Wallace wins freeride amateur title

Local rider takes top prize at Silver Star Bike Park in Vernon to ensure overall championship

Liam Wallace launches off the first feature at the Silver Style Jump Jam in Vernon

Liam Wallace launches off the first feature at the Silver Style Jump Jam in Vernon

Liam Wallace gave himself the perfect birthday present on Saturday.

The 16-year-old freeride mountain biker celebrated his birthday with a win at the Silver Style Jump Jam in Vernon, B.C. on the weekend.

The  win capped off a stellar season on the  Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour for Wallace as the victory was enough for him to secure the overall amateur title for the 2013 season.

It also secured a sponsorship to ride on the Morpheus pro team in the 2014 season.

“He’s certainly exceeded all my expectations,” said his father Andy. “He’s had a great season and is looking forward to turning pro.”

A total of 52 riders could drop into the freeride course as often as they liked during the three hours of qualifying before the field was cut down to the Top 12 in both the amateur and open/pro categories. Then it was off a two run final.

Wallace’s final run score of 89 points would have been enough to secure the victory in the pro category, as well.

Red Bull pro rider Anthony Messere of Surrey B.C. won the top prize in the open category with a score of 88 points.

Wallace easily topped the field, as Caleb Holonko of North Vancouver took home second place in the amateur division with a score of 71.5, and Lewis Seagram of Nelson finished third with a score of 68.5

The win in the Okanagan comes on the heels of the a strong showing at the Bearclaw Invitational at Mt. Washington on Vancouver Island.

The event follows Whistler’s Crankworx  and featured most of the Top 25 pro riders in the world.

Wallace, an amateur, had to qualify for the finals. He secured third place in the amateur division and finished 14th overall.

Wallace started the season with  a first-place trophy from the Ranchstyle Mountain Bike Festival in Grand Junction, Colorado.

It was the first North American stop on the Freestyle Mountain Bike World Tour.

“He’s really looking forward to taking the next step in riding and competing against the best in the world,” said his father.

He said his son, who slits his time between Maple Ridge and Mission, will compete in some events in Europe, as well as across Canada and the U.S. next year.