The world’s top freeride mountain bikers are on deck for the third-annual Natural Selection Proving Grounds presented by Pacifico freeride mountain bike competition, now part of the Natural Selection Tour, at the Flying Blind Dirt Park with finals on September 10, 2022. One-day tickets for the finals are on sale now.
The stellar field of riders being announced today includes 2021 returning champions Carson Storch (USA) and Camila Noguiera (ARG). These riders will be tasked with defending their titles against a stacked field of 20 of the best male and 12 of the best female mountain bikers in the world. The field invited rider field includes 7x Crankworx winner and 2021 Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour champion Emil Johansson (SWE), 2021 second and third place finishers Reed Boggs (USA) and Dylan Stark (USA), second-place women’s finisher Hannah Bergemann (USA) and Casey Brown (CAN), who made history in 2019 as the first woman to compete in Proving Grounds.
Proving Grounds, founded by Todd Barber, has partnered with the Natural Selection Tour, to continue to evolve mountain bike competition and foster progression. The event will showcase ground-breaking, freeride MTB blurring the line between big mountain and slopestyle with athletes picking their line from multiple options suited to their skill, personal style and strengths. This year’s Proving Grounds course will showcase an updated design by Kyle Jameson and Cam McCaul. The venue reflects rider feedback and next-level progression-pushing, man-made features including huge drops, massive wood wall rides, doubles and rhythm sections.
Fifteen pre-qualified, invited men and all 12 invited women will advance straight into Saturday’s Super Final. On Thursday, 15 wildcard men will be competing in a qualifying event, where the top five finishers will advance to Saturday’s final. Riders will get two runs each in finals, with their best overall run counting.
Tickets are on sale now, including one-day tickets, as well as very limited three-day camping passes. Saturday will feature a full day of Super Finals competition. Gates open at 8:00 a.m. Competition kicks off at 10:00 a.m. with second runs beginning at 1:00 p.m. The winners will be announced with a podium ceremony immediately following the competition. A limited number of camping passes offer exclusive access for ticketed campers only to Thursday’s qualifiers, Friday night’s men’s and women’s Jump Jam and a screening of the new TGR MTB film Esperanto. One-day and camping passes are now available at NaturalSelectionTour.com.
In addition to front-row seats to incredible action, this family-friendly festival features an industry expo with top brands offering product demos, Fox Racing limited-edition Proving Grounds merchandise, a beer garden, food trucks, giveaways, music and more.
The Natural Selection Tour brings its cutting-edge production, as seen on the EMMY-nominated snowboard tour, to Proving Ground viewers worldwide. An hour-long feature show will capture the action from multiple camera angles combined with proprietary racing drone POV, upping the at-home viewer experience beyond what was thought possible. The show will premiere on naturalselectiontour.com (date mid/late-September) and then be available to stream, for free, on-demand following the premiere.
Proving Grounds is proudly presented by Pacifico and supported by Five Ten/adidas, Fox Racing, Shimano, Black Rhino, Industry Nine, Soundboks, GoPro, Flatline Van Co, Alta Racks and Oakley.
The Flying Blind Dirt Park is located just outside of Prineville in Central Oregon, near the town of Bend, which has long been a hub for all things adventure. With Mt. Bachelor as its backdrop and over 300 miles of singletrack, it’s no wonder the Mountain Bike Action named Bend “the best mountain bike town in the country.”
● Media Kit with new course photos, logos, the poster and more for editorial use *please credit photographer listed in the image file