Stunt GP in Poland was a much anticipated event for the StuntBums team. Since we are all about helping our sport become bigger and better, we were excited to provide coverage on this seemingly progressive event. Unfortunately the event was an example of both the best and the worst reality of sportbike freestyle today.
The event brought in Europe’s best riders in addition to Shin and Nick Apex making the men’s competition a exciting event. Rafal Pasierbek threw down a predictably amazing run Saturday but stabbed his hand on a fence during practice a few hours later. In the finals Sunday he rode without a noticeable handicap and placed first in his home country.
Nick Apex battled on foreign turf, on a loaner bike and still took home a much deserved second place. The event ran well, the appreciative crowds packed the stands and the riders kept Poland entertained throughout the weekend. All was well and good for male competitors.
Then there were the female riders. The event promised a female cup but upon arrival we were informed there were no payouts and when we inquired why they could find $12,000 for the men and not a penny for the women we were literally laughed at, in our face.
Myself and Ewa decided not to ride, since in reality there was no competition but instead an unpaid show for eager fans and a greedy organizer. And to add insult to injury after the organizer repeatedly said they wouldn't be paying the women anything, he went ahead and not only gave the one female rider who rode despite the circumstances the title as “winner” and money from his wallet, but made a huge deal of it on the microphone at the end.
It was a serious low point for a female rider like myself, who trains daily and even has quit her comfy 9-5 job in Manhattan to dedicate her life to promoting this sport, to get treated as a second class citizen. With hope the organizer can take the time to find a sponsor for the women’s cup next year and not treat it like a free way to bring in more fans.
Check out the final scores (we jacked this photo from the stuntnews.pl guys, thanks!):