Held in Nuremberg, Germany for the fifth time, the 2017 Red Bull District Ride also acted as the final event of the FMB Diamond Series and what a final it was. With huge crowds, a unique course, and set against the backdrop of Nuremberg’s historic town center, Red Bull District Ride already promised to be spectacular before the event started. The athletes, however, made sure that the crowd and viewers at home would not forget the event and put on a show for the ages.
Friday’s Best Trick Contest already saw world-firsts and a day later the nine riders in the final all put down at least one complete, competitive run, making it one of the tightest competitions of the year with less than 15 points separating first (Rogatkin, 92.05 points) and ninth place (Nyquist, 78.17). Here are the five things we have learned at Red Bull District Ride:1. Nuremberg Sets Records
Red Bull District Ride returned to Nuremberg for the fifth time, first visiting the location in 2005, 2006, 2011 and 2014, and what a return it was. 94,000 spectators lined the streets of the 950-year-old city over the course of the weekend and created an unbelievable atmosphere. With tens-of-thousands of fans from all around the world cheering for the riders during Saturday’s final alone, the athletes were pushed to new heights and rewarded the spectators with several world-firsts and a show the city won’t forget anytime soon.2. Innovative Course leads to World-Firsts
Nuremberg is a location like no other on the FMB Diamond Series so it was only fitting that course designer Martin Söderström designed a course like no other. Starting with a drop off the wall of the historic Kaiserburg, riders had to make their way through the winding streets of Nuremberg’s medieval town center and across a unique set of features that included two massive hips, a blind step-down, a spine and a 4.5m high kicker—the biggest ever on the FMB World Tour. The final kicker was designed to give riders height instead of distance and the air time it offered quickly became apparent during Friday’s Best Trick Contest. Stand-outs included a double frontflip by Bienvenido Alba (ESP), backflip triple barspin by Erik Fedko (GER), frontflip double barspin by Diego Caverzasi (ITA), the first-ever backflip superman one-handed seatgrab in a competition by Szymon Godziek (POL) and world-first 1440 on a mountain bike by Nicholi Rogatkin (USA).
Showing these huge tricks in a Best Trick Contest is one thing but to everybody’s amazement, Fedko, Caverzasi, Godziek, and Rogatkin all showed them again and, even more crucially, landed them picture-perfect to end their runs in the next day’s final.3. Top 3 Show Vastly Different Approaches
The innovative 700m long course and unusual features (for an FMB Diamond Event) brought out the best in creativity from the riders and as a result, the top three all showed vastly different styles and tricks during their runs. Godziek made full use of his moto-inspired repertoire of extension tricks in his run to 3rd place including a massive Superman over the hip in the Jeep The Rhythm District and his unreal backflip superman one-handed seatgrab over the final jump. Emil Johansson, on the other hand, showed a level of technical trickery combined with a super-smooth style that never ceases to amaze. Always sneaking in just one more variation than everyone else, Emil’s run included an opposite whip to barspin over the first hip, a 450 quadruple barspin over the second hip and a 360 double barspin to x-up over the spine to a very close second place. Rogatkin, last but not least, stepped it up once again in his second run starting with a 360 fastplant off the castle drop, a frontflip down the GoPro stepdown, cashroll over the A.T.U. Box and his unbelievable 1440 over the final kicker. Three riders, three different approaches, and less than three points apart in the top three. What a final!4. Johansson wins FMB World Championship
While Rogatkin won three out five FMB Diamond Events this year, his cash or crash style also saw him finish 14th twice. One would think that three wins would be more than enough to seal the deal on the overall title, but a young rider who no one knew just over a year ago had other ideas. Emil Johansson first showed what he was capable of with a 4th place at last year’s Red Bull Joyride at age 17 but no one could have seen what he would achieve just a year later.
In only his second year on the FMB World Tour and his first full season on the FMB Diamond Series, the now 18-year-old Johansson placed on the podium at four of five FMB Diamond events (he was ‘only’ fifth at Crankworx Les Innsbruck) and showed a level of consistency and trickery that never ceased to amaze. As a result, Emil Johansson was crowned the youngest FMB World Champion in history in Nuremberg.5. Breakout Performances and Standings Shake-up
Red Bull District Ride didn’t just feature world-firsts and an epic battle for the top but also an insane level of riding that included several breakout performances. The 19-year-old German rider Erik Fedko won a wildcard for Red Bull District Ride at the FMB Gold Event O’Marisquino and showed he had what it takes to compete on the sport’s biggest stage. The only German to qualify for the final, the 2016 European FMB Amateur Cup Champion showed two incredibly strong runs that saw him place in 5th and the German crowd go wild. Fedko’s performance should see him qualify for more FMB Diamond Events next season.
Placing fourth, one spot in front of Fedko, Diego Caverzasi showed another strong performance after his 5th place at Red Bull Joyride to end his season in 6th in the overall ranking. It is becoming downright ridiculous to think that he still has no bike sponsor. Meanwhile, the oldest competitor in the field, Ryan Nyquist, ended the season 4th in the FMB Diamond Series ranking, demonstrating that it is never too late to start something new. With a podium at Red Bull Joyride and consistent performances all season, the BMX-legend turned mountain biker isn’t just riding along, he has become one of the guys to beat!
Missed Red Bull District Ride? Fear not. You can re-watch the entire live-broadcast and all the highlights on-demand and anytime on Red Bull TV