Emil Johansson dominated once again as the Swede had the 18 remaining riders compete for silver at the inaugural Red Bull Copenride in Copenhagen. A weekend that proved the importance of coming together.
It was finally go-time again. The world's best mountain bike slopestyle riders had flown in from all over the world to compete in what looked to be an epic resurrection of competing in front of a live audience.
Amongst the staggered rider line up were some of the sports’ icons like Szymon Godziek who hasn’t been competing on the FMB World Tour for a long time. Then Nicholi Rogatkin, the only Crankworx Triple Crown champion, the slopestyle and YouTube legend Sam Pilgrim and of course the current world’s best slopestyle rider Emil Johansson.
The course was like nothing we had ever seen before, and the riders were stoked to conquer the majestic scaffolding at Refshaleøen in the very center of Copenhagen.
But unpredictable weather saw the competition change. What was meant to be a two-day slopestyle extravaganza attracting thousands of spectators was minutes from being called off. But riders, marshalls and organizers came together and pulled together an event that had the riders screaming, they couldn't wait to come back next year.
Friday was all about qualifications for Saturday's final. Gusts of wind shook some of the riders, and they clearly had a difficult time putting together the run they planned for. But as the riders went for their second run of the day, they seemed to have adapted to the ever-changing conditions.
Polish wildcard, Szymon Godziek, stomped a run even he couldn't wrap his head around, scoring a massive 94.66. What an amazing comeback, since we haven’t seen him competing at a slopestyle event since 2018.
And then there was only one guy left. The Swede to beat, Emil Johansson. But no one could stop him from taking the glory once again. Spinning both directions, showcasing his style and crazy variety, he left the judges with no choice. A 96.33 popped on the screen - and he deservedly took first place in qualis in front of Szymon Godziek and Nicholi Rogatkin in third.
Emil Johansson's winning run: Nac nac, 360 tailwhip, opposite 360 tailwhip, alley oop double barspin, 360 double downside whip, nose bunk 360 barspin, backflip double tailwhip, barspin to footjam.
Saturday's final had no chance of ever happening. Since early morning the rain had poured down and wind continuously picked up and the finals had to be decided by the qualifying results. Instead the riders came together and went all in for a jam session - Shimano Best Trick - in front of the large crowd that had shown up. And boy, did they go all in.
After hitting the Shimano Section for 15 minutes, Nicholi Rogatkin together with Griffin Paulson and Alex Alanko decided to go for the 14 meter tall roll in for the money booter after spotting a bang on tailwind. And then the crowd went crazy. That inspired almost all of the riders to go for some hits - showing off one by one. The absolute highlight of the weekend being Nicholi Rogatkin throwing his 1440. Clean as a whistle. Additional bangers were Dawid Godziek’s legendary Twister no hander, Griffin Paulson’s double backflip barspin and Diego Caverzasi’s Backflip barspin cliffhanger What an amazing trick level!
As the Shimano Best Trick jam session came to an end the 19 riders all came together in the riders lounge cheering each other on for putting on a show even though conditions were horrible. And that vibe was all they had been waiting for in more than a year. In the end Red Bull Copenride 2021 wasn't excactly the competition we wanted, but definitely the competition we needed. And next years’ event surely will revenge what was lost this year!
The full results of Red Bull Copenride, an FMB World Tour Gold Event:
1 JOHANSSON Emil SWE 96.33
2 GODZIEK Szymon POL 94.66
3 ROGATKIN Nicholi USA 91.00
4 ALANKO Alex SWE 89.00
5 LEMOINE Tomas FRA 88.66
6 FEDKO Erik GER 88.00
7 FREDRIKSSON Max SWE 82.33
8 HUNT Marcel GBR 81.00
9 PAULSON Griffin CAN 80.00
10 GODZIEK Dawid POL 76.00
11 LIEB David USA 75.33
12 BRINGER Timothé FRA 68.66
13 BONAFE Alejandro ESP 65.33
14 PILGRIM Sam GBR 63.66
15 ISTED Tom GBR 56.33
16 VENCL Jakub CZE 54.33
17 MECHEM Garret USA 48.66
18 HUPPERT Lucas SUI 23.33
19 CAVERZASI Diego ITA 11.00