Following a standout first year at Reschenpass, Italy, the Suzuki Nine Knights MTB returns to South Tyrol with a fresh take on last year’s impressive course. The “Focus Become a Knight” video contest launches a search for new talent to join Sam Reynolds (GBR) Nicholi Rogatkin (USA), Szymon Godziek (POL), Antoine Bizet (FRA) and many more for the week-long supersession, running from the 4th to the 9th of September, 2017.
Extended Course With New Elements
Brit Sam Reynolds yet again teamed up with Austrians Andi Brewi and Clemens Kaudela from Balzamico Trail Design to continue building on last year’s success. The versatile course for 2017 combines flowy lines with progressive freestyle elements offering multiple opportunities to link together longer runs with bigger tricks. Built along the avalanche mound at Haideralm in the Venosta Valley, the course includes a longer flow line, a new big bike jump line, and four different kicker options to take mountainbiking to new heights.
“The Reschenpass venue was incredible for the Suzuki Nine Knights MTB 2016,” course designer Sam Reynolds says. “Now that we have a solid foundation to build on, our massive new set-up will open the door to some world first tricks and even more creative lines. I can’t wait to get building!”
Freeride Sponsorship and Wildcards
Two amateur or pro riders can win wildcards to join invited athletes thanks to the ‘Focus Become a Knight’ online video contest. In addition to the wildcard, Focus Bikes is offering a one-year sponsorship for their favourite Freeride category submission featuring a talented non-bike sponsored rider with killer freeride and big bike skills. Meanwhile, the open category entries can highlight dirt jumps, slopestyle tricks, as well as freeride skills.
Submission deadline is the 22nd of August 2017. For more detailed information head to www.nineknightsmtb.com.
Public Contest Day
The culmination of the week’s film and photo sessions; the public contest day, will take place on Saturday the 9th of September and feature some of the biggest MTB tricks ever displayed. Pack up your sunscreen and join us at Reschenpass, South Tyrol, Italy for the final showdown.
The bike and holiday region Saalfelden Leogang, Salzburger Land, Austria, has plenty in store: Demanding freeride trails, long bike tours with or without your family, a relaxed e-bike tour or adrenaline-pumping downhill action in Bikepark Leogang – everybody will get his or her money’s worth in Saalfelden Leogang.
Versatile Routes and Expert Service
No matter if you prefer short and easy or long and difficult tours, tricky singletrack and flow trails or the adrenaline-fueled downhill runs – the bike region Saalfelden Leogang is perfect for advanced cyclists as well as for beginners. The Pinzgau region offers 720 kilometers of mountain bike trails for all skill levels and 480 kilometers of valley cycling paths – simply a paradise for bikers.
“As a multi-faced cycling region, we’re eager to inspire not only the professional riders but also the beginner to explore the area on two wheels,” says Marco Pointner, CEO of the Saalfelden Leogang Tourism Bureau.
The Schoenleiten trail… Simply stunning!
Hot Spot for World Mountain Bike Champions
Whether downhiller, freerider or dirt jumper – everyone who’s into biking should visit Europe’s largest and most prestigious bike park in Saalfelden Leogang. The Pinzgau bike hot spot also serves as the venue for the UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup – the only Mountain Bike World Cup in Austria. The bike park hosted the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships (the biggest mountain bike event in the world) in 2012. By the way, the countdown is on, because Saalfelden Leogang will welcome the World Championships in 2020 once again. So after a break of eight years, the downhill medal-winners will be crowned again in the Pinzgau region.
A Variety of Trails for Professionals and Beginners
“Hot Shots” is the name of the 3.5 kilometers (2.17 miles) long flow trail, which leads from the top station to the middle station of the local mountain, the Asitz. Following the latest trends, this trail has been adapted to the needs of GoPro users: the two-meter-wide trail not only passes through the forest and stunning natural scenery, but also provides for easier stretches of tables, rolls and feeder jumps, making action-packed GoPro videos possible.
Since the beginning of June, the new 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) long single trail “Matzalm-Trail” has opened. The beautiful trail with rooty sections and several narrow turns leads past the Matzalm and Embachalm and guarantees a stunning view.
Hot Shots – for that special flowy feeling!
For those who are looking to test their skills, the Big-5 Challenge is just the thing: on an XXL-tour that connects a total of five ski lifts and the five mountains surrounding Leogang and Saalbach Hinterglemm, biking enthusiasts can find the ultimate fulfillment – and can blow off all the steam they want.
The famous Saalfelden, Leogang also has easy and challenging routes in store for passionate road cyclists: be it Austria’s highest mountain, the Grossglockner, on the Kaiser Tour; or, if you prefer, you can opt for the leisurely Steinberg Tour at your own pace and enjoy the beautiful scenery around the Lofer and Leogang Mountains.
Fun for Beginners
But of course, Saalfelden Leogang has a thing or two up its sleeve for beginners, as well: In the 10,000 square meter riders playground, beginners can push themselves to their personal limits. A total of eight wooden and fifteen dirt features – none higher than 50 centimeters – provide a convenient obstacle course for those who still want to practice a bit before taking on Bike Park. In addition, beginners – young and old alike – have the opportunity to try out the various aspects of the sport – and develop a passion for it – on the pumptrack and the practice trail. It’s also possible to capture daredevil bike stunts on video with a GoPro on the GoPro bag jump. A large airbag cushions the long downward jump but offers enough resistance to continue the ride. In the new GoPro Lounge at the Asitz base station, hikers and bikers can also inform themselves about the newest GoPro offers while relaxing after a strenuous ride.
The GoPro bag jump is ideal for training.
Biking Fun That Electrifies
Saalfelden Leogang is part of the largest e-bike region in the world and is the ideal place for long bike rides for every age group. You can cover a distance of 70 kilometers with one battery. The battery can be recharged or replaced anytime at nearby gas stations, partner hotels, sporting goods stores or mountain chalets, while you take a break. E-biking is the perfect alternative for those who still need to work on their endurance, but don’t want to miss those bike rides.
Images by Klemens Koenig
The greatest mountain bike happening of the year will be going down, as the fifth edition of Red Bull District Ride showcases the greatest talents and biggest tricks in Nuremberg on September 1–2. The gnarliest urban slopestyle event hopes to break the spectator record which lies at 70,000 and the old town of the German city will set the stage for trick combinations, which have never been seen before. The legendary event has become one of the most iconic in the world of mountain biking and went through a sensational development since its premiere in 2005.
Andreu Lacondeguy sends it for the crowd at Red Bull District Ride 2014. Image by Markus Greber
Back in 2005, the simplest tailwhip was enough to wow the crowd and judges. Nowadays, the athletes would get nowhere near the start tower of any FMB Diamond Event with tricks like that. Today, Tsunami-Backflips, triple-tailwhips, and twisters decide who becomes the king of the court. Back then, you would come across names of mountain bike pros, which you would never associate with slopestyle contests today. Gee Atherton and Cedric Gracia are two examples. It would be unthinkable to see downhill aces like Aaron Gwin, Danny Hart or Greg Minnaar standing at the top of the historic Kaiserburg and going through the motions before dropping in. The trick level has reached new heights and only specialists are able to dial up the big tricks needed in order to have a chance at competing for the title.
Cedric Gracia dropping into the 2005 edition. Image by Ian Hylands
Gee Atherton, Wallride during the 2006 edition. Image by Stefan Hunziker
Three icons of the sport who are closely associated with the past and present of Red Bull District Ride give their account on the development of slopestyle and the event that will be returning to the heart of the 950-year-old city: Cam McCaul, Aaron Chase, and Tarek Rasouli.
Cam McCaul is the voice of slopestyle during live broadcasts on Red Bull TV. The 31-year-old American belongs to the Freeride Hall of Fame and won Red Bull District Ride back in 2006. All the action from the finals will be available on Red Bull TV on September 2 with his commentary.
Cam McCaul on the top of the podium at Red Bull District Ride 2006. Image by Markus Greber
Aaron Chase wrote history in 2005 when he became the first athlete to win Red Bull District Ride. Since then, he has been a course designer for the track that meanders through the old town of Nuremberg and can also look back on years of judging experience.
Aaron Chase at Red Bull District Ride 2006. Image by Markus Greber
Sam Pilgrim launching a backflip no-hander above the crowd in 2011. Image by Flo Hagena
Tarek Rasouli, the mastermind behind Red Bull District Ride has been involved in the organization of the event since day one. Although an accident shortened his professional mountain bike career, the former freeride pro never lost the love for the sport of mountain biking.
Tarek Rasouli at Red Bull District Ride 2005. Image by Markus Greber
All the action from the FMB Diamond Series is broadcasted live on redbull.tv
. Get the latest on everything bike-related at the Red Bull Bike Channel: redbull.tv/bike
. Red Bull TV is distributed digitally at www.redbull.tv and as an app across mobile phones, tablets, consoles, OTT devices and Smart TVs.
Geoff Gulevich with a superman-seatgrab at Red Bull District Ride 2005. Image by Yorrick Carroux
After many years in the planning and approval process, crews from three different trail building companies finally broke ground on the much anticipated construction of fifteen kilometres of new trails in the Creekside Zone. After opening this zone for bike park access in 2015, the Creekside trail expansion beginning now is the most ambitious development project in the park’s history and will be a well deserved enhancement to this zone.
Video by: Good Fortune Collective & Goldstein Productions
Ready for 2018, five new trails are being built adding fifteen kilometres to the park’s trail inventory, equalling an increase of 20% more lift accessed riding. Accessed directly from the Creekside Gondola, from Garbanzo Express/Upper Whistler Village Gondola, and from Top of the World, the new trails will be a mix of machine-built freeride and hand-built technical single track suitable for the intermediate and expert level rider. The zone is being developed to ride well for both all-mountain trail bikes and DH.
Phase 1 build plan.
This mix of trail types will give the zone more diversity, allowing a larger range of riders the ability to access it while ensuring advanced riders keep coming back. All while maintaining the personality and atmosphere that makes Creekside so special.
The Dream Build Team
The new expansion will be split between three of the world’s premier trail building teams based in Whistler. The Whistler Mountain Bike Park Trail Crew will be tackling the main machine-built low intermediate trail as well as teaming up with Gravity Logic on a low footprint machine-built single track. Gravity Logic will build two additional trails including a hand-built single track and another low footprint single track trail accessed from Highway 86. Joyride Bike Parks will be taking the final trail and making it a machine-built intermediate freeride. The purpose of this all-star build team is to ensure the trails are built with individual flavours allowing for the most diversity and a fresh approach. Each will be uniquely built giving riders a new experience on each one.
Gravity Logic is well underway on their machine-built freeride trail in the lower Creekside Zone.
The start of one of the tech trails through Creekside’s ultra green forest.
A new zone allows for a lot of creativity and cutting of new lines.
Creekside is the new gold mine for some of Whistler’s best dirt.
Sections are coming together, bit by bit.
Flagging some fresh tech.
Got the feels of Blueberry Bath Tub.
It is anticipated that all five new Creekside trails will be ready to ride for next summer’s planned opening of the Creekside Gondola in June. It is also possible that some sections of the expansion will be available to ride before the end of this season but stay tuned for updates.
The new guy, Zander Geddes, helping to ride it in.
Lula cutting in the technical line.
Some impressive bridge and feature work are being built in order to link up the trails through the rugged terrain.
Lula approving of her husband’s work.
Zander getting up to race speed.
An early taste of something that will only get better.
Hopefully more of this to come later this year.
Looking even further in the future, the Master Plan for Creekside includes a total of 56km of trails that stretch from tree line to valley floor giving riders even more options when descending from Top of the World and the Garbanzo Zone. In anticipation, the Whistler Mountain Bike Park Trail Crew are developing several new trails within the existing park for this purpose. But for now, 15km is a great start.
Riders arriving to Whistler this season can currently access the park from the Creekside Gondola and take advantage of free, secure underground parking, delicious Dusty’s BBQ, bike repair and shopping at GBB Creekside, and fewer lift lines.
View the full album of images.
Photography by: Clint Trahan
Top of the World Update – Opening This Saturday
Thanks to Mother Nature’s warm and consistent temperatures so far this summer, along with some much needed acceleration by Trail Crew, riding from the summit of Whistler Mountain will be open this Saturday. There will still be many sections where the Top of the World trail will be covered in snow but Trail Crew has been able to remove as much as possible allowing riders to descend through the alpine. As the summer heat continues the trail will only get better and better.
To purchase your Top of the World ticket visit Guest Services or call 1-800-766-0449.
Simon Pagès has made it! The young Frenchman can look forward to a spot in the rider lineup for the legendary Red Bull District Ride on September 1-2, 2017, thanks to a great performance at the FMB Gold Event “GlemmRide Slopestyle” in Saalbach (AUT) last weekend. Pagès now belongs to the 20 athletes who will be dropping into the gnarliest urban course in the world and will be showing off his steeze in all five districts, whilst competing against the world’s best slopestyle riders in front of 80,000 spectators. The second FMB Wildcard for Red Bull District Ride is up for grabs in Spain at the FMB Gold Event “O Marisquino” on August 13. The FMB Wildcard is awarded to the highest ranked athlete, who has not yet qualified for Red Bull District Ride.
20-year-old Pagès has been extremely active this year and already competed at 10 different FMB World Tour Events. He also raised eyebrows thanks to stunning performances at 26TRIX in Leogang and Crankworx Les Gets a few weeks back. His experience seems to be paying off and we can expect a great show from Pagès in Nuremberg this September.
Congrats to a sensational performance, Simon! What does it feel like to know that you will be sending it with the world’s best on Red Bull District Ride’s legendary urban slopestyle course this September?
I am really happy that I will be heading to Red Bull District Ride this year! I was there in 2014 and it was just crazy. I can’t wait to be back on the Hauptmarkt!
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about Red Bull District Ride? What makes the event so legendary in your eyes?
It is an insane event! There will be so many fans lining the streets. The fact that the course is in the middle of the city and is very diverse makes it unique on the World Tour. I like these kind of courses because they are very different. They fit my riding style.
How will you prepare yourself for the FMB Diamond Event in front of 80,000 spectators?
It feels amazing when you ride down the course with all the people cheering for you. I don’t need to prepare for that especially. It is really motivating and helps you more than it is a distraction.
About Red Bull District Ride:
After five editions in 2005, 2006, 2011 and 2014 in Nuremberg and one appearance in Catania, Italy (2006), Red Bull District Ride has acquired a legendary status in the mountain biking scene. The world-class slopestyle athletes will be sending it in a unique urban setting and thrilling thousands of spectators.
MENTIONS: @redbullbike / @rasoulution
Stoke levels were high this past weekend at China Peak for the first stop of the VP Components sponsored California Enduro Series “Golden Tour” and the Kali Road Warrior program was in effect keeping people safe throughout the race weekend. The Golden Tour is a triple crown series within a series intended to spotlight top talent and events with the added bonus of being Enduro World Series Qualifier Events. That means more prize money on the line and valuable EWS points up for grab. It also means real rowdy trails and fierce competition.
The drive up to China Peak is as impressive as the venue itself. Passing through agricultural zones of the Central Valley and rolling through the foothills en route to the heart of the High Sierras is a reminder of the beauty and diversity found within the Golden State. China Peak is located near the end of a road that was originally conceived as a trans-Sierra highway connecting Fresno and Bishop. Due to the rugged Sierra Crest and Wilderness Areas blocking the way, the two segments were never connected which has left this area more isolated and undeveloped.
With the small mountain ski area vibe also comes the small mountain chairlifts. The lift line was stacked up all day as the trusty old two-seater worked overtime to get hundreds of racers and bikes up the hill for practice. Nothing but smiles and high fives though as people were undoubtedly glad to have a lift-assist. Passing over some sections of trail (including the super rowdy and freshly cut Stage 5), the chairlift also makes for great spectating, heckling, and line spotting.
Part of the charm of China Peak is the laid back atmosphere. All weekend long, people were posted up in the shade at the balcony bar, soaking in the sights, staying cool, and enjoying the vibe of the California Enduro Series scene. With the CES race weekend officially kicking off the Bike Park opening, it’s a great way to get things fired up for the season. The mountain is now open for business so get yourself up here!
Due to the higher elevations and clear blue skies, the sun was blazing hot all weekend. Thankfully, the hydration station was complete with a “mist’er” hose which provided racers with some much needed relief from the heat. Staying cool and hydrated was definitely part of the winning strategy for the weekend.
In addition to the shade and mist provided in the base area, there is a river running right through the middle of the venue which provides opportunities for swimming, fishing, and beverage chilling. The unofficial “Final Stage” of the race weekend is held at the swimming hole just upriver from the parking lot. This is always a crowd favorite for racers and spectators alike and usually generates some solid highlight clips as people jump, dive, flip, and spin off the rocks.
The Kali Road Warrior program is designed to help keep people safe at the races and sometimes that extends to spectators too. This little rider was ripping around all weekend and she chose to protect herself with this full-face helmet. In fact, she was dedicated to it. She was so stoked on the helmet that we agreed she should take it home. The force is strong with this youngster and now it is even stronger…and safer.
With this race requiring the use of full-face helmets, it is not uncommon to see some racers choose to bring both helmets (a half-shell to climb in and a full-face for timed stages). Another strategy that seems to work well is to remove the cheek pads during the climbs. This increases your airflow and breathability for those long transfers. Either way you decide to go, it’s definitely a wise choice to ride and race with a legitimate full-face helmet when you’re pushing the limits on such gnarly, loose, and technical terrain.
The parking lot at China Peak is just as exciting as the trails are rowdy. Making rounds through the caravan of adventure mobiles, it is clear that Vanlife (and hatchback/pickup/camper life) are alive and well in the mountain bike community.
Circle the Wagons! Some of the vans spotted in the parking lot were clearly more experienced than others. These dream machines got in early and scored the shady spots. It’s official, van-life is the new Enduro and these guys are winning.
Meanwhile, at the riders meeting, it was a perfectly crisp and clear morning. Racers rolled out as they were called and the battle would begin. With live timing, there was a lot of excitement and speculation about who might be on the podium after the last stage.
After a long and challenging day of racing, the awards ceremony was a change of pace. The fastest guys and girls took their rightful places on the podium. Some of them walked away with big checks and some with big bruises but all of them walked away with a sense of accomplishment for surviving the weekend and taming these super gnarly trails. This is definitely one of the most rugged and raw stops on the Golden Tour and sets the tone for the rest of the series to come. For complete race results click the link China Peak Results.
California Enduro Series
What is the Kali Race Support Program and who is the Road Warrior?
In an effort to support events and racers of all levels, Kali Protectives has launched a new Race Support helmet demo program in conjunction with the Kali Road Warrior.
We all ride and unfortunately, crashes do happen. Sometimes that happens at an event or race weekend, resulting in your helmet being damaged and unsafe to continue to use. But you have more racing to do. What now? When the Road Warrior attends a scheduled event, registered racers/attendees have the opportunity to demo a new Kali helmet at no charge. Kali is on hand to ensure riders can continue to compete without worrying about their helmet.
Currently, the program is limited to the West Coast, however, we are preparing to launch another Road Warrior and Race Support Program in Canada. Providing this initiative continues to be successful, we may establish Road Warriors in other territories.
If you would like to learn more about the Kali Road Warrior or possibly schedule him to attend your next event, shoot an email to [email protected].
Kali Road Warrior – Saving Your Race! / @KaliProtectives