The Girls WKL Elite League Riders in El Gouna Rise to the Occasion

The Girls WKL Elite League Riders in El Gouna Rise to the Occasion

After such an epic qualifier league event there was some pressure on the Elite League riders to outshine her performance in the main event. As champions do they more than rose to the occasion.

After such an epic qualifier league with the young Mikaili Sol surprising the world with her strong win, some pressure has been put on the Elite League riders to outshine her performance in the main event.

We are thrilled to say that of course we were not disappointed with the main competition and the riders very much rose to the occasion and took advantage of the ideal conditions at the El Gouna RRD Centre.


Bruna Kajiya

Round 01

The first round saw strong performances from one of our favourite new additions to this years competition, Francesca Bagnoli. The young Italian rider had been very unlucky to just miss out for qualification for two years in a row and was not going to miss the chance to make her mark taking the win in her first heat.

Pauline Valesa also started very well, but not as well as Annabel van Westerop who can consider herself a tour veteran and managed to nail an impressive 9.17 scoring heart attack to take the win in her round 1 heat.


Isabeau Galiart


Annabel van Westerop

Paula Novotna went one better in her heat with a 9.13 scoring KGB which gave her the won over a very strong performance from Rita Arnaus that would on many other days have seen her take the win with a score of 30.54, but Paula edged her out with 32.87.

The final round 1 heat say Vera Klabbers cement her right to her place on the main stage as she almost pushed Bruna Kajiya off the top spot, coming within 2.76 points with strong solid tricks throughout her heat, but the experience and trick list of Bruna gave her the win in the end with a score of 30.0.


Rita Arnaus

Round 02

Now things get tough as the girls fight for survival and to stay in the competition and the stress shows as the scores drop slightly and the number of failed attempts and crashes increase which of course can be expected with the pressure.

The first heat saw both French riders Maureen Castelle and Pauline Valesa secure their place in the next round at the expense of the Dutch riders Hartog and Galiart as they significantly outscored both of their rivals with Maureen just edging out Pauline for the win.


Lidewij Hartog


Pauline Valesa

Then it was the turn of Danish rider Therese Taabbel to secure her place with the final spot being a close call between Rita Arnaus, Nathalie Lamrecht and Vera Klabbers. It came down to who crashed the least as Rita had a great start with a 9.1 Hinterberger Mobe, but then three crashes in a row mean’t she could just not get enough points on the board to her bitter disappointment after such a strong start. Klabbers also crashed three times which mean’t the second spot went to the wildcard Lamrecht.


Rita Arnaus and Annabel van Westerop

Round 03 - Semi Finals

Now we get to the real business end of the competition things start to really get tough and the pressure is on for a place in the finals.

The first heat saw Annabel van Westerop secure her place in the finals with only 23.99 and three crashes, but it was enough to see off the competition as the next rider through to the final was Francesca Bagnoli with 18.87 as she scraped through with 4 crashes but still enough points to see off her rivals who could just not get enough points on the board.


Annabel van Westerop

The second heat was a very different affair as Paula Novotna went head to head and trick for trick with Bruna Kajiya, and whilst Paula managed to 9.4 heart attack and and 9.2 KGB, Bruna replied with a 9.63 heart attack (the highest scoring female trick of the competition) and solid tricks to follow which saw her final score of 33.99 just edge out Paula’s of 33.4 for first place. Both girls however advanced to the final as the two French riders Maureen Castelle and Pauline Valesa could not come close to mounting a challenge to the strong performance of Bruna and Paula.


Womens Finals

A 4 person final can be such a tough event as of course you battle for the win, but you also battle to not be the one person not to make it onto the podium, and for Paula Novotna this must seem like her destiny as once again after riding so well throughout the competition, she was let down by 4 crashes which secured her the loneliest spot in the competition. Our heart and thoughts go out to Paula and just have to believe that this cannot continue to happen to a rider who is so strong and deserves her position on any step of the podium if not the top.



Paula Novotna

The rest of the heat was intense to sat the least as Francesca Bagnoli scored two tricks in the 9’s which put her within a whisker of the top step, along with Annabel van Westertop who also started strong. However as Annabel crashed two tricks in a row and Bruna nailed a 9.57 KGB, the top place slipped away and Bruna knew she had secured the win before her last trick which allowed her to attempt a Slim5 (she was unable to land cleanly and pickup the proper scores for). which if landed properly would have been a first for women’s competition, and whilst the scoreboard shows it was landed, we and Bruna will certainly agree that we will wait for another day to lay claim to that accolade.


Bruna Kajiya


Francesca Bagnoli

Of course that left Bruna with a monster score of 35.39 regardless which bettered the 34.94 achieved by Mikaili Sol in the Qualifier League Final and gets her the first place and the highest scoring trick and heat triple crown. With young talent hot on her heels Bruna’s talent, abillity and composure continue to shine through making her a true winner and ensuring that 2017 is deservedly going to be her year.


1st: Bruna Kajiya, 2nd: Francesca Bagnoli, 3rd: Annabel van Westerop

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