For the past week we’ve been living it up in the small mountain pass town of Reschenpass, South Tyrol in the Italian Alps, also the home of the Suzuki Nine Knights Freeride MTB event, and the reason for our visit. We quickly came to realise that Nine Knights is no ordinary FMB contest, it is so much more. A week of absolute Freeride MTB mayhem on one of the most picturesque courses ever seen.
A comradery amongst organizers, riders, photographers and videographers like no other, and it’s not just about the riding. It’s about the world’s top riders having the time of their lives while pushing the limits, it’s about the photographers and videographers capturing mind blowing imagery and footage, and it’s about the stoke! Winning the various awards is the icing on the cake with categories for riders, photographers and videographers.
Sweden’s Emil Johansson was unstoppable in the 99-minute jam format contest and landed an array of flip combinations to win the Slopestyle Bike category. Johansson put down an impressive six never before landed tricks, namely;
–Backflip Whip to Barspin to Unturndown.
–Backflip Quint Barspin.
–Backflip Barspin to Tuck No Hander to Barspin to Can.
–Backflip Double Barspin to Tuck No Hander to Barspin.
–Backflip Triple Barspin to Tuck No Hander.
–Backflip Triple Barspin to Can.
“I never get to hit jumps that big outside of contests, so it was great to be able to try new tricks, especially with the airbag earlier in the week. I landed a few world firsts and I am definitely happy with that.“ said Johansson.
Italian Diego Caversazi took 2nd place with his Frontflip Superman and Cash Roll on the Sendolf Kicker
It was a close battle in the Downhill Bike category and it was UK’s Sam Reynolds who came off on top. Reynolds made use of the entire course, landing a Flintstone and a Superman Seatgrab on the Sendolf Kicker, sent a massive Quarterpipe air, and sped down the huge Big Bertha line in style.
“It feels great to win the contest,” explained Reynolds, “but, as course builder, I’m especially happy that it went well and that everyone enjoyed it. The week at Suzuki Nine Knights is always special; we ride together, we’re not competing but working together to make amazing videos and photos.”
Following closely in 2nd place was Germany’s Nico Scholze who landed a Flatspin Nac and a Tsunami Backflip on the Sendolf, as well as a huge Backflip Heel Clicker on the Big Bertha kicker.
Austria’s Clemens Kaudela put together Big Bertha line combos, a Flip Tuck No Hander and a huge Quarterpipe air to earn him 3rd place.
USA’s Nicholi Rogatkin landed a never before done 1080 Twister on a Downhill Bike to win the Best Trick All Wee Award.
Emil Johansson won the Best Trick Contest Award.
Sam Reynolds won the Highest Air Award.
Patrick Schweika won the Ruler of the Week Award.
Photos by Klaus Polzer and David Malacrida.