MINI.

Amateur Finals
The Amateur division saw a host of new riders competing in this year’s event, adding to the development and growth of the sport in South Africa. Eight riders qualified for the closely fought finals.
• Duan Stapelberg’s run consisting of a Suicide No-Hander, 360 Can-Can and Tuck No-Hander saw him score another Park Lines Podium in 3rd place.
• Mathys Putter combined a host of tricks – Tailwhips, Barspins, No Handers and a 360 X-Up – with good flow through the park to finish in 2nd place.
• Dylan Lamb, who finished in 3rd place last year, showcased his progression with technical riding throughout the park. His run, including 360s both ways and a big Backflip over the hip, secured the top spot on the podium.

Pro Finals – South African Championships
A stacked field of top riders from all over the country competed for their chance to qualify for the 12-rider final, where official SA ranking and valuable UCI points were awarded.

Jenna Byrnes, the only female rider competing in the Pro Ladies category, again showcased her skill throughout the park with incredible bike control and tricks like a 360, Superman, and Can-Can to be crowned South African Champion.

In the Pro Men’s category:
• Doran Mathewson put on a show for the fans with his fast-riding style and huge airs throughout the park. That, mixed with Backflips, 360s, Supermans and Tailwhips, put him into 5th place overall.
• Malcolm Peters is always a podium contender. He was in the mix again this year with dailed tricks like his Double Tailwhip, Flair Invert, 270 Can-Can and 360 Turndown. Still, it was only enough for 4th place.
• Dylan van Belkum has progressed through every contest he has entered. It paid off this year as he slotted into 3rd place with an impressive run that included a Backflip Barspin, Tuck No-Hander, Backflip over the Hip, a Flair and a 270 Backflip.
• Defending Park Lines champ Murray Loubser produced a technical-filled run making use of the whole park while throwing in a Tailwhip, an opposite Tailwhip, a Double Truckdriver, a Flair over the hip, a 360 Nose Manual and a 360 Lookback to take the second step of the podium.
• In his final run, Vincent Leygonie took to the course with speed and style, throwing a huge Superman Tailwhip over the big box jump, big airs in the bowl, a corked Backflip, a Tailwhip and a Barspin to Barspin back on the quarter pipe. His run impressed the judges the most as he was awarded the overall win and crowned the Pro Men South African Champion.

Best Trick
A selection of Pro riders took to the park for a 30-minute jam session. It came down to the opposite 360 opposite Tailwhip by Malcolm Peters and the 360 to Nose Manual to 360 out by Murray Loubser. The prize was awarded to Murray Loubser.

Park Lines organiser Ryan van der Spuy says, “This is a big step forward for the sport in South Africa, to have an officially sanctioned event where riders are now recognised through the commission and awarded official UCI points and South African ranking.

This would not be possible without our Park Lines event partners, most notably Dickies, who helped with the process, going as far as covering the costs of all the riders’ membership and licence fees.

Finally, thank you to all the riders that competed in the event! This event is for you; you all impeccably represented yourself and the sport. We cannot wait to see and be a part of the growth and development of this awesome sport in the future.”

In conclusion, Koketso Kganyago, Dickies Brand Manager, added: “As Dickies South Africa, we are very proud to partner with Park Lines, not only for this event but for the future. There are exciting developments in the sport of Freestyle BMX in the country, and we couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this journey from its inception. We look forward to helping develop and grow the sport in a real way.

The Dickies Brand is deeply rooted in our fabric, and we are passionate about moving the needle forward through authenticity, honesty, and hardworking creativity. We are driven by excellence that motivates and provides real opportunities to the public.

Our involvement with the SA Champs continues after the event itself. Still, it extends to leaving lasting benefits for the riders at this tournament beyond the championships.”

2023 Park Lines – Amateur Results
1st – Dylan Lamb 70.85 points
2nd – Mathys Putter 70.30 points
3rd – Duan Stapelberg 59.20 points
4th – Steven Hodgson 54.70 points
5th – Matthew Roets 53.80 points

2023 Park Lines – Pro Results – South African Championships

1st – Jenna Byrnes 46.80 points

1st – Vincent Leygonie 82.60 points
2nd – Murray Loubser 80.40 points
3rd – Dylan van Belkum 77.20 points
4th – Malcolm Peters 74.20 points
5th – Doran Mathewson 73.10 points
6th – Morgan O’Kennedy 72.80 points
7th – Nkosinathi Nkosi 72.10 points
8th – Werner Matthee 66.30 points
9th – Matthew Duffy 64.90 points
10th – Damion Fourie 64.70 points
11th – Jacques Fourie 63.90 points
12th – Robert Davies 61.40 points

Best Trick
Murray Loubser – 360 to Nose Manual to 360 out


*Note: UCI = Union Cycliste Internationale