The 2010 slopestyle season kicks off this weekend with Austria's Vienna Air King contest. It's the first event in the new Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour, which will call in at BikeRadar Live this summer.
The final touches are being made to the course ahead of the arrival of some of the world's top freeriders, including Canada's Darren 'Bearclaw' Berrecloth and former Air King winners Martin Soderstrom (2009, Sweden), Sam Pilgrim (2008, UK) and Benny Korthaus (2007, Germany), plus the UK's Grant 'Chopper' Fielder and the USA's Jamie Goldman.
Some 60 riders from 14 countries will take on the dirt jumps, which have been built right in front of Vienna's city hall. Head of course construction Andi Brewi said: “The starting tower is nearly 2m (6ft) higher [than last year ... and] the following dirt landing is built much bigger to create a perfect step-down that can also be bombed with tricks.
"Due to the step-down at the start, you will be fast enough for the following six-pack. These three jumps feature new wooden take-offs that are bigger than the years before and have a super-smooth transition. These are combined with dirt landings, as well as a quarterpipe at the very end of the course that gives riders the chance to prove their park skills.”
Total prize money is €10,000, and there are also Panasonic cameras up for grabs. Qualification takes place from 2pm tomorrow with the Panasonic best trick competition at 4pm. Finals start at 2.30pm (CET) on Sunday. The finals will be streamed live at www.watch26.tv/live. Live judging can be followed at http://live.eim-solutions.com/vak10.
The Freeride Mountain Bike (FMB) World Tour includes the MBUK Dirt Jump Invitational at BikeRadar Live, which takes place at Brands Hatch, Kent, from 10-11 July. You can book online now at www.bikeradar.com/live or call the BikeRadar Live hotline on 0871 230 1085. One-day, weekend and family tickets are available, with prices starting at £15 in advance.