The UK’s Sam Pilgrim took the top spot in this year’s Vienna Air King freeride contest after a strong battle with second-placed Martin Soderstrom.
A combination of bad luck and unpredictable weather, including strong gusts of wind, put some of the top contenders out of the running, including Darren Berrecloth, Graham Agassiz, Amir Kabbani and Benny Korthaus.
Blake Samson (GBr/Diamond Back) pulled some great flipwhips, Andi Wittmann (Ger/Giant) showed off his super-clean flatspin 360s and Syzmon Godziek (Pol/Dartmoor) impressed with his superflips, but this wasn’t enough to get them onto the podium.
Watch the highlights video now:
A big surprise was Vienna local Andi Brewi (KTM), who pulled an X-up at the start drop, followed by a superman Indian, barspin and clean backflip turndown on the doubles as well as a flatspin 540 at the quarter to earn fifth place.
America’s Jamie Goldman (Santa Cruz) kept it quite technical with a backflip at the step-down, a superman seatgrab, a 360 followed by an opposite 360, and an X-up to secure fourth place and a share of the €10,000 prize pot.
Third place went to relative unknown John Alm Hogman (Swe/Scott), who tailwhipped the drop, followed by a huge superman can-can, a 360 and a 360 tailwhip, finishing with a whip at the quarter.
Soderstrom (Swe/NS Bikes), who won last year’s edition, decided to skip his last run after a strong second outing on the jumps, when he pulled a 360 at the drop, double tailwhip, 360 one-hand, 360 double tailwhip and a tail tab to foot jam on the quarter.
Pilgrim (GBr/DiamondBack) knew this gave him a chance to win the comp and he really went for it, despite strong winds. His third run consisted of a backflip table at the step-down, backflip X-up one-foot, 360 tabletop, 360 double whip and flair at the quarter. It was tight between the two, but Pilgrim’s variety of rotating tricks ultimately earned him first place and €3,800.
- Sam Pilgrim (GBr/DiamondBack)
- Martin Soderstrom (Swe/NS Bikes)
- John Alm Hogman (Swe/Scott)
- Jamie Goldman (USA/Santa Cruz)
- Andi Brewi (Aut/KTM)
- Blake Samson (GBr/Diamond Back)
- Thomas Zejda (Cze/Dartmoor)
- Andi Wittman (Ger/Giant)
- Symon Godziek (Pol/Dartmoor)
- Marek Maro (Cze/Dartmoor)
- Benny Korthaus (Ger/Red Bull)
- Bartek Obukovicz (Pol/NS Bikes)
- Amir Kabbani (Ger/Mongoose)
- Darren Berrecloth (Can/Specialized)
- Jakub Vencl (Cze/Author)
Best trick competition
In the Panasonic best trick competition, Soderstrom showed 360 double tailwhips and a double tailwhip at the 10ft high start drop, Dawid Godziek (Pol/Dartmoor) surprised the crowd with a 360 triple barspin, Danny Pace (GBr) landed a frontflip tuck no-hand and Pilgrim pulled a frontflip X-up as well as a 360 downside whip and a 360 superman seatgrab. However, it was Wittman who took the win with a super-clean and styled cork 720 at his third try.