Audi Nines 2020
Earthworks Underway as Ground Control Moves In
Construction is underway on one of the most innovative Audi Nines mountain bike setups to date, including the debut of a brand-new Slopestyle Line. Although this year’s event remains closed to the public, Live Sessions will bring online viewers closer to the action.
From the 7th till the 12th of September 2020, the Audi Nines presented by Falken returns to Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate state for its 10th annual mountain bike event. Here in the Hunsrück-Nahe bike region in partnership with Bikepark Idarkopf, a repurposed stone quarry has become an ideal venue for some of the most groundbreaking action in MTB. As part of a strict COVID-19 prevention plan, no public visitors will be allowed onsite. But as always, fans can expect to enjoy a steady stream of Audi Nines content across a variety of online channels.
Course designers and builders Sam Reynolds (GBR), Clemens Kaudela (AUT) and Andi Brewi (AUT) have been hard at work sculpting this year’s venue. In the absence of a public event, the builders have been able to expand their scope to the quarry’s east side, opening a blank canvas for the development of a completely new Slopestyle Line.
Highlights of the new line include signature features designed by Erik Fedko and Lukas Knopf with help from the ideas generated by the design contest held earlier this year. Fedko’s feature blends a step-up quarter-pipe, a shark fin and a whale-tail into a challenging combination obstacle, while Knopf’s feature stars an 8-meter jump over a large C-shaped wallride.
“I’m super excited to get this feature built and to ride it,” says Erik Fedko. “Usually we never see features like this on a Slopestyle course. And those three features (quarter-pipe, shark fin and whale-tail) combined should be the most fun, coolest combination ever.”
On the quarry’s west side, the relocation of the Slope Line has allowed the team to reimagine the original setup. The result is an improved and expanded Freeride Line and Big Air venue, including some highlight features of its own, like a massive quarter-pipe.
“This year some of the features will be a real testing ground to push limits and send it into some serious airtime,” says Clemens Kaudela. “The quarter-pipe in particular will be a lot of fun, since Sam and I battled it out for the highest jump back in 2017 at Nine Knights in Reschenpass. Expect some heavy sessions.”
This year’s riders’ list remains contingent on changing restrictions on international travel. However, a stacked field of top mountain bikers have already confirmed their presence, including Emil Johansson (SWE), Max Fredriksson (SWE) and Antoine Bizet (FRA). Meanwhile, the Become a Nines video contest has again fielded a number of amazing submissions from up-and-coming athletes around the world. From this pool of talent, an additional two riders will be chosen to join the crew in the quarry. The winners of the Become a Nine contest will be announced just before the event kicks off.
Audi Nines Live Sessions Microsite
Visitors to a special microsite will be able to drop in on intermittent livestream sessions held throughout the week, featuring riders like Max Fredriksson (SWE), Sam Reynolds (GBR), Sam Pilgrim (GBR), Erik Fedko (GER) and Lukas Knopf (GER). The event organisation is developing this new platform as a response to the coronavirus pandemic in an effort to open the event’s doors digitally to the public.
“Bringing in a crowd to watch world-class sports action has always been a big part of Audi Nines,” says event founder Nico Zacek. “This year in light of the challenges we are all facing, we are experimenting with new ways to open our event to the digital realm and make sure that everyone can still be part of the action.”
COVID-19 Onsite Prevention
The Audi Nines team is taking every precaution necessary to provide a safe environment for its riders and production team. The event will remain closed to the public, and stringent measures will be in place to prevent viral transmission during the event, while ensuring that local, regional and national coronavirus regulations are met or exceeded.