Always a force to be reckoned with when it comes to Freeride MTB, massive jumps, big tricks and style. Sam Reynolds took 1st place in the Best Freeride Line category at The Audi Nines event in Germany.
We caught up with Sam to get his thoughts on the event and more…
How long did the Audi Nines course build take and what was the concept coming into it?
We came in the summer to check it out and make a bit of a plan, then went home and drew it up. We found out that there were some bits that we wanted to build that would’ve been illegal, so we had to change the whole plan. After planning we came in one month before the event with all the machines and started building. It took us four weeks with three big machines.
What are your thoughts on the final outcome?
Oh awesome! Even when we were planning it and even when we first arrived with the machines, we kinda had our doubts as to how cool it was after the last years up in the Alps with super epic views. We didn’t know how it was going to compete with that. But, I think with this whole new To the Moon space theme with the satellite dish and sky drop, I think its super sick and actually the best location ever.
What does an event like Audi Nines mean to you?
I love the Audi Nines. It is a really professionally run event by riders for riders.
What do you think of the new contest format?
I think it is fantastic. It’s kinda something we have done with the Fest Series for a while, but properly. There is always a camera guy on the ridge and we just radio him if we want him to film our run. At the end we get to watch all the runs back from the same angle and judge who we thought was the best. We basically get a whole week to put together our best run which is probably the safest and most progressive way to do it.
How doest the course suit your style of riding?
I really like the Freeride line, it definitely suits my style of riding. It’s big, high speed, technical jumps and that’s real cool. A lot of people seem to be enjoying that and even some people who haven’t really ridden big bike have come over and had a little sesh, which is awesome. The Slopestyle line is also super fun to ride on the big bike and the slope bike. The Big Air is epic, it’s the safest, biggest air trick jump I’ve ever ridden – it’s amazing, you can actually crash and be pretty fine on it even though it’s huge.
What was it like riding through the course for the first time?
The Slope line was totally fine, its wasn’t really scary. I had to Guinea Pig every single jump, same with the Big Air. The big first hit was super scary, it’s the biggest jump on course and is the first hit, it’s 18 about meters. I actually ended up going as fast as I could and went a little long the first go. The whole big line was pretty scary to test.
Which feature is your favourite?
Actually the berm is my favourite. We had to add cement because the force we were hitting it at was just too much for dirt, it just ripped it apart. It’s perfectly smooth and like a concrete skatepark bowl and you rip around that as fast as you can. I also love the Big Air jump.
Take us through you bike setup for Audi Nines?
For this I’m riding the Polygon DH9, it’s playful and has a little shorter travel and wheel base. I’ve got my tires pretty hard so they don’t compress on the ramps, I’ve got a semi-slick on the back to carry speed, and super hard suspension. I’m actually riding single speed because there’s no need for gears.
Which riders impressed you the most?
Adolf (Silva) as always, I can’t believe how many times he can get up after slamming huge and he just landed the Cali-Roll. Of course Nicholi (Rogatkin) does ridiculous tricks. Godziek is my favourite rider in this one cause he shredded the big bike and the hard tail doing massive whips riding the line and was super impressive.
Take us through your dream Audi Nines run?
I’ve done a run that I’m stoked on. It’s quite a tricky course with hips, right, left, berms – it’s a real tricky one to carry speed through. To trick everything back-to-back is pretty technical, and I put a run together with all my favourite tricks in the line.
WATCH THE OFFICIAL AUDI NINES CONTEST HIGHLIGHTS HERE.
Photos by Klaus Polzer and Syo van Vliet.