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Home » Sports » Mountainbiking » The spirit of Freeride is alive and well – DarkFest 2024

The spirit of Freeride is alive and well – DarkFest 2024

The spirit of Freeride MTB is alive and well as DarkFest 2024 concluded at the Hellsend Dirt Compound near Stellenbosch, Cape Town. The week saw a ton of good times, insane riding and brutal slams. Riders launched themselves at speeds of over 75km/h over 110ft plus dirt gaps, some of the most technical riding ever witnessed went down. World-first MTB tricks landed and named, the only thing now is for them to be released out into the world.

Tom Isted at DarkFest 2024Tom Isted

Although riders had to deal with tricky wind conditions, everyone was pushing it and going for records, there were some incredible performances, as well as some unhinged sends and jumps.

Adolf Silva at DarkFest 2024Adolf Silva at DarkFest 2024Adolf Silva

Highlights included Kurtis Downs World First, FMX-inspired Nothing to Double Grab (Holy-Grab) to Rock Solid, which had never been done before on a Downhill bike. Tom Isted also landed his 2023 world record longest dirt-to-dirt backflip over the 110ft jump on his first attempt, sealing the record for another year in 2024. Also the Backflip train from Robin Goomes and Harriet Burbidge-Smith was standout and won them the Best Moment of Darkfest award.

Graham Agassiz riding DarkFest 2024Graham Agassiz
Bienve Aguado at DarkFest 2024Bienve Aguado
Brendan Fairclough at DarkFest 2024Brendan Fairclough
Dan Paley at DarkFest 2024Dan Paley
Dylan Stark at DarkFest 2024Dylan Stark

Event medics were kept busier than usual with a number of big crashes writing off riders and sending bikes to the workshop. Despite this, Darkfest 2024 went off, setting the tone for the year and producing the most striking Freeride Mountain Bike content at a location unlike any other in the world.

Elias Ruso at DarkFest 2024Elias Ruso at DarkFest 2024Elias Ruso
Johny Salido at DarkFest 2024Johny Salido
Kaos Seagrave at DarkFest 2024Kaos Seagrave
Kurtis Downs at DarkFest 2024Kurtis Downs
Matt Jones at Darkfest 2024Matt Jones

The event finished with rider-voted awards for riders who pushed their personal limits for victory and glory in various categories.

Talus Turk at Darkfest 2024Talus Turk
Theo Erlangsen at Darkfest 2024Theo Erlangsen
Vaea Verbeek at Darkfest 2024Vaea Verbeek

DarkFest 2024 Awards

King and Queen of DarkFest 2024
King: Elias Ruso
Queen: Vaea Verbeeck

Darkfest 2024 Best Moment
Tom Isted – 110 Backflip on his first drop.
Robin Goomes and Harriet Burbridge Smith – Backflip train on the step-up.

The Kenda Tires Europe Mind Bender 
Kurtis Downs

The Spank Bikes Best Whip
Dan Paley and Vinny Armstrong

The GoPro Best Run
Bienvenido Aguado

The Pinkeye Vision Biggest Burke Award
Veronique Sandler

Darkfest 2024 rider award winners

Photos by Eric Palmer.

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