After two years of being canceled, the riders of Red Bull District Ride were fired up to show off their best runs to the wild crowd.
Around 120,000 fans packed into the historical Nuremberg, Germany during the event to watch these athletes perform. The course, which is the longest in FMB history, containing 16 trickable features, weaves through 5 Districts ending with a massive big air jump. World-class designer and 2005 winner Aaron Chase was tasked with designing the course, and he did an exceptional job.
Due to predicted weather challenges, riders were given an extra judged run on Friday, which saw Emil Johansson, Nicholi Rogatkin, and Max Fredriksson put down runs to lock up the top spots. Fortunately for mountain bike fans, the weather was much milder than predicted, giving riders the right environment to complete both their second and third runs.
The day would finish with Emil Johansson capturing his 9th slopestyle win in a row with Nicholi Rogatkin in second place and German native Erik Fedko in third place.
Spectacle in the 2nd run
Starting off his first run of the day, German Lukas Knopf had the crowd going wild as he had a great run down the course, complete with an opposite flair in the Quarter District and 360 barspin, tailwhip, 360 tailwhip to barspin in the dirt district. Knopf ended his run with a backflip barspin to tailwhip and a final score of 77.33. Fan favorite, Thomas Genon (BEL) showcased his unique style and fluidity throughout the course, blasting clicked 360 tabletops and opposite flair to regular flair in the Quarter District. Genon would finish his run with a massive 360 tabletop that oozed Tommy G style.
The next big contender Paul Couderc did his thing down the course in a run that saw regular and opposite 720’s. He ended with a double backflip one-foot can. Couderc would move into third place, bumping Max Fredriksson out of a top 3 spot. Looking to climb back into the top three, Max Fredriksson (SWE) improved his initial score with a very fluid run that saw opposite spins, combos, and a great overall impression. Max would finish his run with a technical backflip double barspin to tuck no hander. Although he improved his score he remained in fourth place.
Dawid Godziek differentiated himself from the competition with a 180 up and switch 180 off the domino pizza box, he mixed in a frontflip, 360 downside whip, and a cashroll barspin in the dirt district. He finished his run with a double tailwhip on the canon log and a twister no-hander on the final jump. Godziek shook up the leaderboard with his run, putting himself in third place.
Nicholi Rogatkin started his run off with a massive flat drop frontflip, a cash roll over the domino step down. Rogatkin mixed in his spin-to-win style throughout all districts, finishing the dirt district with a cashroll and a twister. The showman got the crowd even more fired up before unleashing a double tailwhip on the cannon and a 1440 over the final massive jump. It would be enough to bump Emil out of the top spot with a score of 88.34. “I am just so so fired up right now,” said an elated Nicholi after landing his 1440 and taking the top spot after 2 runs.
German Hero Erik Fedko laid out a very nice second run. scoring decently on all of the districts he capped off the first four districts with a 360 triple barspin, 360 superman seat grab, and 360 barspin to tailwhip in the dirt district. The crowd was going nuts as he stood atop the big air district Erik gave them a show with a 360 barspin to x-up over the cannon and a massive and extended backflip superman seat grab. This run would not be enough to take the top spot but did bump him into 2nd place, putting Emil in an unfamiliar third place.
Emil Johansson was able to fire back right away, mixing in crazy combinations both ways down the entire course. He started his run off with a footplant 360 x-up and a 450 triple barspin on the top district. He boosted the Quarter District higher than the rest of the competition finishing the district with a 360 barspin to opposite tailwhip. The dirt section saw more Emil opposite tricks with a double downside whip and an opposite 360 double whip. Emil would need a 17 in the final district to take back the top spot which he would easily do with a 360 double downside whip on the cannon to a 360 windshield wiper on the final jump scoring himself an 18.66 and into the much more familiar 90 overall score.
Drama und Sportsmanship im Final Run
The first run ended much as it started with many switch-ups in between. Emil Johansson was bumped down into third before his run but was able to battle himself back into first place, pushing Nicholi Rogatkin back down to second place. The top 5 heading into third runs would consist of Johansson, Rogatkin, Fedko, Godziek, and Couderc, in that order.
German Lukas Knopf laid out a solid third and final run in front of his home country. He finished his run with an attempted backflip double barspin to tailwhip, but could not stomp the landing.
Thomas Genon put down another great run spinning both ways and even mixing in fakies and switch riding on features. He cracked a 3 table into the dirt district and followed it up with opposite 360, opposite 360 downside whip and regular 360 downside whip followed by a 540 on the quarter pipe. He barely held onto the last feature with a 360 x-up one foot can on the cannon to a 360 barspin to tailwhip where he nose manualed down the landing just able to keep it together.
Max Fredriksson was clearly not happy sitting outside of the top five and showcased his technical riding ability throughout the course. Spinning barspin to unturndown and a double tailwhip in the Quarter District. He spun a 360 barspin to turndown on the cannon and was going for a backflip double barspin tuck no hander, but missed the no hander in the big air district. He would not crack the top 5.
One rider who certainly isn’t happy about their day is the youngest rider in the field, Lucas Huppert. His third run started with a 360 tailwhip on the first drop, but he wasn't able to hold on. It wouldn't be his day. Dawid Godziek would blow a tire on the second feature. Leaving the top 3 unchanged.
Rogatkin wasn't content with second but could not complete a clean run, crashing on his cash roll on the domino’s step down. In typical Rogatkin fashion, he continued down the rest of the course with no seat. He slapped high fives and hyped the crowd up the whole way. Finishing his day with the first ever seatless twister.
German hero Erik Fedko and champion Emil Johansson would opt out of their last runs to flow a fun lap down the course together.
“It means everything to be able to be in here in front of these people and showcase slopestyle in a not-so-usual environment is awesome.” Emil Johansson said how it feels to win his 9th in a row in Germany.
“It just feels awesome, five years ago, I felt like a little kid, and I have no words. I mean, this crowd is just amazing. You ride through the city, and there are people everywhere. It's full, there are about 90,000 people here. My family is here, all my friends are here, and it's just awesome!“ Beamed an excited hometown hero, Erik Fedko.
Emil Johansson (SWE) - 90.00
Nicholi Rogatkin (USA) - 88.34
Erik Fedko (GER) - 85.32
Dawid Godziek (POL) - 82.45
Paul Couderc - 81.79
Tarek Rasouli, mastermind and sports director of the Red Bull District Ride, was enthusiastic about the level of the sixth edition of the contest: “The Red Bull District Ride has developed incredibly since 2005, both in terms of the sport and the track. We had five world’s firsts in the best trick contest yesterday, it was incredible. The contest has gotten bigger and bigger, the number of fans is increasing, and the Red Bull District Ride has developed into a permanent institution in Nuremberg.”