Audi Nines Contest day
The Audi Nines MTB 2019 Goes Out With a Bang This Quarry’s A’Rockin!
Nearly 4,000 spectators thronged to the Ellweiler stone quarry near Birkenfeld, Germany today to watch the exciting conclusion of The Audi Nines MTB 2019. In collaboration with Bikepark Idarkopf, the unique mountain bike event gathered 28 of the world’s best mountain bikers from 11 nations to this unconventional location for a week of photo & video shoots on spectacular features, which concluded with an explosive finish well worthy of the event series’ 25th edition.
Public Contest Day
For the first time this year, the Audi Nines MTB welcomed the general public to its secluded location—a stone quarry in the Hochwald-Hunsrück region where course builders spent weeks building one of the most spectacular mountain bike venues seen yet. After five days of action-packed media sessions, the gates of the quarry were opened to spectators for the concluding “Public Contest Day.” Thousands of mountain bike fans heeded the call, packing the slopes of the venue to enjoy an exclusive showing of athletic excellence in this extraordinary setting.
The invited riders, a hand-picked group of top international mountain bikers, wowed the crowd with sessions on the venue’s Big Air jump, Freeride and Slopestyle lines, and the iconic “Perfect Hip” at the quarry’s bottom. When the dust cleared a handful of champions had risen to the top, with Germany’s Nico Scholze and Erik Fedko taking the win in the Big Air (DH Bike) and Best Line (Slopestyle) contests respectively, while American Nicholi Rogatkin placed first in the Big Air (Hardtail) event and Spaniard Bienvenido Aguado Alba claimed the title of Best Line (Freeride). The day’s excitement ended with a rousing session on the massive hip, where riders soared to astounding heights above the monumental feature.
“This was the best public display we’ve done in 25 events,” said Audi Nines creator Nico Zacek. “Usually it’s more about the video and photo shoots for us. But the energy from thousands of cheering fans is amazing for the athletes. It gave them extra motivation to perform their best, and the level we saw today was just crazy.”
Highlights of the Week
While the Contest Day provided a spectacular show for the general public, it was only the tip of the iceberg of the week’s action at the Audi Nines. Riders had nearly a full week for extensive sessions on the course’s challenging features, from a rideable Satellite Dish to a skate-style plaza nicknamed “The Space Station.” The riders’ comfort and safety were the highest priority throughout the event, which was designed to maximize the possibilities for progression on massive, yet safely-designed features.
Some of the week’s highlights included stunning tricks like Nicholi Rogatkin’s Twister No Hander, Bienvenido Aguado’s Tsunami Front Flip and Tom Isted’s Double Barrel Roll. Isted also set a high mark for the week when he launched to a height of 7.1 meters above the takeoff of the Perfect Hip — the highest air on a hip on a mountain bike of all time.
Full Contest Results
Best Trick (Big Bike)
1. Nico Scholze (GER), Backflip Tsunami
2. Bienvenido Aguado (ESP), 360 Indian Air Seat Grab
3. Lukas Knopf (GER), Front Flip
Best Trick (Hardtail)
1. Nicholi Rogatkin (USA), Front Cork 1440
2. Erik Fedko (GER), Backflip Double Bar To Tailwhip
3. Yura Starosta (UKR), Cork 720 Invert Table
Best Line (Freeride)
1. Bienvenido Aguado Alba (ESP)
2. Sam Reynolds (GBR)
3. Emil Johansson (SWE)
Best Line (Slopestyle)
1. Erik Fedko (GER)
2. Nicholi Rogatkin (USA)
3. Lukas Schäfer (GER)
Erik Fedko (Winner, Best Slopestyle Line)
“This is a super cool event. I’m here for the first time this year — due to an injury I couldn’t make it last year, so I’m even more stoked to be here today and win the slopestyle contest. Today, where there were so many spectators, it was even more fun, because then you get more of an adrenaline kick.”
Nico Scholze (Winner, Best Trick – Big Bike)
“My personal highlight today was the Tsunami Flip on the Freeride bike. I’d planned it for the whole week and saved it for the the public day, and I landed it perfectly on the first try. It couldn’t have gone any better.”
Nicholi Rogatkin (Winner, Best Trick – Hardtail Bike)
“It’s such a supportive vibe here at the Audi Nines. All week all of the boys are supporting each other. The family aspect of the Audi Nines is so special. We’re all just pushing each other. We all share one common passion. The connection between all the riders is simply incredible.”
Bienvenido Aguado Alba (Winner, Best Freeride Line)
‘‘The best thing about the Audi Nines is the vibes. You have a full week to get comfortable. The only pressure is the pressure that you put on yourself, to do what you want and push yourself. It’s just so much fun.”