Over 50 riders from 14 countries celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Vienna Air King.
This year’s edition was the kick off event for the Freeride Mountain Bike (FMB) World Tour. Sam Pilgrim, eventual winner, had a strong battle with last year’s winner Martin Soderstrom who finished in second place. The youngster John Alm Hogman came in third place, Jamie Goldman got fourth, and the Austrian local Andi Brewi fifth.
The masses of spectators cheered for the riders in front of the historic city hall and got a whole bunch of tricks such as 360 double whips, flip combos at the step down, flairs, super flips, or flipwhips in return. But the most outstanding trick was the cork 720 from Andi Wittmann in the separate Panasonic-Best-Trick-Competition on Sunday.
The weather conditions didn’t make it quite easy for the riders as well as for the organisers. The unstable weather, which is typical for April in middle Europe, brought just a bit of sun, but a lot of strong wind and rain. Starting a run often just meant gambling, because the gusts of wind were unpredictable.
A big surprise was Andi Brewi, who showed an x-up at the start drop, followed by a superman Indian, barspin and clean backflip turndown on the doubles as well as a flatspin 540 at the quarter. The fifth place was well deserved for the local from Vienna who had put lots of great effort into the course built, so all riders were really content with the jumps.
The finals were moved to Saturday afternoon, because of the absolutely terrifying weather forecasts for Sunday: gusts of wind up to 60 km/h, rain guaranteed and ice pellets likely. So the riders could party already on Saturday afternoon and have an easygoing Panasonic-Best-Trick-Competition on Sunday, if the weather would be ok. That was the case: sun was shining and it rained just for very short periods.
1. Sam Pilgrim (GBR/DiamondBack)
2. Martin Soderstrom (SWE/NS Bikes)
3. John Alm Hogman (SWE/Scott)
4. Jamie Goldman (USA/Santa Cruz)
5. Andi Brewi (AUT/KTM)
6. Blake Samson (GBR/Diamond Back)
7. Thomas Zejda (CZE/Dartmoor)
8. Andi Wittman (GER/Giant)
9. Symon Godziek (POL/Dartmoor)
10. Marek Maro (CZE/Dartmoor)
11. Benny Korthaus (GER/Red Bull)
12. Bartek Obukovicz (POL/NS Bikes)
13. Amir Kabbani (GER/Mongoose)
14. Darren Berrecloth (CAN/Specialized)
15. Jakub Vencl (CZE/Author)