Photo Epic: Vienna Air King Finals

Apr 13, 2015
by Bartek Wolinski  
The tenth edition of the Vienna Air King is in the history books and we know it will be a very important page of it! The use of the term “next level” may not sound so humble, but it’s hard to use proper words to describe the riding. Once again Tarek Rasouli’s crew and Balzamico Trail Designs outdid themselves with the whole event organization. The track really caught the attention of the crowd gathered at the Argus bike festival. But let’s get back to the most important business. Let's see how V.A.K. has put its influence into the decade of MTB dirt jumping history.

In the beginning there was dirt. Tons of it placed differently than 5 years later. Jump into our time machine and discover how Vienna Air King has progressed into to one of the most respected dirt contests in the World...



THE HISTORY



Back in 2010, when riding in speed shades and baggy jeans was a desire of the most of the riders on the scene, Sam Pilgrim and Martin Soderstrom happened to keep it slimfit. What was laughed off 5 years ago is a trend now, that’s how it is. Also it was the last year when the dirt track was placed in the different position that it is now. Just look at the size of the jumps that scared riders back in a day…

Pilgrim is on his way to dominate the podiums for the next few years and Andi Brewi is just about to change the whole Vienna s look with his new project called Balzamico Trail Design along with Clemens Kaudela behind the shovel. Yet we miss the skinsuits on a podium a bit..
  Pilgrim is on his way to dominate the podiums for the next few years and Andi Brewi is just about to change the whole Vienna's look with his new project called "Balzamico Trail Design" along with Clemens Kaudela behind the shovel. Yet, we miss the skinsuits on a podium a bit..

Vienna Air King
  2010 was also the last year of this configuration of the track. The crowd was, is and will be one of the most supporting one in the whole FMB tour.

Let’s go to the year 2011 where skinny jeans and Pilgrim’s toothless smile were a typical view on the top of the podiums. One of the few persons that switched this way of being was the Swedish “Giant” himself. Beloved by his style, Martin Soderstrom felt in Vienna like in the second home after his blond head discovered the way to stand among the top three everytime he visited the capital of Austria.

Podium shot of 2011 with Sam Pilgrim Martin and Yannick on the 2nd step and Mr. Watts on the third one.
  Podium shot of 2011 with Sam Pilgrim, Martin and Yannick on the 2nd step and Mr. Watts on the third one.

Martin Soderstrom is still one of the crowd favourites.
  Martin Soderstrom is still one of the crowd favourites.

Despite Pilgrim s smile a few things has changed since 2011.
  Despite Pilgrim's smile, a few things have changed since 2011.

Andreu Lacondeguy was ahead of the time with his FMX style and execution of the tricks. Vienna Air King was a place where his supermans became his signature.

Signature move from Andreu.
  Signature move from Andreu.

Back in the 2012 the international level of riding was about to explode. With riders from the whole World, Vienna’s status in the dirt category was settled down deep and strong. It was a year of crazy spinning combinations from the brakeless riders. Sam Pilgrim's dynasty was rolling steady and always towards the win.

Matt Macduff roaming at the girls to give him that five.
  Matt Macduff hitting up the ladies to give him that five.

Pavel Alekhin spreading the joy of riding everywhere he goes.
  Pavel Alekhin spreading the joy of riding everywhere he goes.

Podium of 2012 with Sam Pilgrim still on top
  Podium of 2012 with Sam Pilgrim still on top!

Looks like Bienvenido let out something that wasn t as silent as he thought...
  Looks like Bienvenido let out something that wasn't as silent as he thought...

2013 was a year of opposite's. Brett Rheeder came as a shy Canadian teenager and went back home with the Air King title in his pocket thanks to the ability to spin in the every way possible. This was also the year when the hardest ever best trick was stomped up to date at the Vienna’s competition history.

Both way flipwhips are still one of the toughest tricks in the game.
  Both ways flipwhips are still one of the toughest tricks in the game.

The wildest move up to date from Vienna Air King is in the Pavel Alekhin s pocket.
  The wildest move up to date from Vienna Air King is in the Pavel Alekhin's pocket.

Sweet dumped 360 from Anton Thelander.
  Sweet dumped 360 from Thomas Genon.

One year later Brett is back with his different way style. Opposite flipwhips had the whole dirt jumping scene drop its Jaw but it was his cork 720’s that groms wanted to learn just after their first barspin. Yet, it was Szymon Godziek's favour to bless the scene with FMX orientated tricks and claimed backflip cliffhanger during the Best Trick competition. Thomas Genon is on his calm way of setting high scores at every contests he shows up to.

Canada s Brett Rheeder s future spins.
  Canada's Brett Rheeder's future spins.

Thomas Genon with his unique Belgian style.
  Thomas Genon with his unique French style.

Backflip cliffhanger by Szymon Godziek.
  Backflip cliffhanger by Szymon Godziek.



2015 FINALS



Finally, we are here, 5 years later at the 10th anniversary of the Vienna Air King in the majestic Rathausplatz at the Argus Bike Festival. Thousands of spectators, hundreds of bikes and tens of booths all in one place. The progress that was made from day 0 to now being one of the most respected weekends in the FMB World Tour is simply insane! The new breed of riders are ruling now but the oldschool rippers still love to visit the capital of Austria to pursue the dream of the perfect dirt jumps.

Off we go with the final runs of 2015 Vienna Air King.
  Off we go with the final runs of 2015 Vienna Air King.

Diego Caverzasi with one of the best combos of the weekend backflip barspin to late tailwhip
  Diego Caverzasi with one of the best combos of the weekend: backflip barspin to late tailwhip!

The highest jumping Brit put some consistency in his runs and went for a solid score..
  The highest jumping Brit put some consistency in his runs and went for a solid score..

Mehdi Gani is all about technical moves this year so the points are buzzing on his account. We can t wait to see his perfect run .
  Mehdi Gani is all about technical moves this year so the points are buzzing on his account. We can't wait to see his "perfect run".

Peter Henke has one of the nicest superflips in the game.
  Peter Henke has one of the nicest superflips in the game.

Nicholi Rogatkin despite his over 90 points score went for a triple whip in the finals.
  Nicholi Rogatkin despite his points score being over 90 he went for a triple whip in the finals.

Taking care of the next generations.
  Taking care of the next generation.

Massive flip tuck no hander off the step down by Antoine Bizet.
  Massive flip tuck no hander off the step down by Antoine Bizet.

Szymon Godziek and his unforgettable FMX style.
  Szymon Godziek and his unforgettable FMX style.

Mr. Peter Henke during the truckdriver he catched with a closed eyes.
  Mr. Peter Henke during the truckdriver he caught with closed eyes.

Tomas Zejda from Czech Rep. was warmed up after the first Crankworx stop. Solid 9th spot for him.
  Tomas Zejda from Czech Rep. was warmed up after the first Crankworx stop. Solid 9th spot for him.

Tommy G was looking for a good barspin to unknown combination but...
  Tommy G was looking for a good barspin to unknown combination but...

he had some trouble midair with this combo. Still the eject button put him safely on the top of the landing shelf so no worries as he was on the 2nd step of the podium today.
  He had some trouble midair with this combo. Still, the eject button put him safely on the top of the landing shelf so no worries as he was on the 2nd step of the podium today.

The best Brit in the finals happened to be Daryl Brown who scored the lucky number 7.
  The best Brit in the finals happened to be Daryl Brown who scored the lucky number 7.

Jakub Vencl made a run of his lifetime at the V.A.K. 2015 with a beastly 360 tuck no hander on the first jump.
  Jakub Vencl made a run of his lifetime at the V.A.K. 2015 with a beastly 360 tuck no hander on the first jump.

Frenchman Tomas Lemoine has a safe run that placed him on the 10th spot.
  Frenchman Tomas Lemoine has a safe run that placed him on the 10th spot.

Mr. Pilgrim missed his luck today with a wind blows not in his favour.
  Mr. Pilgrim missed his luck today with a wind blows not in his favour.

Diego Caverzasi amazed everyone with his backflip barspin to a late tailwhip combination he pulled a few times but a nasty crash costed him a last place in finals.
  Diego Caverzasi amazed everyone with his backflip barspin to a late tailwhip combination he pulled a few times, but a nasty crash put him in last place in finals.

Anton Thelander had some troubles in his 2nd run but still managed to bring tricks like this flipwhip to pleasure the crowd.
  Anton Thelander had some troubles in his 2nd run but still managed to bring tricks like this flipwhip to pleasure the crowd.

Snap from the double whip from Max Fredriksson.
  Snap from the double whip from Max Fredriksson.

Thomas Genon with a backflip barspin.
  Thomas Genon with a backflip barspin.

720 are not always bread amp butter for Nicholi.
  720 are not always bread and butter for Nicholi.

Even the best ones need to taste dit from time to time.
  Even the best riders need to taste dirt from time to time.

The winning trick - cork 720 by Nicholi Rogatkin.
  The winning trick - cork 720 by Nicholi Rogatkin.

The new wave of riders is starting to take over the most desired podiums. Thanks Nicholi Rogatkin Thomas Genon and Max Fredriksson for a great time in Vienna.
  The new wave of riders is starting to take over the most desired podiums. Thanks Nicholi Rogatkin, Thomas Genon and Max Fredriksson for a great time in Vienna.

The double winner of 2015 V.A.K. ladies and gentleman
  The double winner of 2015 V.A.K. ladies and gentleman! Nicholi sets the new achivement bar as the only rider in history to claim both Best Trick & overall results at Vienna's FMB stop!

What will the next decade bring into our life as MTB enthusiasts? Will quadruple tricks hit the tracks or style would matter more? We will be there to catch it all for you!

Photos by: Bartek Woliński www.wolisphoto.com
Words by: Mateusz Szachowski


MENTIONS: @FMBA, @rasoulution



Author Info:
wolisphoto avatar

Member since Jan 28, 2010
30 articles

13 Comments
  • 18 1
 So the prizes went down.... 3800 EUR back in 2010 was nic, but 3000EUR now is not even good enough to buy yourself a set of enduro specific clothes... Shame that Godziek and Pilgrim did not do well...
  • 1 0
 lol
  • 4 2
 Yeah, riding level goes up, prize level goes down? Get your fvcking shit together FMB. No wonder Sem & Rheeder couldn't be bothered. :/

Definitely bummer about God. I wanna see everything he did at that contest. The highlight video better have lots of Godziek.

Rogue-kid with the squid lid is just beast. Good job bruh. Keep them cashrolls comin' though, don't follow the swarm. You got the goods mang.
  • 10 0
 Thomas Genon has a Belgian style, not a French one Smile
  • 2 0
 My bad! Next fries are on me Tommy Smile
  • 10 2
 "Matt Macduff hitting up the ladies" I really hope not, they look about 6 years old...
  • 4 1
 That's the joke
  • 3 1
 Reminds me of one of the NWD's, where Aaron Chase was giving away all the signatures to little kids, where Jeff Lenosky was autographing the bodies of goodlooking chicks. I'm sure Matt does both though, that dude is awesome!
  • 3 0
 these prizes are look ridiculously when you compare to other sports. this is one of the biggest dirt events and guys are risking major injuries or even life for crowd / sponsors to obtain avarage europe salary.
  • 3 0
 Great write up, nice pictures, awesome event, cool riders, stunning place for a contest, but why oh why no live stream... again... :'(
  • 2 0
 Yeah Max! So stoked about his podium position!
  • 2 1
 Tommy G is prolly one of the most consistent riders and Rogatkin has proved to be quite the hucker.
  • 2 0
 Weird about the decrease in prize money...







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