Cam McCaul won the 2006 edition of Red Bull District Ride in Nuremberg. Now, 11 years later he returns to Nuremberg once again. This time not as rider but as the ‘voice of slopestyle’ on Red Bull TV. We used the opportunity to ask Cam to reflect on how the sport has changed and the current state of slopestyle.
Watch Red Bull District Ride 2017 live from Nuremberg, Germany on September 2, 3pm CEST—exclusively on Red Bull TV
and here on Pinkbike.What was it like winning Red Bull District Ride back in 2006?
It was an exciting win because it’s obviously such a big event. The crowd is absolutely insane and it makes you want to put on a good show. Which place do you think you would land if you sent the same run at Red Bull District Ride 2017?
Hahahaha! My winning run in 2006 wouldn’t even evoke a chirp out of the crowd these days and the judges would fall asleep. It’s insane how much the sport has progressed in the last 11 years. Can you describe in what way slopestyle has developed since then?
Tricks, tricks, tricks. And precision. Gone are the days of all the riders having similar tricks, and consistency being the determining factor. These days, every single rider is precise or they wouldn’t be there. Its a space-race to see who can come up with something that is new, exciting, and never been done before in slopestyle. You can see tricks that are equally influenced by snow sports, BMX, and moto, and I think that’s what makes this sport so exciting. Back in 2005 MTB icons like Gee Atherton and Cedric Gracia were in the mix. Can you describe why this would be unthinkable today?
Slopestyle was still a bit of a cooking experiment back then and riders from all different backgrounds were sprinkling their spices on the recipe. It made for a great show because there were different line options on the course, allowing the wide variety of riders to interpret things in their own way. Now in 2017, the sport is so clearly defined that the athletes who compete at the top level are specialists in this competitive form. It’s less of a sideshow now and more of an elite world tour. 12 years later now, I suppose it would be safe to say that the experiment was a success. How has the media attention and fan base developed over the decades?
Having a legitimate slopestyle World Tour is a dream come true for the sport. With live webcasts for each big event and so much media content tracking the tour, fans are able to closely follow every event throughout the season—pick their favorite riders to root for, weigh in with their opinions on judging, etc. It’s been so cool to see this little sport work its way through puberty. It definitely has a few whiskers on the chin and a deeper voice now. How much are you looking forward to the event and what are you most looking forward to?
I can’t wait to get to Nuremberg in September. I’m most looking forward to seeing what kind of course the designers have cooked up. The city provides the most unique backdrop for a slopestyle competition and it’s always interesting to see how the course designers and builders incorporate the history of the city into their masterpiece. There’s nothing like watching mountain bikes fly off of an ancient castle.
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