Hot off one of the best Slopestyle MTB seasons of his career, Nicholi Rogatkin finishes it off on a high at The Audi Nines in Germany. Rogatkin was seen landing insane tricks all week including a world first (Twister Seat-Grab), and placed 3rd in the Best Slopestyle Line.
We caught up with the American to get his thoughts on the event and more…
What were your first impressions on the Audi Nines course?
I had seen a lot of the pictures and videos posted online but it was pretty mind blowing on first arrival honestly. The zone is so crazy, it almost seems impossible for anything to be built here but they made an incredible creation. Despite having a lot of high expectations, it even exceeded that.
How did the course suit your riding style?
There were a lot of things that suited my riding style. The Slopestyle line is pretty straight forward with a big flat drop into a big trick jump, a sizable high-speed step down and then the last jump. So four banging features that suit my style. The big trick jump with the two options also suits my style, I like to throw big hammers and at an event like Audi Nines, try make those world-firsts happen.
You did land a world first, what would you call it?
Yeah, it’s a little variation on the Twister, which is already quite a difficult and high speed rotating trick. So to add the Seat-Grab in, I’m stoked to get that one done.
What does an event like Audi Nines mean to you?
This event has a family of its own. You come to the event and it’s the similar crew of riders, and it has a lot of good vibes and energy. It’s high in motivation to get some crazy media shots and also get some crazy tricks done. It has some of the craziest sessions of the year, so to hang out with this crew and be in this vibe for a week is what it’s all about.
What do you think of the new contest format?
It is definitely different and unlike any other. The best thing about it is that it gives a lot of freedom. Riders have all week to showcase their best tricks or runs or style. It basically lets us get out there, have the most fun and push each session as much as possible, so it’s awesome.
Which feature was your favourite?
It’s going to have to be the big trick jump, the big money-booter jumps. It’s just endless fun to be had with endless possibilities. With the roll in there, it’s just so easy for us boys to have a hammer session and just keep lapping.
Nicholi Rogatkin and Daniel Ruso Double Backflip Train
Take us through your bike setup for Audi Nines?
I’m usually the type of guy that rides a Hardtail only, but I know Clemens (Kaudela) and Sam (Reynolds) like to build really big courses, so I put a Slopestyle bike together. It’s honestly the perfect bike for the setup here, the jumps are big and smooth but after so many sessions the impacts really get to you, so the Slope bike is the perfect weapon of choice.
Which riders impressed you the most?
There’s been a lot of riders that have impressed me. Adolf Silva was absolutely shredding everything and that persistence he finally got on that Cali-Roll in the end was really rowdy. Another is Lukas Schäfer, who is more of a local rider, who’s younger and waiting to make a break onto the scene – he’s really been killing it in ever aspect. Also the Godziek brother, they’re all about this type of vibe and contest. I could name a good thing about all the guys but we’ll leave it at that.
WATCH THE OFFICIAL AUDI NINES CONTEST HIGHLIGHTS HERE.
Photos by Florian Breitenberger an Klaus Polzer.