Video and Photo Recap: Highland Slopestyle - US Open 2019

Jul 25, 2019
by Highland Mountain Bike Park  
Photos by Peter Cirilli & Jack Rice

The inaugural CLIF Slopestyle presented by Fox US Open went off this weekend at Highland Mountain Bike Park as David Lieb took home his first-ever FMBA Gold victory.

East Coast summer weather was in full effect with temps in the 90s and plenty of humidity. The action kicked off on Thursday afternoon with Ben Thompson on the top step of the podium for the Bronze-level finals, earning him a spot in Saturday’s Gold competition along with the other top five Bronze athletes.

Cirilli Photo
Please keep all limbs inside the vehicle for takeoff.

Cirilli Photo
Cirilli Photo
Cirilli Photo

Cirilli Photo
Not all whips look alike...

Cirilli Photo
Contemplating.
Cirilli Photo
Pumped to be stoked.

Highland local Kevin Sweeney grabbed 5th in the Bronze comp to secure himself a spot in the big show on Saturday

Cirilli Photo
Bronze podium antics. 2nd - Zach Spears // 1st - Ben Thompson // 3rd - Nick Fix

Friday night stayed the course, as the next generation of riders continued to impress. The Red Bull Best Whip presented by Spank Industries saw grom duo Max Abrams and Ant Lombardi split the cash, as their youthful flair gave judges DJ Brandt, Erik Fedko, and Ronnie Napolitan all they needed to award this pair the win over a field of veteran riders. Leaves us only to imagine what we could be seeing from these boys in the future.

Cirilli Photo
Cirilli Photo
You decide...Anthony Lombardi (left) and Max Abrams (right).

Cirilli Photo
These two 13-year-olds left quite an impression

The heatwave continued into Saturday’s Gold-level finals as the crowd made their way up onto the course. There was an energy about it, life being breathed back into the air of a historic venue, reminiscent of years past, setting an electric scene. Everything would come down to second runs for the top three on the day. After a crash in his first run, Jakub Vencl made a full pull including a cash roll, 720 and double backflip to secure third. Next up: David Lieb and Nicholi Rogatkin, two riders who both developed their craft at Highland Mountain. Sitting in third place, Lieb dropped in and immediately let everyone know he had a lot more in the tank, adding tricks and amplitude to his run. Nicholi was the last man down the course and the crowd went wild as he executed his signature twister on the final jump. Two insane runs, two improved scores. When the dust settled and final results hit the board, Lieb had won his first-ever Gold FMBA competition.

Special thanks to the Fox US Open and everyone who worked hard to make this event a reality including all our event partners - CLIF, Fox, Sierra Nevada, 5.10, Benson Auto, GT Bicycles, Spank and MOS Gear. See you next year!

For Gold, Bronze, and NextGen Results: CLIF Slopestyle Results

Jack Rice Photo
Lieb on the upbox.

Cirilli Photo
O-Bro poppin' bars.

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Carson blasting into space.

Jack Rice Photo
Josh Holt mesmerizing the crowd with fronties.

Jack Rice Photo
O-Bro flying high.

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A rare quiet moment while Lieb and Rogatkin wait for final scores.

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Thanks for the trophies Wheelies Woodshed! 2nd - Nicholi Rogatkin // 1st - David Lieb // 3rd -Jakub Vencl.

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Jakub claiming it.

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Doing it for the kids.

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All smiles from a solid crew of athletes.

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No feature too small to trick for Fedko.

Jack Rice Photo
Suns out guns out. Doing whatever it takes to fight off the heat.

Cirilli Photo
Gotta eat some dirt on the way to the top.


Regions in Article
Highland Mountain Bike Park


21 Comments

  • 13 0
 Yes I’ve been waiting for this. Highland bike park is one of the best parks in the country and I’m glad to see slopestyle back at highland!
  • 2 0
 sick contest and sick beers for the podium
  • 5 0
 So stoked for Dave, one of the nicest guys on two wheels! And anyone questioning his run... he may not have spun as much as Rogatkin, but he was super smooth, threw in some pretty technical tricks (even on small features), had a mix of oppo tricks, and he managed to trick a berm... I was standing right next to it and was lucky to have filmed it on my phone because my eyes didn't comprehend what they saw. Immediately after landing the triple whip, it looked like he got a little off line and was about to launch off the berm and into the woods... then he just casually used it like a tiny quarter pipe, threw a bar spin and kept his super smooth run going with a giant grin on his face! But Nicolai had a sick run too! I hope this event returns next year!!!
  • 3 0
 i was in a weird position to see that berm, but i could tell he had done something off of it.. wasnt until later that i saw the bar and was amazed.

also no one is talking about the guy fastplant flip whipping the final jump? friggin insane.
  • 6 0
 thank you for posting this quality pic of me heckling some sick riders i appreciate it
  • 3 1
 was sad i didnt make any of the pics :'( awesome event though and great coverage!
  • 3 0
 Quality recap! I hope to watch in person next year. Can we talk about Fedko's 360 indian air to barspin, that might have been my favorite trick of the vid. So much style and so technical.
  • 2 0
 one of the sickest things i saw all day
  • 2 0
 Every damn trick coulda been a VOD lock-in! Seeing Nicholi and David bro-ing out and all smiles at the podium is what this culture is all about to me. So damn fun to watch good sportsmen being happy for each other’s victories.
  • 3 0
 First class event for sure. The stoke couldn’t have been any higher. So good to have Slopestyle back at Highland!
#highlandfamily
  • 1 0
 Great energy here. Despite taking a little digger on another trail it was killer to watch these riders go big and do stuff that 10 years ago we wouldn't have thought was possible on an MTB.
  • 2 0
 Rogatkin got robbed, however the #1 guy got triple tailwhip on Nokolay's home soil and he didn't, that must be frustrating.
  • 6 0
 Highland is David Lieb's home soil tho
  • 2 0
 Ya I'm more about Nicoli's run but Lieb was a close 2nd.
  • 3 0
 Leib's triple whip was heavy. He was going the biggest on that jump by far, probably because he had to in order to get the third tailwhip in. His oppo tricks and combo's might have given him the edge. Both dudes threw down.
  • 2 1
 @samsq: Highland is Rogatkin's home soil as well.
  • 1 0
 @chriskneeland: yep triple whips get some huge scores, Soderstrom used to be the only one throwing them and he always scored high as well.
  • 1 0
 Nicole need to diversify, flip triples, dub fronties, windshield wipers etc.
  • 3 0
 great coverage (filming), you guys killed it.
  • 2 0
 Nicoli's run and only 2nd? How do you beat that.
  • 1 0
 not many peeps doin triple whips, but yeah...Rogatkins run was smooth and full of bangers

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